Instagram Comments and How to Respond to Them
Over the past few years we’ve seen a change in the way that users view particular social networks. As the primary reasons why they visit each particular network shifts, so too do businesses need to alter how they market within those networks. In this endeavour some companies struggle; looking at why their audience are active somewhere, not just where they are active.
And it’s an understandable struggle because those reasons are always changing.
While it continues to eclipse its contenders in terms of total numbers of users and name recognition, at the moment Facebook is not the number-one choice for users looking to share snapshots of their own lives and engage with that of their friends and family. This owes in part to its position as the most popular medium for B2C businesses to market to their audience, but it’s also down to the nature of newly developed trending and viral content discovery tools.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that users wouldn’t choose to use Facebook for this particular reason, as the communication and video discovery aspect of Facebook has taken more prominence for the time being. A subset of users are turning to less traditional more “personal” networks for this sort of action, in particular Instagram. (That’s another reason why it’s not necessarily a bad thing - Facebook own Instagram and content is often automatically posted to Facebook anyway.)
With Instagram now seen in this totally human, completely authentic light, businesses need to interact in kind or risk ruining it for everybody.
Responding to Instagram comments
An endeavour that businesses need to be embracing in far more readily on Instagram is responding to comments. Interaction is the cornerstone of growth and the kindling for engagement. Yet many allow it to be swept under the carpet - the very same companies who wouldn’t dare ignore a Facebook comment or a tweet.
Instagram is driven by the lives of individuals, their brand is built on the real-life stories that these people share. Getting serious about their strategy starts with businesses and organisations getting human and social. Look at the tips below and consider how you could alter your current responses for the best results:
Weighing up comments and responding justly
When users comment on your Instagram content you should always consider the right way to respond. Instagram is awash with single-emoji response-style comments. As a general rule you shouldn’t respond to all of these otherwise, as your account grows and frequency of these increases, you risk having a far too many of your own words hanging around the place.
When it comes to longer comments, discipline yourself to notice genuine praise and positivity from users. Responding to these is where you can really unlock the potential of Instagram interaction. Always acknowledge and express your gratitude, use open comments and look inspire a discussion with this user. As others see how you engage with people who take the time to interact with you they will feel encouraged to do the same.
Bear in mind that some Instagram automation services are a lot cleverer than you think, particularly Instagress. If a comment seems positive, yet a little unclear, chances are it’s automated. Consider these comments in relation to the image and ensure they actually make sense before bothering to respond.
Never ignore a negative comment
This number one rule should stand for all of your social pages. Always respond to negative comments. For a more in-depth look into how to do that, check out our article on how to deal with negativity on social media. A general rule is to consider how people see your brand. Try to see things from the user’s perspective even if the particular issue isn’t your fault entirely.
Whereas other networks might allow you to reach out and sort any issues there and then, Instagram simply doesn't have enough space for this kind of resolution, os it’s worth reaching out and encouraging them to contact in a more private medium - just ensure that the issue is swiftly rectified afterwards, otherwise you will just exacerbate things.
Say an unequivocal ‘no’ to spamming and bots
Bots and spam help absolutely nobody. Help Instagram get rid of them by reporting and blocking users who spam you with comments and mentions. If they tag you in spam content, click the settings button in the top right hand corner above the image and remove it, then report and block the user.
Be part of the community
Above anything else, Instagram is a community of content creators, sharing their experiences and engaging with that of other people. Integrate your business or organisation by doing just that - be human, share snapshots of your work life, engage with relevant people and respond to anybody who reaches out to you. This is where things start to build and brand recognition gets elevated to new heights.