Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Instagram Got a Whole Lot More Engaging Recently

Instagram now offers nested replies to individual comments. This makes it easier for users to engage with individual commenters, especially on popular posts with lots of comments.

So how can business owners harness this new functionality? Here are a few ideas to make the most of your Instagram presence:

Start the flow of online conversation yourself. Write the first comment to your Instagram post, to start the dialogue. Ask for opinions or insight. Be sure to respond to replies. Yes, we know you may already be doing this, but the new nested comment feature makes it easier to engage with your audience and make sure you don't miss any responses.

Use your Instagram posts to advise, inform, and yes, even entertain your followers on a regular basis and talk about your products and services tangentially in the comments. We know that this might not always be possible and we do use our own Instagram feed for product announces. But the occasional post about a new product or service that is similar to other costing products and services in which followers are already interested is still giving those people something of value in exchange for their time. On the other hand, turning your Instagram feed into a relentless and redundant sales pitch is a misuse of social media technology... and a lost engagement opportunity.

The appropriate use of nested comments shows your other Instagram followers that you will actively engage with them, too if given the chance. When you authentically engage with people online, you build and retain an intimate, emotional connection with them. The loyal fans you cultivate are not only more likely to convert into buyers of your products and services, but are also more likely to become your advocates / evangelists.

Use nested comments to help your followers engage with each other, not just with you. After all, community is based on interactions between multiple people, not just a series of one-to-one dialogues.

Let's Get Personal. One of the best ways to create an emotional relationship with your followers is to introduce them to the people behind the company. Use names of individuals and teams in your Instagram posts and nested comments. Get multiple staff involved in the conversation.

We'd love to hear about your Instagram success stories. Leave us a comment below.

- Lynne Sabean

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