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How To Schedule Instagram Reels in 10 Easy Steps




Instagram Reels have taken over as the fastest-growing feature on the IG app. In fact, the average Instagram user spends 30 minutes per day watching Reels.

And while Reels are a great way to share a quick video update with your followers, it can be difficult to record and edit a new video every day.

If you’re looking for a way to schedule your Reels–so you can continue to post fresh content without feeling like you’re chained to your phone–we’ve got good news.

You can use Hootsuite to auto-publish and analyze Instagram Reels alongside all your other social media content.

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In this blog, we’ll walk you through the best ways to schedule Instagram Reels using Hootsuite, plus some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Reels content strategy.

Bonus: Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.

Is there an app to schedule Instagram Reels?

Yes! You can use social media management apps like Hootsuite to schedule Instagram Reels automatically.

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Keep reading to learn how to schedule Reels through your Hootsuite dashboard.

Can you schedule Reels on Creator Studio?

Unfortunately, no. While Instagram’s API does allow you to schedule Instagram feed videos and photos, you can’t schedule Story or Reels content on the Meta Creator Studio app or website.

How to schedule Reels

You can use Hootsuite to schedule your Reels to be auto-published at any time in the future.

To create and schedule a Reel using Hootsuite, follow these steps:

  1. Record your video and edit it (adding sounds and effects) in the Instagram app.
  2. Save the Reel to your device.
  3. In Hootsuite, tap the Create icon on the very top of the left-hand menu to open the Composer.
  4. Select the Instagram Business account you want to publish your Reel to.
  5. In the Content section, select Reels.Creating a Reel in Hootsuite Composer
  6. Upload the Reel you saved to your device. Videos must be between 5 seconds and 90 seconds long and have an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  7. Add a caption. You can include emojis and hashtags, and tag other accounts in your caption.
  8. Adjust additional settings. You can enable or disable comments, Stitches and Duets for each of your individual posts.
  9. Preview your Reel and click Post now to publish it immediately, or…
  10. …click Schedule for later to post your Reel at a different time. You can manually select a publication date or pick from three recommended custom best times to post for maximum engagement.

    Scheduling a Reel in Hootsuite Composer - recommended posting times
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And that’s it! Your Reel will show up in the Planner, alongside all of your other scheduled social media posts. From there, you can edit, delete or duplicate your Reel, or move it to drafts.

Reviewing a scheduled Reel in Hootsuite Planner

Once your Reel is published, it will appear in both your feed and the Reels tab on your account.

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Note: You can currently only create and schedule Reels on desktop (but you will be able to see your scheduled Reels in the Planner in the Hootsuite mobile app).

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Benefits of scheduling Instagram Reels

Now that you know how to schedule Reels in Hootsuite, here are a few reasons why you should.

Save time by planning ahead

Planning and scheduling your Reels ahead of time can help you save time in the long run. By having a content calendar and schedule, you can batch film and edit your videos, so you’re not scrambling to put something together last minute.

This also allows you to be more strategic with the content you post and make sure it aligns with your overall marketing goals. Well-thought-out content can increase engagement rates on your Reels and other Instagram content, which can lead to more followers and customers down the line.

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Cultivate a consistent look and feel

Cohesive content performs better on social media, so it’s important to consider the overall look and feel of your Reels when you’re planning them out. This means thinking about the colors, filters, and branding you use in your videos.

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While it’s important to be consistent with the aesthetic of your Reels, you also don’t want your content to look too uniform. Mixing up the types of videos you post will keep your Reels interesting and engaging. Planning your Reels in advance will also help you strike this balance.

Use these free Instagram Story templates to inspire your process.

Upload Instagram Reels from your desktop or laptop

While Instagram Reels have to be shot on your phone, scheduling them in advance lets you upload them from your desktop or laptop. This can be a big time-saver, especially if you have multiple videos to schedule.

As well, uploading Reels from your desktop gives you more control over the quality of your videos. You can choose to upload a video in higher definition, which will make your Reels look even more polished and professional.

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Encourage engagement

Hootsuite research found that in the days after a Reel is posted, there is a significant spike in engagement. This is likely because people are more inclined to watch Reels when they see them in their feed—and if they’re entertained, they’re more likely to engage. As well, Reels are often promoted in the Explore tab, which can also lead to more views and engagement.

And while our experiment didn’t show any huge changes in our follow or unfollow rate, we did see the average number of likes and comments increase per post.

graph showing engagement increase in month of february after posting reels

Source: Hootsuite’s Instagram Insights

So, what does this mean for you?

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If you want to increase your chances of being seen and getting engagement on your Reels, schedule them for when you know your audience is most active on Instagram. That way, you can be sure your Reels are being seen by people who are interested in engaging with your content. Find the best times to post on Instagram here.

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graph showing optimal times to post on instagram based on audience activity

Source: Hootsuite’s Social Team

Tap into video

88% of people say they’ve bought a product after watching a brand’s video. Not to mention, people are twice as likely to share video content with their networks than any other type of content. This makes video content essential for driving awareness and sales for your business on Instagram.

Reels are the perfect way to showcase your brand’s personality and products in a creative, engaging way. Not only do Reels give you a chance to show off your products in action, but they also allow you to get creative with your marketing. You can create behind-the-scenes content, how-to videos, or even just funny clips that show off your brand’s personality.

Scheduling your Reels in advance can help you streamline your video marketing strategy and make sure your content Reels are getting in front of your target audience at the right time.

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Improve team collaboration

Scheduling Reels can also be helpful if you’re working with a team and need to coordinate who is posting what and when. This can help you avoid having too many Reels going live at once and overwhelming your followers.

Scheduling also takes the pressure off of having to post in real-time, which can be helpful if you’re trying to balance posting Reels with other tasks.

Take the pressure off real-time posting with Reels scheduling from Hootsuite. Schedule, post, and see what’s working and what’s not with easy-to-use analytics that help you activate viral mode.

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Save time and stress less with easy Reels scheduling and performance monitoring from Hootsuite. Trust us, it’s reely easy.

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Experiment: Do LinkedIn Pods Work? (Or Are They Mostly Embarrassing?)





This past November, I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to see if LinkedIn pods actually worked or if they were just a waste of time.

For those of you who don’t know what a LinkedIn pod is, it’s basically a group of people who agree to like, comment and engage with each other’s posts. The theory is that by doing this, your content will be boosted by the LinkedIn algorithm. So, I decided to join a few pods and test it out for myself.

I’m not necessarily an established LinkedIn thought leader with thousands of followers, but I post about my writing work on a fairly regular basis and have even gotten a few clients through LinkedIn. So a few more followers and engagements with my posts definitely wouldn’t hurt.

Here’s what I learned from my experience with LinkedIn pods.

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Bonus: Download a free guide that shows the 11 tactics Hootsuite’s social media team used to grow their LinkedIn audience from 0 to 278,000 followers.

What is a LinkedIn pod?

Let’s start with the basics.

A LinkedIn pod, often called an engagement pod, is a group of people who have agreed to connect and engage with each other’s content on LinkedIn. The idea is that by being in a pod, you’ll be able to increase your connections and, consequently, your opportunities.

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In an engagement pod, members agree to like, comment, share, and react to each others’ posts on a regular basis. Often, this is done by posting your LinkedIn post in an engagement pod group or app, where members can view and interact with it.

Most engagement pods work on the principle of reciprocity. So, if you want people to like, comment, or share your content, you’ll need to do the same for them.

Why use an engagement pod on LinkedIn?

Engagement pods are said to be helpful because they can:

  • Amplify the reach of your content
  • Help you get more engagement on your content (likes, comments, shares)
  • Offer extended networking opportunities
  • Engage employees to support your brand

The theory is that LinkedIn favors posts with more engagement, so if you can get more likes and comments, your post will perform better.

This is especially important because the LinkedIn algorithm divides content on the platform into three types:

  1. Spam: Posts with bad grammar, too many hashtags, or accounts that post too frequently may be marked as spam.
  2. Low-quality posts: Posts that don’t follow best practices, or don’t get enough engagement, will be labeled “low-quality.”
  3. High-quality posts: Posts that are easy to read, encourage questions, and incorporate strong keywords will be labeled high-quality and, therefore, will be shown to more users on LinkedIn.

The question is: is engagement enough to make a post “high-quality” in the eyes of the LinkedIn algorithm? I set out to put this idea to the test.

How to join a LinkedIn pod

There are a couple of different ways to join a LinkedIn engagement pod.

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First, you can start your own pod by creating a group message thread with LinkedIn users you’d like to pod with. We’ll call this a manual LinkedIn pod.

Second, you can use LinkedIn-specific pods, where you join LinkedIn groups focused on creating pods. Search “LinkedIn pods” or “engagement pods” in your LinkedIn search bar and see which ones relate to your industry.

There are also third-party apps like lempod specifically built for automating LinkedIn engagement pods.

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Finally, LinkedIn pod groups exist on other social media sites. There’s the LinkedIn Growth Hackers pod on Facebook and various other pods on platforms like Telegram.


I experimented with all four types of engagement pods to see which ones worked best. I used a different LinkedIn post for each method so that I could accurately track any differences in engagement across methods.

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Here’s a breakdown of that process.

Manual pods: I used a blog post on scheduling Instagram reels.

Before the experiment started, I had 12 likes, 487 impressions, 0 shares, and 2 comments.

linkedin post promoting a hootsuite blog on instagram reels

LinkedIn-specific pods: For this method, I used a blog post I’d shared on recession marketing.

Before the experiment started, I had 5 likes, 189 impressions, 1 share, and 2 comments.

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linkedin post promoting a recession marketing blog

Automated LinkedIn pods: I used a post I wrote for Hootsuite on social media share of voice.

Before the experiment started, I had 2 likes, 191 impressions, 0 shares, and 0 comments.

hootsuite social media share of voice article posted on linkedin

Cross-platform LinkedIn pods:

I was not able to join any cross-platform pods, so no posts were used here.

Manual LinkedIn pod method

I started off by creating a manual LinkedIn pod of my own. I chose a small group of my writer friends (because they understand the research process) to pod up with. I sent them a quick message outlining the strategy and encouraged them to interact with each other.

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private linkedin message from hannah macready asking users to be in an engagement pod

Luckily, they’re all good sports, and I immediately started receiving a barrage of LinkedIn notifications showing the support of my pals.

notifications on hannah macready linkedin

I also immediately noticed some new (stranger) accounts creeping my LinkedIn profile.

1 person viewed your profile notification on linkedin

And I even got this message from a random “LinkedIn” employee (pretty certain this was spam).

private message from linkedin employee

That all happened in just a couple of hours!

LinkedIn-specific pod method

I also joined a few LinkedIn group pods focused on digital marketing and social media.

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various digital marketing linkedin pod groups in a list

The number of members really varied in these groups. One had over a million members, at the others had just a few dozen. I chose a mixture of high-member pods as well as a few smaller ones. If vanity metrics have taught me anything, it’s that just because a lot of people are in your circle, it doesn’t mean they’re actually paying attention.

Some of the pods I found in my search were described as inactive, so I stayed away from those.

Of all the groups I joined, Game of Content was the only one that seemed to have regular posts from other users.

game of content linkedin header image

The rules of GoC were pretty simple:

There is only one post ever present in the group, and it’s made by an admin. They repopulate this post every couple of days so it stays relevant. Group members can then comment on the post with their LinkedIn post link and other members are meant to engage with them.

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post from linkedin user in game of content group explaining group rules

As I went through the weekday post comments, I did see lots of people replying to comments with phrases like, “Done! Here’s my link.”

When I clicked through to their posts, I could see likes and comments from those same group members.

comments and replies from group members in game of content linkedin pod

So, yeah, this was working. At least in terms of garnering more likes and comments.

game of content users commenting on each others linkedin posts

I went in and followed suit, engaging with posted links and commenting with my own link after I was done.

hannah macready promoting posts in game of content linkedin pod

And I slowly started to see engagement reciprocated on my own posts.

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game of content user engaging with hannah macready post on linkedin

Automated LinkedIn pods with lempod method

I also installed the lempod extension on my Google Chrome browser. lempod offers a digital marketplace full of LinkedIn engagement pods you can join.

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lempod app homepage

I joined a few pods focused on digital marketing and social media.

digital marketing linkedin pods shown in lempod app

The first one I was accepted to was called “Content + Social Media Marketing pod”. That seemed relevant.

I immediately posted the link to my post. Once I shared the link, the screen opened up to a big graph, with a list of people “Members who will engage” and “Members who have already engaged.”

Content + Social Media Marketing pod on lempod

I cross-checked the “Members who have already engaged” tab with my actual post.

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members who had already engaged lempod

And, yep. Sure enough, those users were now shown as new likes on my post.

lempod users liking and commenting on linkedin post

Within just a few minutes, my impressions had grown from 191 to 206. I also had six new comments. I watched this number steadily climb over the next hour.

graph showing lempod post engagement growth

While I was seeing lots of engagement, I wasn’t seeing any profile views, direct messages, or anything else that might indicate these users were actually interested in my work.

Not to mention, the engagement was coming in fast. Every 45 seconds there was another notification! Maybe LinkedIn would consider my post viral? Or, maybe it would get labeled as spam.

a long list of linkedin notifications coming in 45 seconds apart

I let the automation run until I saw that every member of the pod had engaged.

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all members of linkedin pod who engaged with post

Two hours later, I had 54 likes, 261 impressions and 24 comments!

Cross-platform LinkedIn pods

I did try joining the “LinkedIn Growth Hackers” group on Facebook, but I was never approved. It seems this group may be inactive now. I did not find any other active LinkedIn pods to join on other channels.


TL;DR: At first glance, it may look like the Automated LinkedIn pod was the most effective pod, but I actually think it was the Manual pod for reasons that I will explain below. Either way, none of the LinkedIn pods really made a big difference for me or helped grow my presence on the platform significantly.

Method Likes Comments Shares Impressions
Manual Pod 13 3 507
LinkedIn-specific pod 13 6 2 364
Automated LinkedIn pod 54 24 261

Keep reading for more details and context on these results.

Manual pods

This seemed like the most organic, most consistent method. Because I was leveraging people I already knew, the comments were authentic, relevant, and sincere.

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Not to mention, these people are actually in my industry–meaning if my posts show up in their feeds to their connections, it might help me network further.

Nothing about this method came off as spammy, though I don’t know how realistic it is to ask my friends to do this every week.

Over the course of one week, my post got:

  • 507 impressions

new likes and comments on post gained from manual linkedin pod

LinkedIn-specific pods

While this method brought in the most comments, responses were vague and less relevant than those found in my manual pods. Plus, most of these people worked outside of my industry. So, there likely isn’t much benefit to my content showing up in their feeds or networks.

After the weeklong experiment, my post got:

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  • 364 impressions

new likes and comments on post gained from linkedin group pod

Automated LinkedIn pods

This method certainly brought in the most likes and comments. But, I didn’t see any relevant profile visits, direct messages, or connection requests come through.

Also, while there were a lot of new comments, they were all pretty much the same:

  • “Really cool Hannah!”
  • “Great post, Hannah!”
  • “Thanks for sharing Hannah!”
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To me, these vague comments signal that none of these users actually read my post (which makes sense, considering their profiles are being automated).

I can only imagine that other users might see this and think the same thing. My spam alert is sounding.

After three hours, my post got:

  • 261 impressions

final results of linkedin automated pod

Cross-platform LinkedIn pods

I did not gather any extra engagement from this method.

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What do the results mean?

Here are the main takeaways from my experiment.

Authentic pods have merit

There is certainly some engagement to be gained from using LinkedIn pods. Pods that are made up of relevant, authentic connections within your industry can certainly help to amplify your content and get you more views, likes, and comments.

Spammy pods won’t get you far

But, if you’re trying to game the system by joining pods that are full of fake accounts or that are unrelated to your industry, you’re not going to see much benefit. So what if you got 50, 100, or 200 likes? They don’t mean much if they’re coming from accounts that will never do business with you.

LinkedIn pods ARE embarrassing

I think what struck me most about this experiment was the discomfort that came with having so many unconnected strangers present on my posts. Sure, from a glance it looks cool to have 50+ likes, but if anyone took a closer look it would be pretty obvious the engagement was spam.

Just as I wouldn’t suggest businesses buy their Instagram followers, I wouldn’t suggest they use engagement pods. Maybe, in some cases, where the pod members are hyper-relevant to your niche, it’s worth it. But if it looks suspicious, chances are your audience will notice. And the last thing you want is to lose their trust.

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Focus on close, relevant connections

If you still want to join a LinkedIn pod after reading this, the best way to use them is to join ones that are relevant to your industry and that are made up of connections that you can authentically engage with. This way, you’re getting targeted engagement that can lead to valuable relationships (and, hopefully, real customers).

Here are a few tips for finding the right LinkedIn pods:

  • Check out groups related to your industry or niche. Many of these will have pods associated with them.
  • Ask trusted connections if they know of any good pods to join.
  • Create your own pod with a group of like-minded individuals.
  • Avoid overly spammy pods that are only focused on promoting content and not engaging in real conversations.
  • Most of all, focus on good, old, organic LinkedIn marketing. While “hacking the algorithm” through pods is appealing, nothing beats putting in the work, one post at a time.

Struggling to get enough engagement on your LinkedIn posts? Hootsuite makes scheduling, publishing, and boosting LinkedIn content—alongside all your other social channels—easy, so you can spend more time creating quality content, tracking your performance, and learning about your audience. Try it free today.

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Easily create, analyze, promote and schedule LinkedIn posts alongside your other social networks with Hootsuite. Get more followers and save time.

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25 Instagram Best Practices for Faster Growth in 2023





It seems like things never stop changing on Instagram. The network keeps adapting its features to compete in the increasingly crowded social media landscape. So, do the Instagram best practices that worked in 2022 still apply in 2023?

While the fundamentals of your Instagram marketing strategy should stay consistent, some of the tactics you need to achieve your goals are shifting. Keep reading for a list of best practices that will help you succeed on the platform in 2023 and beyond.

Bonus: 14 Time-Saving Hacks for Instagram Power Users. Get the list of secret shortcuts Hootsuite’s own social media team uses to create thumb-stopping content.

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25 Instagram best practices for 2023

Instagram marketing best practices

1. Set clear goals

You’ve heard this from us before and you’ll hear it again. Every great social media marketing strategy begins with a solid set of clear, measurable goals.

Are you planning to use Instagram to build brand awareness? Drive product sales? Engage with your community? Maybe all of the above?

What you want to get out of Instagram will determine what you should put into it. Think about how the platform’s various surfaces – feed posts, Reels, Stories – can contribute to real business goals.

2. Post at the right time

Hootsuite research shows that the best time to post photos on Instagram is 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. For Reels, it’s 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Keep in mind that the average Instagram business account posts 1.71 main feed posts per day.

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That’s a good place for you to start. But to find the most effective time to post for your particular account, you’ll need to understand the Instagram habits of your particular audience.

Hootsuite Analytics provides a heatmap showing when your followers are most likely to be online. It also provides custom suggestions for the best time to post to your followers based on your chosen Instagram goals.

Hootsuite Analytics best time to publish

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3. Schedule your content in advance

Once you know the best times to post, you can start planning and creating your content in advance, then scheduling it to post at the appropriate time.

This allows you to create quality content in dedicated blocks of time, which maximizes your creative resources. It also gives you the breathing room to edit and review your content thoroughly before it goes live.

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Hootsuite helps you post consistently with no effort. It allows you to schedule your Instagram posts, Reels, and Stories alongside other social posts, so you can see the complete picture of your social posting schedule in one content calendar.

Hootsuite Planner content calendar

This also gives you a good overview and allows you to ensure you’ve planned the perfect mix of photos, videos, and carousel posts.

4. Engage with your followers

Remember: Instagram is not a broadcasting service. It’s a social network. That means your followers expect two-way communication and a sense of community. If you want people to engage with your Instagram content, you’ve got to get engaged yourself.

When you’re first getting started, it’s easy to reply to DMs and comments on your own. As your following grows, it can become overwhelming to keep up. At this stage, it’s a good idea to bring in some tools (and team members) to help manage your Instagram communication.

Hootsuite Inbox allows you to effectively manage your Instagram comments and replies by assigning messages to other team members for a response or follow-up. You can also create templated replies to common comments and questions to help speed up your response time.

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Hootsuite Inbox Instagram comments and replies

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5. Tag your products

Nearly half of Instagram users shop the platform weekly.

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Brands that tag their products in feed posts see 37% more sales on average. And brands that tag two or more posts per day see a 117% increase in transactions.

Tag across surfaces: Reels, stories, posts, and even ads. Sixty-one percent of weekly IG users say ads with tags make them more likely to shop.

Instagram photo with tagged products

Source: Instagram

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6. Analyze and improve your results

We’ve already mentioned a few times that you’ll need to do some experimentation to learn what works best for your particular audience. That will continue to be an ongoing theme throughout this post.

To learn the results of your experiments, you need to use Instagram analytics. The native Instagram insights tool provides some good information to get you started. To take things up a notch and get a richly detailed picture of your results, it’s a good idea to incorporate professional analytics tools like Hootsuite.

The Instagram analytics within Hootsuite include downloadable and exportable charts and graphs that make it easy to understand what’s working and what’s not. You can also see how your Instagram efforts compare to those on other social media platforms.

One particularly useful tool in Hootsuite Analytics is the ability to compare the performance of Instagram Reels to TikToks. This can help you refine your short video strategy – not just within Instagram, but across platforms.

Hootsuite Analytics channel performance

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Instagram Reels best practices

7. Make (more) Reels

Not using Reels yet? It’s definitely time to start.

Instagram is leaning hard into video in general and Reels in particular. Reels already account for 20% of time spent on the platform. And Hootsuite research shows that Reels get up to 300% more engagement than regular Instagram videos. The Instagram algorithm loves Reels, too.

So, this is a simple but very important Instagram best practice. Just make (more) Reels.

8. Show your human side

Reels that show a person have a 25% higher clickthrough. They’re not the right format for stuffy product videos. Be dynamic and show real humans using your products. Get your team involved. Show a little personality. Be human and have fun.

9. Make the most of the first 3 seconds

Capture attention right upfront with dynamic motion and teaser titles. (Just make sure you deliver on the promise of your title – watchbait is a big no-no.)

Show (and tell) people in the first three seconds what they’ll get out of your Reel and why they should keep watching. On that note…

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10. Add text to your Reels

Adding text to your Reels offers a number of benefits. First and foremost, it makes your content accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It’s also important for the 20% of Reels views that happen with the sound turned off.

Closed captions are now automatic on Reels unless you turn them off. Users can always adjust this on their feed if they don’t want to see captions, so there’s no advantage in turning them off on your end.

You can also add timed text to emphasize specific points in your video.

11. Use trending audio

Incorporating trending audio into your Reels is a great way to boost your exposure. You can identify trending audio by the little arrow next to the name of the sound in any reel.

Instagram Reels trending sounds

Source: @biabeible

Tap on the audio to see how many reels have already been made with that sound. Your best chance for getting a boost is using trending audio that doesn’t yet have too many other competing Reels. Aim for 30K or fewer.

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In this case, the track already has 285K Reels, so you might want to keep looking for one with less competition.

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audio River (King Kavalier Remix)

Source: Instagram

If you come across audio you love, you can save it for later by tapping the Save audio button. If you specifically want to use it for that trending boost, just be sure to check that it’s still trending when you’re ready to use it.

12. Try a template

If you want to use multiple photos and/or video clips in your Reel, a template can be a great way to get started. Using a template automatically syncs your clips to the audio in the original Reel.

To find templates, open the Reels tab and click on the camera icon in the top right, then scroll to Templates at the bottom of the screen. Scroll until you find a Reel you like, then tap Use template.

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use template for Instagram Reels

Instagram Stories best practices

13. Use interactive stickers

Interactive features like the vote button, quiz button, and question button really let you get to know your audience. They also provide a great opportunity for getting your community involved and driving good engagement rates.

Yoga International hip opening question button

Source: @yoga_international

Try asking followers what kind of content they want to see from you. Or use the Question sticker to do a follower Q&A.

14. Save your best Stories to highlights

Instagram Stories are a great way to experiment with new ideas and more casual content because they disappear after 24 hours.

But sometimes you want your Stories to stick around. For those occasions, there are Stories highlights.

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Highlights live on your Instagram page above your grid. In addition to saving your best Stories, you can also use them to create space for extra information about your business or products.

Sephora Instagram Stories Highlights

Source: @sephora

For more ideas, check out our full blog post on how to use Instagram Stories.

Instagram post best practices

15. Develop a consistent style

Your Instagram grid should have a visually consistent style, and viewers should be able to recognize one of your posts instantly when it appears in their feed.

One way to achieve this is to keep the colors you use in line with your brand style guide. Another is to use design tools with pre-built templates, like the Canva integration in Hootsuite Composer.

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Hootsuite Composer Canva integration

16. Use the right hashtags

Social SEO may be reducing the importance of hashtags, but that doesn’t mean you can avoid them altogether.

In particular, using specific niche hashtags can help you connect with existing passionate communities on Instagram. And creating a brand hashtag can help you collect user-generated content and social proof.

Here’s everything you need to know about using hashtags on Instagram:

17. Write catchy captions

Yes, it’s the quality of the image that will grab attention and stop the scroll. But you can’t ignore the power of captions on Instagram. Instagram captions help users connect with your brand and learn about what you stand for.

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Writing great captions is also one of the best practices for Instagram posts because they help the Instagram algorithm understand what your post is about to help with Instagram SEO. Captions are one of the sources the algorithm checks for relevant keywords when someone searches for content on the platform.

18. Use alt text

This is another quick thing you can do to make your content more accessible while also boosting your Instagram SEO ranking signals.

Alt text on Instagram works just like alt text on the web: it provides a text description of what’s in the image or photo.

Instagram uses artificial intelligence to create auto alt text for all posts, but you can customize the alt text yourself for better results.

Check out our detailed instructions for adding alt text to Instagram posts.

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19. Pin your best posts

The first three spots on your Instagram grid are prime real estate. Fortunately, you can now choose what appears there. You can pin up to three posts (or Reels) to the top row of your grid.

See also  26 Real Estate Social Media Post Ideas to Get New Clients

Try pinning your most popular posts, or your most timely. Have a promotion going on? Or a new product about to launch? Pinned posts keep users’ eyes on the prize.

You can also get creative with pinned posts, as Rocky Mountain Soap Company did to tease a new product launch:

Rocky Mountain Soap Company pinned posts

Source: @rockymountainsoapco

Instagram ads best practices

20. Experiment with ad placements

Instagram ads can appear in feed, stories, Reels, and the Explore tab, with the potential reach ranging from 713.2 million for the Explore tab to 1.32 billion for feed.

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Instagram data shows vertical ads have a 48% lower cost-per-action than non-vertical ads, so Reels and Stories are an obvious choice to test if you’re running video ads.

As with your organic strategy, you’ll need to do some testing to see which placements tend to work best for your audience and your goals. The important thing is not to get locked into one format and rely on it to serve your needs. Instagram is constantly changing, so it’s important to keep testing to see if the effectiveness of various formats ebbs and flows with time.

21. Partner with creators

Working with influencers – aka creators – to create branded content can give a credibility boost to your Instagram advertising campaigns.

Meta research shows that 78% of consumers say influencers help them discover new brands. In addition, campaigns that include branded content ads alongside business-as-usual ads have an average 53% higher click-through rate.

22. Unify your product catalog

Using a single product catalog for Meta ads and your Instagram shop make tagging easier while allowing you to get the most complete Pixel data.

Here’s how to get your product catalog set up:

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The Shopify integration in Hootsuite makes this easy if you already have a Shopify store.

Instagram bio best practices

23. Make it complete

You don’t have a ton of real estate in your Instagram bio – just 150 characters to tell users who you are and why they should stick around.

But you can bulk this up by completing all the fields available on your Instagram profile – like your profile picture, address, a link, and an account category. On that note…

24. Choose the right account category

Using the correct category in your Instagram bio makes it easier for people to find you and understand what your brand is all about.

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It’s also an important feature for enhanced tagging. If you collaborate with other brands or creators, enhanced tagging shows each account’s contribution to a post, including the account category.

Instagram account category including rapper fashion stylist and

Source: Instagram

25. Get verified

To give more credibility to your account, think about getting that blue check and applying for Instagram verification. Instagram verification goes a long way in helping your business account look more professional while preventing impostors from stealing your thunder.

Find out how you can get verified.

For more Instagram bio tips (and even some templates), check out our full post on how to create the perfect Instagram bio. Or, get a quick overview in this video:

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Save time managing your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram (and other social networks), engage the audience and measure your performance. Try it free today.

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13 TikTok Tips That Will Help You Go Viral in 2023





Is TikTok taking over the world? With over one billion monthly active users, it definitely feels like this video-based social networking platform has reached global domination status. If you haven’t joined in yet, it’s time to get on board.

We’ve gathered up a list of the best TikTok tips and tricks: think getting views, increasing engagement, monitoring comments and using TikTok Live. Sure, TikTok is taking over the world — but now it’s time for you to take over TikTok.

Download our Social Trends report to get all the data you need to plan a relevant social strategy and set yourself up for success on social in 2023.

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TikTok tips and tricks for 2023

1. Start with a hook

TikTok moves fast. If you don’t grab a viewer’s attention right away, you risk losing them to whoever is next on the endless scroll.

When creating a video on TikTok, start with a hook: ideally, the first second or two will reel in your intended audience. You can do this through audio or visual means.

For example, the makeup tutorial below shows the text “Makeup Placement Tips for Glasses Wearers” right from the start. There’s no waiting to see what the video will be about; instead, the TikTokker introduces the subject right away, giving you a reason to stick around and see what the advice is.


I’ve been wearing glasses for over 10 years and these @JINS Eyewear glasses are one of the most comfortable, lightweight ones I’ve tried! #sponsored #jinseyewear #jinsxigari #makeupforglasses #makeuptips #makeuphackseveryday

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♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul

Here’s another example from a chef. They start off the video with “Here’s a trick I learned from working in kitchens” and show a dirty pot. The chef isn’t giving anything away, but a viewer very quickly learns what the video is about and why they should keep watching (everyone loves a cleaning hack).


Little Chef Tips #tips #hack #kitchenhacks #caramel #tiktokchef #littlechef #tiktokfood #fyp #fypシ #foryou #easy

♬ Le Festin (From “Ratatouille”) – Movie Sounds Unlimited

On TikTok, comments are king (sorry, that’s a lie—technically, Lewis Capaldi is king, but more on him later). The more comments you get on a video, the more likely TikTok’s algorithm will favour it, meaning more people will see your content.

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There’s lots of ways to get comments on your TikTok, but the simplest strategy (and really, the simplest strategy to get anything you want) is to just ask.

For example, Dylan Mulvaney made a TikTok asking for follower’s suggestions for a Halloween costume. She got fifty thousand ideas — that’s enough to dress up in costume every day for 136 years straight, if you’re counting.


Day 207- HALLOWEEN COSTUME HELP!!! #trans #halloween #costume

♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song – PeriTune

3. … and answer as many comments as possible

Another way to get more comments on TikTok? Make them yourself. Replying to the comments you get on your own TikToks is good for the algorithm, plus it helps to establish a more genuine relationship with your audience.

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With 3.6 million followers, TikTokker @erikatitus could easily ignore the comments flowing into her videos—but she replies often, increasing her engagement and also making her fans feel loved.



♬ Sirtaki (Zorba the Geek) – LucasGitanoFamily

Knowing that the creator is likely to reply is a good incentive for viewers to leave comments, too. Which brings us to:

On the topic of incentive to comment: one of TikTok’s most unique features is creators being able to make videos that reply to a specific comment. In fact, some TikTokkers have built their following based off of audience-requested original videos — like @poppincandy official.

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Reply to @ash3r_fl00f5 🍉WATERMELON MIX!🍉 #fyp #fypシ #foryoupage #watermelon #green #red #asmr

♬ original sound – Poppin Candy

This brand makes most of its Tiktoks in the form of a reply. It’s a great strategy for engagement: their videos get a ton of comments, all from users hoping to get a reply.

It’s tricky to keep track of all of your comments, especially if you don’t want to be online 24/7 (ah, the ultimate goal).

To make sure you don’t miss anything, use Hootsuite Streams to monitor TikTok comments. You can view, delete, and reply to comments from within the Hootsuite platform.

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Replying to a TikTok comment in Hootsuite Streams

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5. Post at the right time

Did you know that there are optimal times to post on TikTok? The best time to post is when most people are going to be actively scrolling, because TikTok rarely shows videos that are more than a week or so old. That time varies depending on day of the week: 9:00 p.m. is a great time to post on Monday, but not on Saturday.

Okay, so we found that 7:00 a.m. on Sunday is a good time to post—does that mean you have to work on the weekend? Luckily, no: you can use tools like Hootsuite’s post scheduler to organize your content ahead of time, and guarantee a video will go live when it is most likely to get a lot of views.

Recommended times to post in Hootsuite Composer

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6. Learn from your successes (and mistakes)

Pay attention to your TikTok analytics. See which kinds of videos are the most successful and try to recreate that success. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t experiment with content or give up on a strategy that doesn’t go viral—you should make content you feel passionate about, it’s not all about the numbers.

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Still, if you’ve struck gold, try striking it again. For example, if you find out that your audience goes bonkers (and gives you over 400,000 likes) because of your shockingly accurate Kardashian impression…


Replying to @:/ mmyeah… #kardashians #kuwtk #realitytv #realitytvclips #comedytrending

♬ original sound – Angelo

…you should try that Kardashian impression again. Maybe even start taking user’s requests for iconic lines (and who knows, perhaps hit 2.1 million likes).


Replying to @mjpsbucket this is one of my fav quotes from Kim 🤣 #kardashians #kuwtk #realitytv #realitytvclips #comedytrending

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♬ original sound – Angelo

To get the most out of your TikTok metrics, use Hootsuite to analyze your performance. It’s the easiest way to see what’s working and what’s not.

[screenshot of Hootsuite TikTok analytics page would be good here!]

7. Find your niche

This is the kind of advice you’ll get in almost any social media-related blog post: finding your niche (and the community of users who love that niche) is key to establishing your personal brand, whether you’re using TikTok for business or just for fun.

The narrower your niche, the more specific your audience will be: so don’t be afraid to get really specific. For example, this creator has earned over 320,000 followers for making food in an electric lunchbox. Their content is instantly recognizable, and they’re known for that niche content.

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Changing my name and leaving the country before the Italians see this ✌️🤫 It was worth it 💯 #YellowstoneTV #ChevyEVSongContest #cookingatwork #electriclunchbox #timetoletergo #lasagna #fypシ

♬ original sound – Allison

8. Use trending sounds

If you’re ever stuck in a TikTok rut, the best way to get inspo for new content is to scroll through the platform yourself. See what sounds are trending and what folks are using them for, and think about how you can put your own twist on them — and we’re not (just) talking about making lip-sync videos.

Meghan Trainor’s “Made You Look” was big on TikTok in late 2022: there’s over 1.7 million videos made using that audio clip, and the dance blew up so much that Trainor herself made a TikTok doing it.


Loving all ur videos to #madeyoulook 💖🥹😭🫣🙏💖

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♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

Of the 1.7+ million TikToks using that sound, the best ones are the videos that show the TikTokker’s unique personality—like these builders, who might not be quite as glamorous (or rhythm-aware) as Trainor but have that really authentic vibe that the TikTok audience loves.


#sjrbuildingsolutions #fyp @meghantrainor

♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

9. Jump on trends

Not all trends are based on audio — there’s also challenge- and game-based trends, which are a great way to incorporate some lighthearted fun into your content. Simply using voice filters is emerging as a huge TikTok trend, and some folks are combining the voice filters with other trends (double whammy).

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got him #littlefroginmyhand

♬ original sound – ave marin

10. Keep it short and sweet

Editing TikToks is an art in itself, but for the most part, you’ll want to stick with short, snappy clips, a.k.a. keep the viewer’s attention by always giving them something new to look at. This likely means cutting out quite a bit of content in order to show the most action, or even speeding certain clips up. It might be difficult to distill your work down to just a few seconds, but that’s the kind of video that reels viewers in.


🌼🌼✨✨🎨🎨 #namiartist #xuhuong #fanart #speedpainting #art #acrylicpainting #fpy

♬ original sound – XVX – XVX

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A great example of this are the TikToks that visual artists make: many of them cut together clips of their process, showing their audience short snippets of their work and how a project goes, step by step. The actual art would take much longer, of course, but cutting it into more digestible pieces is the best way to keep an online audience engaged.

11. Experiment with new forms of videos

TikTok is always changing—the kinds of videos that went viral in 2020 are different from the kinds of videos that are going viral today. It’s important to be constantly experimenting and adapting (and that’s also part of what makes TikTok fun).

Lewis Capaldi (named the King of TikTok by… himself, actually) is an icon on the platform, largely because he’s constantly trying new things. After the singer teased a new love song on TikTok, couples started using it to make romantic videos—and Capaldi started stitching those videos showing how “lackluster” his own love life is.


#duet with @robyn_mitchellbird93 #lonely

♬ original sound – Lewis Capaldi

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It’s an unconventional way to promote the song, but it’s also refreshing how authentic Capaldi is on the app. And the irony in his video stitches is pretty hilarious. Eyerolling at lovey-dovey couples is common on TikTok, but doing it to your own love song is not.


#duet with @jaronatlas throwing up is my only moment of peace

♬ original sound – Lewis Capaldi

12. Use popular hashtags

Make yourself easier to find on TikTok by using trending hashtags that relate to your content. This helps the platform understand what kinds of videos you are making, and what kinds of users to show those videos to.

This TikTokker makes a lot of content related to food in Sydney, Australia, and they use hashtags to make that content more SEO-friendly.

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For example, the video below about Woolies (short for Woolworths, a popular supermarket chain down under) uses the hashtags #placesinsydney, #woolies, #woolworths, #wooliesfinds, #woolworthsfinds, #cheapeats, #hashbrown and #sweetpotatohashbrowns.


So easy and convenient to just toast this sweet potato hash brown! Crispy and yum! Vegan friendly and for $6.50 a bag. It is by *Strong Roots* Go check them out! #placesinsydney #woolies #woolworths #wooliesfinds #woolworthsfinds #cheapeats #hashbrown #finds #grocery #haul #sweetpotatohashbrowns #strongroots

♬ original sound – Places in Sydney Foodie

If you’re not sure what kinds of hashtags to use, try doing a competitive analysis of other TikTokkers who are finding success in a similar niche. Imitate it ‘till you make it!

13. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Making a successful TikTok marketing strategy is serious work, of course. But part of the beauty of the platform is that you don’t have to be traditionally “professional” all the time. A lot of TikTok users just want to scroll through and have a laugh, and it’s okay to show some vulnerability.

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Creator Chris Olsen’s charming and relatable sense of humour has garnered an audience of over 9 million. After his viral success, he’s constantly collaborating with celebrities and attending high-profile events, but his content isn’t all about his achievements. In fact, he has an entire second TikTok account with many videos strictly devoted to making fun of himself. It only makes him more charming and relatable.


#duet with @njbuckeye #citiconcertseries

♬ original sound – New Jersey Buckeye

Bonus: 5 tips for going live on TikTok

1. Announce the live before you do it

Generate some hype before you go live by posting about it on TikTok. Let your audience know when you’ll go live and what you’ll be talking about, so they can “attend” if they wish to.

Hint: you can also do this across multiple platforms: Post on your Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to advertise your TikTok live.

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2. Plan out what you’re going to say

You don’t need a script for going live on TikTok, but it is a good idea to have a general plan of what you’re going to be doing. Make yourself an outline of talking points or things you want to touch on before going live.

This is especially important if you aren’t super comfortable being on camera—having a plan will make you feel more at ease, and that confidence will come across to your viewers.

3. Title your live appropriately

Because your audience can join your live at any time, it’s important to check in with them and remind them what the purpose of your TikTok is. For example, a viewer that joins 5 minutes in would likely have missed your introduction, and you don’t want them to scroll away because they don’t know what’s going on.

Make sure your whole audience is up to speed by titling your live appropriately (for example, “Teaching my dog how to roll over” or “Q&A with a fireworks scientist” so that viewers immediately know what your live is about. You can also plan verbal reminders every few minutes: just say a few words to catch up anyone who tunes in late.

4. Thank your viewers

The main difference between regular TikTok videos and TikTok Live is that your audience can interact with you in real time. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that by engaging with them: acknowledge comments, answer questions and mention viewers by name if you can.

It’s an effective strategy for creating a more genuine connection with your followers, and who doesn’t love a shoutout?

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5. Make a call to action

Your TikTok Live might be the first time some viewers are seeing you, and you don’t want it to be their last. Encourage viewers to follow you (on TikTok and on other platforms, if you have it) and to leave likes and comments. That’s engagement that will help you when it comes to TikTok’s algorithm.

You can say your call to action verbally or even squeeze it into the title of your Live.

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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