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How To Make Facebook Reels That Attract an Audience

Facebook Reels are designed to help users discover new content and creators. Here’s how to use Reels to maximize your reach on the platform.

Colleen Christison August 15, 2022
How To Make and Share Facebook Reels That Attract an Audience | Hootsuite

It’s no secret that people love short videos — TikTok’s explosive rise to fame and the popularity of Instagram Reels prove that short clips are compelling and effective. But what about Facebook Reels?

Facebook’s version of short-form video showed up a little after the other apps, but don’t sleep on these Reels. Facebook Reels are a useful tool in every content creator’s marketing strategy. Especially because you can repurpose content you’ve already created.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Facebook Reels, including how to make and share your short video content.

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.

What are Reels on Facebook?

Facebook Reels are short-form videos (under 30 seconds) enhanced with tools like music, audio clips, and effects. They’re often used by content creators, marketers, and influencers.

Facebook is a little late to the game when it comes to vertical video content. They first rolled out Reels in the US in September 2021 and globally in 2022. (Instagram Reels’ debut, for example, happened in 2020, and TikTok was first released in 2016)

But even though they came slightly after the other apps, Facebook Reels are now available in over 150 countries for content creators worldwide to enjoy.

Videos published to Facebook Reels are shown in a vertically scrolling feed and can be found in your Feed, Groups, and Menu.

Facebook Reels vs. Instagram Reels

Facebook and Instagram Reels are actually linked across the apps, which makes sense since they’re both owned by Meta. If you watch an Instagram Reel on Facebook and try to comment on it, you’ll be bounced from one app to the other.

The main difference between the two: Facebook Reels will appear on people’s Feeds whether or not they follow you. This expands your reach beyond friends and family and allows you to connect with new people.

To learn more about the difference (especially if you’re already making Instagram Reels), watch our video all about Facebook Reels:

Where are Facebook Reels shown?

Facebook wants you to watch Reels, so they’ve made it easy for the videos to appear pretty much all over the platform. Here’s how to find Reels on Facebook.

Reels on your Feed

Reels appear at the top of your page, to the right of your Stories. You’ll also notice Reels partway down as you scroll through your Feed.

Facebook Reels on feed

Reels in Facebook Groups

In Facebook Groups, Reels will show up on the top right vertical menu.

Facebook group official supernatural community Reels

Reels from your menu

You can find your menu by navigating to the hamburger menu on your home page. For Android users, it’s at the top right corner. iPhone users can find the menu at the bottom of your app.

Facebook Reels hamburger menu

Within the menu, you’ll find Reels at the top left.

Facbook Reels top left side of screen

How to make a Reel on Facebook in 5 steps

Does the thought of creating short videos send a shiver down your spine? Relax: Making your first Facebook Reel doesn’t have to stress you out! We’ve broken down exactly how to do it in 5 easy steps.

We’ll go over everything from publishing, splicing and editing to how to add pre-recorded videos to Facebook Reels.

Step 1. Tap Create from the Reels section of your Facebook Feed

Create reel on Facebook feed

This will bring you to a gallery of your phone’s camera roll. Here, you can add pre-recorded videos or photos to Facebook Reels. Or, you can create your own reel on the fly.

create a reel camera roll

Step 2. Record, splice, or upload your content

If you choose to record your own video, you can use effects like the green screen. You can also upload one of your own photos to be used as the green screen background.

You can also add music, speed it up or down, add effects like filters, or use that handy timer for hands-free creation. One thing to note: if you choose to use a filter, your green screen will disappear.

add music speed and effects

Once you’ve recorded your video or uploaded your own photo, it’s time to add effects.

Step 3. Add effects like audio clips, text, stickers, or music

You can add audio clips, texts, stickers, or music to your reel by using the menu on the right-hand side of your screen. You can also trim your video to the right length here.

The Text feature lets you write directly on your video — but use text sparingly. It’s best practice to avoid excess text on your photos and videos.

If you hit audio at the top, you’ll have the option to either add music or a voiceover.

Don’t forget to hit Save if you want to download your video to your phone.

save to download video to phone

Once you’ve spliced and edited your video to perfection, hit Next.

Step 4. Add a description, hashtags, and choose your audience.

Your final step to creating a Facebook Reel is to add a description and hashtags and decide who gets to see your art.

Your description will show up in the reel caption. Be sure to include relevant hashtags so you can expand your reach.

reel description deaf cat

Source: Somedeafguy on Facebook

comedy hashtag

Source: #comedy on Facebook

Here, you can set the audience you’d like for your reel. Facebook’s default is set to “Public” for any creators who are over the age of 18. If you want your content to be seen by the maximum number of people, we suggest leaving this setting on Public.

Step 5. Share your reel

Hit Share reel at the bottom of your screen and you’re done!

Now, your reel can be seen by all of your friends on Facebook. And, hopefully, be discovered by new viewers.

How does the Facebook Reels algorithm work?

Facebook publicly announced the algorithm’s focus is on helping users “discover new content and connect with the stories they care the most about.” And Facebook has also mentioned that they are “focused on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered.”

That means that Facebook Reels are designed to help users discover new things. That could be YOU as a brand or a creator, or something you want to show the world! Test out Reel content that serves a purpose like educating, uncovering new information, or telling your story.

Above all, make content that folks will find interesting or entertaining. User engagement is Facebook’s bread and butter, so it makes sense that the algorithm would be geared toward rewarding engagement.

If you serve the algorithm, the algorithm will serve you.

Facebook Reels best practices

We all know the importance of following best practices and creating content folks love to watch. But, if your Reels blow up, you could find yourself in the coveted Reels Play bonus program.

Facebook created Reels Play to reward content creators whose videos gain over 1,000 views within 30 days. The program intends to compensate creators for these reel views on Instagram and Facebook.

Reels Play is invite-only, and the chosen few will be alerted directly in their professional dashboard in the Instagram app.

So, stick to these best practices to keep your reel game real strong.

Keep an eye on what’s working

Tracking the results of your content allows you to focus your efforts and attention on the pieces that resonate. You can use Facebook’s analytics dashboard within the app or upgrade to more detailed third-party analytics like Hootsuite.

If your account is brand new, you won’t have enough data to see what’s working and what’s not. But, if you’ve found success on Instagram or TikTok, use that data to tell you what went well. Then you can try experimenting with what worked for those apps.

Repurpose your TikTok videos

Repurposing content is one surefire way to save time. Pick your best-performing TikTok content and repost it to your Facebook Reels.

Instagram has been clear that they’ll make content with watermarks less discoverable; the same likely applies to Facebook.

Luckily, you can easily remove that pesky watermark TikTok loves to add.

Link your Instagram Reels

If you’re using one, you might as well use both. You can easily share your Instagram Reels to Facebook by toggling the option when you post. Or, you can set it to automatically share when you publish content.

There has been some debate about whether or not you should share content between the two apps. Hootsuite writer Stacey McLachlan did some investigating into whether you should share Instagram content to Facebook Reels. TL;DR: It can’t hurt.

Post quality content

Nothing gets someone to skip your video faster than a blurry or shaky view. So make sure you’re posting only quality content to your Facebook Reels.

Your content reflects your brand. If you post high-quality content, people will assume your brand is also polished and professional. You’re also more likely to earn meaningful interactions from your audience.

Plus, users are more likely to share high-quality videos, which can help to increase brand awareness and reach.

Vertical videos only

Like TikTok and Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels are set up for vertical video. So don’t turn your phone to the side when you’re recording!

Remember, Facebook rewards content that follows all of its best practices.

Use music

Music in your Reels can help to add energy and excitement, making your videos more engaging and entertaining.

Music can also set the whole tone for your video and make it easier for viewers to remember your content in a sea of other reels. You can even keep track of trending sounds to join in on a conversation.

Use good lighting

Good lighting is essential when shooting social media videos because it makes the video look more polished and professional. When you shoot in low light, the image is often grainy and difficult to see. This can be distracting for viewers and makes it more likely that they’ll scroll past your content.

Good lighting also helps to set the mood of a video. For example, softer lighting can create a more intimate feel, while brighter lighting can give the video a more energetic vibe.

Be experimental

Let’s be reel: You’re probably not going to go viral with your very first video. Luckily, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook Reels, so consider it an opportunity to find a style that feels authentic to your brand.

Experimenting can also help you to engage your audience. Trying new things will keep your content fresh and gives your audience a reason to keep coming back for more.

Trying new things might even lead to a breakthrough in your content creation process. You might stumble upon an unexpected theme or style that really resonates with your audience.

Include a caption

A caption helps to set the scene and tone for a video. It’s your opportunity to help shape the way people perceive your content. You can use captions to add a touch of personality, crack a joke, or deliver a heartfelt message.

Captions can provide essential context that would otherwise be lost, like the location of an event or who’s in the video. A caption can also help to highlight the key takeaways from a video, making viewers more likely to remember the most important points.

Be intentional

The content you publish tells your audience what your brand is all about. That’s why it’s important to be intentional when planning and creating videos.

Carefully consider the message you want to communicate, the tone you want to use, and the audience you want to reach.

Keep up with trends

Trends move fast on social media, and posting something even a week late may make your brand appear out of touch.

It’s key to keep an eye on current trends. See what types of Reels are popular in your industry and try to create similar content.

It should go without saying, but this also means that you need to watch other Reels before creating one yourself. Understanding the landscape first will help you find a niche that makes sense for your brand.

Collaborate with like-minded people

Find an influencer or someone respected within your industry to collaborate with. They’ll have a different following than you and can help promote your products or services to a wider audience.

Use transitions

Most people are visual learners, which is why Facebook reels with transitions are so effective. A reel with transitions can easily communicate a before-and-after transformation, making it easy for viewers to understand the value of your product or service.

The secret is to trim the video and use the align tool. This will help to ensure that the transition is smooth and seamless.

Stop trying to go viral

The key to success with Facebook Reels is not focusing on going viral. In fact, attempting to go viral is often a recipe for disaster. It can make your content seem like it’s trying too hard.

A well-crafted reel that speaks to your target audience is more likely to result in meaningful connections than one that tries to emulate a viral video status. In the end, it’s more important to focus on making quality content that resonates with your audience than on trying to get as many views as possible.

Frequently asked questions about Facebook Reels

How long can Facebook Reels be?

Facebook Reels must be longer than 3 seconds and up to 30 seconds long. That doesn’t seem like a ton of time, but trust us, you can accomplish a lot in 30 seconds.

How do you share Instagram Reels to Facebook?

Sharing Instagram Reels to Facebook is incredibly easy. It’s almost like the apps want you to cross-promote between them.

In your Instagram app, start recording a Reel. Once it’s recorded, tap next to Share to Facebook. You can choose which Facebook account you want to share it to here.

Then, select whether or not you want to share all future reels to Facebook. Hit that Share button, and you’re good to go!

How can you search Reels on Facebook?

There is no specific search bar for Reels, but there’s an easy hack to search for Reels on Facebook.

Simply go to Facebook’s search bar, type in the keyword you want to search, and add the word reels. This will bring up a Discover Reels vertical scroll across the top of your page!

Facebook search bar

search for dog reels on Facebook

What are overlay ads?

Overlay ads are a way for Creators to monetize their Facebook Reels.

They’re a lot like what the name suggests: ads overlaid on top of your video. They’re pretty non-invasive, too. The ads have a transparent gray background and are fairly inconspicuous.

overlay ads baking recipes

Source: Facebook

As people engage with your reel, you make money.

To sign up for overlay ads, you just need to be part of the existing in-stream ads program for Facebook video. If you are, you’re automatically eligible for ads in reels. You can opt out at any time in your Creator Studio.

How can you turn off Reels on Facebook?

Unfortunately, you can’t remove or disable Reels from showing up on your Facebook feed.

But, you can use Facebook on your desktop, which has not yet incorporated Reels. Or, you can delete the app off your phone and download an older version of Facebook that doesn’t have the new feature.

Save time and get the most out of your Facebook marketing strategy with Hootsuite. Publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more — all from one simple, streamlined dashboard. Try it free today.

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By Colleen Christison

Colleen Christison is a freelance copywriter, copy editor, and brand communications specialist. She spent the first six years of her career in award-winning agencies like Major Tom, writing for social media and websites and developing branding campaigns. Following her agency career, Colleen built her own writing practice, working with brands like Mission Hill Winery, The Prevail Project, and AntiSocial Media.

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