Let me start this post by asking you a question: do you respond to comments on your Instagram posts?
It seems that a lot of accounts, especially business account, ignore the comments under their own posts.
I get it. The rise of Instagram bots and spam accounts makes all of us question the validity and the sincerity of comments (especially if those comments are entirely made out of emojis or include one vague word).
However, it is still important to check your comments and respond to the best of your ability, acknowledging your real followers and commenters. Besides, it shows people who are just browsing through your profile that you do pay attention to your community, which gives them an extra reason to follow your account.
Besides, a number of comments are a much stronger engagement indicator to the algorithm, so encourage conversations and discussions!
Instagram is a social network. Did you get it? Social. So, be social and react to comments. You wouldn’t ignore people’s remarks at a party and just casually pass them by.
So how do you respond to Instagram comments?
Spam and @ mentions
This one is very easy. You report users and block them from future ability to comment and mention you.
When someone tags you on spam, click on the actual photo, select 3 vertical dots up top, click “Photo Options.” Simply remove the tag.
If someone mentions you in a spam comment, you can just report it and block the handle. Same goes for mentions on the photo. Although it’s a bit different than tagging in the actual photo, it works the same way. Simply remove the tag and block the user.
But what do you do if someone tagged you with the best intentions, but you don’t want this image to be visible on your profile? Maybe, the image is blurry, you don’t like how you look, or it’s a promotional thing from one of your vendors? Simply toggle “Keep in Photos of You” to off. This will not remove the tag and offend anyone, but it will keep your profile clean and only with images you want to display.
Now that spam is out of the way, how do you respond to genuine posts?
One-word or emoji comments
Instagram is notorious for this type of responses. How can you reply to it? This is the only instance, besides spam, that you don’t have to address. Unless you really want to. Then, you can simply thank them for the comment or respond back with an emoji.
Praise and positive reviews
This is the best kind of comments. If a person spent time writing you a compliment, thank them for it. Don’t be ungrateful, because you might not get any more positive reviews after this. A simple thank you may suffice, but it is better to encourage the conversation by writing a thoughtful response. Plus, don’t waste your chance to ask for permission to use it as a review on your site.
This is very important in building a business people can trust. Business responsiveness to issues builds trust, because potential customers will see that you care about your current customers.
Always show your appreciation and gratitude. This will only raise you in the eyes of your followers and encourage even more praise.
Negative comments and reviews
Sometimes your business can become a target of hateful speech, spam or unsatisfied customers. If a person uses cuss words, hate speech or spam, simply flag that comment or review and be done with it. Don’t engage with these types of people. Social media etiquette for business does not leave any possibility for engaging in these types of conversations.
DON’T: be a bully or an aggressive, self-absorbed business owner.
Even these days some businesses get too aggressive in responses. Resist the urge and remember that you represent a business and you need to follow the social media etiquette (and just any type of etiquette). Don’t reply right away, give it an hour or two; think of a good, professional response, draft it a few times and let someone else read it again. The negativity will rub off on your business and hurt your reputation, not the reviewer’s.
If a negative review comes from a real person after a real incident, take the time to get to the bottom of it and make it right. Respond to negative reviews with dignity and tact. Customer is always right, and it’s even more so in the digital space. Never call your customer names or put them down. Be sensitive. Try to explain the situation as you see it. Acknowledge if there was an honest mistake on your part and attempt to fix it.
Comments section might not be the best place to do it though. Take the resolution offline. Post a short response to them publicly, so that others can see that you’re taking care of your customers. Then reach out to the specific reviewer in another, more private medium or ask for their contact information.
This will show that you maintain your reputation, but that you take care of such matters in private. It’s important to take negativity offline as much as possible. Again, it will rub off wrong on you, not them.
A lot of times customers will delete or update their comments as a way to thank you for taking the time to resolve their issue. Don’t hesitate to ask for it in cases you really feel like you’ve helped and the customer is happy, but be careful as to not push it too far. Most of the times, customers who have been helped to a happy resolution, change their comment themselves because they don’t want to hurt your business.
This is the most important part. People took the time to ask you a question. Respond to it! If this is a simple question regarding your product, type out the response or send them to the link that has an answer.
If the question requires a wordy answer, ask for their email address in the comments and send the full response through email. You can also ask them to contact you by calling. Yet, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to impress your followers with the level of the customer service you provide, so don’t just count on them contacting you. Find a way to reach out to them, like through sending them a Direct Message. If you decide to contact them privately, publish a public comment letting them know to look for your DM.
There is no right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on the situation and how lengthy the response will be. Generally speaking, if you require more information to respond, or your answer is really long, it’s better to take it off the comment section.
If you don’t know the answer or are uncomfortable with making comments on a subject, find a few good links to point people in the right direction. This will show that you care and try your best to assist your followers. If you do post a third-party research or opinion, check your sources. You want your sources to be accurate, credible, up-to-date, and intelligent. If some obscure blogger with 3 followers said something you agree with, it’s not a credible source and probably more research should be done before sharing it with your audience.
After all, Instagram is no different from other social networks when it comes to comments. Take the time to go through them and address the ones that require a reply. Even if your posts get millions of likes and thousands of mentions, monitor them and respond to the most pressing ones. It will show that you read what your followers have to say.
How do you manage your Instagram comments? How often do you monitor them? Share in the comment section below or head over to Instagram @lesyaliu to continue the conversation!