Every so often, the big social media channels drop a new feature that changes the way the platform can work for users and businesses. The latest, this week, is Instagram Reels – a bold new feature to Instagram, similar to another major social media network.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Reels allow you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos set to music or audio, with effects and tools, that play on repeat. Sound familiar?

It’s essentially the premise of TikTok, but allows Instagram users the same functionality without them or their audience having to download and sign up for a completely separate app, and into a different social media network. The video content is filmed and edited within the Instagram app, or uploaded from your mobile, as with any other Instagram content, with the same access to sticker, GIF and music usage.

Previously Added Instagram Features

When Instagram launched, it began simply as a photo-sharing platform, with images limited to the little squares that have since become so synonymous with the social media network. Since then, feature updates have included:

  • Boomerang – the looped three second videos that now see glasses of champagne clinked all over feeds
  • Stories – essentially the same as Snapchat Stories, full-screen length content that expires after 24hrs
  • Close Friends – the management of privacy levels within content posting

All have contributed to the business growth and social media strategy of small businesses.

Should Businesses be Using Instagram Reels?

Whilst Reels are yet to be proven in terms of business growth and marketing effectiveness, there’s certainly no harm in trying them out and seeing how they work best for your small business. If you already have content posted on TikTok, this can be re-purposed for Reels, and if not, now’s the time to try it out!

What Should Businesses Post on Instagram Reels?

It may not be immediately apparent as how to best use Reels for business purposes, but there are lots of options available – and cheaply too.

Try a quick product/service showcase, tips on usage of your product, facts on your brand and/or a brief introduction to members of your team. Instagram Reels will also work well as teaser trailers for upcoming products, announcements or events.

Are Reels Available Everywhere?

Reels rolled out first in the US, and within days were available across 50 countries. This is far from everywhere just yet, but it’s likely we’ll see it launch across the remaining countries over the next few weeks.

It’s worth noting here that the rollout of Instagram Reels shouldn’t be affected by the potential outlawing of TikTok in some countries – this is a separate issue and involves the data sharing of users rather than their content.

Why Should Small Businesses Use Instagram Reels?

Here is an additional new way for you to connect and engage with your audience on a platform that already has a massive following.

Reels presents an opportunity for small businesses with an already established Instagram presence to showcase and re-purpose content in a new way. As Instagram Reels grow in popularity and are more widely utilised, there will be an expectation for brands to ‘go with the flow’ and use them too.

Instagram Reels are still very new, so there’s plenty of time to learn – and no time like the present! A more detailed overview of the main Reels tools can be found on Instagrams announcement post.

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