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3 Tips for More Engaging Reels

Are you ready to create more engaging reels?

I know everyone is saying, “Reels are in! Just make reels!” and that is true, but you do not want to be making reels that no one likes or engages with. There are still tips and strategies that we should be following when creating this short-form video content. 

As a Bulletin writer, we get quite a bit of insight into how the algorithm works. I say insight and not details because even my project manager sometimes is not sure how the algorithm works, but there are practices that she and her colleagues have noticed perform better than others. 

Who better to tell you how to use the tool other than the people who created the tool, and Instagram is a tool. 

Here are a few things that she shared with me and what I have gathered upon further intel. 

Make the first three seconds of your reel engaging. 

You want to hook viewers. For that to be the case, you need to grab their attention immediately and then hold it for at least three to four seconds. The video can be longer than that, of course, but the goal is to get them to stop scrolling and look at what you have going on.

With that in mind, I would also suggest you start your reel with a video as opposed to a still-image photo. From the tests I’ve been running on my own account, I see that people are more inclined to stop and watch when I begin my videos this way.

Remember, real people look at reels and decide which ones should get reach or not, so this is important. 

Here’s what else I’ve noticed. 

People like it when you share a story, and the video does not have to match the events of the story necessarily. It’s almost like your goal is two-fold, you want them to watch the video all the way through, but you also want them to learn something or walk away with some other information too. So the video and the content do not have to be related. 

I have begun sharing my story while also sharing information about things I am passionate about, like Black mental health. 

Last but not least….

Have fun. Imagine that this is your one shot of not just directing a movie but also starring in one. You did not come to see the camera. The camera came to see you. 

Meta says to have fun when making reels. This is a real reel tip from them, so remember to enjoy the moment. Yes, it’s work, but it’s also some of the easiest work you can do. Plus, you want to give off a welcoming vibe in your reels, regardless of if you are talking, dancing, or just sharing pics (in reel format). 

Now, who is ready to try their hand again at making reels? Let’s go!

And I would love to hear about what changes you’ve made or improvements you have seen. Just leave a comment below. 

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Francheska Felder
Francheska Felder
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is an award-winning editor, publisher, publicist, and quiet Southern media mogul. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real, which also doubles as a PR boutique. SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black women, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead, while the boutique strategically executes press and brand campaigns. The proud SU alum is also the publicist for Power Influence Radio and hostess of the CEO Chatter LIVE Podcast. Because she battles with bipolar disorder, Fancy is a proud mental health advocate.

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