Reels for Dummies

social media tips, misty saves the day, virginia beach marketing

First thing’s first: You’re not a dummy just because you don’t know how to make Reels for Instagram. It’s new(ish), and new can feel uncomfortable. Maybe you just aren’t sure what to do or where to start. We’re here to help!

I’ll be the first to admit that I… am not a big fan of this whole Reels trend. I don’t have a desire to be on camera every second of every day. I joined Instagram because I really do love seeing what you’re having for lunch, looking at random beautiful photography, and just keeping up with people at my own pace. Here’s the thing about social media: It does not move at our own pace. It marches to the beat of the algorithm’s drum. And, the algorithm (and I guess surverys) say: the people want the Reels!

So, do we curl up into a ball and refuse to try new things? Of course not! Okay, maybe it’s alright to cry a little, but get it out of your system, because:

Reels are the future.

At least, for now they are. Who can say what the FUTURE future holds? All we can work with is what we have right now, and Reels are free promotion for your business that you’re missing out on if you’re not using the feature right now.

“Does this mean I have to get in front of the camera and potentially embarrass myself by learning a trendy dance?”

You could use this as an opportunity to come way out of your shell, but let’s get one thing straight:

You do not need to be dancing to make Reels that will help your business grow!

What CAN you do? The fabulous social media managers here at Misty Saves the Day compiled some simple ideas (we promise) that you can do really quickly that will not only show off what you’re selling but help people get to know you a little better. Before you ask—yes, people want to get to know you! Without a doubt, they want the story behind the business!

Ten SIMPLE Reel ideas for your small business:

  1. Show your work space. Just a quick pan around the office. Maybe a computer setup. Your comfy office chair (or is it uncomfortable? That could be your caption!) The view from your seat, or your window. Splice those together quickly and put some trending music behind it, and voila! A simple Reel.
  2. What are you working on? Even if it’s something as simple as a spreadsheet, showing how you start and showing how you end is always interesting for people who might not know how to do it. It doesn’t have to be a full tutorial, but it’s always satisfying to watch someone complete a project.
  3. Morning coffee. Record a video of how you make your preferred brew in the morning (or afternoon, we don’t judge). This could also work for tea or your healthy smoothie. Instagram started as a “food photo heavy” site, and people STILL love that. The only difference here is the format! If your preferred coffee is “one that is not made by me”—that’s fine! Head to your favorite local cafe and take a video of your cup (iced coffee swirl videos are addictive).
    Possible caption idea: “This is how I motivate my way through the morning. How do you motivate YOUR morning?”
  4. Walking into the office. You start by recording your feet and then pan up to the location you’ve arrived at. Those of us who live and breathe social media see it in the Trending tab ALL THE TIME. It’s so simple—only requires* shoes on camera.
    *Doesn’t REALLY require shoes. You could absolutely just record the ground, or even your carpet/hardwood if you work from home!
  5. Setting up for the day. How do you get your workspace ready for optimum productivity? If this includes shoo-ing the cat off of the desk, that’s more perfect than you know.
  6. What does your afternoon routine look like? This can be used in so many variations depending on what your day looks like! Getting lunch, driving home, picking the kids up, getting dinner ready etc. Which leads us into…
  7. Cooking! Everyone loves a good cooking video. Don’t worry, you do not need to be a chef, and this does not have to be a full tutorial. This idea could be made as simple as taking photos as you complete the steps of a recipe, and when you edit it into Reel format, entering text over each frame to explain what you’re doing. Additionally, you could record a voiceover if you’re comfortable with it!
  8. Time-lapses! These little videos are so dang easy, and require no effort outside of turning them on.
  9. Checklists. Do you organize your day by using a checklist, or a calendar? A quick video of making your checklist and checking things off is a great start to show how you and your business function and get things done for your customers.
  10. What’s your product? If you’re a restaurant, show how you cook or bake certain things. If you package things up and send them via mail, show how you package each order. Whatever it is that your company does, show your potential customers how it’s done!

Whenever there’s something new, we tend to overcomplicate it in our minds and think “I don’t know how to do that”, which turns into “I can’t do that” in the blink of an eye. You can do this, we promise!

Reels can feel a lot more difficult than they actually are.

Give one of these ideas a try. You might be surprised how simple it is, and/or how much you enjoy making them! We’ll be posting examples of these Reel ideas over on our Instagram, so if you need a little extra inspiration, head on over and hit the “Follow” button. Maybe you’ll even see one of us dancing (probably not).

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