6 Things To Do If Your Instagram Reel Isn’t Performing

Increase your engagement with our guide to boosting Instagram Reel performance.

Hazel Butler
6 minutes read

Instagram Reels are an essential part of every social media strategy in 2022 (and beyond). But the fact is that posting Reels content isn’t going to guarantee strong results. 

From the audio you select to the call-to-action of your video, not all Reels are going to blow your brand’s results out of the water. So, what should you do if your Instagram Reels aren’t performing well?

We’ve got you covered. Discover six compelling reasons why your Reels performance isn’t where you want it to be (and what to do about it). 



Why Reels Are Good For Business

When TikTok skyrocketed onto the scene in 2016, it rapidly gained popularity. By 2020 it had blown Instagram out of the water as the new, fresh, hip social platform everyone wanted to be on. It seemed that finding the perfect filter and posting endless selfies was over. 

Lip-syncing was now the thing. 

But Instagram didn’t grow to be the social mogul it is today by being slow on the uptake. Just as businesses and marketers were poised to leave the platform for good, something new appeared.


Suddenly we could get everything we love about TikTok on Instagram without giving up our coveted grids and feeling like bonafide artists because we angled that snap of pumpkin spice latte just so.

Instagram Reels were a game-changer, not just for Instagram itself but also for businesses using the platform to market their products and services. We’ve known for years that video is the BIG THING in marketing. It’s been trending up for years and will continue until someone invents a new big thing. 

For years companies have sought to make themselves more relatable. Reels are the way to do it. Not only do they offer huge organic reach potential but they enable brands to get creative with dynamic video content. 

What To Do If Your Reels Aren’t Performing

We know that every piece of content is unique and not all Reels are going to skyrocket to success. Sometimes you post a Reel, and it gets thousands of views in a few hours. Other times, a Reel just doesn’t perform as you wanted it to. 

This happens a lot. To all of us. But what do you do when you find your Reels underperforming? Here are six simple steps you can take.

1. Learn From What Went Wrong

Several things can cause a Reel to bomb. The quality of the Reel itself, the sound you used, the time of day you posted, and whether you collaborated with anyone or tagged people. 

Sometimes, it’s a mystery why one works and one doesn’t. But usually, comparing your successful Reels to your unsuccessful ones makes it very clear what went wrong.

Dive into your Reels insights and consider what metrics aren’t where you want them to be. Did you forget to add a location tag? Were your hashtags too broad or not related to your video? Was the length of the Reel too long or was the audio out of sync?

Don’t be disheartened by a poorly performing Reel – it happens to the best of us. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Once you know what doesn’t work, it’s much easier to create future content that does and avoid similar disappointments.

2. Create Your Next Reel

Having a Reel perform poorly can make you hesitant to post another. Should you go back to posting photos? Should you concentrate on stories? The truth is that Reels are here to stay; if you’re serious about marketing through Instagram, you need to be posting them multiple times a week, if not daily.

The longer you leave it before posting another, the worse it will get, both from a psychological perspective and from a performance standpoint. You’ll only grow more reluctant as time passes, while the engagement on your feed will drop the longer you wait, making it even harder for your next Reel to perform well. 

Sometimes you have to get back on the horse. 

Create your next Reel, post it, and don’t overthink it.

3. Share Your Reel to Your Story

Poor performance on your Reel may be due to a lack of visibility.

So share your Reels to your story. 

This may seem redundant, as you’re posting the same content in two places. But offering a teaser of your new Reel in your story is a great way to drive more people to it. Your audience has different scrolling habits. Some will live on Reels; others will spend more time flicking through stories. By cross-posting, you maximize your reach.

4. Repost It Later

Timing can be everything on Instagram. Maybe you caught your audience while they were busy at work or sleeping, and by the time they next logged on your Reel was hours old, and Instagram was showing them fresh content. Maybe you chose a bad day of the week or posted about a seasonal event too early for people to be interested.

Reposting your Reel later, when you’ve had a chance to assess what went wrong with the timing, gives you a chance to fix the problem. Those who saw the Reel the first time won’t think anything of it, and you’re likely to reach more people the second go around – particularly if you’re posting plenty of new content in the interim.

5. Use Plann Analytics To Check Your Best Time To Post

Speaking of timing, having a system like Plann at your disposal allows you to dive deeply into the best times to post. You can use your account’s data and the performance of past posts to tell when most of your audience is online. You can also see what times your most engaging posts went out – this is usually an indication that’s a good time to post more.

Beyond that, consider the days you post. Historically Fridays and Sundays are often slow days for Instagram content. That being said, it’s dependent on your industry and audience, so for some businesses, Sunday is the day they get the most engagement. This is why you have integrated analytics that gives you time suggestions based on your own data rather than industry data or averages across the board.

It’s powerful information. Use it!

6. It’s Not You. It’s Instagram

Finally, remember the most important thing: the problem isn’t you or your Reel. Provided you created something of reasonably good quality, it’s not you; it’s Instagram. And remember this format values candid camera shots and real raw footage – so ‘good quality’ doesn’t mean polished studio perfection.

The Instagram algorithm is almost as changeable as the ones running Google. What the algorithm chooses to love on any given day is anybody’s guess. Don’t take the poor performance of a Reel personally or allow it to prevent you from using Reels in the future. 

Jump on the latest trend, post something to the latest sound, and keep trying new things. Do what works. Don’t repeat what doesn’t.

And have fun with it. The most viral Reels are usually the ones in which the creators themselves are loving the content!

Psst… did you know you can now auto-post your Reels on Plann? Go on – sign up for a 7-day free trial of Plann Pro and try it for yourself.


YOUR Ultimate Guide to TikTok and Reels
Your Ultimate Guide to TikTok and Reels

Engage your audience and maximize your reach with these insider tips


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