Commenting can be a very powerful way to mold new relationships on Instagram. With a bit of finesse, you can achieve consistent, predictable follower growth. Comments can open up discussion with potential influencer partners or new long-term fans. The platform is approaching 1 billion users and they’re all within your reach. With this approach, commenting becomes a means of cold outreach.
If you’ve spent any reasonable amount of time on Instagram, you’ve seen just how garbage marketers are at using comments. People go for a spray and pray approach, shooting out as many comments as possible with automation. The problem here is that to cover a wide variety of content types, their auto-comments are the epitome of generic. Great shot! Nice photo! 🔥🔥🔥💯💯💯. What do comments like this achieve? I’ll bet any amount of money this approach comes bundled with a low conversion rate.
When thinking about the performance of comments, you have to consider what your KPI will be. Followers gained from comments would be the first to pop up in our heads. How can we attribute what followers are gained from comments? There’s a few Instagram botsthat give conversion rate in their analytics but not all of us have that luxury. On top of this, we want to test out comment variations manually before scaling up with automation. It’s a lesson straight out of The Lean Startup.
When doing manual tests, I like to use reply rateas my KPI. In fact, it’s the only commenting metric I record at all. Not all growth hacking is complex: testing Instagram comments is just simple split testing. Write a few different comments and leave equal amounts on similar content. To check if you’re using a large enough sample size, I recommend Optimizely’s split testing calculator. Optimizing for reply rate can be done by testing different copy or how you target content to comment on.
To get the creative juices flowing, I’ll search a hashtag to check out what people are posting. From here, I’ll write a caption that applies to each of the latest 9 posts. Keep in mind that if a manual test is proven successful after multiple runs, we will be scaling up with automation.
Asking probing questionshas proven to be the most powerful way to use Instagram comments.
The effectiveness may go down over time once more marketers catch on to this approach. Just like how there’s a saturation of generic comments, maybe one day the platform will be saturated with question comments.
It can be a tricky task coming up with a single question that applies to a variety of content types. The shortcut to the finish line here is to get extremely targeted. Look for niche hashtags within your industry that are used often but aren’t too popular. The less popular a hashtag is, the less variation it will have in the types of content tagged with it.
The risk with using Instagram bots to scale up your commenting is that you might leave comments that don’t apply to content. It would be pretty embarrassing to ask a deep, probing question on a completely irrelevant post. I’ve been called out on it before. Some might just mark you as a spammer. That’s one of the most common ways people get shadowbanned from Instagram.
One of my favorite ways to get specific in my targeting is to go regional. This won’t work for all brands, but fishing for sales and fo
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