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Why Can’t I Boost My Reel? 10 Troubleshooting Tips

Having trouble boosting your Instagram Reels? You’ve come to the right place. Boosting Instagram Reels is supposed to be super…

Stacey McLachlan February 6, 2023
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Having trouble boosting your Instagram Reels? You’ve come to the right place.

Boosting Instagram Reels is supposed to be super easy, whether you’re doing it on the Instagram app or via a social media management dashboard.

But the truth is, there are plenty of problems that can come up along the way. If you’ve ever felt frustrated with the Reels boosting process: you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled this super list of troubleshooting tips for Instagram Reels boosting.

Bookmark this page now so you never have to throw your phone across the room in frustration ever again. Then, read on for answers to the most common issues with boosting Instagram Reels.

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.

Why can’t I boost my Reels? 10 common error messages and issues

If you’ve got a love-hate relationship with Instagram Reels’ new boost feature, we feel you. Some days, it just takes a few taps to spread your awesome content to your target audience. On other days, it feels like everything that could go wrong does.

Why can I boost this Reel but not that one? Is cross-posting on Facebook ruining my life? Why can’t I even find the boost button today?

The truth is, no social media relationship is perfect. But armed with knowledge, we know you crazy kids can work through these rough patches. Call us Cupid: we just want to help you fall in love with Instagram Reels again — and keep boosting in bliss.

Read on or watch the video below for the most common Instagram Reels boost error messages and how to avoid them.

Reels shared to Facebook can’t be boosted as ads

Unfortunately, if you’ve cross-posted your Instagram Reel to Facebook, you won’t be able to use the boost function.

You may have cross-posted your Reel to Facebook without even knowing it.

Think back to that last step in the Reel creation and publishing process: there’s a page where you add a caption and any tags, remember? Well, that’s also where you’ll find the option to “share to Facebook.” If Past You flicked that toggle on, you’re out of luck for this particular post now, unfortunately.

share new reel to Facebook

How to fix it

You have one option: you can download and reshare the video on Instagram, this time making sure not to cross-post to Facebook.

Once that Instagram Reel is posted exclusively to Instagram, you should be able to boost it.

Reels that use copyrighted music can’t be boosted as ads

If you’ve incorporated copyrighted music into your Instagram Reel, you unfortunately won’t be able to apply the boost function.

That’s because using boost turns your organic, creative content into an ad. Advertisements aren’t allowed to use copyrighted music clips, even if you’ve spent hours syncing up your footage to your fave Lizzo track.

boost unavailable reels that use copyrighted music can't be boosted as ads

How to fix it

If you’ve run into this problem, you will need to start from scratch with your video, this time using non-copyrighted music or original audio.

Where is the boost button on Instagram Reels?

Boosting Instagram Reels is currently only an option for Instagram business accounts. If you’re not seeing the boost button on your Instagram Reels, you probably don’t have a business account.

Luckily, anyone can switch their profile over from personal to business.

  • Go to your profile and tap the settings menu icon in the top right corner (three horizontal lines).
  • Tap Settings then Account
  • Then scroll down to tap Switch account type

From there, follow the prompts to finish setting up your Instagram Business account. (For a full walk-through, here’s our guide to switching over your profile.)

set up Instagram Business account

Once you’ve identified yourself as a business account, you should be able to boost to your heart’s content. Go get ‘em, tiger!

Pro tip: Another great thing about having an Instagram business profile? You can connect it to social media dashboards like Hootsuite and schedule your Instagram Reels in advance, as well as your Posts and Stories.

Plus, you can boost your Instagram Reels from here, too. She’s the full package, mamaaaa!

Try Hootsuite for $0

You don’t have permission to promote this post

If you’re getting the message that you don’t have permission to boost an Instagram Reel, the problem may be over on Facebook.

Every business Instagram account needs to be connected to a Facebook page, as you probably discovered when setting up your business profile. But if you somehow have been removed from the admin list over on that Facebook page, you could be facing some hiccups with advertising over on Instagram.

Head over to Facebook to make sure you have admin permission for your connected Page. You may even want to try disconnecting your Instagram account from that Page and reconnecting it.

add or remove Instagram accounts from Facebook accounts centre

To unlink a Facebook page from your Instagram account, go to your profile settings and scroll down to Meta Accounts Center. Tap accounts and delete the Facebook Page that is buggy. Now, you’ll be able to start fresh and try adding the Facebook page again.

Reels containing gifs or other effects cannot be boosted as ads

If you’ve got a gif in your Reel, you won’t be able to boost it. Gifs are copyrighted artistic content, so you’re unfortunately not allowed to use them in commercial videos — a.k.a, a promoted Reel.

reels containing gifs or other effects cannot be boosted as ads

To avoid this error, remake your Reel without the gif and repost. You should be able to boost your Instagram Reel now.

Reels containing tappable elements cannot be boosted

You aren’t allowed to boost Reels with interactive stickers… with one exception.

Stickers that are banned include: questions, @mentions, or whatever that one with the emoji sliding scale is.

What is allowed: the polling sticker.

We’ve been wracking our brains to figure out why that would be against Instagram’s code of conduct but are coming up short. Sometimes Instagram is just like a frustrating parent, we guess? “Because I said so should be reason enough!”

polling sticker with text "if u were the cab driver would u leave the meter running" yes or no

How to fix it

If you’ve run into this problem, the solution is pretty obvious, but we’ll say it anyways: remake your Reel without that tappable sticker element. If you want to engage your viewers with a question, try using text or the voiceover tool to ask the big Q. You can also use the caption to spell out your engaging query.

This video’s resolution is too low

Instagram only wants to boost great-looking content. (Yeah, that’s right, looks matter.) If your video doesn’t meet Instagram Reels’ specs and has a low resolution or isn’t in a vertical format, your boost will likely be rejected. (We also found in our experiments that videos that involve zooming in caused a resolution issue.)

reel can't be boosted because resolution is too low

How to fix it

All Instagram Reels must be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall, adhering to the 9:16 aspect ratio. Learn more about the technical details for Reels with our 2022 Instagram Reel Sizes Cheat Sheet: Specs, Ratios, and more.

This video is too long

While Instagram Reels can be up to 90 seconds long, you’re only allowed to boost Instagram reels that are 60 seconds or shorter.

How to fix it

If your boost is getting rejected because of length, it’s time to put on your editor hat and get to chopping. Go back and edit your Reel down to 60 seconds and try boosting it again.

edit reel of green house plant

Reels that use effects can’t be boosted as ads

The beauty of Instagram’s filter and effects library is that anyone can get creative with AR and add in their own. That’s how we get such a robust selection, from funky disco lighting to a goatee-and-sunglasses filter that lets us look like Guy Fieri.

It’s OK to use Instagram’s own filters in your boosted Reels, but if you’re using an effect designed by a third party, your attempt to boost will be blocked.

reels that use effects can't be boosted as ads

There’s sadly no workaround for this one — you’ll just have to refilm your video without the effect, or choose a different, non-filtered Reel to boost.

Why can’t I boost my Reels to Facebook?

We get that you want everyone across every platform to see all of your incredible content, but the fact is, you currently cannot boost Reels on Facebook.

It seems pretty likely that Facebook will eventually add this advertising feature, but for the time being, boosting a Reel on Facebook is not possible.

What you can do, however, is boost a video Facebook post. So if you’ve got an amazing Reel that you simply must share with the world, just download it to your phone and then upload as a standard video post to your Facebook Page. From there, tap boost to set your target audience, budget, length of campaign, and so on.

Here’s a full guide to boosting Facebook posts that gets into the nitty gritty if you’d like. Hot tip: you can schedule a Facebook post and boost it right from the Hootsuite dashboard. Who needs Reels?! We’re over it!

We hope this guide helped you troubleshoot your issues with boosting Instagram Reels. Remember, boosting a Reel is just one of Instagram’s advertising options — learn more about Instagram Reels ads here.

Easily schedule and manage Reels alongside all your other content from Hootsuite’s super simple dashboard. Schedule Reels to go live while you’re OOO, post at the best possible time (even if you’re fast asleep), and monitor your reach, likes, shares, and more.

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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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