Key Instagram Learnings That Changed How I Approach Strategy

If there’s one thing everyone should know about social media, it’s that it’s constantly changing. As a result, it’s important for us to always keep a finger on the pulse of how social media platforms continue to evolve. One way I do this is by listening to the Social Pros Podcast, which I highly recommend to even the most seasoned social media professionals.

On a recent episode, Jenn Herman, an Instagram expert, speaker and author at Jenn’s Trends, spoke about 11 new updates made to Instagram in November 2021. The insights were incredibly eye-opening and what I would consider must-have information. The full episode is available here, but here are some of the biggest takeaways you should keep in your back pocket.

You REEL-Y need to be consistent about Reels.

It was never a secret that Instagram wanted Reels to be a success when it launched, especially considering the increasing competition with TikTok. Shortly after Reels was added to the platform, Instagram started a program to pay creators to regularly post Reels to help give it momentum and build up content in users’ feeds.

Many of us in the social media world were aware of this fact, but I thought Instagram’s push for Reels to be a success started and ended here. However, according to Jenn, “Instagram is rewarding those people who create [Reels] with the additional views – they’re getting more exposure. Instagram is giving a little nudge of approval and also increasing the reach on their other posts, be it stories or in-feed posts. A lot of users are seeing a little bit of a boost in overall performance if they’re regularly creating reels.” So, regularly posting Reels not only helps them perform better, but quite possibly all content on your channel as a whole perform better.

Be mindful about repurposing from TikTok.

Many of us saw Reels as a way to repurpose TikTok videos to Instagram, and vice versa. Sadly, it’s not entirely that simple. I’ve advised on not reposting TikToks to Reels simply because the TikTok watermark isn’t a best practice to carry over to Instagram, but it turns out to be much deeper than just aesthetics.

Jenn explains that, “When it comes to Reels, all the data that I’ve seen thus far says that if you film within the Reels app and you create the video organically within Reels, you will get significantly more reach and better performance. If you film the video elsewhere, even if you film it in [Instagram] Stories and save it to your camera roll, or if you film it and build it in a video editing tool and then upload, it’s going to do well, but Instagram is rewarding people that are creating the fresh, Reel content within the Reel video platform.” She goes on to acknowledge that it’s not as efficient to create content this way, so ultimately the recommendation is to film within Instagram Stories and then upload to Reels.

Know what platform capabilities exist before creating a strategy.

Metrics can be a finicky thing and how you report on them may vary depending on client goals, but regardless of what KPIs you have set, the one important thing to know before you dive in headfirst, is that impressions are not currently an available metric in organic Instagram Reels or TikTok. You can access reach, video views, and engagements, but not impressions. One exception to note is that you can access impressions on Reels for branded content only via the Brand Collabs Manager.

This is only scratching the surface on some of the great insights and recommendations discussed in this episode, so I’ll likely be doing a follow up in the near future. For now, did any of these learnings surprise you? Do you plan to develop more video-oriented or Reels-focused strategies in the future?

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