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Can You Boost Reels on Instagram? Yes, Here’s How.

Wondering if you can boost reels on Instagram? Boosted Reels appear in main feeds, in Stories, under the Reels tab, and on the Explore page.

Stacey McLachlan January 23, 2023
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So you’ve made an Instagram Reels masterpiece, and now you want the world to see. (We get it—we crave applause, too.) But sometimes, organic reach just doesn’t cut the mustard. Thank goodness, then, that Instagram just introduced the option to juice your great Reels content with a little boost. Got a few minutes and a few bucks to spare? You’re golden.

If you’ve already invested in boosted posts in the post (maybe on LinkedIn or Facebook?), you’re probably familiar with the idea of paying a little to ensure exposure. Boosting your Instagram content is a great way to make sure your amazing content shows up in front of your target audience, and you can spend as much or as little on it as you like.

Now, Instagram is offering the boost feature for Instagram Reels, too. (Cue the celebratory trumpets.)

If you’ve been studying up on our hot tips for editing Instagram Reels or memorized our 15 favorite Instagram Reels hacks, you probably want as many people as possible to admire your handiwork. We get it. Read on for a step-by-step guide to boosting Reels on Instagram.

(Here’s a sneak peek hot tip: you can even boost your Reels right in Hootsuite! More on that later.)

Bonus: Claim your pack of free animated Instagram Reels templates created by Hootsuite’s professional designers. Easily customize them in Canva, and take your Reels game to the next level today.

How to boost reels on Instagram

It would be a shame for your work-of-art Instagram Reel to languish in obscurity. Boosting your Instagram Reel ensures that your content reaches the audience of your dreams, while catering to your budget.

Boosted Reels appear across the Instagram app: in main feeds, in Stories, under the Reels tab, and even on Instagram’s Explore page.

One important thing to note: You have to have a business account in order to boost Reels on Instagram. It’s easy to switch from a personal to a business account, though—we’ll walk you through it here.

A few things to keep in mind before you boost a Reel:

  • If your Reel uses interactive stickers, copyrighted music, GIFS, or third-party camera filters, you won’t be able to boost it
  • Any Reels that have been shared to Facebook also can’t be boosted (for now, anyway!)
  • Reels have to be under a minute long and use a full-screen, vertical aspect ratio (that’s 9:16—find a refresher on all of Instagram’s visual specs here!)

Okay, let’s get into it! Here’s a quick overview of how to boost Reels on Instagram:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Select the Reel you want to boost
  3. Tap Boost
  4. Set your goal
  5. Set your target audience
  6. Set your budget and duration
  7. Click Boost

Read on below for more details on each step.

Step #1: Go to your profile

Off to an easy start! To boost a Reel, you first have to pull up the Reel that you want to boost… which means heading to your Instagram profile to take a look at all of your previously published Reels.

Your Reels may be on your main feed if you’ve elected to share there, or they may be located under the Reels tab (the icon looks like a little clapboard-with-a-play-symbol).

Instagram profile with Reels tab

Step #2: Select the Reel you want to boost

Tap the Reel you’d like to boost and enjoy rewatching your great creative achievement.

select Instagram Reel to boost

Step #3: Tap Boost

If you’re viewing it from the Reels tab: Tap the “…” in the bottom right corner, and then tap the “Boost Reel” button.

Alternatively, if you’re viewing your Reel in your main feed, you should see a “Boost” button right underneath as you scroll down. Tap that.

Boost Reel button

Step #4: Set your goal

Select your goal for this promoted content. Do you want more profile visits, more website visits, or more messages? (Not sure about your goals? Go do some soul-searching with the help of our Social Media Goals guide.)

select a goal including more profile visits, more website visits, or more messages

Step #5: Set your target audience

This is the part where you decide exactly who you’d like to view your Reel. You can let Instagram choose with the “automatic” feature or create your own custom audience.

define your audience automatic or custom

If you choose the “create your own” route, select region, interests, age and gender to build the audience profile of your dreams.

create audience by selecting region, interests, age and gender

Step #6: Set your budget and duration

You can spend as little as $3 for one day of boosting or $1,376 per day for a whole month — it’s up to you and your bank account.

select budget and duration

Step #7: Let ‘er rip!

Review your choices, and if you’re good to go, smash that “Boost post” button to get your work of art up in everyone’s grills. (Well, once Instagram approves of your ad… which usually just takes a few minutes. You’ll get a notification once it’s done being reviewed.)

review your ad and boost post

If you are a busy person with no time for reading (time is money, we get it!), here is a video summary of how to boost Reels on Instagram:

Want to learn more about Instagram advertising options? We’ve got your complete guide to Instagram ads right here.

How to boost reels from Hootsuite

Get ready for a social-media-manager bombshell: boosting your Instagram Reel directly from the Instagram app is just one way to do it. Hootsuite offers boosting capabilities for Instagram (and many other social platforms) too.

If you’re already spending time enjoying the Hootsuite dashboard’s many capabilities (social listening streams! scheduled posts! engaging with superfans!) then boosting right from Hootsuite could be super convenient.

Another benefit to boosting Instagram Reels from Hootsuite? Access to a robust set of analytics to pore over. (Social media nerds, rejoice.)

Alright, enough gushing.

Here’s a quick overview of how to boost Instagram Reels using Hootsuite:

  1. Log in to Hootsuite
  2. Tap the Boost button on the Reel of your choice
  3. Input your Boost setting
  4. Tap Boost on Instagram

Read on for a more detailed description of this process (and lots of screenshots).

Step #1: Log in to your Hootsuite dashboard

Take a moment to admire all your scheduled posts. So organized! You’re the best!

Hootsuite dashboard streams

Step #2: Tap the Boost button on the Reel of your choice

Find the Reel you want to boost. It’ll be in your “My Posts” stream, nestled among your other published Instagram content. Tap the “Boost” button that’s right underneath it.

Boost post on Instagram Reel Hootsuite dashboard

Step #3: Input your Boost setting

The Boost settings window will pop up: time to pop in all the juicy details about your campaign. That includes…

  • What ad account you want Meta to charge
  • Your objective (engagement, views or reach)
  • Your audience (customize your targeting by attributes like gender, age, interests, or location)
  • The budget and length of your promotion

Boost settings Hootsuite

Step #4: Ta-da!

If you’re happy with all your choices, tap the “Boost on Instagram” button to kick off your promotion. Wheeee!

Frequently asked questions about boosting Reels on Instagram

Can you boost Reels on Instagram with music?

Bad news: If you’ve created a Reel using copyrighted music, you won’t be able to boost it on Instagram.

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to only boosting silent Reels. Videos with original sound or copyright-free audio clips are eligible for boosting, no problem.

Instagram boost unavailable with copyrighted music

If you’ve created a Reel that’s being blocked from boosting because you’ve used Bruno Mars as the soundtrack (a correct choice), just download the video to your phone, mute the audio, and add on a new backing track that is accepted by our Instagram overlords.

How to boost a Reel on Instagram after posting

Good news, commitment-phobes: there’s no rush to make a decision about whether or not you’d like to boost an Instagram Reel. Boosting happens after you post your Reel.

So go ahead and publish your content as per usual, and then head back through your Reels at any point to decide which you’d like to amplify… like a post from ye olde March 2021, for example.

Boost post that has already been published

Even Reels that are weeks, months, or even years old are eligible for a paid boost… provided, of course, that they meet Instagram’s code of conduct and don’t use copyrighted music. (See the question above!)

Can you boost Reels on Facebook?

We hate to be the bearers of bad news (the Bad News Bear-ers?), but at this point, Instagram Reels that are shared to Facebook cannot be boosted. Whomp whomp.

If you’re trying to boost a Reel that has been cross-posted, you will run into an error message. Delete the Reel and re-post again, but this time, remove permission to share to Facebook.

Once your Reel has been published to Instagram exclusively, you shouldn’t have any problem boosting it there.

You can, however, boost regular Facebook posts — here’s how! If you’ve got a Reel you really want to share with your Facebook audience, download it to your phone and then upload to Facebook as a regular video post. You’ll be able to give it a paid boost from there. Looks like we outsmarted you again, Zuckerberg!

Now that you know how to boost Instagram Reels, better get to work crafting the very best Reels possible. Study up on all our expert Reels hacks and tricks, and you’ll be reeling in the views in no time — boost or no boost.


Start building your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram, engage your audience, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles — all from one simple dashboard. Try it free today.

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By Stacey McLachlan

Stacey McLachlan is an award-winning writer and editor from Vancouver with more than a decade of experience working for print and digital publications.

She is editor-at-large for Western Living and Vancouver Magazine, author of the National Magazine Award-nominated 'City Informer' column, and a regular contributor to Dwell. Her previous work covers a wide range of topics, from SEO-focused thought-leadership to profiles of mushroom foragers, but her specialties include design, people, social media strategy, and humor.

You can usually find her at the beach, or cleaning sand out of her bag.

Read more by Stacey McLachlan

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