Instagram released Reels because they saw an opportunity to grab TikTok’s market share in the United States and beyond. As the regulatory screws tighten around Chinese-owned TikTok, some large platform was bound to release their own equivalent, so Facebook-owned Instagram was a natural fit to eat up this social media market share. I think it can be a great marketing tool for legal organizations.
WHAT’S ITS PURPOSE?
What Reels does is simple and compelling. You can record and edit 15-second videos with audio, effects and new creative tools. (Learn more about one of them below.) You can share Reels with followers on your Feed and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider community through a new space in Instagram’s search (Explore).
Instagram users have seen a marked change over these past three weeks in the appearance of the Explore function. Reels in Explore is the first thing they now see when they search, and the company claims to have done this to offer “anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.”
This is really a key point. Most people who use social media dream of creating a piece that can become viral. Importantly, going viral can be an overwhelming experience but a potentially very desirable one for building your brand and base of prospective clients.
WHAT MAKES IT A USEFUL TOOL?
I’m pretty bullish on Reels. As with any new social media app or functionality, it’s invaluable to be an early adopter — which you can still do — especially if you’d like to use Reels for business purposes. Instagram Reels gives you a chance to try something totally new on social media, and I highly recommend trying out its functionality.
A well-designed plan is one that allows the associate to have an intentional path forward but that also allows for natural shifts that come with the passing of time and more experience.
Of course, a development plan is only effective if it results in action. Given the nature of a busy associate practice, encourage associates to include incremental action steps in their plan. For lawyers, the ultimate goal is discovery. Who wouldn’t want a larger reach and visibility for their Instagram account, if they have one? And if you don’t, Reels should have you thinking twice about why you’re not on a platform with such a massive reach.
As for the functionality of Reels, my favorite feature so far is something known as Transitions. Transitions allows you to create interesting and unique transitions between clips. Sure, apps such as TikTok can do similar things, but Reels brings a huge new audience to features such as Transitions because a large number of the Instagram audience hasn’t used TikTok.