Do you want to know how I grew my Instagram page, @joujoutravels from 4k followers to 10k in only 6 weeks! *Update Dec 16, 2022: Have grown to 126k followers with 50k new followers in 30 days due to this viral reel with over 13M views and this one with 14.6M views! These are my top secret Instagram reels viral tips & tricks that helped me grow 1,000 followers a week! You can easily implement these tips now and see the effects right away. Read on below!
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Reels is Instagram’s new rival to TikTok and has been key to my growth on Instagram. Whenever a new feature is up by IG, IG rewards new users with more engagement. If you aren’t using reels yet, I definitely recommend it. Reels last much longer than an IG post which normally lasts 2 days. It can last at least for 2 weeks and reach way more people than your followers. I was intimidated at first thinking I couldn’t make video content but it became easier for me and am blown away by how far I’ve come.
I was able to achieve over 5m total views on reels since I started posting them in October 2020. In December, I had around 4k followers and grew very rapidly due to my reels – I am now at 126k followers. I had one for example reaching 15m views. You can watch it here.
Here’s a snapshot of my top reels:
Learn how to go viral with Instagram reels by following these tips and tricks!
1. Telling a story is important
Start by capturing your audience’s attention so they know exactly what they are watching. You can do this by starting the video off by saying 5 stylish Airbnb’s under $100. Make sure you hook the audience in the first 3 seconds.
2. The use of text
Make sure to use it! Most people listen without sound so you should always write what you are trying to demonstrate in the video. People love lists so you could list the top 5 countries to travel to as each country flicks by in the video similar to the below.
3. Instagram reels should be educational, entertaining, or relatable in some way.
Make sure you give value & teach your audience in some way. Also, make sure it’s SHAREABLE… most of my viral videos had people tagging others in the comments and they also shared the reel to stories. One account with 1m followers shared my most viral video! Don’t mistake reels for the same thing as stories – it is not the place to show what you’re doing on a daily basis.
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People will want to see that you have a lot of content and reels available when deciding whether or not to follow you. Think of it as a portfolio. Labeling cover photos appropriately helps with making it bingeable too so that people can see at a glance which video to consume. You can make the cover text at the top so that the text doesn’t appear on your actual feed but only on the reels tab. I use Canva to make my cover templates.
You can find my guide to making the IG Reels covers here which will set you up for success.
See examples below:
5. Stay consistent & Keep Posting
If you don’t see results right away – don’t let it discourage you. One of my videos took 2 weeks before it blew up. A fellow IG friend posted 26 videos on reels before she got one that grew to nearly 600k views! I didn’t see huge results til I started posting 2-3 times a week. Be patient as it can take up to 2 weeks for your video to go viral.
6. Create a series for content that does well
If something worked particularly well even if low views be sure to do it again! Make a series to incentivize people to follow and come back. Example: Part 1: 5 colourful countries. This also gives them a reason to follow so they look out for part 2!
7. Keep all text in the middle so it’s viewable in grid mode!
The biggest mistake people make is putting the text too high up or low. Since reels are still new some people won’t watch in the reels view & only in the feed view which will cut off part of the video.
See below my grid view where the text is within the safety areas!
8. Add a call to action at the end of your Instagram reel
Add a call to action at the end so people follow: “Follow @joujoutravels for more tips!” I always include my handle to avoid reposts without credits or people not reading the credit in the caption.
9. Always post reels to the feed and remove later if you want.
I would wait at least a week or so before removing to be safe. This is because the reel will not go out to your followers if you don’t post to feed too. And IG uses the initial engagement from your followers to determine if they want to push the content out to a wider audience.
10. Add motion to your still photos
Adding motion even when using still photos is always a good idea as people are more drawn to that and it makes more of a video experience! You can do this in PremierRush using the Effects feature and then clicking to Motion and selecting Pan & Zoom. You can play around with where the motion starts and ends after by clicking on the photo and positioning the start and finish in the area you desire.
How I am inspired to create the content I put forward:
Well, my first video that went viral was 5 Fairytale places in Europe and I was inspired to create it after my IG Post got the highest reach due to a caption where I talked about fairytale places to visit. So listen to what does best on your IG Posts and see if you can make it into a video!
There’s a lot of advice to create what’s trending and look at what others are doing. While it’s good to jump on trends, I would also say try something new because who else is sick of seeing the same photo trick? you need to be early if you want to hit the trend. Also, you can adapt trends you see in other industries to yours. For example, I saw this fashion trend and turned it into a video about why you should solo travel. Check it out here.
Make sure to stick to your specialty & what you excel at. If you are about fashion do poses but if you are far from that don’t try it because it could go wrong. People may not view you as the expert in it and disengage.
Also, be sure to make things your own with your own spin on it. Don’t just copy others!
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Apps I use to create Reels
I combine the video by using Splice, InShot, or Premier Rush, then I head to IG itself for text. I hear it’s best to add text in the reel from IG as IG can possibly read that text to know what the video is about. Also, they want you to spend longer in the app & use all their features!
IQ Hashtags is a tool I use to find the best hashtags for Instagram reels. It’s great because it checks for banned hashtags and makes sure you don’t use them. It also has nice features where you can choose the right size hashtags. Be sure to use a good mix of hashtag volume: Over 15k and below a million to avoid your post getting lost in a massive sea. I recommend putting the hashtags in the caption as it works differently than posts and may not be recognized in the comments, unlike a regular post.
How to find Trending Music for Reels
It is crucial to use trending music for your reels because the algorithm will push music they think is being listened to frequently. To find the top trending music for reels you can download the TrendTok app. Although it is for TikTok the same music starts to trend on Instagram about 2 weeks later. So it’s good to keep up with TikTok and see what’s trending there first because it eventually reaches Instagram later. If you can get ahead of the trend by being the first to bring the trend over from TikTok, then you will be more likely to go viral on reels. The other place to find trending songs is off of Spotify playlists like this “Instagram Trending Songs.”
Finally, Instagram now marks audio as trending with an arrow pointing up next to the song. So scroll through your feed and look for the trending audio. Make sure to use trending audio with a lower volume of users producing reels for that particular song to increase the chances of going viral. If you wait til it’s saturated, you might be too late. So target audio used by below 5-8K pieces of content.
There could be many reasons your reels aren’t going viral. It could be the quality of the video itself, it could be the music you chose, or the way you start the video in the first 3 seconds may not be catchy enough too. If you want some personal advice, be sure to book my social media coaching calls and I will look at your account to help you improve.
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