Instagram is just one of the many ways businesses connect with their customers. With COVID-19 not going anywhere any time soon, the marketing world must adapt and becoming a social media guru is important now more than ever.
Follower count is just one piece of the puzzle. Interacting with your audience and having a plethora of comments to answer shows true potential and offers the richest potential for growth. Consider these 13 quick facts about how to gain more comments via Instagram.
1. Host a giveaway
A giveaway is fun, easy, and simple. Promote a contest, then have users enter by commenting on your post. The contest itself can last anywhere from a weekend to an entire week or even an entire month. The longer the campaign lasts, the more people enter, and the more comments you get. You could even incorporate user-generated content (UGC) by encouraging followers to post their own photos using your brand with custom hashtags.
2. Host an Instagram takeover
A takeover occurs when one Instagram user takes over another’s feed for a day or so and posts from their point of view. Besides bringing fresh and fun content to the table, it’s also a brilliant way to generate more engagement with the audience.
3. Ask users to engage in the comments
One method of receiving more comments is the most simple thing you can: ask. Post content on Instagram that’s desirable to share and ask users to answer a question or tag themselves or their friends or their family in the comments.
Asking the audience to interact with you or your brand exudes a humble aura. People will feel seen and appreciated, which is always a wonderful thing for both the producer and the consumer. This method opens the door for one of the funnest and easiest ways to interact with your audience.
4. Post something funny, surprising, or provocative
Humor will always be one of those things that connects us and builds trust. If a product or company makes us laugh (not out of absurdity for the product in and of itself), consumers are more likely to be interested in your product than your competitor’s. It’s as simple as that. If you’re a master of it, social media is one of the greatest ways to sell your product.
In a study of what makes content go viral, research revealed some of the most viral internet moments also provoked high-arousal emotions. Humor generates anticipation, the element of surprise generates shock value, while provocative content generates curiosity and uncertainty. Joy is also one of the most common emotions portrayed via content.
Whatever emotion you try to emulate, keep in mind that you need to do it well. Make the content and emotional weight behind it so compelling that your followers have the undeniable urge to comment on it. Is there content you could post about a surprising fact, a happy moment, or an intriguing industry trend? It doesn’t need to be about your brand specifically either. Content that’s enjoyable for a broad audience will likely attract more comments.
5. Post videos
Reminder: Instagram isn’t just about pictures. Instagram users who watched videos increased by 40% in 2016 with users now able to post videos up to 60 seconds in length. Post this engaging content to give your audience the opportunity to stop for a couple of seconds, sit back, and relax.
Followers have to stop scrolling through their busy Instagram feeds in order to watch your video. Make sure it’s intriguing enough that not only stay for the entire duration but have something to comment about as well. Your audience is always looking for juicy content to share, so if you have something compelling and you can ask viewers to comment on it in the caption, they’ll most likely do it.
6. Use relevant hashtags
Nowadays, Instagram is all about hashtags. You can make the greatest piece of content Instagram has ever seen. However, if you fail to choose the most relevant and popular hashtags, your posts won’t appear in searches that they should. To put that in perspective, posts with at least one hashtag typically attain 12% or more engagement alone.
Influencers and interested users might organically comment when they see you talking about topics they’re also interested in, or you could combine some of the strategies above to generate engagement. Ask followers how they celebrated #SundayFunday, acknowledge a #ThrowbackThursday, or use one of the hundreds of hashtags relevant to your industry or your content to get new audience members involved in the conversation.
7. Publish at the right time of day
Timing is everything, even in the social media landscape. There’s a ton of debate as to when the best time to post on social media is most ideal. The answer varies depending on industry, followers, and what type of content you’re posting. The best advice is to test out your engagement rates on Instagram by determining a publishing schedule based on the results of whenever you post at different times throughout the week.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning on Monday or later in the afternoon on Friday, try to figure out the optimal time that your followers are more willing to stop and leave a comment to maximize the engagement of your posts each day. Once you have it all figured out, make sure to use a social media content calendar to track scheduling and results.
8. Post photos of people’s faces
Selfie time. Yes, selfies are fun. But they’re also a legitimate Instagram strategy as well. An analysis of more than 1 million Instagram posts by Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs found that posts with human faces are not only 32% more likely to attract comments, but also 38% more likely to receive likes and comments. The big question here is ‘why’?
According to researchers, it’s all partly because faces are effective sources of nonverbal communication that people respond to. Keeping that in mind, posting Instagram content featuring selfies, group shots, and candid photos could all help boost likes and thus accrue more comments.
9. Post photos of animals
If there’s one thing people love seeing more than selfies, it’s animals. Even without the ton of research that backs this up, everyone is fully aware and in agreement that when they see animals in content, they stop and click.
Animals have been a popular source of successful content via the internet since its inception. Don’t believe it? Here’s a fact: Animal Instagram influencers can earn just as much money as their human counterparts. Whether you have animals in your office or a cute picture of a coworker’s pet, try posting fun content on Instagram accompanied by a furry friend to see if your audience likes commenting on animals, too. The answer is ‘yes’.
10. Respond to the comments you get
Social media 101: If you receive comments, respond. If comments are flooding the content you make, it’s a wonderful sight and proof of your success; however, receiving comments is just half of the battle.
Just like every other social media platform, responding to comments can give your audience a sense of community and make you look like you’re actually interested in what they have to say. When users receive a genuine response to their comment, it makes them feel validated and appreciated. Additionally, when others see that your account is responding to comments, they might comment on the post as well to join in on the discussion or ask a question about your post.
11. Use relevant emojis to make captions eye-catching
While hashtags categorize your posts into specified searches, emojis will pull the eyes of the audience to your captions. More eyes on your captions might mean more engagement, comments, and likes for the overall post. When using emojis, be sure they make sense for what you are posting and seem appropriate for your company. Two to three emojis can be colorful and interesting, but don’t go overboard with too many of them. Overstimulation is never good.
12. Post more frequently
The more content you put out, the higher chance you have of being recognized, receiving views, receiving likes, and receiving comments.
Just like other social media platforms, posting more frequently will make your account look active and up-to-date. If you rarely or infrequently post, your content may get drowned out by others, more frequent users in the Instagram feed. If you make a habit of scheduling days and time to make posts, more people will flock to your content.
13. Promote a future Q&A and ask fans to comment with their questions
Now that we have features like Instagram Stories and IGTV, we can host and promote live Q&A’s which is not only exciting for the audience but gives you and them the unique opportunity to interact in real-time.
If you’re planning on interviewing a special guest via live feed, publish some posts that promote the event. For each promotional post, ask users to comment with a question that they’d like to ask the person who’s being interviewed. Depending on the interview subject, you should ideally see a flood of questions from users. Along with more comments, this strategy is fun, direct, and should offer a unique experience for your followers.
Considering these 13 tips should not only help grow your following but help bring you closer to your followers on a more personal level by having the opportunity to interact with your awesome and truly unique customers. Comments offer account holders the ability to interact with their audience on a level that was simply unavailable before the digital age we now live in.
Don’t wait, contact a member of the Dotlogics team today to help you maximize your audience engagement.