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  Article updated: March 19, 2023

Create an Instagram reel

You can create and publish reels directly to Instagram from Composer. Reels are a short video content form that give you an opportunity to show your brand's personality and engage your followers in new ways. Your reels can also show up in the Explore and Reels pages on Instagram, so they're a great way to get discovered by new audiences too. Publish your reels right away, or schedule them in advance for a specific day and time.

Want to learn more about reels? Check out A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Using Instagram Reels for Business on the Hootsuite blog.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already added an Instagram account to Hootsuite. To publish reels, you need to have an Instagram Business profile connected to a Facebook Page. For more details, see Add an Instagram account.

Create your reel

Video editing is not supported in Hootsuite, so prepare your video file using another video editing program to trim, or add filters, stickers, or music. It’s also not currently possible to access Instagram music in Hootsuite.

  1. Go to Composer .
  2. Under Publish to, select one or more Instagram Business profiles.
  3. Above the Content area, select Reel as your Instagram content type. Reel is not available if you have any Personal Instagram profiles selected.
    Reel selected and highlighted above the Instagram content area.
  4. In the Content area, enter your caption. You can proofread your text using Grammarly. The character limit for Instagram captions is 2,200. You can include the following in your caption:
    • Up to 30 hashtags - Select the hashtag icon to get some hashtag suggestions. The suggestion list is powered by AI (artificial intelligence), based on your post text and media (for hashtag best practices, see our Instagram hashtag guide).
    • Emoji
    • Mentions - To mention someone, enter @ followed by their exact username. Mentions remain in plain text until the reel is published. To learn more, see Mention a user or Page.
  5. Drag your video file from your computer into the Content area or choose Upload media . You can upload one video per reel. Maximum file size is 1 GB, and reels must be between 5 seconds and 15 minutes long. Your reels must have an aspect ratio of 9:16 to be shown on the Reels page in Instagram. See more Instagram video requirements.
  6. To customize your video thumbnail, point to it and select Video settings. Select from the thumbnail options provided and then select Apply.

    Note: Facebook Pages and Instagram Business accounts use the same thumbnail. Choosing a custom thumbnail for Instagram will override any uploaded thumbnails for Facebook.

  7. Business and Enterprise plans (optional): Select Add next to Tags to add tags to your reel that you can use to analyze its performance in Hootsuite Analytics. To find out more, see Add tags to track your outbound posts.
    Tip: Reels aren't distinctly identified in Analytics, so we recommend adding a tag to make it easy to find them later.
  8. Business and Enterprise plans (optional): Select your organization, and then select Campaign to associate your reel with a current or future campaign. To find out more, see Create and manage content campaigns.
  9. Select Post now or Schedule for later. Reels must use direct publishing. Reels are shared to the Reels tab in Instagram and to your own Instagram feed.
    Note: Instagram limits Business profiles to 25 posts or reels in any rolling 24-hour period with direct publishing from Hootsuite.
Tip: If you want to publish a reel via mobile notification so you can add final touches to it in Instagram, follow the steps for publishing a story from Hootsuite.

In Planner, you’ll find your reels identified by the reel icon . Select a reel in Planner to view its details and make any edits as necessary.

The Hootsuite mobile app does not currently support publishing or editing reels. However, you can see and delete scheduled reels in the mobile Planner.


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