How to Create Reels & Shorts for Beginners

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Uncategorized

Reels and Shorts are an increasingly popular medium to engage and entertain your preferred audience across social media platforms. They provide a fun and dynamic way to showcase your brands personality, products and services.

To get started, all you need is a smartphone, an internet connection, and some imagination. With the right approach, you can create engaging and memorable reels and shorts that will increase your brand awareness, sales and following.

So, if you’re looking to make a big impact on social media, consider using reels and shorts to connect with your audience and showcase your creativity. When it comes to a business using social media, make sure you plan.

TikTok Reels

TikTok Reels can range anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes, but the average duration of a Reel on TikTok is 15-60 seconds. So short and sharp is usually best.

Know your audience, which TikTok has a wide range of users. TikTok is known for its use of music and sound effects, so make sure to choose a catchy, appropriate soundtrack for your reel.

How to create a Reel on TikTok

  1. Tap on the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Select the length of the Reel:
    1. After you press the “+” icon you will be able to select the length of your Reel. The 15s, 60s, or 3m options are above the red button on your screen. Select the length you want before you start recording. We recommend 15 seconds.
  1. Recording or uploading your Reel:
  2.  Recording your Reel.

i) Tap the center red button on your screen to start recording your Reel, to stop the recording tap the button again.

ii) If you mess up while recording your Reel, you can restart by tapping the “x” icon on the top left corner and tap on the “start over” option.

  • Uploading a Reel:

i) You can choose to upload a Reel from your phone’s library by tapping the “Upload” option on the bottom right corner.

  • Once you finish recording or uploading your Reel, tap on the “tick” symbol on the bottom right corner (Photo).
    • Once you have done this you can start to edit your Reel if you chose to do so.
    • You can add music, effects, text, and stickers.
  • When you finish editing your video, tap on the “Next” button at the bottom right of your screen.
    • Once you have tapped the “Next” button, you get to choose your cover photo, and write a caption for your Reel.
  • Once you finish picking a cover photo and writing a description for your Reel, tap on the “Post” Button to upload your Reel.

Our TikTok Reel Tips:

  • 15 seconds is the reel length we recommend. This is because it’s long enough to showcase a variety of content and short enough to keep the viewer’s attention. This is not a hard & fast rule. Where appropriate & captivating longer reels can work.
  • Jump on the trends quickly, if it is relevant to your branding and message that you want to portray to your audience.
  • TikTok reels are largely entertaining and that is what the majority of users expect. Make sure your reels are suited to the platform and audience. Do your research.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels can be anywhere from 90 seconds to 15 minutes long. And just like TikTok Reels, shorter Reels are preferred.

Music is a big part of the Instagram Reel experience, so choose a soundtrack that fits your content and sets the right mood. We suggest using the Instagram app and utilising its save feature to build a library of music that you can refer to when selecting the perfect soundtrack for your reel.

 

How to create a Reel on Instagram

  1. Open Instagram and tap on the “+” icon at the top right.
  1. Once you tap the “+” icon, there will be 4 different options for you to choose from on the bottom right corner of your screen. You will want to tap on the one that say Reel.
  1. Before you start recording, select the length of your Reel by tapping the “⑮” icon on the left side of your screen.
    1. You can select 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds.
  1. Recording or uploading your Reel:
  2. To start recording you should tap the white button at the bottom of your screen and tap again to stop the recording.

i) If you make a mistake while creating an Instagram reel, simply tap the “X” icon in the top left corner. This will give you the option to start over and try again.(ii) If you prefer to upload a Reel created off plaform, press the blue plus sign on the bottom left corner of your screen and select the Reel that you want to post.

  • Once you have finished recording, tap the “Next >” button on the bottom right corner of your screen.
    • Once you have tapped the “Next >” button you will have the chance to edit your Reel. You can add stickers, drawings, text, and music to your Reels.
  • Once you have finished editing your Reel
    • a) Tap the “Next >” button located in the bottom right corner to access the following options:
      • Edit the cover of your reel.
      • Add a caption.
      • Tag people in your reel.
      • Add a location.
      • Rename your audio, if you used your own sound.
      • Enable or disable automatically generated captions.
      • Choose whether to post your reel to your Instagram feed.
  • To post your Reel, you just have to tap the “Share” button at the bottom of the screen.

Our Instagram Reel Tips:

  • If you are wanting to be at the forefront of trends. Be across TikTok trends as they can often flow on to Instagram next.
  • Follow accounts related to your business to gain inspiration (while maintaining originality) and expand your network.

Interact with your audience and potential clients/customers by commenting and liking their Instagram posts.

Facebook Reels

Facebook Reels are relatively new to the marketplace compared to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Short and sweet is the way to go is still the best strategy here. Be aware that with Facebook, it has stricter content policies than the more established reel platforms. It has a smaller library of music as well. These two differences can cause limitations. It is important to note the audience potential with Facebook towers over TikTok and Instagram.

 

How to create a Reel on Facebook

  1. Open Facebook and tap on “Menu” on the button right corner.
  1. Once you tap on the menu, you will see a lot of options on your screen. Click on the one that says Reel.
  1. Tap on the camera icon on the top right of your screen.
  1. After you click on the camera icon you will have the following options: Camera, music, effects, and green screen.
    1. Click on the one that says camera.
  • Recording or uploading your Reel.
    • Recording a Reel:

i) Tap the white button on the bottom of your screen to start recording, and tap it again to stop the recording.

ii) To redo due to misstep, just tap the white button to stop the recording. Then a button that says “Discard”. This will appear to the left of the button.

  • Uploading your Reel:

i) Tap the box on the bottom left of your screen.

ii) Pick a Reel from your gallery that you want to post.

  • Once you finish recording tap on the “Next” button that is on the bottom right of you screen.
    • Once you have pressed the next button, you can edit your reel by choosing audio, text effects, sticks, and by deciding if you want to add captions. 
  • Once you are finished editing, press the “Next” button again.
    • You will now be able to add a description and choose who you want to see the Reel.
  • To post the reel, tap on the button on the bottom of the page that says “Share now.”

Our Facebook Reel Tips:

  • Ensure that you include relevant captions in your Facebook Reels. This will add extra impact and help keep your reel engaging for viewers who may be scrolling through the platform with the sound off. Personalise your content whenever possible. Consumers appreciate knowing who they are purchasing from.
  • If it suits your brand add a bit of humour or silliness to your reels.

Youtube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are short 15 to 60 second videos. YouTube Shorts have the potential to remain visible and accessible to viewers for a long time, making it a great platform for creating evergreen content.

 

How to create YouTube Shorts

  1. Once you open the YouTube App, tap on the (+) icon on the bottom of the screen.
    1. Once you press on the (+) icon, you will have several options pop up on your screen, Tap on the “Create a Short” icon.
  1. Choose the length of your Short.
    1. If you want your Short to go for 60 seconds, you will have to tap on the 15s icon on the top right corner of your screen. Once you have tapped the 15s icon, the icon will change to 60s.
  1. Recording or uploading your Short
    1. To record a Short:

i) Tap the red button the bottom of your screen to start recording, and tap the button again to end the recording.

ii) If you do make a mistake while recording, just tap the red button to stop the recording. Then you will be able to tap on the “X” icon on the top left of your screen. The option to “Start again” will show up on your screen, tap it to start a new recording.

iii) Once you are happy with your recording press the “Tick” icon on the bottom right of your screen.

  •  To upload a Short

:

i) Tap the box on the bottom left corner of your screen.

ii) Pick a video from your Gallery.

iii) Once you select the video you like, tap on the “Done” button at the bottom right of the screen.

iv) Once you have clicked the “Done” a recording screen will show up. Press the “Tick” icon on the bottom right of your screen, and this will take you to editing.

  • Edit your video.
    • If you do wish to edit your video, you have the option to add sound, text, filters, and voiceovers. You can also play around with the timeline of your Short.
  • Once you finish editing your video tap on the “Next” Icon on the top right corner you will then have options to:
    • You will then ha Add a captions
    • Select who can see your Short
    • Select your audience
    • What kind of comments you want to allow.
  • When you are ready to upload your short, just tap on the “Upload Short” icon on the bottom right of your screen.

Our YouTube Shorts Tips:

  • With over 2 billion monthly active users and an established, unique algorithm that rewards popular content by having visibility longer than the other platforms mentioned.

If your target audience is primarily consumers (B2C), YouTube Shorts should not be overlooked as a platform. If you have to pick only one – this is it.

Creating Reels and Shorts does require some time to get the hang of. There are many different ways to create and edit Reels and Shorts. It will take some time to figure out what kind of edits you prefer, but that will come with time and practice.

You can also plan ahead with your Reels and Shorts by scheduling them days in advance. Scheduling your Reels and Shorts will help ensure that content is always being posted. 

If your business doesn’t have a the in house capability due to time and/or skills to properly strategise a social media plan, then outsourcing your social media management may be an option to explore. Outsourced social media management can provide businesses with expertise, time savings, cost savings, increased brand awareness, and more sales, allowing them to focus on their core business activities.