TikTok vs. Reels: How To Define Your Social Media Strategy

Jordan Turner
June 10, 2022
 min read
TikTok vs. Reels: How To Define Your Social Media StrategyTikTok vs. Reels: How To Define Your Social Media Strategy
Table of Contents

Social media is a marketing tool that many companies leverage to increase traffic, generate company buzz, and engage with customers. Ten years ago, Facebook was the leading social media platform and businesses were barely scratching the surface of social media marketing. Fast forward to 2022 and companies are using a whole suite of platforms from LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram, to Twitter and TikTok. Each platform boasts their own pros and cons, and reaches totally different demographics. For example, how you position your product or offering on LinkedIn isn’t the same way you’d position it on TikTok— but both outlets are important to consider. Because of the diversity in social platforms, many companies will test different things on each channel to see what is resonating best with their ideal audiences. 

TikTok is the new and noteworthy social media platform that many companies are working to crack the code of what works and what doesn’t. But there’s also Instagram Reels that use a very similar content format. So how are the two actually different, and which platforms should you be leveraging for your team’s marketing efforts?

In this blog we explain the difference between the two and how you can define your social media strategy to optimize both. 

What are TikTok videos?

TikTok, the hottest social media platform with over 1 billion global users, is known for their short-form videos. TikTok videos can range from 15 seconds to three minutes, and cover a wide variety of content topics like food, career hacks, and fashion (just to name a few). A major reason people tend to flock to TikTok is because of the experimental, raw origin of the videos. TikTok users care less about the “aesthetic” of the video and more about the content, and have adopted a quantity over quality ideology. That’s not to say that TikTok videos lack branding or professionalism, but they require less editing. For a business, TikTok might be more low-risk to test new content ideas because there are no right or wrong formats. In fact, many brands will try a concept on TikTok to gauge the reaction from their audience before posting the same video on Instagram Reels.  

How are Instagram Reels different?

You likely know and love Instagram. It’s the visual-first platform that is known for aesthetically pleasing feeds and perfectly curated content. Instagram Reels came out shortly after TikTok took off in an attempt to keep Instagram users on the platform. Instagram Reels are very similar to TikTok videos in that it is short-form content, but the platform caps your videos at 90-seconds as opposed to TikTok’s three minutes. If you do a side-by-side comparison of features, they are almost identical. 

However since Instagram is historically known as a more visual-first social media channel, Reels generally tend to favor quality over quantity. That means that where TikToks can be more experimental videos shot on a whim, in bad lighting, Instagram’s are usually more carefully curated and reserved. For a company dabbling in video creation, Reels require a bit more time and effort on the creation and editing side of things. 

Which one is best for your social media?

A common misconception of TikTok is that it’s only made up of generation Z users. While the demographic does skew younger, you can probably reach a similar audience on both TikTok and Instagram. So it really comes down to your campaign goals and marketing objectives. 

Before you can decide which platform is best for your business, you need to define a social media strategy. What is your overarching goal you’re hoping to achieve in your social media campaigns? Who are you trying to reach? What resources— time and budget— do you have access to? All of these things play a role in determining which social media media outlets are best for your brand. For example, if your team is new to social media marketing you might opt to test quick and cheeky content on TikTok before investing in someone to help you curate Instagram Reels. 

An important part of defining your marketing strategy is to get your team aligned on the campaign objectives. Presentations can be a helpful tool for running brainstorming sessions, presenting campaign specs, reviewing tasks or deadlines, and analyzing results. 

The following presentation templates can help your team define your social media strategy and goals.

Marketing campaign plan template

Our marketing campaign plan template helps you break down your marketing campaign from beginning to end. Share your campaign’s target audience and goals, social media and email marketing plans, performance metrics and measurements of success, and much more. Having an overarching campaign plan keeps things consistent and cohesive across various marketing channels. 

Social media strategy presentation

Your social media strategy has many moving parts: background research, campaign goals, task lists, deliverables, and more. That’s why your social media strategy presentation has to be comprehensive, organized, and easy to understand. Having it all in one place makes it easy to reference throughout the quarter or fiscal year. 

Social media report template

A social media report is an essential tool for social media strategists and digital marketers. You’re used to making sense of the numbers and metrics, but you need a way to explain it all in simple terms to other audiences or the rest of the team. Our social media report template can help you reflect on past campaigns to determine what worked well and what might require additional resources or creative ideas.

Influencer marketing proposal template

Regardless of whether you’re focusing on TikTok or Instagram, influencer marketing can help boost your brand’s online visibility, connect and engage with new audiences, and build trust with customers. By choosing the best influencers for your industry or target audience, you can drive traffic to your site and increase customer exposure to your products and services. Pitch new influencers, or secure a larger influencer marketing budget, with our proposal template.

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.