Do Reels Improve Your Instagram Engagement? (2/2)

reels improve instagram engagement

Keep reading to know more about the meaning of those metrics and how reels improve your Instagram engagement.

Reels improve your Instagram engagement

Let’s see the meanings of these results!

reels improve instagram engagement

Instagram wants people to see quality Reels

Instagram designed again its home screen to put Reels front and center. So, a high number of Reels views should come as no surprise. In that sense, Reels have turn out to be a key frontier for organic reach on the app. The more people you engage with your Reels, the higher opportunities that the number of followers and engagement rate will grow.

While Reels may get more reach than different formats on the platform, Instagram’s algorithm still prioritizes Reels that check certain boxes. Here’s how the company explains its recommendation engine: “People tell us they need to see entertaining, funny, and interesting content in places like the Reels tab, and we’ve gotten better at recommending that.”

Reposting TikTok videos as Reels? Instagram may ding you for that. “We’ve also seen that low video quality reels (i.e. blurry because of low resolution) or content that’s visibly recycled from different apps (i.e. contains logos or watermarks) makes the Reels experience less satisfying,” a post from the company explains. “So, we’re making this content less discoverable in some places such as the Reels tab.”

Reels that feature people who perform well

The success of TikTok is essentially creator-driven and Instagram Reels are no different. Check out your Reels feed and you’ll discover that most videos have one thing in common: People! Forget hyper-stylized product shots, the Instagram aesthetic, or even illustrations. All of that comes second to people in personality in the Reels format.

“We see that an image of a person in the Reel helps it perform better,” says Cohen. Of Hootsuite’s top three performing Reels in this experiment, two functions a person in the cover image (in both circumstances, it’s Cohen!). The third Reel also features a person (Hootsuite’s Inbound Marketing Lead, Shannon Tien), just not on the duvet.

Audio can make an enormous difference

It’s probably not a coincidence that our top three performing Reels occurred to be the three that feature a trending track. Ciara’s “Level Up” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” in particular, are pretty popular on Instagram and TikTok at the moment.

“Instagram favors whenever you add your audio and songs natively in their app versus adding them beforehand in a 3rd party app or using other music not available within Instagram,” says Cohen. “I think this plays an enormous factor.”

Sharing to Instagram Stories boosts views

Adding your Reel to a Story will increase the chances that it will be seen. Reels can be shared directly to Stories. However, Cohen recommends taking a different strategy: “I reshare the in-feed Reel to stories so the Reel in our feed gets more views.”

In case your account has more than 10K followers, sharing your Reel in a Story lets you use them to drive traffic or conversions. “Sharing to Instagram Stories is incredibly useful when providing a swipe-up link or CTA as this cannot be done for in-feed Reels captions,” he says.

Hashtags have a minor effect on reach

Instagram Reels can add up to 30 hashtags, just like other posts on this platform. According to an Instagram Story posted by the company’s @creators account, “Hashtags continue to be a great source of discovery for creators, particularly on Reels.” Popular Reels hashtags include #dance, #humor, #fitness, and #reelitfeelit.

Hashtags didn’t have an obvious effect on Hootsuite’s Reels. Posts that didn’t have any performed just as well, and in some circumstances better, than posts that had some. “I think hashtags help with the discoverability of the content and perhaps help push them to the top of certain trending hashtags,” says Cohen. “I’m not 100% certain on the relevance of hashtags right now though.”

All of these aspects are still being fine-tuned by Instagram. Actually, Instagram head Adam Mosseri recently told The Verge he’s “not yet happy” with Reels.

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