Just 4 years ago when Instagram Stories was launched, there were 150 million Instagram users. Today more than 500 million people use stories every day.
So, with last week’s launch of Instagram Reels how quickly will we see further growth of IG users and why should you be jumping on the ‘reels’ bandwagon now?
If you’ve yet to understand reels – it’s the latest addition to Instagram’s functions, and many say a rival to TikTok. Reels allows users to record and publish 15-second videos which can also be linked together to form longer videos.
You can speed the video up, slow it down, use filters and add music from Instagram’s music library. There’s even the countdown option for hands-free recording.
These 15-second videos can be aligned for smooth editing, making transitions seamless, and have already been used in fantastically creative ways by the fashion industry.
Once your reel is complete you can add hashtags and captions as you would normally and publish.
Reels can be shared to your feed or your stories and will be shared to a dedicated space on the Explore tab, giving you much greater potential reach to the wider Instagram community.
So why should the hospitality industry be jumping on board right now?
Firstly, reels allow you to be incredibly creative without taking up too much time – you can showcase recipes in a flash, add elegant music to a short clip of your country hotel garden or add some fascinating back of house footage. Just think outside of the box and find creative ways in which this can be done.
They can be used as an educational tool – a brief wine recommendation, the produce in your kitchen garden – the best herbs to use with a particular fish or meat, and in your pastry department showing the years of experience and dedication required to produce the cakes for your afternoon teas.
Many hospitality businesses are already using Instagram to promote their business and therefore know how to use the app and already have an understanding of what hashtags are working well for them. Therefore, taking the step to use reels won’t be overly daunting, although will inevitably take a bit of time and practice, to begin with.
With almost 50% of Instagram users being 25-44 years old it is likely that a good percentage fit within one of your target markets.
Now is a huge opportunity for your business. Instagram will want reels to get great engagement and to be their next success. Therefore, in these early days, you’ll find you get plenty of exposure. We’ve already mentioned the Explore tab which will provide users with videos Instagram thinks they’ll like and it’s a great time to connect with influencers.
So get your thinking cap on and your phone at the ready.