Wouldn’t it be great to see your Instagram posts light up with comments after you post them?
Instagram comments can be powerful. They are the only two-way interaction you can have on a post. It can be a great way to talk with your followers, but it’s also an often underused way to harness them to promote your content for you!
Over the past three months I’ve been keeping an eye on the most commented on Instagram posts from Tailwind’s 100,000 members. In this post we’ll take you into ten tactics that come up again and again to answer the question once and for all – how do you get more comments on your Instagram posts?
Why Would You Want to Get More Instagram Comments?
- Comments are real interactions, symptomatic of a deeper relationship than liking.
- They’re an opening to an ongoing relationship.
- By @mentioning someone in the comments your audience effectively send your post to a friend.
- Comments are the only way your audience can give you qualitative feedback (The Nude Yoga Girl post below, where she asks her audience why they follow her, is a fascinating example).
Likes are important to the Instagram algorithm too. You can find out how to get more Instagram Likes in our companion blog post.
How to Get More Instagram Comments
- Hold an Instagram giveaway or contest
- Make your post too cute not to comment on
- Ask a controversial question
- Ask a revealing question
- Be vulnerable and real and people will support you
- Inspire awe and ask people how they feel about it
- Show off your talent in a way that’s just outright remarkable
- Ask people to tag friends who might identify with your post
- Ask people to tag friends who might aspire to your post
- Be so funny and relatable that people have to share the joke
We condensed 12 months of research on Instagram into under an hour for this Instagram Marketing 101 webinar. If you’re enjoying this post, you’ll love this webinar.
Awesome Examples from Tailwind Members:
1. Hold an Instagram Giveaway or Contest
For the past two months the top 5 most commented-on posts from Tailwind members were all giveaways. These posts didn’t get the most likes, but they often exposed the posters to a significant number of new potential followers.
Instagram contests usually giveaway something of modest value to an entrant who in return for a chance to win has followed the account, liked the post, and often tagged a friend (or in this case as many friends as they wanted chances to win).
This contest was among the most successful ever run by a Tailwind member, perhaps because it targeted sorority sisters who tend to be heavy Instagram users, with a seasonally appropriate fashion giveaway. Notice also the hashtag usage – #winitwednesday. Nail your hashtag research with the Tailwind Instagram Hashtag Finder.
We reached out to Lindsay Crawson who ran the contest and she said, “This post was a contest where we gave away about 120 of those pullovers to one sorority chapter. Sororities had to enter by tagging their sorority sisters in the comments for entries. Its a very exclusive product and is seasonal so it was a huge hit. Probably got us about 1000 new followers. The challenge is retention once the contest wins.”
We’ve seen Instagram contests be so impactful that we conducted an original Instagram contest study with tons of ideas for holding your own.
1b. Hold another giveaway
View this post on Instagram
**GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Congratulations @wavingmywand!** GIVEAWAY ALERT!⠀ To Enter:⠀ FOLLOW @rileyblakedesigns⠀ LIKE this photo⠀ TAG two friends in a comment ⠀ ⠀ When we say STOP! the last person to have tagged two friends in a comment WINS! ⠀ ⠀ Enter as many times as you like, but you cannot tag the same people twice. GOOD LUCK!
Since giveaways really seem to be the most effective way to get more comments on Instagram I figured you would appreciate another example. This one shows how flexible Instagram contest rules can be. Here you have to tag two friends, and rather than each comment counting as an entrance, the contest will stop simply when the account posts the comment “Stop!” and the last user to have commented will be the winner. Even simpler to run.
2. Make your post too cute not to comment on
This is a regram of user generated content (UGC). It works at getting comments because it engages the cuteness overload reflex, which is to gush about how stinkin’ cute something it (AKA comment).
A lot of the comments are people sharing the post with friends by @mentioning them. Many of these are likely friends with young children who might become customers for Buzz Bear Studio, who sell these onesies.
2b. You can mix impossibly cute with whatever it is you do
The cuteness strategy works anytime you can splice it effectively with whatever it is your audience usually expects from you. In this example that thing is weddings, and puppies are the delightfully cute surprise.
The unexpected often works well at generating both likes and comments.
3. Ask a controversial question
This question is a double-whammy. A lot of people tagged a friend in the comments as “that one friend who gets very excited about pumpkin spice”, while a lot of others answered the question in the description and got their real feelings about Pumpkin Spice off their chest.
4. Ask a revealing question
View this post on Instagram
What's the main reason why you follow NYG? ❤ I've had this account now almost 10 months and I really love to share my thoughts with you! ❤️ But quite often I think about what is the main thing why you follow me so why not ask! I also think I can plan better what to do next if I know a bit more about You. ☺ ❤️ So If you want to answer, what is the most important reason…? a) yoga b) captions c) photography d) message about loving your body/ self-acceptance e) something else? ❤️ Thanks, you are the best! 😊❤️
Interestingly The Naked Yoga Girl’s hypotheses about why people follow her are borne out in the comment responses. She knows her Instagram audience and what they want, which goes a long way to explaining the success of this account. That and amazing original content and incredible consistency. She certainly knows how to get more comments.
5. Be vulnerable and real and people will support you
View this post on Instagram
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I can't sleep well tonight so I blogged about my sweet boy, Johnathan Edward. I realize there is a great stigma associated with sharing photos of your baby who was born too early and has already gone to heaven so I want to say sorry if this offends you. However, if there's one thing my husband has taught me it's this: "Don't live life trying NOT to offend anyone and trying to please everyone." I hope by me sharing my sweet boy, Johnny (as Doug and I call him), you'll realize that he's a harmless, helpless baby who deserves to be remembered, not hidden away because his image may offend someone. And if you've lost your baby early, please know that you're not alone. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 women are affected by this. Yet, no one talks about it. I hope this can change. I'll be the first in my circle. You be the first in yours. My prayers go out to everyone who has lost their sweet baby too early.❤️ Link to my blog & Johnny's photo in my bio. #miscarriageawareness #miscarriage #miscarriagesupport #mafs #marriedatfirstsight
This takes a special kind of strength, but the support you get through comments can help you through a challenging time.
6. Inspire awe and ask people how they feel about it
Instagram is a great platform to share your wonder for the beauty of the world. If you get it right, others will react in your comment feed with awe and maybe tag their friends – the equivalent of nudging a friend in the ribs to look up and enjoy a double rainbow with you.
Here’s an example of someone feeling awe in the comments of this post: “Elizabeth, this is just the most beautiful, amazing thing! I feel like I could just watch it over and over! Thanks so much for introducing me to this unique flower and for sharing with me!?”
7. Show off your talent in a way that’s just outright remarkable
View this post on Instagram
One of my go to foundation routines! Products used: @bareminerals prime time primer @makeupforeverofficial HD Foundation @narsissist concealer @elfcosmetics under eye setting powder @purcosmetics cameo contour @tartecosmetics holiday blush palette @benefitcosmetics high beam highlighter @makeupforeverofficial lipstick in the shade C211 #elfcosmetics #purcosmetics #benefitcosmetics #tartecosmetics #pressplay
If you’ve got the talent for this one you can do it over and over again in every way imaginable. Talent is the gift that keeps on giving.
Many of the comments on this post are complements, but just as many are genuine questions about the products she uses. She’s positioning herself as a credible authority and I’m sure she’s got the attention of cosmetics companies because of it.
You know you’re on the right track when you’re getting comments like this one: “Just need to say that I went shopping at Sephora thanks to this video !!! Lol these cosmetic brands need to start paying you !!”
8. Ask people to tag friends who might identify with your post
Everybody knows someone who has a thing for s’mores. Maybe they’re into camping, maybe they love the movie The Sandlot, maybe they just have a ridiculously sweet tooth. Certain things come with strong emotional associations for a lot of people. Use those emotional shortcuts to engage a broader audience.
By asking their Instagram followers to tag someone who would love s’mores waffles, Kitchme managed to get 70 times more Instagram comments than they did when trying the exact same tactic with less interesting or association-laden recipes.
9. Ask people to tag friends who might aspire to your post
View this post on Instagram
Would you feel like Cinderella with this ring? 👑 Follow @ohreverie for more inspiration. 💕 Tag your gals. . . Accounts we love: 🔝 @ohreverie > ring inspiration 💎 @ringselfies > real rings 💗 @swoonworthyproposals > proposal stories 👍 @dream.love.weddings > wedding ideas . . 💍 📷 Ring and photo by @verragio
“Tag your gals”.
This post uses the right language to engage its audience, as well as the image of a ring many would aspire to own.
10. Be so funny and relatable that people have to share the joke
You know your audience, you know what makes them laugh. Make them laugh and they’ll share the joke.
Keep a close eye on your analytics and refine your strategy
Watching what posts are working for 100,000 different brands and bloggers is fascinating, but you can learn nearly as much by keeping a close eye on what works for you. Use an analytics tool like Tailwind Instagram Analytics to quickly learn what your audience responds to and then use that knowledge to inform your evolving Instagram Strategy.#Instagram comments can 1) Be a relationship opening 2) Get feedback 3) Refer others. Here's how!
Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!
- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.
Video: How to get more comments on your Instagram posts
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David is Tailwind’s Director of Marketing and Growth. He is a former journalist who wrote for The Times and The Financial Times, a marketing agency co-founder, founder of Confluence digital marketing conference, father of two, and early morning writer. He grew up on The Isle of Wight in England and lives in Oklahoma City.