Why Instagram Reels Is Killing Your Engagement

Kelly Barrett
6 min readOct 16, 2020


Are you consistently posting on Instagram, but suddenly your engagement has tanked? Or you’re still wondering …

How to grow your following?

How the heck to increase your engagement?

Boost your followers?

Master hashtags?

If you really need to do reels and what you should post in your stories versus reels?

These are a bunch of loaded questions for sure, but I’m going to keep it simple and will go into more detail LIVE today in my Fit and Free Entrepreneurs group!

So, how to grow your following is quite complex. It typically needs a full strategy, not just one thing, but first let me ask you…

Question: What are you actively doing to grow your following?

If you said posting and using some hashtags, awesome! You may be getting some people to your posts / feed and maybe that will grow your following a little, but what ELSE are you doing?

You need to get ACTIVE on Instagram everyday and here’s how…

Know WHO your your ideal client and target audience is… Like exactly who like I teach in the Freedom Marketing Academy so you can FIND THEM aka Where do they hang out on Insta? So, maybe they follow a specific hashtag or specific account?

Once you find them, head to their page and drop them a few likes and comments, follow them, maybe. You’ll get their attention and they’ll naturally head over to your page and if you have value to add to their life, they will 100% follow you!

Which brings me to…

Quality Content! If you get people to your feed, but your content sucks, they’re not going to follow you. So, what exactly do you post? What is high quality content?

High Quality Content is exactly what YOUR ideal client is looking for. It fills a need in helping them solve their pain, problems or helps them overcome their fears which again makes it SO important to know EXACTLY who your ideal client is.

Some things I teach Coaches that I mentor is to make sure your content is doing 1 of 5 things: Entertain, education, empower to take action, trigger emotion or engagement. And ALWAYS do it with enthusiasm and add…

Hashtags. Use 30 on every post. The more hashtags you use, the more opportunities for people to find you. These should be relevant to your post and your ideal client. Placement? It doesn’t make any difference, but is much more aesthetically pleasing to keep the hashtags in the comments section. It keeps your caption clean and if you put them in your caption — you’re giving someone 30 reasons to leave your post, right? Don’t forget to change up your hashtags! Anything repetitive flags Instagram as spammy so switch them up whenever possible. Ok, but how do you get people to actually

Engage. You have to be active on the platform. You can’t expect your engagment to blast off if you’re not giving anyone else likes and comments. Like I mentioned before, heading to other accounts and showing the love will organically bring people to your feed where they’ll like and comment on your posts. Outside of that, if you want people to engagement in your posts, your content has to be worthy of that. So …

Educate + Ask + Increase Your Photo Quality + Caption. So, if you posted a picture of your dinner last night and said, “healthy dinner last night, yum!” a lot of peole will likely scroll right by, but if you said, “I made my Grandma’s famous lasagna healthier and no-one knew the difference #Winning Keep reading for the recipes,” that may stop someone’s scroll.

Add a second photo of the ingredients or the recipe in the “carousel” which keeps people on your post longer which Instagram likes. And then when you educate on maybe some healthy swaps you made or how to make it gluten free or vegan and provide the recipe, people may save it.

Additionally if you take a better picture, in great lighting, without clutter around, on a white plate, throw some garnish on top and cherry tomatoes on the side, that will help.

Finally, you can ask if people if they have family favorite recipe and asking what it is or ask to share or save, literally using a CTA or call to action will encourage people to comment on your post. Content is king, but you don’t need endless amounts of if. Focus on quality over quantity and make sure you have an easy way, with a click of a button for people to inquire and check out the product or course that is going to allow you to make a bigger impact and income.

But what if your posts are great, but they aren’t getting the reach they use to?

Whenever Instagram launches a new feature, they want the launch of their new feature to be successful so they purposely lower your reach to force you to take other action aka check out reels to see if you should use that! They will literally push your content if you’re using reels. They want you to get obsessed with reels, using it daily so take advantage while it’s hot. So…

OK, then what do you share on Instagram Reels versus Stories.

I’ll start with stories. Stories are about being YOU and a journey through your day even if it doesn’t necessarily fit your brand. You should post 10x daily, mix up the stories with video and images as people get bored of the same thing over and over. Don’t ramble on for hours or expect that people have their sound on so make sure to have some type of caption. Use the polls, quizzes, boomerangs and sticks and make it “messy!” Your high quality images go on your feed / in carousels. Talk to ONE person versus “Hey Guys,” “Y’all,” “Everybody” or “Everyone!” Ok, but do you have to dance on your…

Reels should embrace your niche, dancing is a bonus. haha If dancing isn’t your thing or the voiceovers aren’t your personality, don’t do it. People will sense the inauthentic nature a mile a way. You should 100% serve your audience and teach them something! Post regularly, focusing on VALUE, use trending music and share to your feed and stories. Did I mention teach and then teach some more which is awesome, but which of these features do you use and what about IG TV?

IG TV was pretty hot right before reels came out and still a great way for people to get the behind the scenes! Here you can add a lot of value, build rapport and trust as they get to know the real you, your personality and it’s the closest thing to being in the same room as someone. Focus on quality content here and have an solid outline for your video so that you don’t ramble forever. Keep it under 10 minutes, have a hook at the 59 second mark, good lighting, a story to tell, provide tips and have a call to action.

OK, so how do you do it all? Every brand and audience is DIFFERENT and you have to start with knowing EXACTLY. If you haven’t confidently niched them down to a single mission statement and tagline, click here: for some tips on how to do that.

Your audience will often tell you what and how often they want you posting based on their engagement, but start with showing up DAILY. Remember what works for me might not work for you, but try ….

Carousels — 4 Times / Week

IG TV — 2 Times / Week

Reels — Daily

Stories — Daily

Try out 1 of each and tag me on @kellywoodward_ so I can show you the love! And if something was unclear or you have a question — Click Here to: Direct Message me on Facebook

Psyched to see you and until then…

Helping you become Fit and Free in your business…

xo, Kelly

If you’re curious where / when to post on additional platforms such as Facebook, podcasts, blogs, etc. Click here to grab my: Social Media Posting Framework



Kelly Barrett

Get my FREE Guide To Creating The Habits of Happiness, Health, Productivity + Success! https://www.fitandfreewithkelly.com/habits