In light of the expansion of TikTok, Instagram has pivoted away from their photo format and into short form videos in an attempt to echo the success of TikTok. In fact, Instagram has made Reels the primary focus for the platform and the dreaded algorithm. Today, we’re discussing tried and true ways to increase your followers through the use of Instagram Reels.

What Is A Successful Instagram Reel?

Before diving into methods of increasing those followers, we want to break down what makes a successful Reel because without the basics, you won’t get very far. When you decide to post a Reel, you have to consider what it is you’re putting out to the world. Your Reels should be inspiring, entertaining, or educative. They should have a purpose.

If you’re lost on what kind of reel is compelling enough to grow followers, go back to your audience. Your audience is who you’re trying to engage with, they are who’s attention you’re trying to get. Therefore, in order to make a successful reel, you must consider what it is that appeals to your audience the most. You want the reels you create to be relevant to the niche you are a part of and should describe what kind of people you want to notice and follow you.

Structure-wise, you want to have a 4-part loose structure. Your structure should consist of a hook, an intro, your content, and the conclusion. You want your hook to be captivating and present itself within the first 3 seconds of your reel. Be sure to provide breadcrumbs throughout your video. This could be creative transitions, countdowns, literally anything that will give them a reason to watch from beginning to end.

Lastly, you want to have one key takeaway. You don’t want to have a laundry list of information you tell your audience about in a short 15 second video. Keep it short and simple and, most importantly, to the point. End with a call to action. Whether you want people to follow you, comment, click the link in your bio, or just watch more reels, be sure to clearly tell your audience at the end of your video. If you aren’t assertive, you won’t get the results you are looking for.

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What Are Some Of The Best Practices of Instagram Reels?

With Reels, you have to really look at the algorithm and make it your friend. Here are a few recommendations that can help you increase your followers:

Posting Effectiveness

Here we discuss 3 main factors: consistency, time, and hashtags.

  • Consistency: it is encouraged to post to Reels 4-7x a week, although we know how difficult this can be. We recommend batch creation to help with the postings.
  • Time: we’ve heard this one a million times before. Look at your insights and see what time is the majority of your audience using social media. This doesn’t mean you can’t experiment, just make sure you’re still using what you know works.
  • HashtagsInstagram allows 30 hashtags per post. You can absolutely use all 30, but we recommend using 3-5 hashtags. When choosing hashtags, your first 2 should be your most important, and usually very narrow, but the rest can be a lot broader and more fun. You want to attempt to use hashtags that are both high and low in ranking, allowing your chances of being featured on the Explore page to be much higher.

Visual Invitation

You want your audience to find your reels visually inviting and appealing. Two very important factors in this section are cover images and text.

  • Cover Image: this is the first thing your viewers see, so you want it to describe what your video is right off the bat. Create a catchy title that’s clear and easy to read from your profile.
  • Intentional Text: Having text in your video can be very distracting, especially when it’s in a big font and sprawled across the center of the video. If you’re going to. use text, make sure it’s not distracting and absolutely necessary.


Last but certainly not least is video quality. With this section, you want to look out for a number of things. This includes watermarks, orientation, visual quality, and length.

  • Watermarks: The Instagram algorithm is not a fan of watermarks. What this means is that if you have a watermark on your video, Instagram will not feature it on the Explore Page. If you post the same content on TikTok and Instagram, just make sure to remove that infamous TikTok watermark before posting it to Instagram.
  • Orientation: Use vertical! Always!
  • Visual Quality: You want something that’s high quality. It shouldn’t be blurry and should have good lighting. Try posting your reel in HD or 4K.
  • Length: With Reels, you have the option to go the full 60 seconds. However, that is not the recommended length. We have seen that creating a video that’s 8-11 seconds long is the sweet spot. Attention spans are incredibly short these days so consider your objective before posting that 60 second video.

Where To Start?

All that information can be overwhelming. So if you have no idea where to start, here is an idea that can get the gears turning for you. Insights. See what’s already working for you. Your insights show you what it is your audience is responding to the most. Take that information and use it to make more videos you know your viewers will enjoy.

instagram reels instagram reels

Do You Really Need Music In Instagram Reels?

Having music in your reel isn’t the most important thing. It sure won’t influence your content one way or another. If you don’t feel comfortable singing, playing, or dancing in front of a camera, there are other videos you can post. You can become a myth buster, share a tutorial, or a behind-the-scenes of your business.

However, if your idea of success is to get a lot of views and followers, music may be more of a necessity. Use trending sounds and songs to get your viewers’ attention at a much quicker rate. Instagram has a giant music library available to all creatives. If you currently have a business account, be sure to change that to an entrepreneur status so you can gain access to the library. If your account is already labeled as a creator, then you have full access already!

There’s so much more competition nowadays, we’ve all upped our game. The bar is raised higher and makes it harder for us to stand out. Be sure to stay up to date on all trends and ever-changing criteria. If you follow these steps, you will begin to see a growth of followers through Instagram Reels.

Do you need help implementing a social media strategy? We’re here to help! Check out our Social Media TTU Service today!

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