Facebook Reels in 2023: The Definitive Guide for Marketers

You’ve likely noticed, but similar features are popping up across different social media platforms. Shortly after TikTok’s popularity skyrocketed, Meta introduced Facebook Reels, a similar 9:16 aspect ratio video format. 

And, it makes sense. If most social media users enjoy this short, video-first experience, why not take advantage of it on other platforms?

But they’re not the only ones who can take advantage of this opportunity. Businesses of all sizes and across industries can promote their brand by giving viewers more of what they want: video marketing

Here, we’re going to discuss Facebook Reels and how you can successfully add them to your Facebook marketing strategy

What Is a Reel on Facebook?

Facebook Reels are short videos ranging from 3 to 90 seconds, each with a vertical (9:16) format. In the words of Facebook’s page on Reels for Creators, Reels are “immersive videos that entertain your fans and help introduce your content to new audiences.” 

Often, these videos are individuals, content creators, or brands taking part in trends, using popular audio, or creating new ideas for others to try. 

These videos can also be shared on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook’s parent company, Meta. But, Instagram Reels and Facebook Reels aren’t exactly the same. 

On Facebook, you can: 

  • Optimize your audience with targeting options. 
  • Increase your reach, since Facebook Reels are shown beyond your followers. 
  • See whether the Reel was native to Facebook or shared from Instagram. 

While these two share a parent company, keep in mind that they are still two separate social media platforms. Even if you use Instagram to share your Reel on Facebook, your likes, comments, and engagement will be kept separate. 

Related: Facebook Video Ad Specs & Placements

What’s the Difference Between Stories and Reels?

While Facebook Stories can be short videos, they can also be static images, text-based pieces of content, and more. 

Stories also tend to be bite-sized posts meant only to last a short time. Often, when it comes to individuals, Facebook Stories are more personal. You tend to see people’s birthday parties or footage of what they made for dinner on Stories, since these posts are geared towards people already following their account. 

Reels, on the other hand, will often be more elaborate than Stories. They might have more engaging captions like, “What Life’s Like for a Millennial Nun” or “Things you hear as a content creator.” Since they are made for people who are not necessarily following your page, you’ll want Facebook Reels to be more enticing (to make viewers stop) and entertaining (to make them stick around). 

What Is the Difference Between Reels and Posts?

Posting refers to any piece of content you share in your social media feed. This could be anything from a text post to a standard video post on Facebook. 

Most types of video content on the platform will be geared toward the audience that’s already following you. Reels, however, can be accessed by people who aren’t following you (yet!) through video-first sections of the platform, including the Reels Feed. 

While Reels are still a type of post, you’ll want to look at them a little bit differently than other pieces of content since they can reach a wider audience. 

How Does the Facebook Reels Algorithm Work?

In Facebook’s own words, “Reels are recommended based on what may be relevant to you and may appear in places such as Feed and Facebook Watch.” 

The more content you watch related to gardening, for example, the more gardening Reels you will be served. More broadly, Facebook, with its colossal reach and desire to keep viewers checking their page at all times, will continue to give the spotlight to video content to keep viewers engaged. 

You can find Reels on top of your Facebook page to the right of your Stories but can also find them mid-scrolling. Once you log in, you probably won’t have to scroll very long to find Reels—Facebook wants you to see them!

Are Reels Better Than Posts?

Reels are flexible in their style, casual to watch, and—thanks to the Facebook Reels algorithm—relevant to your interests. They’re also sharable, which helps your business reach a wider audience. 

If you’re selling a certain product, Reels can help you target motivated people who are adjacent to your current customers (based on their interests and other Facebook habits). For example, if you sell pet beds, Reels can help you reach additional pet lovers outside of your existing customer base. 

Additionally, if you are a personality or seeking to establish your expertise in a field, the sharable nature of Reels can help you reach more people than traditional text or photo posts, allowing you to gain more traction in the industry. 

You can keep track of how many times a Reel has been played and how many times users have liked it, giving you a sense of its reach. 

Just because the platform currently highlights Reels does not mean you should stop creating other post types. Text, photo, and other video posts are still essential to growing your Facebook presence.

Ultimately, there are many ways for savvy video marketers to reach Facebook users, including traditional posts and Reels. A well-rounded marketing plan will consider different content types, trends, video specs, and best practices. 

Related: When Is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

How To Make a Reel on Facebook

There are countless ways to think about creating content. When it comes to Reels, you’ll want to engage and entertain. 

With that in mind, here are five steps to making a Reel on Facebook.

Step #1: Define Your Purpose

Before you start creating content, understand why you’re creating it in the first place.

First, you’ll want to know your overall purpose, like retargeting existing clients or acquiring new potential customers. What goals do you want to measure and reach through this campaign? 

You’ll also want to have an understanding of your audience. For example, many Facebook users are there in particular to create a sense of community, so you’ll want to explore how your content can help drive community engagement. 

Step #2: Conceptualize

With your goal in mind, it’s time to come up with a funny and visual idea to support it. 

Reels don’t have to be very complicated—in fact, their casualness and intimacy are what sell Reels, creating an authentic-feeling bond with viewers. 

As the planning process continues, you’ll want to begin broad and get more granular with the details. For example, you’ll want to start understanding what you want the video production to accomplish. Do you want it to make your audience laugh? Do you want to educate your audience? From there, you can narrow down your details, such as video type, talent, and locations. 

Step #3: Shoot

Now it’s time to shoot your content! 

If you’re using the Facebook app to create a Reel, tap the “Create” Button within your feed’s Reels section. Then hit the “Record button” to record a new video.

Otherwise, you’ll want to go shoot your content and proceed to the next steps. 

Step #4: Edit

Facebook Reels allow you to add effects, filters, captions, backgrounds, music, and more. You can do all of this within the platform, or during the post-production process

Check the platform to see what effects and sounds are trending—and don’t forget to be creative! 

Step #5: Share

Now, it’s time to actually share your post on Facebook to reach your current and potential customers. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. 

How To Post a Reel on Facebook

Of course, the Facebook algorithm has a role in who sees your content. But, as a creator, you still can take a few steps to make sure you aim at the right target audience. 

Step #1: Think About Your Audience

Who is most likely to enjoy your Reel? Facebook lets you select categories to describe your demographic, so make sure you tailor your Reel’s audience as accurately as you can. You might want to use demographic information like age, interest, and location. 

Step #2: Write an Effective Description and Use Relevant Hashtags

Captions and hashtags are both great ways to ensure your Reel is correctly understood and categorized by the algorithm so it can reach the right audience. 

Your description will show up as a caption underneath your Reel, so it’s important to provide a clear and concise description. 

Additionally, hashtags are an incredible way to reach an extended audience. If you’re creating travel content, hashtags like #travellife, #digitalnomad, and #solotravel might be able to connect you with new potential customers.

Step #3: Share

At the bottom of your screen, you’ll find the “share Reel” button. Your Reel will be public by default, and you’ll only have the option to make your Reel private if you’re using a personal Facebook account (instead of a business or creator account). 

Now watch the likes, views, and shares roll in! No matter the numbers, take them into account and use them to prepare for your next Reel. 

5 Tips for Viral Facebook Reels

Posting is truly as easy as 1, 2, 3—but how can you help your post go viral? 

Tip #1: Be Relatable

Viewers often want content they can understand and connect with. User-generated content (UGC) and UGC-style Reels often feel more authentic than other types of content because viewers get to see someone relatable sharing their thoughts, observations, and experiences. 

Tip #2: Focus on Entertainment 

According to Statista, 33% of Facebook users come to the platform for entertainment—so give the people what they want! With humor, engaging visuals, and more, you can create entertaining Reels people want to watch—and share with their friends. 

Tip #3: Authentically Showcase Your Business

Today, people want to know more about your business than ever before. What are your business values? What causes do you support? How do you show your support?

Facebook Reels give you the chance to be clear, direct, and proud about what you care about. 

Tip #4: Create an Emotional Connection

People spend a lot of time with vertical video in 2023, so lean into this opportunity and make a lasting impression! 

One of the most effective ways to create this connection is through emotions. From joy to humor, you can use different themes to drive an emotional connection between your brand and your audience. 

Tip #5: Make Use of Your Audience’s Interests

Show your audience you’re paying attention to them! (But maybe make it sound less creepy than I did.) 

The point is: your audience’s interests are essential to getting their attention. Tons of Facebook users are interested in movies, food, reading, and pets. Take those into consideration when crafting content for your audience. How do those interests tie into your business, value props, or overall message? 

Make Facebook Videos at Scale

While Facebook Reels are an incredible way to reach your audience, it can take a lot of content to keep your users engaged in our digital world. When it comes to Facebook Reels, posts, and Stories, it can take a large quantity of content to keep your current followers engaged while simultaneously attracting new followers. 

In order to scale your content while focusing on everything that’s already on your plate, it’s time to connect with available resources—including QuickFrame by MNTN. 

We’re here to connect businesses with leading creatives from across the globe. Our end-to-end agile video production platform helps you streamline your content creation process, so you always have the fresh video creative you need to stand out. Let’s get started. Contact us today to learn more about Facebook video production.

Facebook Reels: Final Thoughts

When it comes to creating content, Facebook Reels are a great way to connect with your audience on the platform and help you reach new followers. 

However, sharing any video isn’t enough. 

In order to be effective, your content needs to be high-quality, funny, emotional, and engaging. With the right strategy, you can create powerful Reels to reach your target audience and grow your business. 

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