• A Wild Lass

How to Master Instagram Reels in an Afternoon

Owning your own business is hard because you can’t only work on the things you love. You also have to wear other hats, like accounting or marketing. If you’re trying to keep on top of social media trends to make sure your business is relevant to your intended audience, you may be confused about the new feature on Instagram: reels.


This article will help you master Instagram reels in one afternoon. We explain what reels are, how to make them, and why they’re necessary for your business. Take a look!


*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

What Are Reels?


Have you heard of Tik Tok? It’s another social media platform in which users compile video footage into one short montage. Often users show a special talent or summarize an event or special occurrence with highlights.


Instagram has added reels to their platform to compete with Tik Tok. Reels work in a similar way, meaning you can film videos or upload videos and edit clips together to create one video. Instead of making a collage on the wall of your business for customers to see when they walk in, you’re making a video collage for your followers on social media to see.


Why Reels?


You’re probably wondering why you need to worry about reels, especially when you’ve just figured out how to use stories and hardly have time to plan your social posts for the week, let alone start collecting video footage to up your game.


The answer is, reels get more views on Instagram than anything else. There is now a separate tab for them (the middle play button on the bottom menu in your Instagram app) and they are featured on your home screen more than photos. Using reels can be the boost your business needs to get seen and stay in your target audience’s feeds.


But I Don’t Have Any Videos to Use: Using Screen Recording


You don’t have to have any video footage to get started using reels. You can still create reels from your home office using screen recording to create a video. Here are ways to use screen recordings:

  • Demonstrate how to use a website or a feature of your social media

  • Provide instructions for how to enter a drawing

  • Invite your followers to vote for you in a contest

  • Make it easy to see how to shop a sale

There are plenty of other ways to use screen recording. See how many ideas you can brainstorm in five minutes. I mean it: stop reading, and spend the next five minutes making a list of how you can use your specific existing content within the context of a screen recording.


Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

There. Now that you’ve done a little legwork, here’s another tip. You can use photos in your video if you record them in a screen recording. Here’s a great video that shows exactly what I mean.


To create a reel, go to your profile and click the plus button in the top right corner. Then select "Reel."



From there, you can record a video to use, or swipe up to access the videos you have in your phone already.


Other Ideas for Reels


One post entrepreneurs forget to repeat often enough is an introduction. Your customers will relate more to your company if you tell them who you are. They want to know the “why” behind your business.


You can introduce yourself is using a reel. Look for reels on Instagram that have disappearing words. In this trend, often the video’s subject is pointing to the words, or to blank space where the words then appear for a moment and disappear. This is a great way to give short facts or characteristics about yourself. Here’s a video that tells how to make the words appear and disappear in your reel.


Be sure you always use a CTA in your introduction video. You want people to interact and engage with your post. Ask your audience how many of those things they have in common with you to prompt them to comment. You can even ask them to leave a specific emoji below if they agree or identify with you in some way.


One slightly different direction to go with these intro reels is to create a list of characteristics you’re guessing they have (these would be characteristics of your target customer). For example, you might say, “If you’re here, you probably…” and then add some ideas for them, like “Have kids,” or “Love chocolate!” or “Work at home.” It’s a good way to gauge how well you know your audience, and also give them a way to feel like they belong and feel important.


Engagement


After your post, be sure that you’re engaging with the feedback you get. For example, if someone likes your post, don’t just congratulate yourself. Click on their profile and check out their latest photos. Like them, or better yet, leave a comment. Even if you just leave an emoji, spending time interacting with other accounts means they may take a look at your page and they may follow you if they like what they see.


If you don’t have enough likes on your post to generate many interactions like this, then spend some time searching the hashtags you used. This will help you find other accounts with similar interests or mindsets, and then you can engage with those posts.


How to See How Many Views Your Reel Has


You do not need a business account to see how many views your reel has. Simply go to your profile where you can see the grid of all the photos and videos (and reels) you’ve posted.


Click on the middle icon that looks like a video production clapperboard (it has a sideways triangle that looks like a “Play” button).



After you click on that icon, you’ll be able to see all the reels you’ve posted. In the bottom left corner of each one, you’ll see another sideways triangle that looks like a “Play” button, and next to it you’ll see a number. That’s how many views your reel has gotten.


A Word About Hashtags


You’ll want to add hashtags to your reels. A hashtag is a word or phrase that summarizes what your post is about, but if it’s a phrase, all the words are run together without spaces. They are prefaced by a hash sign that looks like this: #.


For example, some hashtags that would apply to this post are: #instagramreels #reelsforbusiness or #understandingreels.


Yet when you choose hashtags, you want to pay attention to their numbers. When you start typing a hashtag on Instagram, the program autopopulates the top matching hashtags. You need to look for hashtags that have enough popularity that people will be clicking on them and searching them, meaning your post may get found. Yet you don’t want a hashtag that’s so popular your business gets lost in the sheer magnitude of the content.


Look for numbers between 25,000 and 100,000. Anything bigger than that may never benefit you at all.


A Reel Master


Now that you've officially graduated from Instagram reels class, you are ready to go make some of your own. Let us know how it goes! Feel free to contact us with any questions or if you want to see more instructions about reels.


Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for bonus content.

For more on entrepreneurship and working from home, check out these other posts from A Wild Lass:


Free Template for Tracking Income for Your Home Business

How to Write a Letter When You’re Asking for a Favor

How Work at Home Moms Handle Sick Kids

How to Play Catch Up At Work After Vacation

Learn On the Job: Easy Tips for Beginner Public Speaking

Invest Like a Boss: Retirement Ideas for Moms and Entrepreneurs



*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


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