How to Make Reels go Viral

November 22, 2022

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"My left stroke just went viral" - Kendrick Lamar, Humble

Kendrick Lamar

With a worldwide fanbase, it doesn't take much for rap superstar Kendrick Lamar to go viral with his left stroke. Nobody even knows what 'my left stroke' really means, but he's gone viral by telling us his left stroke has gone viral! Madness! The thing is that it may not be as easy for us mere mortals to go viral as it is for Kendrick. But that doesn't mean it's not possible! Where there's a will there's a way and luckily, I'm here to give you the lowdown on how to make your Instagram reels go viral.

Everybody likes to be liked and in the age of social media likes have become a currency that can give you pride, recognition, and status. Hell, they can even make you a lot of money if you're good enough at it. If you doubt the importance of getting likes, you can read more about why you should care on this Insta4likes post. There may be different reasons for wanting to go viral, your burgeoning business, as an up-and- coming influencer, or simply for your own personal satisfaction. Whatever the reason, there are several dos and don'ts when it comes to expanding your following and racking up likes.

The newest way of growing your Instagram account is through the reels feature. Reels are the Gram's answer to Tik Tok and it's for this reason that they are being promoted over other forms of content at the moment. If you want to stay ahead of the social media curve, you need to jump on the likes gravy train that is IG reels. In the points below, I'm not only going to tell you how to make the most of the reels feature, but also how to make them go viral and in the process, taking your Instagram following to the next level.

So, without further ado, here is how to make your Instagram reels go viral:

1. Have Good Content

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While this may seem like a no - brainer, all the tips and tricks in the world aren't going to get you to the top unless you're producing stuff that people actually want to see. Not only should you be coming up with good ideas, but you should also be realising them as professionally as possible. That includes using good recording equipment, editing tools, and lighting. You need to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

You also need to be focusing on a specific audience. What are you producing and who are you producing it for? Find your niche, have a clear idea about what you want to make, and who you are trying to reach with it. Create content for a target audience of like – minded people and consider what they actually want to see. Look for feedback and test your ideas through trial and error.

2. Be Genuine

It's important to be genuine and create content for the right reasons. People will react better if you're authentic and have a sincere passion for what you do. I was into photography long before I ever joined Instagram and if it disappeared tomorrow, I would still be taking photographs. Be passionate about what you do, and it will shine through and make you a star. People will know if you're faking it.

3. Learn from the Masters

If you wanted to become a great musician, you would learn the songs of bands you admire. If you wanted to become an artist, you would study the masters. This goes for making great content too. Check out videos from accounts you like and from people who have already gone viral. What are they doing well? What do you find appealing about their reels? Learn from the best and try to adopt useful techniques from the masters. Be careful though! This doesn't simply mean you should copy or plagiarise the work of others. It's about learning and taking inspiration. Remember to be genuine.

4. Follow Trends

It's worthwhile following the latest trends on Instagram reels to stay up to date with what's going on and stay ahead of the curve. If there are particular songs, sounds or styles trending, incorporate them into your own work. This will generate more views when people search for different themes. It's also worthwhile keeping an eye on rival social media sites like Tik Tok and Twitter. Trends usually hit Tik Tok a week or two before they come to Instagram, so it's worth being ahead of the pack when it comes to your reels. Again, stay genuine and add your own twist. (As a side warning, if you do put something on Tik Tok first and then move it to the Gram, remember to remove any watermarks, as Instagram will penalise you for this)

5. Hashtags

Hashtags are a very well-known tool of the trade at this point. However, it is worth reminding that your hashtag game is just as important as ever. As with the last point, you need to stay up to date with the latest hashtag trends. What are people looking at right now? It's also important to keep them relevant to what you're showing. If you're categorising them wrong, people will scroll right past you. You want them to stop and pay attention! There are also 9 different types of hashtags. Using a variety of these will give you a better chance of hitting a range of people.

6. Get Straight to the point

You need to have a strong, snappy start to your reel that grabs your viewer's attention immediately. People don't have the attention spans they used to and it's important to hook them from the get-go. Make sure people know what your video is about straight away and make them want to keep watching. Keep them short and sweet too. The appeal of reels is that they are short and easily consumed. Your reel should get to the point, make it and get out.

7. Closed Captions

Use closed captions in your video! If someone is watching without sound, they will still be able to see what your video is about. They don't need to click in to know what's going on, but they might once they know what you're up to. It will also help when people search certain keywords because those words now appear in your video and will give you a greater likelihood of being found. Make sure to place your captions in the sweet spot, right in the centre where they won't be cut off in quick view form.

8. Target Peak Viewing Times

If you post at midnight, who's going to see it? By finding out when most people are active on Instagram and putting your videos out at that time, you're showing your work to a bigger audience and people are more likely to notice you. There's a reason why companies pay big money to have their ads at half time of the super bowl. Because they know people are watching!

9. Share on your Feed and Stories too

Like the last one, you want maximum exposure. Followers who might not look at reels or at least not see yours will still be able to find you.

10. Consistency

Unless you're lucky or a genius you’re not going to make a viral reel overnight. It needs practice, patience and perseverance! Keep working at your reels and produce consistently good content. The more you do, the more your following will grow, and the more likely you will be to go viral.

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