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Growing on Instagram with Instagram Reels

Everyone seems to be shouting from the rooftops that if you want to grow on Instagram you need to be posting reels. So, I decided to put it to the test. From October 26-November 24 I posted 45 reels and my account grew by 276% and reached over 3 million accounts. Here are a few key takeaways from my experience posting reels.

1. Add an Instagram audio for your reel to have longevity

All of my reels that continue to be pushed after their initial view count include an audio from the Instagram reels library. Similar to my experience on TikTok, older videos can continue to get views. However, only my older videos that use an Instagram audio receive views.

This can come with a downside too, as my reels that don’t use an Instagram audio are often initially pushed more. I would recommend a mix of both to maximize your results in both the short and long run.

2. Don’t post reels to your feed

This was a very painful transition initially. Like, 50 views on average, painful. But after consistently doing this, my average reel views jumped to over 3500 on an account with just 1400 followers (most of which were gained over the last 30 days). Fast forward a bit and my account has grown to just under 2500 followers, with an average reel view of 4500.

Posting to the reels tab ensures your content is discovered by new accounts and since it isn’t as heavily pushed to your existing followers, you can freely post without worrying about spamming your existing audience.

3. You need to consistently post to reels

The more reels you post, the more likely you are to get a viral one. Out of the 45 reels I have posted, 1 went viral, racking up over 3 million views and generating a massive increase in affiliate link clicks and income.

4. Reels may not bring you the best audience

As you can see below, just 30% of the 80K accounts that engaged with my content over the last 30 days are from the US. I have seen similar complaints in countless facebook groups that Reels may bring in an audience, but not necessarily the audience you were looking for.

While it is great to grow an audience, when it comes to landing partnerships, some brands will be looking for an audience that is predominantly in one location. Reels has been the primary driving factor of my growth, but it hasn’t led me to the best audience stats when it comes to location, with just 45% located in the US where I am based.

5. I don’t go out of my way to make content specific for Instagram

Almost every single one of my reels (including the viral one) was originally made on TikTok. I simply removed the watermark and added audio using a video editing app and posted to Instagram. This may actually be an advantage as TikTok trends often make a delayed appearance on Instagram reels. Reels don’t need to be ridiculously high quality, tiktok content seems to do just as well, so don’t overthink it!

6. Instagram viral can be delayed

The video I posted that has 3M views? It wasn’t anything special initially, but it got a huge boost about a week after I posted it. Don’t remove something too quickly on Instagram reels as sometimes the views can be a bit more delayed. Some social gurus say that the reels delay can be up to 3 weeks long.

7. You don't need to go viral for success

Even without a “viral” reel, my account is still growing. In the last 30 days I have posted 61 reels & 29 feed posts, paired with 235 stories that helped me reach over 800K accounts and have a growth rate of 96.5%. This posting strategy pairs down to 2 reels/day, 7-8 stories/day, and 1 in feed post per day.