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Key takeaways:

  • A study found that Reels had 15% more engagement than static images and carousel posts, yet hospitals only posted 8% of total content as Reels.
  • Successful Reels should be natural and frontline video content that lasts between 15-30 seconds and includes closed captioning. Other best practices include posting at optimal times, using trending audios, creating inviting thumbnails, and leveraging tools like Canva for templates.
  • Healthcare social media leaders can use Instagram Reels to inspire, educate, and celebrate their patients, and repurpose their Reels content for other channels to boost audience engagement.

The rise of short-form videos on social media has taken the digital world by storm. With TikTok leading the charge, other platforms are starting to catch up and integrate similar features.

Instagram is one of those platforms, with their Reels feature gaining popularity among users and brands alike. But how does Reels fit into your social media video strategy for 2023?

In a private leadership discussion, Health members shared their experiences and insights on how they’re utilizing Reels to improve their audience growth and engagement.

Our members — all social media leaders at the nation’s largest hospitals — discussed why you should invest into Reels, best practices for successful videos, and repurposing content for other channels to boost engagement.

Why You Should Invest in Instagram Reels

Why you should invest in Instagram Reels

A study by ListenFirst analyzed over 1,200 Reels published by 141 hospitals in 2022. It found that Reels averaged 15% more engagement than static images and carousel posts. However, the report found that Reels only made up 8% of total content shared by hospitals, showing a large opportunity for healthcare social media leaders to increase their engagement.

During the members-only discussion in Health, one leader shared their experience of departing from their traditional approach and why they doubled down on Instagram stories and Reels.

They did a thorough channel analysis and backed their strategy with data, and the results of their pilot program helped them gain leadership buy-in to invest into Reels.

That member said they found patient stories and hospital initiatives received great engagement with their Reels content, and education videos boosted their engagement because of how timely and relevant the topics were.

What Successful Instagram Reels Look Like

What do successful Instagram Reels look like?

Members emphasized the importance of natural and frontline video content.

It was noted how hospitals and healthcare systems have the unique advantage of capturing authentic moments and stories, which can be particularly effective in engaging audiences.

Members said it’s important to include closed captioning, which not only improves accessibility but allows viewers to engage with the content without sound.

They explained how your Reels should last between 15-30 seconds, which is shorter than traditional social media video content, but long enough to tell a story and convey a message.

Some of the other best practices shared:

  • Posting at optimal times
  • Using trending audios
  • Avoiding horizontal videos
  • Creating inviting thumbnails
  • Leveraging tools like Canva for templates

Use Instagram Reels to Highlight and Educate Patients

Use Instagram Reels to highlight and educate your patients

One member shared their Instagram Reels strategy is focused on three main goals: inspire, educate, and celebrate.

They create content like patient stories, hospital initiatives, and podcasts to inspire their patients and providers, and give advice and updates to educate their community, which they share on Reels.

That member said they also showcase user-generated content, hospital events, and partner campaigns in their organization. This approach helps them engage their audience and grow their following.

Repurpose Reels Content to Boost Audience Engagement

While Reels have proven to be an effective platform for short-form video content, members also noted the importance of repurposing content for other channels.

One member shared how they used the same video content from Reels on TikTok and Facebook, but noted how some design changes are needed for success, most notably the audio and captions.

And although Reels can be shared on other social media platforms, graphics still tend to perform better than videos. Members highlighted the need for organizations to have a diverse content strategy that includes a variety of formats and channels.

Gain More Insights on How to Propel Your Video Content Strategy Health is a valuable resource for healthcare social media leaders looking to benchmark their social media strategies.

Members provided candid, unbiased insights to help you further engage with your audience and grow your following using Instagram Reels.

If you lead social media at a major hospital, you can apply to learn more about how your peers are leveraging video content and advancing their engagement using Reels and other channels.

Interested in learning more about membership?

As a social media leader, your mission is important. We’re here to help you win.