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

Yeah. I know. It’s so freaking hard to know what’s happening without any insights! Fingers crossed Instagram rolls those out soon… but in the meantime, here’s what you can look at to make some sense out of why one reel did awesome while another tanked.

Best Practices

  1. You have less than TWO SECONDS to grab your viewer’s attention. I know. That’s nothing. Use those two seconds for a headline that hooks them right away. Be careful with your soundtrack. I don’t know about you, but if I hear an overused song, I’m going to skip right on by because I don’t want that ish looping through my head. 
  2. Make sure it’s relevant! Your reel should answer a question that your perfect fit person is wondering about… without any industry jargon. Start with the basics – remember, a lot of your reels viewers are discovering you for the first time. 
  3. Keep your reels short. Track what’s working for your account, but for me the magic is somewhere between 8-20 seconds. (If you’re just starting out, don’t stress this one – thirty seconds feels like NOTHING in the beginning but being concise gets easier with practice.) 
  4. The key to a successful business reel is entertaining and educating your audience at the same time. It takes some practice to find a blend that works for your brand, but keep this in mind as you’re planning your reels. 
    1. Show, don’t tell. (Or do both!) How can you demonstrate whatever it is that you’re trying to say? It’s instantly more interesting to your audience.
    2. Use transitions! Good ones are a big part of what makes your viewers rewatch the reel… they’re like a catchy phrase or song; we just can’t help looping ‘em. 
  5. Reels don’t have insights just yet, but your posts do! Peep which of your grid posts are getting the best reach via hashtags and re-use those sets for your reels. Hashtags don’t work as a standalone strategy, but if you’ve got a good reel it’ll snowball much more quickly with the right hashtags. 
  6. Bonus tip: use cover images so that folks who are just discovering your profile can easily binge your library of content if they like what they see. They don’t have to be fancy, as long as they’re clear!

Here’s a quick list of questions you can run through when you’re analyzing your reels. You only need a dozen or so reels to compile this information in a spreadsheet and start to see some patterns on what’s working – and what’s not.

  1. Do you have an attention grabbing headline?
  2. Is it relevant to your audience? Are you speaking their language and answering a question that they have?
  3. How long is your reel?
  4. Is it entertaining?
  5. What type of sound did you use?
  6. Which hashtags did you use?

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