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How To Maximize Reach and Engagement on Facebook Reels

Gillian Gamble
July 27, 2023
Last Updated On
facebook reels algorithm blog header

The growth of Facebook Reels leads to a grand opportunity for brands to reach larger audiences, sell more and boost their overall social engagement and social entertainment. As we know, marketing has shifted to short form video — TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts — but Facebook’s Reels are only increasing in popularity. If you’re already creating content with TikTok or Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels could be another short form option for you. Facebook Reels will support your growth on your other platforms, as long as your audience knows your there.

This blog explains:

  • How the Facebook Reels algorithm works.
  • Facebook Reels specifications.
  • Best practices for Facebook Reels strategy.

But before we dive deeper, understanding the Facebook Reels algorithm is step number one. 

How Does Facebook Reels Algorithm Work?

Entertaining content in the form of short form video continues to resonate with audiences. According to Facebook, Reels is Facebook’s fastest-rising content format so far. But how does the Facebook Reels algorithm work?

The Facebook Reels algorithm works very similarly to the general Facebook algorithm. The Reels algorithm uses AI-powered machine learning to determine which Reels content users want to see most based on past engagements and hidden or snoozed posts. 

The Facebook algorithm goes through four steps to answer the question: what content likely matters most to your readers?

  1. Inventory: What content has been posted by friends and publishers?
  2. Signals: Who posted this story?
  3. Predictions: How likely are you to engage with this post?
  4. Score: How interested will people be in this post?

Each of these predictions factors into a relevance score, which is the Facebook algorithms’ best guess at how meaningful the audience will find the content and how content is distributed.

Facebook Reels Specifications 

By following Facebook’s best practices for Reels, your content has a much better chance of being recommended to users. The following video and audio specs should be used whenever possible when uploading your new content.

Facebook Reels Video Requirements

In order to upload your Reel to Facebook, the following video requirements are necessary for Apple (iOS) and Google (Android): 

  • Up to 90 seconds, can be as short as 03 seconds
  • Recommended video support: HDR 
  • Recommended format: .mp4
  • Recommended resolution: 1080p
  • Upload aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Recommended video codec: H.264, H.265
  • Supported video codec: H.264, H.265, VP9, AV1
  • Recommended frame rate: 24FPS - 60FPS
  • Closed GOP recommended: 2s to 5s
  • Chroma subsampling 4:2:0
  • Square pixels
  • Progressive scan

Facebook Reels Audio Requirements

Brands should follow these audio requirements when uploading Reels to Facebook to see the best results: 

  • Channels: Stereo
  • Codec: AAC Low Complexity
  • Sample rate: 44.1kHz or 48kHz
  • Audio bitrate: 128kbs+

Note: Facebook Reels are only able to be posted through the mobile Facebook app though they can still be viewed on desktop.

Facebook Reels Best Practices

Facebook knows stagnant images and text better than any other platform, making it more challenging for marketers to ensure their Facebook Reels video content is competitive and captivating for their audience. 

There’s no all-encompassing format for a short form video that can be applied cross-channel. For Facebook Reels, understanding your Facebook marketing strategy, goals and intent on the platform is crucial. Additionally, usage of the content and reach should be considered before creating video content for the platform. 

Best practices for Facebook Reels vary across the board. Below, we are sharing key practices to follow to improve your overall chances of being recommended by the Reels algorithm to be found on Facebook. 

Get To Know Your Facebook Audience — Or Target Audience 

18-24, 25-34? What is your sought-after target audience on Facebook? Prioritize content that triggers a connection. When your audience watches your Reel you want them to relate, so begin by leveraging approachable content, and monitoring how your audience reacts. 

Use the Right Lighting

Avoid low-quality content and clearly showcase your content by using good lighting and shooting techniques. This will make the Reel experience more satisfying for your audience and increase its discoverability on the Facebook app. Avoid posting reels that are blurry due to low resolution or uploaded with a border or horizontal — instead, leverage creative tools like text, filters or camera effects.

Cross-Post Reels to Instagram 

If you want to share your Facebook Reel to Instagram, Meta’s cross-posting options let you do this automatically. Your followers on Instagram may not be the same as Facebook, allowing you to share your Reel with different people and reach your larger audience.

While we know that the same content on one platform might not perform as well on another, if you’re new to Facebook Reels, repurposing content will save you time while you’re still learning the ropes and building out your strategy. 

Use Music From the Facebook Library

To add some additional interest to your Reels, use music from the Facebook music library or original audio you create or find trending on other Reels. When creating your Reel, select 'Add Music' on the right side, find the specific audio of your choice and preview before it goes live to ensure it sounds great. 

Record Video Content Vertically 

As mentioned above, there are some requirements for the way your Facebook Reel needs to be recorded. Recording your video vertically (9:16) is a must to ensure your Reels are immersive and easy to watch. Yes, you can still technically post videos that have been shot horizontally, but they are not going to turn out in a way that is pleasing for anyone to watch and enjoy and will leave your account feeling clunky and not professional. 

Establish KPIs and Measure Performance Before, During and After

Track the results of your Facebook Reels to continue sharing content that resonates with your audience. Establish your KPIs in the beginning and stay on top of measuring your performance before, during and after sharing your Reels. You can use Facebook’s analytics dashboard or leverage third-party insights from a social media management tool like Dash Hudson.

If you’re new to Facebook Reels but have found success on TikTok and Instagram Reels, use this data to understand what went well and continue to experiment on Facebook Reels.

Familiarize Yourself With Facebook’s Community Standards

Facebook’s Community Standards outline what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook. These are based on feedback from people and advice from experts in technology, public safety, and human rights. The goal of Community Standards is to create a place for expression and to ensure everyone’s voice is valued.

Streamline Facebook Reels Strategy With Dash Hudson

If you’re looking for growth on Facebook Reels and the ability to streamline your strategy, look no further than Dash Hudson’s Facebook Insights. Dash Hudson’s insights allow you to dive into your performance analytics and create a bullet-proof strategy to make your ROI soar.

Social Analytics and Monitoring let you measure the performance of your Facebook Reels content — you can even segment content for better organization and help your team set benchmarks for future Reels performance. If you plan to partner with influencers for your Reels content, the Influencer Measurement tool lets you easily monitor the success of your influencer campaigns, earned media value and more. 

FAQs

How to reset Facebook Reels algorithm?

Need a ‘reset’? Whether you’re a brand or an individual who is ready to see different content on your timeline, the Facebook Reels algorithm can be reset.

Go to ‘Settings and Privacy.’

  • From there, select ‘Feed.’
  • Here, you can select which users’ content you’d like to change. Options include:
  1. ‍Snooze: Mute posts from a user you want a break from but don’t wish to unfriend. 
  2. Unfollow: Permanently prevent a user or page’s content from appearing in your feed entirely without unfriending them. 
  3. Reconnect: In ‘Settings and privacy’ — ‘Feed,’ there will be a ‘Reconnect’ heading. Unfollowed users appear here, which you might wish to see on your feed again.

How long is a Facebook Reel?

Facebook Reels are up to 90 seconds, but they can be as short as 3 seconds.

How to stop seeing Reels on Facebook? 

With short form videos across TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook — some users want a break. While you can’t fully stop seeing Reels on the Facebook app, you can cut down the amount that you see.

In the Facebook app within the Reels and short videos section, tap the ellipsis next to the title and select the option ‘Hide.’ This will adjust your preferences to see fewer Reels on your app. 

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