How to Use Instagram Reels

10 Expert Tips On How to Use Instagram Reels to Reach New Followers

If you want to grow your personal brand or business with Instagram Reels, you’re in the right place because these tips are about to help! Today you’re going to learn 10 actionable tips on how to use Instagram Reels to get more followers.

So, why are Instagram Reels exploding in popularity right now?

When TikTok skyrocketed its user-base in 2017, one year after its launch, the platform grew seemingly overnight and now has over 689 million users in 2021. That makes TikTok the seventh-largest social media platform in terms of users, compared to others that have been around much longer. In fact, TikTok is already bigger than Snapchat, Pinterest, and even Twitter.

With video content high in demand and a successful example of how people wished to consume video content by TikTok in place, Instagram determined it had to respond with a product of its own. 

Instagram Reels was that response. 

Reels on Instagram are essentially the same thing as TikTok, just within the Instagram app. And Reels are perfect for Instagram because they garner tons of engagement, which is Instagram’s #1 metric for success on the platform.

Instagram influencers, creators, brands, and artists have proven that Reels aren’t all hype.

MobileMonkey Founder and Instagram influencer, Larry Kim, was simply testing out Instagram Reels for the first time and was blown away by their ability to increase engagement on Instagram.

Reels are one of, if not the #1 way to reach new followers on Instagram because you don’t need to have followers for anyone in the world to see your Reel.

So, what exactly are Instagram Reels and how can you get started using them?

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What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are 15 to 30-second video clips set to music on Instagram. Very much like TikTok, Reels are short, entertaining, multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and creative tools. 

You can share Reels with your Followers in the Instagram Feed, and if you have a public account, you can make Reels available to the wider Instagram community.

So, one of the main attractions to Instagram Reels for both accounts with small and large followings is that they could be shared with anyone on Instagram, as opposed to just your own Followers.  

You can find example Instagram Reels by clicking on the clapper board icon – you know, that movie snapper thing 🎬

10 Tips On How to Use Instagram Reels to Reach New Followers

Let’s get straight to it!

Here are 10 expert tips to supercharge your Instagram Reels:

  1. Use a call to action asking viewers to DM you using a keyword.
  2. A proven structure for Instagram Reels success.
  3. Get immediate engagement on your Reels.
  4. Find the best time to post your Instagram Reels.
  5. Ask viewers to mention you in their Instagram Story.
  6. Increase your Instagram Reels replay-ability.
  7. Be sure to use the proper Instagram Reels dimensions and format.
  8. Unless you really have to, never delete your Instagram Reels.
  9. Learn how to use Instagram Reels new Remix feature.
  10. Run a Giveaway or Contest with Instagram Reels.

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #1: Ask Viewers to DM you Using a Specific Keyword

At the end of your next Instagram Reel, use a special CTA (call to action).

Using MobileMonkey’s DM (Direct Message) auto-reply feature, you can trigger different chat dialogues with different keywords. 

Here’s a real-life example where Sue B. Zimmerman (@TheInstagramExpert), an Instagram influencer with over 135K Followers, has added a the CTA, “DM me using the word TRAINING for free access to my 3 Keys to Building a Highly Engaged Online Community on Instagram”

Let’s see what happens when we send @TheInstagramExpert a DM with the word “training” on Instagram!

Step #1. MobileMonkey DM Auto-Reply

First, Sue has adopted what’s known as a menu-based chatbot in her auto-reply message to provide multiple options for people to choose from:

Step #2. Provide Popular Product/Service Offers

The next step is to provide value with one of your most popular offers or additional information about a product or service. 

When I click on the “3 Keys Training” button, Sue’s next chat dialogue has a high-quality image with information about her online course with a link to learn more and/or signup. 

Step #3. For each menu option, include a CTA (call to action) with a link to your most relevant landing page

At the end of a short chat dialogue, Sue’s next CTA is to check out her online training course on the “3 Keys to Getting Engaged Instagram Followers and Buyers.” When I click on the link, I arrive on Sue’s landing page for her free training course. 

Once you learn your way around MobileMonkey’s user-friendly chatbot builder, creating highly engaging Instagram auto DM’s like Sue’s is a piece of cake.

Here’s what Sue B. (@TheInstagramExpert) has to say about her experience using MobileMonkey:

“MobileMonkey has been a game-changer. As someone who has been using the Instagram DM for 8 years for building relationships and getting new clients, it has saved my team and me so much time on a daily basis. We’ve been able to reply to clients quickly and get the information they are looking for back into their inbox — without lifting a finger or spending hours upon hours replying manually to each message.”

Sue B. Zimmerman, Instagram Expert & Business Coach

Are you an established or aspiring Instagram influencer? Discover the 10 best tools for Instagram influencers in 2021!

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #2: Structure your Reels for success

If you’re not sure how to structure your Instagram Reels, I have an outline and a nifty infographic for you!

Here’s a flawless Instagram Reels structure, used by some of the top Creators to grab viewers attention, increase engagement, and get more views:

0:00 – 0:03 Seconds: Tell Them What it is Immediately

Within the first 3 seconds of your Reel, tell the audience what you’re about to show them. 

Immediately tell them what they’re about to learn, see, or hear. Use text or stickers to introduce your video’s topic or title.

0:04 – 0:06 Seconds: Set the Hook

In the next 2 seconds, share the most exciting part of your video. So, if you have a “wow factor”, now is the time to make those jaws drop. 

The first 3 seconds of the video grabbed their attention, but this section will keep them watching. Think of it in terms of fishing. You got the fish to bite, now it’s time to set the hook. 🎣

0:07 – 0:12 Seconds: Add Value 

Next, add value. For the next 5 to 10 seconds, drop knowledge bombs. These might be tips, insights, stats, resources, or advice.

0:12 – 0:15 Seconds: Cliffhanger

After dropping knowledge and providing your audience actual value, leave them with a cliffhanger.

A cliffhanger, as I’m sure many of you already know, is something to keep the viewers’ attention at its pique. Try to introduce a new piece of advice or share the beginning of your best tip.

0:16 – 0:25 Seconds: Add More Value 

Following your Cliffhanger, add even more value. Simply drop more knowledge, resources, advice, tips, etc.

0:26 – 0:30 Seconds: Call to Action 

Time for your CTA (call to action). Be specific and tell your audience the action you want them to take.

Two great examples of a calls-to-action would be to either

  1. Ask the viewer to send you a DM using a specific keyword, or
  2. Mention you in their next Instagram Story (AKA numbers 1 & 5 on our list of how to use Instagram Reels). 

This Instagram Reels structure works every time. Try it for yourself and save (or share) this infographic I made just for you!

Share this infographic in your next Instagram Story so you don’t forget! And yes, it’s properly formatted for IG Stories. 

P.S. – Mention @mobilemonkey.ai and @brock11johnson (who I learned this Reels strategy from) in the Story’s overlay text and watch what happens! ✨

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #3: Get immediate engagement on your Reels

Next time you post a Reel on Instagram, try the following Instagram growth hack.

Immediately after your awesome Instagram Reel is live, go to your last post that got tons of engagement – probably because you used the MobileMonkey Comment Auto-Responder. 😉 

Then, take the following two actions:

  1. Like all of the comments.
  2. Reply to all comments.

Now, all of your most engaged followers that already like and comment on your posts will get a notification, head to your profile, and see your Instagram Reel.

Boom! 💥

P.S. – Speaking of likes, comments, and followers. Learn all about 100% Instagram-approved engagement tools that can accomplish all of the above, automatically! You’ll find some of the latest Instagram growth tools in our guide: Instagram Follower Bots – Everything you Need to Know  

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #4: Best time to post Reels on Instagram

Stop posting Reels at random times if you want to increase engagement on Instagram. Part of getting ahead of the growth curve on Instagram is finding every little advantage you can over the millions of other people fighting for new followers. 

And believe it or not, finding the best time to post on Instagram isn’t all that hard.

Here’s the quick and easy version to find the best time to post on Instagram: 

  1. Go to your Instagram Insights.
  2. View “most active times”.
  3. Do NOT post when it’s at its peak.
  4. Instead, post when your followers are coming online and activity is rising.

However, if you really want to optimize your Instagram Reels and find the best times for you to post, check out our guide: The Best Time to Post on Instagram for the Most Engagement

You’ll learn some cool hacks to know exactly when your target audience is most active, how to hack the Instagram algorithm, the best time to post for each day of the week, and more.

Oh, and you’ll find some awesome infographics like the one below!

How to Use Instagram Reels Tip #5: Ask Viewers to Mention you in their Instagram Story

I’m positive this next Instagram Story hack is something many of you have not tried. Especially not in combination with Instagram Reels. That’s because this is a brand new Instagram engagement tool from MobileMonkey.

Right at the end of your Instagram Reel, in your CTA, is the perfect time to utilize the Story Mentions tool to amaze your audience and double your engagement.

Think about how cool it would be if one of your favorite people or brands sent you a personalized thank you for mentioning them in your Instagram Story.

The Story Mentions tool gives influencers, creators, and brands the power to do exactly that!

Here’s how it works: When someone mentions your Instagram handle in their Instagram Story, MobileMonkey will instantly start a conversation by sending that person an auto DM.

You can increase CLTV (customer lifetime value) and engagement by sending an Instagram auto DM to people who mention you or share your content in their Instagram Story.

And not only can you thank your fans for sharing your content, but you can also send them a link to your latest promotion, discount, or relevant landing page in the same dialogue.

Using MobileMonkey’s Story Mentions tool is guaranteed to: 

  • Amplify the reach of your Instagram Reels through shares and engagement.
  • Encourage Instagram followers to share more of your brand in their Stories.
  • Build influence and loyalty.
  • Generate more UGC (user generated content).

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #6: Increase your Reels Replay Ability

Replay-ability is extremely important to consider when thinking about how to create the best Instagram Reels.

What’s replay-ability? Replay-ability is whether or not viewers will rewatch your Reel. 

So, think about it this way – getting someone to watch your Instagram Reel is only half the battle. The other half is making sure they don’t swipe away before it ends and even better, hit the play button again! 

Every time someone watches your Reel all the way through is another view. So ask yourself, “Does my Reel provide something valuable or entertaining that they’ll want to go back and rewatch again and again?”

Getting replays has to be part of your Instagram Reels strategy.

Here are 3 ideas to try out that can increase the replay value of your Instagram Reels:

  1. A multi-step process that they’ll want to take notes on. This increases the likelihood that they’ll need to watch a few times.
  2. A tutorial or hack that they need to know.
  3. Something entertaining that makes them laugh. Meaning they’ll show it to someone else!

Looking for a great example of an Instagram Reel with replay-ability? Feast your eyes!

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #7: Use the Right Format & Instagram Reels Dimensions

In addition to finding a structure that works for you and your Reels (our #2 tip for how to use Instagram Reels), you need to properly format your Instagram Reels.

Instagram is pushing full-frame, vertical-style videos. The easiest way to make sure you shoot this way is to use the Reels camera

The Reels camera will automatically format your videos in the correct dimensions for Instagram Reels.

Here are some other helpful tips to properly format your Instagram Reels:

  • Do not use horizontal video. Stick to vertical.
  • Be careful when using screen recordings in your Reels. Newer phones (like the iPhone 11) have a larger ratio than 9:16, which leave your videos cropped when bringing them into Reels.
  • Always export in HD to avoid engagement killing blurry videos.

Additionally, when it comes to topics covered in your Reels content, keep it bite-sized. So, instead of trying to cover a larger topic like “10 tips on how to use Instagram Reels”, try to keep your Reels down to one topic. Otherwise you’ll find viewers not taking action because they’re confused due to your attempt to cram everything into a single Reel. 

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #8: Never Delete your Reels

Let’s say you have an Instagram Reel that doesn’t perform well. Don’t delete it!

Here are 3 reasons why you should never delete your Instagram Reel:

  1. Reels commonly pick up views long after they were posted.
  2. Your Reel might have been really impactful for someone.
  3. Deleting a Reel deletes any engagement you did have (it all adds up!).

That’s it, that’s the tip. Short and sweet advice on how to use Instagram Reels, done!

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #9: Learn Instagram Reels Remix feature

Instagram Reels recently gained a new video editing feature called Remix.

Remix allows users to record a video in response to an existing Reel. This feature is similar to TikTok’s popular Duet. And Remix is a great tool to connect with creators and grow your reach on Instagram Reels.

Here’s how it works: Remix allows users to film reactionary Reels that appear next to the original Reel. You can Remix any Instagram Reel, as long as the creator has enabled Remix access.

So, in addition to collaborating with other creators by “Remixing” on their Reels, be sure to enable the Remix feature on your own Reels!

By enabling Remix, you’re opening your Instagram Reels up to literally millions of potential collaborations. Instagram Remix is truly one of the best viral marketing tools to ever be featured on a major social media platform.

How to use Instagram Reels Tip #10: Run a Giveaway or Contest with Instagram Reels

If you’re using giveaways to get more followers on Instagram or reward loyal customers, Instagram Reels can help you get the word out and build excitement. 

And as we now know, Reels have no limit to who they can reach on Instagram, so Reels is the perfect feature to utilize when announcing your Instagram giveaway or contest. 

MobileMonkey makes it super easy to track your Instagram giveaway campaign data, as well as the ability to capture and store new leads from a contest. And that’s because you can use multiple MobileMonkey tools for Instagram as the mechanisms that drive the contest or giveaways themselves.

So, next time you run an Instagram giveaway, make the announcement through an Instagram Reel and tell contestants to send you a DM using a keyword, mention you in an Instagram Story, comment on a post, or any of the many tools you can utilize via MobileMonkey to manage your Instagram giveaway.

Here’s a proven strategy to lower friction and get more participants to enter into your Instagram giveaway.

If you use MobileMonkey’s Instagram Welcome Message tool, you’ll:

  • Capture, store, and qualify leads. 
  • Be able to inform contestants of the rules of your giveaway.
  • Inform contestants about your product or service and send them into your marketing funnels.
  • Opt-in contestants to other marketing campaigns and channels, such as SMS.

The following is an example of how your Instagram bot (100% Instagram-approved) can auto-reply to contestants entering your giveaway with a DM to your Message inbox:

This Welcome Message captures the participants email and phone number and asks for permission to opt-in to other MobileMonkey messaging channels, such as email and SMS campaigns.

Learn everything you need to know and get more ideas for how to do a giveaway on Instagram using MobileMonkey.

But remember, you can use multiple tools from MobileMonkey as the way to earn points in a contest or giveaway on Instagram, simultaneously.

Sign-up for MobileMonkey Instagram messaging tools here!

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How to Make Instagram Reels

If it’s your first time creating an Instagram Reel, don’t worry, it’s easy.

Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:

Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.

AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.

Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.

Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.

Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos.

Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery.

Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.

How to Use Instagram Reels Like a Pro: Important Next Steps

Instagram accounts that use MoibileMonkey’s Instagram marketing tools, especially when paired with engaging content, will generate automated activity and interactions which are perceived as entirely organic and translate into a huge increase in genuine followers. Best of all, with MobileMonkey, you’ll be working with 100% Instagram-approved engagement tools.

Adding Messenger to Instagram will create a 3.3 billion user network. Between Facebook Messenger users and Instagram Messenger users, that’s roughly 43% of the world’s population on one chat platform.

Start with 100% Instagram-approved tools in the MobileMonkey Instagram Bot today!

  • Create your first chatbot today after you sign-up for MobileMonkey.
  • Talk and learn about chatbots with other enthusiasts. Join MobileMonkey Island, our Facebook group of 40K marketers and entrepreneurs who are ready to support you.
  • Advance your marketing performance with Chatbot University, a free chatbot tutorial and training area for chat marketers.

✅ Apply for early access to Instagram messaging tools.

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