Your presence on Instagram needs to contain more than just an attractive grid, effective hashtags, and impactful bio. It’s called a social media platform, so the key thing you need to be doing is: get social and spark engagement with your community!
Your engagement strategy can and will change over time, but the expectation to be engaged in the first place will never go away. It’s so important that you connect with your followers and potential customers in a way that is genuine and valuable.
We always remind our clients that social media isn’t about talking at people; it’s about connecting with them. Fortunately, Instagram provides plenty of different ways to do that. And we’ll show you exactly how to write the comments and DMs that keeps the conversation flowing!
Words: Adriana Thani
Why you should write effective comments and DMs on Instagram
It’ll boost your engagement rates
If you do this for no other reason, do it for this! Instagram favours highly engaging posts, so by boosting engagement, you’re boosting your brand visibility too. This leads to more folks discovering your posts and connecting with you, creating a cycle that will lead to organic growth for your account!
It helps you connect with people
As we’ve mentioned before, connection is key to success on Instagram. Creating genuine and authentic connections with other accounts on Instagram – including potential customers – will lead to a supportive and loyal community that loves your brand and everything you’ve got to offer.
It complements your brand presence
When you invest in your branding, which includes brand logos, brand colours, brand values, and even brand voice, you want it to pay off! Part of making your branding more recognizable is by allowing people to get to know you. Comments and DMs are an additional opportunity for you to showcase your branding.
It leads to consistent growth
While things like giveaways, great images, and viral videos are great for a big spike in engagement, it’s not something that will lead to consistent growth. You need more than those little boosts every once in a while. Effective comments and DMs are what you need to see real organic growth over time.
Tips and tricks to write great comments and DMs on Instagram
1. Stick to your brand voice
Your branding process should include your brand voice. If you haven’t sat down to really identify your brand voice, now is the time to do it. This is the voice that you use in every caption, comment, DM, or any other external interaction.
Brand voice is important in guiding how you communicate and it makes it easier if you choose to outsource your Instagram management too. At Content Savvy, our writers say that it’s almost like being an actor – each unique brand voice is part of the persona you put on when communicating on behalf of a brand!
2. Be casual
Even if you opt for a more formal or authoritative brand voice, you don’t want to be overly robotic in your comments and DMs. It isn’t just off-putting, it also feels insincere. It’s hard for folks to connect with you if they assume they’re speaking to a chat bot or AI.
But please remember that you shouldn’t be too casual either. Punctuation, grammar, manners – these still matter. But go ahead and write with sentence fragments (like we’ve done here). You could even use appropriate slang, jokes, memes, and emojis. Just have fun with it!
3. Remember authenticity
This is something you can’t fake. Being authentic and genuine on Instagram has become more highly valued over time, and we’re here for it! Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. Don’t try to copy others. Just be uniquely you. The valuable connections will come!
In a world where social media is often accused of being inauthentic, be the antidote to that. Being authentic is so refreshing, people can’t help but be drawn to it. Even when dealing with trolls, you can find a way to handle it without sacrificing who you are.
4. Provide value
When was the last time you replied to a comment with an emoji, quick thank you, or worst of all, simply “liked” a comment or DM?
We’re sorry to break this to you, but that just won’t cut it! You need to offer more than that.
Comments and DMs are where you need to provide maximum value to showcase that you care about the people who take the time to comment on your posts or respond to your Stories.
So please consider doing this instead:
- Read other people’s posts fully, and respond to their CTAs (call to actions) with at least a two-sentence comment.
Say someone ends their caption with, “What’s your favourite way to have coffee?”. You can respond with “Soy latte with two sugars is my go-to. Yum!”
- When replying to comments on your own posts, take the opportunity to highlight what was special about it.
In a product photo, for example, reply to a comment like “OMG I love the texture on that moisturiser”, you can respond with, “Thanks, we love how it feels like whipped cream on your skin, and smells just as good too!”
- Are you responding to Stories? Forget sending the app’s own Stories responses. A written response stands out more, especially if you ask genuine questions too.
This is especially important if the Story is one you’re tagged in. If it’s a UGC (user-generated content), ask if you can re-share it too! It acts as additional content for you while also providing a platform for the person who tagged you, which is a lovely way to connect with them.
5. Reply ASAP
Don’t ever post and ghost! That’s when you post something on Instagram and then just leave the app. Not only does that tank the engagement on your post itself, it also makes it look like you’re just uninterested in connecting with your followers. Not a great look!
Instead, make sure you’re staying on the app for at least 15-20 minutes right after posting, and respond to comments and DMs right away. You should also aim to check your Instagram at least twice a day to do the same. Just remember to keep all these tips in mind when you do it, of course.
6. Keep the conversation flowing
Remember: all comments and DMs are a chance to start a conversation! We learn early on in our lives that conversations are about the back-and-forth exchange of thoughts and ideas. So make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to do it.
Consider these examples:
@yourbrandfollower comments: Omg I love this!
@you: <heart emoji>
@yourbrandfollower comments: Omg I love this!
@you: We’re so glad you love it! This new product is fast becoming a favourite in our office too. We just love that we can take it anywhere and spritz it on through the day. What do you love about it the most?
Which one do you think adds more value for you, your follower, and the people reading the conversation? Which one is more engaging and exciting? You need to start thinking about every comment and DM as a chance to make a conversation flow and get that engagement in!
7. Stay consistent
We say this all the time, but it’s way better to do small things consistently than doing big things every once in a while. This applies to when you post your Instagram content (3 times a week, every week, is better that posting every day for a week and then not posting for two weeks) as well as your engagement strategy.
It’s so much better to do 15 minutes of engagement per day instead of doing it only once a week for three hours. Small bite-sized efforts are also easier to turn into a habit, making your Instagram strategy more joyful and sustainable for you.
8. Never use bots or reps!
Please, we beg you, do not outsource DMs and comments to bots. Don’t automate impersonal messages. Don’t pay for random accounts to “search for reps” via spam comments and DMs. Don’t take shortcuts with your communication and engagement.
There are many, many reasons you shouldn’t be doing this but here are a few main ones:
It does not work
You will not get the ROI you’re looking for, because this approach is inauthentic. No one wants to start a conversation with a clearly copy-paste message.
People are smart – we’ve become better at detecting spam, even when it’s disguised as a friendly comment or DM.
Instagram doesn’t like it
And here’s the most important reason: Instagram is cracking down on spam and bots, so if you use these methods, you’re risking the removal of your Instagram account. It’s not worth it!
Create real connections and consistent Instagram growth through your comments and DMs
People are on the platform each day, looking for that human connection. So be the one to give it to them!
Looking to develop an effective Instagram engagement strategy but just don’t know where to start? We can help! Our one-on-one consults and Instagram strategy documents are the perfect way to determine the best practices for your specific brand to grow on Instagram.
If you’re too busy to manage your Instagram successfully on your own, we’ve got you covered. Our Instagram Management Packages includes everything from filler image sourcing, caption writing, hashtag sets, and yes, even engagement. If this is valuable to you, you can contact us now to discuss how we can help manage your Instagram for you!