These top 5 tips dive into the intricacies of Instagram’s algorithm, providing insights, best practices, and essential tips to propel your Reels to new heights of engagement and visibility.

I’ve included statics from Meta’s most recent Instagram short-form video report ‘Shift to Short’ that we learned all about at the Summit. The full report can be found at the end of the blog. 

1. Instagram Reels Algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm is all about personalisation. It takes into account not only the content you share (including Reels, feed posts, and Stories) but also information about users, such as their interests and behaviours on the platform. This data is used to deliver the right content to the right people, enhancing user experience. The more interaction there is between you and a user, the higher the likelihood of your content appearing in their feed again.

Consistency plays a vital role in winning over the algorithm’s favour. Regular posting signals that you’re providing fresh content, with the algorithm giving preference to recent Reels. Additionally, Instagram’s algorithm takes cues from your captions, audio tracks, and the overall popularity of your video to understand its context, so make sure you’re being thorough when uploading all elements.

To get noticed on Instagram, tapping into trending sounds and using relevant hashtags can be highly effective. Trending sounds are indicated by a tiny arrow next to the audio’s name you might have to scroll through your feed to find these, but thanks to the algorithm you will get targeted by them. Keep in mind that 93% of Instagram Reels video is viewed with sound on. These practices can not only increase your visibility but also place your content in front of a broader audience.

trending instagram audio

How to find trending Instagram audio


Quality is paramount. Staying true to your brand identity and being intentional with your content will set you apart. Take time to analyse the performance of your Reels, identify which ones resonated most with your audience, and consider how you can build on that success. 

Instagram Reel Performance

Instagram Reel Performance


2. Best Practices

If you’re looking to maximise the impact of your Reels, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Keep it Vertical: Optimal dimensions are 9×16.
  • Closed Captions: Ensure they’re within the text-safe zone to avoid interference from Instagram branding or overlays.
  • Hashtags: Use 3 to 5 relevant hashtags.
  • Audio: Trending sounds and music can capture users’ attention and increase discoverability.
  • Share in Stories: Cross-promote your Reels in Stories to reach a wider audience.
  • Cover Photos: Make a great first impression with clear, on-brand cover photos.
  • Start with a Hook: Grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds.
  • Post Early: Aim for an early-morning posting time to maximise traction.

Remember, creativity knows no bounds. Don’t limit yourself to traditional videos; Reels can also feature photos, tweets, threads, quotes, and even memes. You should create engaging content with these videos but keep in mind they don’t need to be highly polished productions.


3. Reels vs. TikTok 

Whether you have the capacity to manage both or focus on one, there are some key differences you should know between Instagram Reels and TikTok.

  • Audience 
    • The largest age group represented is between 25 and 34 years old. It’s more likely for users to go to your profile on Instagram and follow you compared to TikTok, 86% of users have in fact. 
    • TikTok attracts Gen Z and teenagers, it creates more viral trends that usually end up on Reels. 
  • Engagement
    • Reels have the most watch time, and Instagram harvests a close community. 6/10 of users say they ‘feel connected to the world’ when watching Reels.
    • TikTok however achieves higher user engagement and the comment section provides its own entertainment. 
  • Video Length
    • Reels can be up to 15 minutes, however, they recommend under 90 seconds to reach more people
    • TikTok’s can be up to 10 minutes
  • Audio
    • Instagram limits business accounts to only non-copyrighted music
    • TikTok has a much wider selection of trending audio and music available
  • Advertising
    • It’s easy to navigate Reel advertising through Meta as well as shoppable ads.
    • TikTok has a little bit more of a learning curve and can be more expensive but is partnered with Shopify for smooth in-app purchases. 


4. Content Inspiration 

We’ve all needed inspiration when it comes to content creation and luckily for all of us, there’s plenty out there! Within Instagram, if you swipe over as if you were going to create or post a reel and navigate to the bottom you’ll see “templates”. This feature lets you use perfectly formulated templates and insert your original content. 

reels templates

reels templates

reels templates






Some more ideas you can use for your Reels and keep them custom to your business while also staying engaging and native to the platform are… 

  • Behind the scenes
  • A Day in the Life
  • Product showcases
  • Customer stories
  • Before/Afters
  • Tutorials
  • Sneak Peeks

If you’re looking to follow creators who are crushing it check out these accounts…

74% of Australian users purchased a product/service after watching Instagram Reels, while 95% of Australian users have shared an Instagram Reel with family or friends (Meta). 

Instagram even has a great resource website page to help you get started or if you are in need of some inspiration.


5. What NOT To Do

By now you probably have a good idea of what you should do to create some engaging Reels and if it’s the right thing to do for your business. I’ll leave you with a few tips on what not to do when posting Reels so you don’t have to make these mistakes while launching your strategy. 

  • Don’t add copyrighted music to your reels, this will negatively affect your reach and possibly get muted. 
  • Don’t repurpose any watermarked content (re-posting TikToks directly) 
  • Don’t create content that goes against Instagram Community Guidelines.
  • Don’t overwhelm the visual with too much text
  • Don’t delete your Reels, even if the video didn’t go as viral as you hoped it could gain more traction later on
  • Don’t use low-quality videos
  • Don’t forget a CTA! Give your viewers the next step, even if that’s leading them back to your link in the bio. 

With these insights and best practices in mind, you’re well-equipped to harness the power of Instagram Reels and elevate your social media game. Happy Reeling!

Meta’s ‘Shift to Short’ Report.


Maloree Miller

Capture life's moments with a smile, as Maloree's expert videography, social media prowess, and content creation talents work in harmony to amplify farsiight's presence. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she crafts captivating visuals that resonate with audiences far and wide.