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How to Manage Your Instagram Community

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 |

Effective Ways to Manage your Instagram Community

Instagram is rising through the ranks of Facebook and Twitter - even surpassing the latter in terms of monthly active users (over 300 million as of July 2015) - its growth rate showing no signs of stopping. Despite its growing user base, however, many business professionals still don’t recognize the value of Instagram. Because brands don’t understand the network, they either avoid it or treat it as a side project and don’t put much effort into it. As mobile continues to dominate, priorities as well as the perception of Instagram will likely change and businesses should be prepared to extend their reach through the mobile networking service.

Every social media platform has a community - Instagram included. Managing a community on Instagram is different from managing a community on other platforms, but fret not. Social Media Today shares six important tips for community management on Instagram:

1. Check your notifications often.
Be sure to keep an eye on your notifications in real-time once your content goes live. This is crucial because the notifications pane in Instagram currently only shows you the 80 most recent comments, and most people see and engage with photos when they are first posted.

2. Reply to comments.
Responding to comments is standard and important on any platform, but on Instagram, it’s often ignored. Get conversations going, ask questions, and engage. Show your followers that your brand is accessible and willing to listen, and personal connections and loyalty will follow. Don’t forget to tag the person’s username so they will be notified.

3. Encourage users to tag their friends.
You may find that most comments are people simply tagging their friends. This can be a little discouraging since you can’t engage much with just a username, but you should still encourage it - more eyes on your content can result to more engagement and followers.

4. Use third party web-based services.
That it is mobile-based is what throws most people off about Instagram. You can’t post photos or see your notifications in its current desktop version. Take advantage of third party web-based services like Iconosquare for an easier and more convenient way to check your notifications via PC.

5. Use Instagram Direct to run giveaways.
Comment-to-win sweepstakes are great for boosting comments. When you’ve selected your winners, tell them you’ll reach out via Instagram Direct (Instagram’s version of a Facebook private message or Twitter direct message) where you can privately request for their email address and pass along the prize.

6. Check hashtags for user-generated content.
Your fans may already be posting content about your products or services, which is almost always a given for food-related brands. Try searching a few hashtags related to your brand and a hashtag of your brand name and see what’s out there. Engage on their photos with likes and comments - they’ll most likely be thrilled to see the recognition and follow your brand if they aren’t already.

You can also showcase your community by featuring user-generated content. Use Instagram Direct or comment to reach out and get permission, then regram or post their photos. Be sure to always give credit.

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