How to Make a Reel on Facebook: Step-By-Step Guide

We live in a visual culture where video marketing rules the landscape — especially on social media. While text and image posts can be captivating, video is the most effective way to connect with your audience, keep them engaged, and help them learn more about your brand. 

Here, we’ll explore an important tool in your arsenal — the Facebook Reel — and how to put it to work.

What Are Facebook Reels?

When TikTok took over the world, Meta launched a similar product — Reels. Facebook Reels are short, punchy, vertical videos that function … pretty much exactly like TikToks. They’re easily shareable, stackable content designed to keep you glued to your screen, with a limit of 90 seconds. You can add captions and music, and edit them to make them compelling and fun. 

Facebook Reels are similar to Instagram Reels — you can even create Reels on Instagram and then share them on Facebook — but for one main difference. 

Instagram Reels show up in your feed if they’re made by your followers or by people you follow. (The Explore page, meanwhile, is where you see content the Instagram algorithm thinks you’ll like.) But Facebook Reels can show up on anyone’s feed. 

How Does the Facebook Reels Algorithm Work?

Quick basics refresher: An algorithm is a set of mathematical rules that allows inputs to be processed into a specific outcome. In social media terms, the algorithm — which is really a collection of many algorithms — determines who sees what. 

The Facebook algorithm uses signals to keep you engaged on the platform. These signals are based on your prior browsing history, videos you’ve watched all the way to the end, interests you’ve expressed, and bigger trends in what’s connecting with users at the moment. 

You might be left wondering how to make a Reel on Facebook that actually finds its way to your target audience. We’ve got your answer. 

Step 1: Define Your Strategy

Making a video marketing strategy for your content saves you time and money and gives you your best bet of breaking through.

Understand Your Audience 

The best starting point is really understanding your audience’s needs and desires. Start with a demographic sketch of your ideal user. You can use insights to learn more about your target demographic by social media platforms, for example, instead of just sending out a broad message. This allows you to more effectively communicate your offerings in a relatable way to your audience. 

Understand Your Brand

What’s your brand identity and purpose? In the words of the popular book, start with why. Defining your purpose as a brand and your strengths will make it possible to communicate.

Understand Your Message

Your message should be simple, digestible, and straightforward. Think of iconic brands like Apple and their appealing “Think Different” campaign. Even a simple message can help you craft an effective ad.

Step 2: Shoot Your Footage

Once you know your audience, your brand, and your message, making a Facebook Reel that’s clever and fun becomes a lot easier.

Create a Storyboard and Shot List

While you can simply create Facebook Reels within the app by clicking “create Reel,” shooting it, and then adding filters and Remix elements, the fact is that good Reels often require something extra. Today, they should be well-planned to get viewed and shared. So, make sure you have a plan ahead of time, be it with a storyboard, a shot list, or some combination of the two. 

A storyboard is a comic book-style visualization of your ad, complete with camera moves. A shot list simply lists the shots you need — something like a wide shot of your actors interacting, a point-of-view shot of your main actress, a beauty shot of the product (and so on). 

Whichever you go with, production can be expensive and time-consuming. Having a plan beforehand and working out as many creative problems as you can will save you a lot of headaches (and $$$) later.

Finalize the Details 

What’s your budget? How many actors are you using, and how will you find them? What location or locations are you making use of? Make sure all your production logistics are taken care of before you show up on set and are surrounded by crew members who will need answers (and charge overtime). 

Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if you need to. If your concept is too expensive or unwieldy for your budget or resources, it’s better to have a crisp, well-made short with more modest ambitions than one that looks cheap, unfinished, or confusing. Remember that most Facebook Reels will be consumed on phones, so contained productions are fine. Authenticity matters

Production Time! 

Now you’ve done the hard work of planning, it’s time to shoot content. Part of your video content strategy should involve batch shooting. That means shooting multiple possible spots in one day, using the same lighting set-ups to get shots from the same general angles for different spots, and then doing your lighting switch — if you’re not just using natural light — in an intentional way when you’re ready to shoot more. 

Step 3: Edit Your Instagram Reel

Much of the success of Reels and TikToks comes from their punchy editing, so don’t neglect this part of the process. These videos are short, so every moment matters.

Organize Your Footage 

Give yourself a head start by organizing your footage by type and quality. Which takes do you like and want to use? Which takes didn’t work? Mark those, but also be prepared to go back over your footage and discover some hidden gems.

The Post-Production Process

Ever heard the phrase “we’ll fix it in post”? Post-production is a great opportunity to shape your spots. With some tweaking, you can even repurpose and salvage footage that didn’t seemingly work for you when you shot it. The post-production process for Facebook Reels is a bit shorter than for a full-fledged video, but it’s just as important. 

Step 1: Editing

Editing can be as simple as cutting two or three shots together to tell a story, or as complicated as cutting it in a rapid-fire fashion, completely reshaping the feel and tone of your footage. Since this is for Facebook Reels, your aim here should probably be to keep your story simple and flowing.

Step 2: Sound Design and Music

Even if Reels are often consumed without sound, music and voiceover can sometimes make a big difference in your Reel’s impact. Think about how music makes Curb Your Enthusiasm even funnier. If you’re mixing several different elements together, make sure each one is clear. If you have sounds, dialogue, or voiceover, make sure they’re not fighting each other to be heard. 

Step 3: Adding Special Effects

Special effects (or SFX) could mean anything from adding a filter to motion graphics to stop-motion animation. Any unexpected special effect that can help your Reel stand out is worth considering! 

Related: Facebook Video Ad Specs & Placements Guide

Step 4: Finalize and Post Reel

Now comes the most fun of all — getting your Reel out there.

Confirm, Confirm, Confirm 

Does your Facebook Reel actually check all the above boxes? Does it understand your audience? Express your brand’s mission? Succeed in creatively expressing those factors? Keep iterating until it feels right.

Add Captions, Hashtags, Locations, and More

Captions, hashtags, and locations will help the Facebook algorithm serve your Reel to the right audience, so make sure you choose well and accurately. For example, if you’re sharing a Reel on the importance of vegan cooking, you’ll want to use hashtags like #vegan and #vegetarian. 

Share Your Content With the World

Consider what the data has to say about the best time to post on Facebook and get started. Once you’ve finalized the details, you’re ready to publish your content to the world. 

5 Tips for Viral Facebook Reels

Making a Reel that connects with your audience may seem daunting, but remember that you can make it happen. Here are some ideas for how to post a Reel on Facebook that really breaks through and perhaps even goes viral

1. Know What Your Audience Wants To See 

What’s working with Facebook marketing now? Keep an eye on content that’s connecting, whether that means music or bigger topical trends, and craft your content accordingly. Plus, don’t forget you can repurpose content across platforms, especially once you know what your audience enjoys most. (Just make sure it can still meet those other platforms’ criteria and norms — if not, you can always tweak a few minor things to fit.)

2. Be Emotional

Comedy always works — but so do other primary emotions. Create an emotional connection with your audience through video marketing, and you’ll leave a lasting impression. 

3. Have High Production Values

If you’ve ever shared a video with family or friends, it’s probably because it had polished production values. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive — just that it was planned and put together with care. 

4. Think About Storytelling

Reels, like other videos, are about bringing your audience into your brand’s world. Audiences should be looking forward to the next Reel you release. Maybe that means having a recurring character or conceit for your ads or a theme they all return to. You’re creating a world, second by second. Think about some of your favorite insurance ads, for example — you might not think the product is terribly interesting, but the characters in the ads certainly are. 

5. Quality Over Quantity

While you need a certain quantum of videos to break through on Reels, make sure each one is its own gem, answering one question your audience has about your product. That will make them eager to watch the next one. But they shouldn’t just be a thicket of Reels.

Make Facebook Videos at Scale

The process of making a dent in the world of social media video may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. 

Here at QuickFrame, we love video production in a way that’s fun, efficient, and data-driven to attain success. That’s why we made an agile end-to-end video production platform to help streamline the process between brands and video makers. 

Contact us today to learn more about Facebook video production.

Facebook Reels: Final Thoughts

Facebook Reels are a great addition to your video marketing toolbox. You can use them to connect with your customers, keep them engaged, and help them learn more about your brand. With the right strategy, you can successfully reach your target audience segments. 

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