I feel like I’ve seen a thousand memes about how Instagram keeps rolling out new features, but Reels Insights are never a thing. I’m rolling my eyes right along with you, but the happy news is we’ve figured out a couple of hacks so at least you can see SOME of what’s going on!

Stealth insights

Replays vs original views:
You can see how many replays vs how many original viewers your reels has by clicking into your Reels tab (take note of the number of plays here!), then opening up the reel, then tapping the little heart on the lower right hand side. You’ll see a different number of plays here which is the original viewers.

What this means:
If you’re getting lots of original viewers and not many replays, that means your hashtags are awesome — so save that set! It also means that your reel could be more entertaining and/or useful, so work on that for next time.

Shares:
Are you getting extra exposure because people are sharing your reel with their audience? Check that by clicking on your grid, then tapping a reel, then hitting the three little dots on the top right. You’ll see the option to “View Story Shares” – but ONLY if there are live story shares at that moment. Best within 24 hours of posting!

What this means:
Your reel is entertaining & valuable — keep up the great work! If you want to amp this up, drop into their DMs and thank them for sharing.

Insights:
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your regular insights to see if you’re getting better reach overall! Play with it for a couple of weeks and you should start to see patterns emerge.

What this means:
If you’re seeing account growth your reels are doing their job.

Why views aren’t the best success metric

There’s no denying that it’s super freakin’ fun when a reel takes off… but let’s back up for a second.

Reels are a fantastic tool for expanding and nurturing your audience. If your reel gets a ton of reach, but you don’t have any comments or new followers to show for it… what did it do for you? Instead, look at:

  1. The number of comments / replies you receive on your reel. If you’re seeing lots of engagement, that means it’s landing well (even if the overall reach is lower!)
  2. If you see a bump in your follower count, that’s great! That means folks who have run across your reel cared enough to check what else you had in the library, liked what they saw, and decided to follow along for more.

Both of those things tell you a heck of a lot more than the overall play count.

Figure out what’s working… and what’s not

“Yesterday’s reel got over 1000 views in 20 minutes, and today’s is stuck at 60. What gives?”

Yeah. I know. It’s hard to know what’s happening without any insights, but here are a few things to check on to make sense of why one reel took off while another one tanked.

 


Length

Keep your reel as concise as possible. Cut out breaths, ums, and pauses as you edit your video – and split ’em up instead of packing too much info into a single reel! For us the magic is somewhere between 8-22 seconds.

(I know that feels crazy short but it does get easier over time!)

Topic

Your reel HAS to be relevant to your audience! Address a problem / question your perfect fit person has – and double check to make sure you’re nixing any industry jargon.

Hook

You have two seconds to grab your viewer’s attention. Know exactly what you’re going to say, and hook ’em in as quick as you can. (Motion also helps in the first frame!)

Motion, Sound & Visuals

If you need to start out with lip dubs or dances that’s totally fine – but make sure that you’re working your way towards fresh & unique videos. If you can entertain and educate at the same time, you’ve got a winner.

Format

Are you demonstrating something behind the scenes? Are you acting out a scene? Are your videos lip dubs or dancing? Talking head? Different formats work for different personalities, so play with these until you find a blend of entertainment value & useful info that works for your brand.

Once you’ve created a dozen or so reels, start taking notes and you’ll start to see where your magic happens! Remember what your primary goals on Instagram are – and do more of what works!