Instagram reels and my "journey"
Back in July last year, I started my proper debut in Instagram reels. I posted them still occasionally, but a bit more frequently and more to… the standard that the algorithm expects. I eventually started to post them a little more frequently until sometime in September, I began to post them basically-daily.
Posting them just for my own entertainment mostly, I did my best to stick to my own, unspoken rule and keep the majority of them stitchy-related somehow. Whether it is explaining cross-stitch takes a long time to do, complaining about stabbing myself with a needle, being obsessed with floss colours or encouraging people to embrace their love for a hobby that's seen as "stuffy", I try to take trending audio (or regular audio that just works really well) and adapt it.
During the second half of December last year, a few of my reels picked up in popularity, thanks to some trending audio and the fact I had jumped on the trend super early. This led me to gain a whole bunch of new followers. Fast.
I hit 2k followers as I expected on the 13th of December but then just shy of exactly one month later, I woke up on January 13th to 3k followers. As of writing today, the 5th of February, I am racing toward 4k followers (3,923 to be exact).
This has been a wild ride (I can't imagine what people who gain thousands in days must feel!) and it's led to lots more time on Instagram than I expected, responding to DMs and comments. But it's also driven me to embrace my weirdness and love of needlepoint and continue the combination through reels.
I asked in my IG stories last week if I ought to share in a post, some of my favourite reels that got a little neglected last year for whatever reason. Honestly, it's just an excuse to enjoy them a bit myself again 😂
Let's see the videos themselves, shall we?
I love this audio. I smashed that save button and recorded the video so fast..!
I feel like this reel got way overlooked by the algorithm. I was bummed how low it performed.
One of the first reels I did where I had to reherse the lip syncing for a fair amount of time.
Gotta love 'The Office' quotes.
A reel I accidently removed from my main feed and I wish I could undo that because it's morbidly funny..!
Just a reel I was pleased with how I interpreted the audio.
I'm the supposed "Reel Queen" to some..?
I decided, for the month of February, I would see what happens with my engagement and following, if I posted 2x reels per day. I often record a number of reels in one sitting so reaching this requirement isn't terribly difficult (remember; they're only a few seconds long in a lot of cases!). I was always pretty good at lip-syncing before giving reels a go and I've improved a lot too, so once I've memorized the audio the only challenge is the glitches that the IG app itself presents.
This reel garnered me a lot of positive messages of thanks and even a comment saying I moved them to tears.
I'm still obsessed with the stitch people hair on this piece.
Of course; my husband! I was so bummed this performed poorly as it took weeks to cooerce him to do this.
I felt so relieved after struggling to lip sync this audio for well over a week. And then it performed like crap 😂
Another long lip sync that took a lot of practising. I mess it up in the final cut a few times but that's OK.
And lastly; my best performing reel of last year (as of writing) based on views and likes!
What I've [inadvertently] learnt along the way
One thing that I've come away with, after making so many reels, is being able to accept the way I look a bit better than previously. I've been vocal about it (because I want to help normalise talking about mental health) but I have suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember and part of that is a lot of self-loathing. Especially about my appearance. Making reels that feature myself so much has made me become… slightly indifferent to my own appearance. In a good way.
Another thing I've learnt is to stop taking so much stock in how my posts perform. I have hidden the likes number on other peoples posts and I hide the like count on my own posts (wherever possible). This has lifted so much stress and burden I had put on myself to make sure every thing I posted was "perfect" in that it had excellent engagement and high stats. I post what I feel like and that's so much better for my mental health.
I might not be able to explain to my husband why reels have been good for me (and have him completely understand it) but I say; don't fix what ain't broke. If it's become some kind of a hobby in a way, then I'm not going to stop until it's no longer fun.
Have you tried reels (or TikTok)? What do you think?