Instagram Reels, the “Tick-Tock Killer,” is fully operational in Russia, and you need to use it to promote your account. We have already written about the importance of getting posts and posts into Instagram’s top ranks and recommendations, and now let’s talk about Reels.
In this article, we will reveal the algorithm for getting into Instagram Reels recommendations and what it gives to a profile. We’ll tell you why you should actively shoot short videos and what the similarities are with Tic Toc. We’ll give you 14 tips on how to get your video into Reels recommendations.
What are recommendations in Instagram Reels and how do they work
What do recommendations in Reels mean? First, let’s understand where you can see new content. Reels videos are displayed in four sections of Instagram:
In a separate section, the Reels button is centered in the bottom bar of the app. This is an endless feed, similar to the main Tick-Tock. This is where the Reels of authors you are subscribed to, as well as recommended ones, go. Here you can also subscribe to an author whose Reels videos have hooked you.
Standard Instagram recommendations section. Opens by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. Reels videos are found among other content – posts, videos, storis, and IGTV. When the IGTV feature first appeared, Instagram actively promoted videos through this section. Now it promotes Reels in the same way.
Smart Instagram feed. New Reels announcements are displayed here among regular posts and videos (can be customized during publication). It’s like an IGTV announcement.
Section Reels in the profile. Located next to the IGTV, Shop, Guide, Masks, Marks section.
In order to get a great reach and attract new audience to your profile, you should aim to get into the first 2 sections – the Reels endless feed and the regular Instagram recommendations. These are what we’ll be referring to when talking about Reels recommendations. The other two sections (smart feed and profile section) are more needed to increase views and interactions from our followers.
What it takes to get Reels into recommendations
Not all users understand what Reels recommendations mean and why you should strive to get there. Here’s an explanation:
First, it’s a way to get new subscribers for free. It’s a lot harder to promote on Instagram than it is on Tick-Tock. Reels is one of the few ways to quickly gain subscribers through legal methods and for free. Without resorting to massive activity and without spending big budgets on advertising.
P.S. When a new Instagram feature comes out, at first the social network actively promotes the authors who use it. This was the case with the accounts that were among the first to start creating masks – due to the “wow effect” and additional promotion by Instagram, they managed to quickly gain a lot of followers. This is why it is so important to actively use the new features of Insta as soon as they appear.
Secondly, Reels can increase coverage and interaction with content, and this generally has a positive effect on the “weight of the account.” Instagram can further promote you, for example, by recommending other users to subscribe to your profile more often.
How to get out to Instagram Reels recommendations
So far, Reels is following the Tick-Tock script – videos get free coverage first, and then the algorithm looks at audience response. But you have to understand that just like with Tik-Tok, it’s going to be harder and harder to get into recommendations. That’s why you need to post videos now.
As for the normal recommendations section. If your posts, storis and IGTV have already been flashed in this section (magnifying glass icon), you can analyze the content and trace the principle by which it gets there. Try doing the same with Reels.
The main thing Instagram looks at when promoting Reels videos:
- User activity – which videos users like, which ones they interact with most often (like, comment on, repost);
- History of interaction with the author of content – the principle is the same as with the usual recommendations (users are shown videos according to their interests);
- information about the video – content, music, quality;
- information about the author.
Important: Reels actively promotes authors who have fewer subscribers – you need to take advantage of this advantage while it works.
1. Open profile
If you have a private profile, the first thing to do is open it. Otherwise Reels won’t get into recommendations and only your subscribers can see them.
2. Hashtags to get into recommendations
Hashtags in Reels can be used for different purposes:
– to get into recommendations (it is better to use trending ones);
– to categorize Reels videos;
– for brand recognition (branded tags are needed).
Where do I look for trending hashtags for Reels? Insta does not yet have a separate tab with popular hashtags, as in Tick-Tock. And it’s not certain that there will be. Ways to look for tags:
Method #1. Use common tags that have the words reels, instagram, reels: #reels, #reelsinstagram, #reelsviral, #reelsovers, #reelsofinstagram, #reelsvideos, #reelstrending. In Russian #reels, #reels, #reelsinstagram, but there are very few videos on them yet (less than 1,000). If you use tags in Russian among the first, you can gain additional audience due to low competition.
Such tags can be found in the recommendations tab (magnifying glass icon) in the tags section. Each hashtag has a number of uses.
P.S. The disadvantage of the method is that Instagram users have not learned to use hashtags for their intended purpose. As a result, a lot of content unrelated to Reels, such as photos, shows up in the output for those tags. You will have to “wade” through all this garbage. Therefore, in addition you need to put trending or your own promoted branded tag.
Method #2. Look at what videos are already in the recommendations and take the tags from there. This is a more realistic way to find popular hashtags for recommendations.
Important: Whatever hashtags you use, they should be aimed at the CA. You don’t have to take the first popular hashtag you see. For example, if you have a cosmetics store, you shouldn’t tag #travel just because it came up in a recommended video. Unless the subject of the video is related to travel, in which case you can.
3. Announcement in the feed and storis
When you post new Reels, you can post a feed announcement or share in a storis. This is similar to an IGTV announcement. Users will be able to see it in the feed, storis, or user profile and go to the video. This method will help gain views from subscribers and people who come to the account.
Remember – the more interactions you have with the content, the more likely you are to get into recommendations.
4. Attractive covers
They will help to gain more views. Covers are displayed in your profile in the section with Reels, in the feed and in the regular recommendations section. You can choose an excerpt of a video (like in TT) as a cover or upload a pre-created one from your phone gallery.
5. Viral Videos
Make viral videos that will circulate on social networks. So they can be shared and commented on. So the algorithms will understand that the videos are interesting to users, and will promote them.
6. Shooting separately for Reels
After the advent of Reels, many users began to simply re-post videos from Tic Toc to Instagram. But Instagram had previously stated that such videos would not be promoted. Neither will videos from other watermarked apps. And it’s logical, because Reels was created as the main competitor of Tick-Tock. That’s why it’s better to make separate videos through Reels editor or upload them from your device, but without Tic Toc logo. It’s better to just take ideas from TT.
Also, Reels will pessimize low-quality content.
7. Analyze your Reels that have already hit recommendations
Analyze in statistics which of your Reels Instagram recommends most often and create similar content. You can use the same principle to calculate the best publications for the regular recommendations section.
Reels stats show coverage, number of views, reposts, comments, likes, and saves.
8. Trending music in videos.
Use tracks that are trending right now and make videos to them. So far, there is no exact information whether Instagram promotes such videos more actively than any other. But at a minimum, videos with popular music can be shared more often by ordinary users. And this is additional interaction for your Reels.
Trending tracks can be found in the library with music in the appropriate section (usually at the top).
By the way, in Reels, unlike Tick-Tock, you can select any segment of the music track. Use this to create spectacular videos.
9. Trending Effects
Videos with trending effects are well promoted in Tick-Tock and it’s likely that this rule applies to Reels as well. True, Insta doesn’t yet have the same abundance of effects as TT. But, as mentioned above, Instagram promotes novelties well, so when a new effect appears in Reels – try to use it right away.
In addition to effects, use filters, AR masks, slow motion function for Slow motion videos, make “Before / After” videos (they are usually seen to the end).
10. Content tailored to your target audience
The thing that works in Insta is that if your subscribers have followers with similar interests as your target audience, the latter can be recommended your content. This is how you can attract an additional audience.
In order for Reels to help promote your main account, make videos for the CA, not just entertaining videos with no theme or meaning. Especially in Instagram, you can set up recommendations – non-targeted users will just hide your content. If there will be a lot of such actions, it may affect the perception of the video algorithms.
11. Good timing of posting
There is no direct correlation between the timing of posting and getting into recommendations. But if you post Reels at the peak of your subscribers’ activity, you can gain interaction (views, comments, likes, reposts) faster. Algorithms will notice the video and start recommending it.
12. motivating viewers to be active
Reels promotes videos that are interesting or potentially interesting to other users. In order to actively interact with the videos, you can motivate users to leave comments, give likes, and share videos. For example, you can ask a question and ask for an opinion in the comments. Or offer a game, for example, “Think of a title for this video”.
13. Long videos
It’s better to make videos up to 60 seconds long than 15. Any site has an interest in getting users to spend as much time on it as possible.
14. Tracking and analyzing trends
At the initial stage, when you haven’t yet come up with your unique chip and pitch for Reels, you can keep it simple. Watch what’s already hitting the recommendations and do better. And also look for ideas on Tic Toc, since that’s the social network that’s the fastest to start new trends right now. Test what’s already working in TT, take chips and developments from there, see what’s popular there. Since the format with Reels is the same, something from Tic-Tac is sure to work in Instagram.
What not to post on Reels
Such videos will not be promoted on Instagram.
- Videos re-posted from other apps;
- low-quality videos, where the image is blurred, bad sound;
- Uninteresting videos with which users do not interact in any way (or little);
- videos with frames;
- videos that don’t fit the community guidelines;
- Videos where text takes up most of the screen (if using captions, make them short).
- Subtitles in Reels.
- Vertical videos are also preferred.
Conclusion: in general, the principle of getting into Reels is similar to the usual recommendations. That is, you need to shoot interesting quality content that will be actively engaged with and will be watched to the end.
Apply the tips from the article to get your Reels into recommendations. Keep in mind that at the time this article was published, the Reels feature was only just appearing in Russia. Most likely, this tool will be actively developed to overtake Tick-Tock. It is possible that a section with hashtags or games will appear. Or something that the TT does not yet have. Watch for updates and try to use them right away.