Reels or Stories: what is best to grow on Instagram?

Reels or Stories: what is best to grow on Instagram?

How to use the app's two tools to improve your visibility: Reels are more useful for increasing the audience, Stories for retaining followers

Photo Pixabay Instagram's latest gimmick is Reels, videos based on special effects that make them irresistible, just like those of TikTok (which Instagram was inspired by). Many influencers have already thrown themselves into it too. After all, that's how it goes when social networks launch a new function. And there are also those who think of replacing them with Stories, the other Instagram mode designed to tell their story beyond photos. But who would like to gain visibility and win the favor of the infamous algorithm, what should choose between Reels and Stories?

“It is actually wrong to compare them. They are two different things ”, explains Dario Vignali, an expert in social media marketing, who works mainly with celebrities and entrepreneurs. “But if one really has to choose - he continues - then at this moment the Reels have the wind in their sails. It's a brand new feature, so Instagram has a vested interest in promoting it, not least because it offers its users something they could find on TikTok. And since TikTok is generous in terms of audience, Instagram must do the same to keep up. That's why publishing a Reel right now could mean having a much larger audience than we could get with stories or posts ".

Two different tools

In short, if your goal on Instagram is to reach new audiences and get noticed outside your circle, making a video with Reels right now could be the right choice. "The reels will be selected based on interests and other content shown in the users' Explore grid" reads an Instagram note, which suggests how reels can help us reach "more people".

But be careful to neglect the stories: these are in fact two tools whose purpose in a social key is different. “If the Reels are a way to extend our audience - adds Vignali - stories help us to retain those who already follow us. In technical terms, we can say that Reels are a content discovery tool: they serve to ensure that as many people discover us. While stories are a content consumption tool: they help us to accustom people to watch what we publish as often as possible. And on Instagram, nurturing the relationship with followers is of fundamental importance. ”

Precisely to prevent Reels and stories from overlapping, Instagram has preferred to keep them separate. Stories have their own channel and appear at the top of the Instagram home. The Reels instead share the Explore section with photo posts. They can be recognized at a glance because they occupy a rectangular space, like the one that two posts would occupy, one on top of the other. And while the stories are scrolled by clicking on the right on the screen, with the Reels you swipe, from bottom to top (just like on TikTok).

Tricks of the trade

Since this is a new function with which Instagram hopes to steal some audience from TikTok, the social network that competes with it among the very young, the Reels have the favor of the algorithm. But how can they be used to give a further boost to our profile? “They should be thought of as short, fast and creative videos”, Vignali replies: “If we decide to use them to make ourselves known or to promote our work, it is good not to rely only on music and words. Many watch the Reels without sound. So it's a good idea to use superimposed text: they help not to lose the common thread of the video even when the audio is off ".

Another trick: use the video effects that Instagram makes available to us. "One of these - reveals the expert - for example allows us to take a shot, stop the video and change position or even change clothes and resume where we had to leave. with the result that a series of fun effects can be created. We must think of the Reels as a concentrate of content. For example, if I decide to show how carbonara is made, I will have to do it through a quick sequence of photos and videos that quickly show the various steps. In short, the aim is to keep the viewer glued to the video without getting bored, otherwise Instagram will receive negative feedback on our content ".

Returning to the question: better focus on Reels or stories, Vignali suggests experimenting the Reels, but to continue making Stories: “They are the stories that tell those who follow us who we are. If we have to give our best in the Reels and create an irresistible content, in the stories we take the liberty of being ourselves. We can be more relaxed because those who watch them have already chosen to follow us. In short, with the Reels we talk to the public of Instagram, with the stories instead we turn to ours, without worrying too much about making an impression. And authenticity on social media pays off ".

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