How Instagram Reels Drive Success

Instagram Reels might take some getting used to, but they are worth it, allowing users to grow their brand and market themselves globally in a new and entertaining way. Facebook introduced Reels to Instagram last August, however the tool still feels like uncharted territory to many.

What are Instagram Reels?

In simple terms, Reels is Instagram’s tool for creating, sharing and discovering short, entertaining videos. These 15-second videos are designed to be easily shareable. Users can add music clips, audio files and other effects, similar to those we’re used to in Instagram Stories and other social platforms.

They can be shared with followers in feed and, with a public account, can become available to the wider Instagram community through the new space in Explore.

Instagram is constantly finding ways to compete and add new components to its platform. Reels allow the standard Instagram influencer to become a more developed, well-known content creator. Or, in the world of public relations, Reels allow brands to showcase their personalities and identities in fun and intriguing ways.

Once a Reel is shared on the Explore page, it is capable of becoming a global sensation. Other users can search for Reels based on hashtags, songs or audio used. Once a Reel gains a “Featured” label, it becomes more visible in Explore. Featured Reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram for users to discover original content relevant to their interests.

Using Instagram Reels to grow your brand

Social media has become a great playmaker in how brands share their products, services and identity with the world. Just by scrolling through the Explore page, consumers may find their new favorite brand they’ll purchase a product or find inspiration from. Reels can be seen by anybody, whether or not the user has already expressed interest in the product you’re selling, the services you’re offering or the story you’re telling.

Reels should be treated as a tool for sharing entertaining snippets of brand culture. They have the ability to show a more human side of your brand, allowing you to form more genuine relationships with consumers. These short videos with filters, stickers, effects, music and audio that communicate what is often hidden on your Instagram profile page.

Instagram Reels vs. Stories

Reels are more long-lasting, finding their home on your profile and the Explore page, while stories go away after 24 hours but can be saved to Highlights on your profile for later viewing by visitors to your profile page.

Stories focus on the social aspect of Instagram we’ve come to know and love, while Reels focus on entertainment. Instagram is constantly elevating its platform to be a space for users to be social, share their lives, discover new content and, with Reels, be a source for entertainment.

Stories also focus on current followers, but Reels focus on discovering new followers. With that in mind, brands can share relevant information regarding their products, services and identity by sharing Reels that are engaging and entertaining. Give a glimpse into your brand that can instantly captivate viewers and encourage them to follow and interact with your profile.

Reels are created with entertaining a global audience in mind. To grow your brand’s audience, share Reels that are interactive and invite users to engage with the content being shared. Stories are great for big announcements for those already familiar with your brand, but Reels allow users to discover new brands they were missing.

Reels with good content can potentially assist in taking your brand from a local favorite to a global sensation is good content shared through Reels. Remember, consistency is key.

For brands already posting on Instagram and sharing Stories, consistency becomes very important, helping your audience keep a firm grasp on your brand’s identity and purpose. While Stories and Reels should be used in different circumstances, all content should maintain a high level of consistency.

How considering emotional intelligence will land you better employees

In the era of COVID-19, many professionals are scouring for a new job to replace the one they lost to the pandemic. With an influx of job candidates, human resources must turn to the increasingly popular scientific process of hiring candidates based on emotional intelligence (EI).

Strong EI is vital to forming teams that work together cohesively as they have a certain kind of professional chemistry that discerns them from the rest of the bunch.

It’s easy for a job candidate to rattle off their software proficiencies and case studies of happy bosses, clients or customers, and, unfortunately, it can sometimes be easy to overload a resume with a long list of skills and capabilities. However, a critical point of advancing one candidate in the interview process is to find out more about their personality and what attributes bring their resume to life.

What will help HR managers finetune their search for their company’s next rockstar employee is investigating candidates’ ability to identify, assess and manage the emotions of oneself, and to positively impact those of others and of groups.

Elements of emotional intelligence

EI accounts for 85-90 percent of the difference between outstanding leaders and their more average peers, and there are four dimensions to emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Embracing these nuances of human emotion in the workplace can have pragmatic benefits, such as better collaboration among employees and a happier workplace.

Self-Awareness

Understanding yourself involves knowing your weaknesses, strengths, motivators, values and impact on others. Self-aware employees are self-confident but still show a thirst for constructive criticism. They plan their time properly and manage deadlines proactively.

Self-Management

The ability to control and redirect disruptive impulses, moods and thoughts keep good employees on track. These employees can handle the complexities of life all at once by compartmentalizing when is right and when is wrong to address certain issues, thus keeping their focus on work while at work. They can adapt to changing situations, no matter how difficult, and constantly push to better themselves.

Social Awareness

Employees with high social awareness show empathy, organizational awareness and value service at the workplace. This is important when tasked with making critical decisions and working while being sensitive to cross-cultural differences. For example, this type of employee would understand what tasks his or her boss perceives as more important than others.

Relationship Management

The foundation of relationship management consists of cooperation and teamwork. Employees with strong relationship management skills can handle emotions in relationships well and accurately read social situations, interacting smoothly. These skills can be used to persuade, lead, negotiate and settle disputes. Basically, strong relationship management means a good team player that works well with others.

What emotional intelligence means for hiring managers

The competitive job market allows employers to more carefully analyze job candidates for certain intrinsic qualities that will enhance the company’s profitability. Technical skills and responsibility are necessary for any employee to possess, but when it boils down to which job candidate is more likely to deserve a promotion in the future, interpersonal skills are the most distinguishable traits.

In fact, 71 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over IQ, according to a CareerBuilder survey, for the following reasons:

  • Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  • Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
  • Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • Employees lead by example
  • Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

What makes a leader better than the average employee

Two job candidates may seem identical on paper, but work does not simply get done just through email. Successful work involves building and nurturing relationships, strong listening skills and interacting with others. This is why it’s important to consider job candidates’ emotional intelligence during the interview process. Leaders may not sound better on paper. The average, however, do.

Emotional intelligence differentiates the most successful employees and leaders from the average. When every employee is just about as smart as one another, those with these abilities win the competitive edge. If you want to hire an employee that will be worthy of a promotion and develop into a leader, you must start considering interviewing for emotional intelligence.

4 ways to cultivate creativity

Creativity involves more than encouraging employees to become thought leaders. Cultivating creativity is a process and should be a priority inside and out of the office.

These skills enhance problem-solving, team collaboration, innovation, communication and growth. Creativity is not reserved for writers or artists, it’s beneficial to all employees as it can help them grow and push personal and professional boundaries. So how can cultivating creativity become a goal-oriented task on every company’s to-do list?

In order to foster creativity, consider these tips: collaboration, do your homework, and embrace change and bravery.

1. Collaboration

First things first: every employee must be willing to work with others to expand upon and develop ideas that will bring in revenue, stronger relationships with clients and long-term success. More intuitive minds working together will increase the likelihood of creative and successful results, and provide more diverse perspectives, ideas and resources.

Diversity is an important aspect to consider regarding collaboration and creativity. It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut with the same old ideas and reworking past innovations. Bringing in different backgrounds allows ideas to flow more collaboratively and the ideas that result will appeal to wider audiences.

Appealing to larger audiences gives your new, creative idea the chance to evolve and adapt to audiences over time. As social and political issues change and continue to impact the professional world, innovations that consider a wide range of audiences will have longer lifetimes. Innovations that only appeal to a certain demographic group at a certain time might get the job done at the moment, but it won’t last, and you’ll be right back at the drawing board once the idea is no longer relevant for that target audience.

Teamwork makes innovation easier and more successful in the long run. Have genuine conversations with your team. Even when the discussion diverts and goes off onto a tangent, good conversations can help creative thinking flow.

Don’t be too proud to lean on coworkers when whipping up new ideas. It saves time, resulting in more efficient usage of the workday and more profitable ideas.

2. Do your homework

The job doesn’t begin when it begins. It begins days, weeks or even months prior to actually sitting down at your desk and crafting up a project plan or campaign.

To improve your creative skills, get used to doing your homework and staying curious. It’s important to research industry news and developments, products, services and anything else that could inform your new, creative ideas.If you ever have questions about an idea you’re working on, do the research required to be more informed on the topic you’re developing.

When crafting these new ideas, be sure to write down every thought you have. Having a notebook to work out of is a great way to keep your ideas, questions and research data organized. It’s also important to write down even crazy thoughts you have while daydreaming. There are no dumb questions, and, sometimes, those questions further your creative spirit and inform your future endeavors.

If your creativity brings you to the point of delivering a presentation to your peers or executive team, you must have the research, data and statistics to support your plans. You will be asked hard questions, especially if your ideas are unconventional or extensively creative, so you want to be prepared for any questions that come your way.

Part of growing as a creative is continuing your education. Learn everything there is to know about the happenings of your industry and competitors. This research is the backbone of every new idea you present to your team.

3. Embrace change

With creativity comes change. You will have to step out of your comfort zone and feel slightly uncomfortable in order to grow and improve.

An idea that sounds amazing and doable today, may not sound the same tomorrow. Ideas and plans are always changing in the professional world, so you have to be able to adapt quickly and effortlessly.

The idea you pitch at first will continue to evolve and transform in major ways before the idea is actually acted upon and implemented.

In order to survive a competitive market, once great ideas evolve into entirely new ways or working or living. For example, Netflix began as a DVD rental company and is now the most popular streaming service for movies and television shows. The original product was once a great idea, but it needed to adapt to the changing landscape of how people consume television and film. If it didn’t, it could have failed like Blockbuster.

It’s okay to feel uncertain about your changing ideas, but embrace and accept the twists and turns of the idea journey. Do not feel discouraged when your idea undergoes a total transformation. You got the ball rolling and ended up with a great new product!

Creativity is how change manifests; it’s a process and takes time.

4. Be brave

It takes a special kind of person to realize the importance of bravery when it comes to creativity. It’s a lot of trial and error and could include many late nights full of impending failure. It sounds scary, but it comes with the job.

Developing ideas and changing them constantly never truly results in failure. Even when your attempts fail, with the right mindset, your team learns valuable lessons that will help with future success.

A million failed ideas are not real failures, they’re just a million ideas that helped you get to the final idea that did work.

Learning to be creative is not a simple task. It takes practice, time, effort and problem solving. These four skills, however, will enhance your journey to becoming a creative powerhouse. Never quit thinking, playing and creating.

3 Ways to Write an Email Worthy of a Response

When your boss or professor finally gets out of that meeting or sits their butt down on the couch after a long day, the last thing they want is a complicated, emotional and senior-thesis-length email popping up in their inbox.

To avoid being dragged straight to the trash icon, you might want to keep these 3 simple tips in mind:

TIP #1: Keep it clear and concise

These words may haunt you for all eternity, but they’re truer than fedoras always being a mistake. You might as well suck it up and let the words “clear and concise” become a part of your DNA.

When writing a professional email, you must have one goal in mind. Whether you’re wanting clarification on a homework assignment or giving notes for tomorrow’s meeting, you have to say so…fast.

If your boss doesn’t know what you want or have to say within the first paragraph of your email, hand in your resignation now.

To be clear and concise, you need to be brief. State the who-what-when-where-why-how as soon as possible. If you want a response at their “earliest convenience,” your correspondence should be convenient too. Mister CEO should be able to read your email in the time it takes to brush his teeth or make a copy while totally checking out his secretary Rebecca at the next desk over.

TIP #2: Stay away from sweet introductions

Your boss doesn’t care that you’re concerned about his puppy who had knee surgery last week because he fell off the couch while trying to steal his dad’s waffle. He isn’t going to write you back with the vet’s notes, diagnosis and treatment plan.

It’s best to say your hellos then dive right into the point of your email. While staying clear of long introductions, you might as well throw away your conclusion as well.

Your boss knows she’s going to see you at work tomorrow, even if she doesn’t really care either way. You don’t need to waste your time and energy writing about how excited you are to see her tomorrow and how many great things you’re going to accomplish together. Save that for — yes — tomorrow.

Furthermore, if people swear by hating small talk and discussing the weather, they hate email fluff even more. Sentences don’t need a “I was just wondering…” or “Considering the last time we spoke…” Take yourself out of your email and cut to the chase.

TIP #3: Avoid being too casual or too formal

You’re probably never going to write an email to the queen or homeless person living under a bridge.

You want you use the simplest words and decrease the amount of adjectives and super long words in your emails. Emails are the last place to show off your fancy vocabulary. Spit it out, and go on with your day.

All these tips really go hand-in-hand because they all have to do with being simple, clear and straightforward. You’re on your way to a promotion if you keep these few things in mind.

For more information about writing professional emails, please visit https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-write-and-send-professional-email-messages-2061892 and https://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/234354/Writing-Professional-Emails.pdf.