On Instagram, engagement is everything. (And quality content too, of course – but you’ve got to raise those numbers to play the game!)
Here at Kenji, we’ve discussed plenty of ways to boost your reach, optimize hashtags, and get more eyes following your brand and its mission. We’ve delved pretty deep into each of these areas, though one thing we haven’t fully explored are Instagram comments, and their value in building your presence.
Why Instagram Comments Matter
Anyone looking to succeed on Instagram’s platform is likely well aware of its algorithm and how it works. On any social media website, an algorithm determines the reach and social exposure of your content – prioritizing the visibility of “quality content” among the others.
This means that to get your posts in the “Top” content tabs of certain hashtags and the “Explore” page, you’ve got to know your way around Instagram’s system. For those who want to grow an online Instagram presence, merely posting regular content – no matter how unique and interesting it may be – sadly isn’t going to cut it.
Users must work with the algorithm to step up their engagement rates, thus growing their view and follower count, and as a result – relevance on the platform.
This is where Instagram comments come in. While collecting likes and views are important, these are usually a one-and-done type of interaction. Instagram comments, on the other hand, can be used to start conversations with users.
This effectively connects you to other brands and influencers in your niche and provides the opportunity for forming authentic, valuable relationships. And the best part is, instead of waiting on others to take action – you can start the fire yourself.
Below, we discuss the ways you can use Instagram comments to your advantage, helping you boost engagement rates and build genuine, loyal connections with others on the site.
Using Instagram Comments To Boost Engagement
First things first: you’ve got to ensure your profile is public for others to see. No need to let your target audience jump through hoops; marketing your brand’s going to be tough gig if users have to send a request to access your content.
However, if you’ve already signed your profile up for a business account, you can skip this step.
To make your profile public, tap on the three horizontal lines at the upper right-hand corner of your screen. This should pull up options to view your past activity, saved posts, close friends, and other account options.
Tap “Settings” at the bottom of this sidebar.
Tap “Privacy and Security”.
Tap “Account Privacy”.
Ensure that the option slider isn’t set to “Private Account”. And that’s it – your content is now ready the public to view.
Using Instagram Comments On Your Content To Build Connections
As previously mentioned, Instagram’s commenting feature enables users to start conversations on the platform, and keep them going. The longer you maintain a comment thread on your post, the more engagement and interaction you’re sustaining, thus signalling the Instagram algorithm to recognize this as “quality content”.
And if your content is considered “quality”, then you’ve raised its chances of appearing under its hashtags or the “Explore” page – giving it greater opportunity to get even more conversations rolling.
To achieve this, it’s important to keep track of all the interactions made on your profile, especially when it comes to comments. After all, you can’t start a back-and-forth with a like, but you can with a friendly remark or opinion.
If someone leaves a friendly comment or question on your post, respond to them! Not only will this leave more Instagram comments (and thus, engagement) on your content, but you’re letting your audience know that they and their thoughts are valued. This can kickstart new business relationships or friendships on the platform; you never know!
Do your best to reply to all relevant Instagram comments on your post. Even simple, one-word remarks like “Nice!” or “Awesome!” can be responded to with a “Thank you!” or a corresponding emoji (this is particularly helpful for comments solely comprised of emoji symbols). At the very least, you can tap the little heart symbol next that “likes” the person’s comment.
Commenting On Other People’s Posts
Of course, you can step out of your profile and reach out to other businesses and influencers yourself. The “Suggested” section under the search field is a great place to start, providing you with related users in your field based on the people you already interact with and follow.
Checking out trending and popular hashtags in your niche is also an effective way of finding relevant, top-performing users who may be interested in what you do, too.
If a post or profile catches your eye, leave a meaningful comment that provides the user with value. It could be a question, an opinion, or simply a positive comment on the work they do. If your words get their attention – that’s great! Best case scenario is them responding and opening the door to a potential conversation, and possibly, a budding online connection.
Unfortunately, your approach may not always get a response (especially if the user has a high-profile account with tons of comments and interactions flooding in by the hour). But it’s important to note that while you may not get the original user’s attention, you may just gain visibility among their audience.
You can see this type of community-building among makeup influencers, for example. Makeup artists will often leave comments on posts of other well-known brands and figures in their niche. While they aren’t necessarily starting a conversation with the initial poster, they are gaining a presence among the user’s target audience.
The same goes for brands as well – often commenting on the posts of influential personalities to achieve the same goal.
Post Content That Encourages Instagram Comments
On top of ensuring your posts are unique, interesting content; it may pay off to post videos or images that actively encourage your viewers to comment.
Image posts that ask your followers a question are likely to prompt them to answer in the comments. These can take the form of a quiz, an invitation to tell a story, or simply a question that provokes an opinion.
Other accounts may opt for “fill-in-the-blank”-type posts, enticing viewers to comment.
If all else fails, stick to posting content that grabs attention and inspires emotion or thought. If your posts do well in relating to or impacting the perspectives of others – the comments will come.
Find The Right Time To Post
Finally, it’s always important to keep your account’s optimum posting times in mind.
If you’ve got a business account, this is easily accessible through your “Insights” page. To view this data, tap on the three horizontal lines located at the upper left-hand corner of your screen. This should pop out your sidebar of options; tap on the first one labelled “Insights”.
Under the third tab named “Audience”, you can easily view exactly when your followers are most active, by the hour of each day. To view the specific days your audience are most engaged, select the “Days” filter next to “Hours”.
This information makes it convenient to determine the particular points in the time your content is likely to gain the most traction. Use this to your advantage – the better you are at timing your posts, the more comments you’re bound to get, boosting your reach and engagement.
Avoid These Instagram Comment Mistakes
It’s tempting to reach out to other users or influencers for the prime goal of promoting yourself or your product. Keep in mind that people generally don’t like being sold to, so throwing them a cold, sales-pitchy-type comment may not do you any favours.
Of course, avoid posting Instagram comments that are spammy or overall bothersome. No one’s going to engage with you if you’re a bot (as we’ll discuss further below), or evidently out to troll.
How to Delete Comments on Instagram
We’ve briefly touched upon the types of Instagram comments you’ll benefit from avoiding – but what happens if when you receive these types of comments on your profile?
You can always ignore them, but if you’re feeling like doing a bit of clean-up: simply delete them.
To delete Instagram comments, tap and hold onto the comment, and tap the trash can icon in the upper left-hand corner.
Poof! The comment is now permanently deleted.
How to Search Through Your Instagram Comments
Perhaps engagement is no longer an issue for your business. Perhaps you’ve already got a large following, with a steady stream of interactions flowing in by the day.
That may sound all good and well, but how do you filter through the hundreds of comments to find the ones worth engaging with? You’ve still got to interact with your followers, after all – it’s just a matter of tending to the most important questions, remarks, or criticisms.
At this point, it’s handy to be able to filter through your Instagram comments using key words or usernames. Sadly, the platform currently doesn’t have a specific feature that enables you to search through your Instagram comments, but below are a couple of third-party applications that can help do the job.
Search Through Your Instagram Comments With Later
Later is known in the Instagram community as one of the top marketing tools for automating, managing, and scheduling your content. On top of that, the platform boasts features that include an innovative visual calendar, the ability to search and collect user-generated content, and highly-organized libraries for all your drafted content and commonly-used hashtags.
On top of all this, Later also has a tool known as “Conversations”. Here, users can easily manage and interact with all the comments displayed on their content. Those using Later on their desktop can conveniently respond to all user interactions from their computer – and the best part is, you can prioritize these responses by searching through your Instagram comments using important keywords.
Later cleverly displays all your Instagram comments using an inbox-style view, displaying your most recent ones up top, so you never miss an interaction.
Search Through Your Instagram Comments With Picodash
Like Later, Picodash also serves as a third-party marketing tool for Instagram, designed to export any important data or information into an easily-manageable .csv file.
The platform provides plenty of downloading options, including exporting the follower list of your competitors, user posts, and even user stories or highlights.
Picodash also offers the option of exporting all engagement on your posts, allowing you to easily search through your Instagram comments. Sadly, since the data ends up in a .csv file, this information is limited to analysis and review, rather than the convenience of easily replying to the comments you filter out.
Still, Picodash is a great tool for critically managing the information you’re after on Instagram; helping you collect the right data to further your marketing.
Should I Buy Instagram Comments?
Because engagement is such a critical factor to achieving Instagram success, brands and influencer may be more than tempted to automate the use of Instagram comments.
Sounds like a quick and simple solution, right?
But hold it right there – ever since the influx of bots and automated systems that generate a endless cycle of inauthentic interactions, Instagram has cracked down on such suspicious activity. Using shady tactics that lead to spammy “engagement” can now grant you the dreaded shadowban treatment, or even worse: getting banned from the platform altogether.
If you really don’t have time to manually sift through and respond to your Instagram comments, perhaps hiring a virtual assistant should do the trick. Services like Upleap are available to provide you just this: your very own account manager that handles all profile interactions for you, including engagement, follows, and likes on other users’ posts.
Otherwise, you can buy Instagram comments, written entirely by you, from services like Skweezer. The service then uses their own Instagram accounts to deliver these customized comments onto your profile, driving up your engagement.
Fortunately, buying Instagram comments from this service keep your account safe from penalties, as the company ensures that such interactions are performed from real people in their network. If you’re buying Instagram comments from this type of business, just be sure they guarantee this genuine type of engagement. Otherwise, Instagram might just pick up on shady account behaviour.
Get Those Comments Going!
We’ve touched on the importance of the commenting feature, ways to optimize it, and the concept of buying Instagram comments. Whatever your business or brand goals may be, keeping up the consistent engagement should be your top marketing priority (aside from creating awesome posts!).
With our advice and recommended tools, taking advantage of Instagram comments should now be a breeze. Use them to their full potential – they drive up your reach in more ways than one.