Instagram Stories vs. Reels. Here’s how and when to use them

Instagram Stories vs. Reels. Here’s how and when to use them 1536 868 Cate Triendl

Creating more video content for social media will be a big focus for many brands this year. However, with different platforms come different video formats to choose from, all with a slightly different purpose. Let’s take Instagram as an example. What is the difference between Reels and Stories?


Is one maybe better than the other to grow your account and increase engagement? Should you use both or just opt for one?


We’ve compared the main differences between Instagram Stories and Reels in the table below.

STORIESREELS
FormatVideo, image, posts from your feedVideo only
LengthUp to 15 secondsUp to 30 seconds
Lifespan24 hoursUnlimited
CaptionNoFull captions available
PlacementShared to followersExplore tabs, own Reels and as Story
Audience & reachEngage with followersReach out to new customers and engage with followers
Marketing objectiveEngagement & salesAwareness & growth
User can save?NoYes
Re-shareOnly via private messageVia own story or private message

To make the best use of Instagram Reels and Stories, here are 30 ideas to help you increase engagement and grow your audience.

15 Instagram Reel Ideas For Hospitality

Reels are great to widen your reach and attract new customers. Use them as a medium to introduce people to your business and to give them an idea of what they can expect.

Introduce your business Reels ideas:

  1. Venue tour
  2. Tell your brand story
  3. Staff intro
  4. Showcase your bestsellers
  5. Highlights of a recent event
  6. Customer spotlight/testimonial
  7. Product spotlight – merchandise
  8. Seasonal event promotions

Reels are meant to be fun to watch and engaging and therefore often also have the potential to go viral.

Go viral Reels ideas:

  1. How to … prepare a dish/drink
  2. Chef hacks – cooking tutorials
  3. Before and after – kitchen before and after service 
  4. Your twist on a current (food) trend
  5. Making of – new dish creation … 
  6. Ingredient spotlight – 5 things you can do with …
  7. Promote newsletter sign-ups – receive exclusive offers

15 Instagram Stories Ideas For Hospitality

Engaging and trust-building content is what your should aim for in your Stories. Also, as customers are already familiar with your brand, any promotional content will perform particularly well here. 

  1. Daily/weekly specials
  2. Last-minute offers or free tables due to cancellations
  3. Upcoming events – countdown and reminder on the day
  4. Employee spotlight
  5. Supplier spotlight
  6. Showcase your new menu items
  7. Go behind the scenes 
  8. A day in the life of …
  9. This or that? Your favourite dish on our menu
  10. Poll – new menu item, re-introduce popular dish, name for new dish …
  11. Promote e-commerce products – gift cards, meal kits …
  12. Re-share customer content
  13. Share customer feedback
  14. Sneak peek – teaser, coming up
  15. Celebrate internal events – birthdays, anniversaries … 

If your social channels are already running on autopilot, take the time to explore other, more profitable marketing channels like Email and SMS. Check out our Marketing tool or get in touch with our team to find out more.

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