• Amy Catterson & Dylan Joubert

Is Your Instagram Engagement Reel?

We’re seeing strange engagement on Instagram and we’re not happy about it. Why? Because we’ve all seen this movie before when it comes to Meta.


By Amy Catterson & Dylan Joubert || July 28, 2022



The Loch Ness Monster. The Moon landing. Area 51. Conspiracy theories designed to send you down a rabbit hole of fake news and dodgy bitcoin ads at 3am. Well, you may want to add one more to the list… Enter the latest anomaly that is Instagram Reels engagement.


But more seriously; what happens when you post a Reel to Instagram and you land up getting more likes than views? Just think about that for a second. How can someone LIKE something if they’ve never SEEN it before?


Well, it not only opens up a world full of endless theories (three at the moment) but it also leads to an important topic in marketing, especially in Commercial Real Estate: Why is trust so important?


But before we get to that…


What counts as a video view on Instagram?


When a user views your beautifully crafted listings Reel or video for more than three seconds, Instagram counts that as a video view, and your video gets one view count.


If you happen to ‘like’ the video after you’ve seen it for those three seconds, then that video gets one ‘view’ and one ‘like’. Simple. Right? That’s what we (everyone) thought.


This video below from CREXI, for instance, has more likes than views. WHAT?


How exactly does that happen, you may ask?


One video, so many questions


So, what’s actually going on here? Well, there are few schools of thought.


One, people are liking the video before Instagram qualifies it as a video view. So in under three seconds, they are double tapping, which we think is strange because not much happens in the first three seconds to prompt an engagement.


Second, it could be through what we call ‘click farms’, which is a whole other blog on its own.


But, the third, more scandalous school of thought, is somewhat spicier. What if those ‘likes’ aren’t actually real people? What if, by not a very large stretch of the imagination, especially when it comes to Meta, those ‘likes’ are really just bots, acting as profiles and engaging with Reels (specifically Reels) to boost the numbers?


But why, you may ask?


What we need to understand is that Meta is in a very delicate place right now and under A LOT of pressure. My guess is they’ll pretty much do anything to compete with Tiktok.


They’ve invested a ton into Reels, and by God it better work, or else (this article sheds more light). Well, that’s what we think anyway. So, in order to stay relevant with Gen-Z, a few bots engage with your Reels to boost numbers.


This allows Zuck and co. to show their shareholders that it’s working and Instagram is still relevant. It’s also our belief in why Zuckerberg hasn’t released actual Instagram figures in a very long time; because they aren’t as good as he needs them to be.


This, however, is a theory, although we wouldn’t go so far as to call it a conspiracy, especially when Facebook is involved.


Do we trust them? No. Should we trust them? No. Should we still use their platforms? Yes.


The important thing is that your audience trusts you. Whether you trust social platforms or not, we should still use them to market our services.


Why consumer trust is important


Trust, that five-letter word. It’s so hard to gain, yet so easy to lose. You need it. Why? Trust in a Commercial Real Estate company has a strong influence on where tenants or investors etc. decide to spend their money.


Without trust, you become just another (former) option to your audience, and with trust comes recommendations - if your audience trusts you then they may recommend you to others through word-of-mouth – the strongest of all marketing platforms.


3 easy ways to build trust with your audience on social media


So, how do you avoid looking like bots have taken over your account and you’re just another automated process telling potential tenants what to rent?


1. Show them you’re human

2. Be honest in how you communicate

3. Use social platforms to tell your story (but feature real humans in your Reels)


Until next week,


Stay ATYPICAL 😉