Yes, you can now like replies on Instagram! You can also instantly tag someone by hitting the “reply” button, and if you haven’t hopped on the LIVE bandwagon yet, now is the time! Read more about Instagram LIVE and disappearing photos (ehem, Snapchat much?) in this post: Instagram Live Stories & Disappearing Images
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NEW Instagram Features
So that means, at least indirectly, Facebook made a change that is helpful for once!
Log into your Instagram account and you should see the little HEART icon next to replies. If you don’t see it yet, hold tight because it’s rolling out slowly across accounts.
Swipe left on a comment and you’ll also see an arrow. Hit the arrow and it automatically tags that person, so you don’t have to type their username. Yay! This is brand new for my account, though it seems they’re rolling out a literal “REPLY” button below comments which is awesome, too. Let me know if you have that feature already!
So what does this mean?
It means more interaction on Instagram, if you ask me. Making it easier to tag people, and making it possible to “like” comments should increase interaction quite a bit.
6 More Ways to Increase Instagram Interaction
These changes alone won’t help your account if you aren’t already doing all you can to increase your following and interaction. Here are a few tips to get your account rolling again if it’s been neglected:
1. Follow Instagram users in your niche. If you’re a food blogger, for example, this is super easy. It’s also easy for fashion bloggers, as they literally take over Instagram.
2. Use hashtags… with a plan. Don’t go all willy nilly #hashtagallthethings on Instagram. Yes, hashtags work. Yes, hashtags are awesome. But you’ve gotta have a plan or they aren’t going to do you much good. What is it you’re trying to accomplish with your hashtags? Who are you trying to attract? Think about that before you to hashtag crazy. Some hashtags work well across the board. Read more: 25 Most Popular Hashtags
3. Improve your photography or use stock photos. I know some people might disagree with me on this one, as using stock photos might make things feel a little less personal. The truth of the matter is, your Instagram is an extension of your brand. If you use stock photos on your blog, they will translate well over to Instagram. If you don’t use stock photos on your blog, you’ll want to stick with original photography on Instagram as well.
4. Stick to a schedule. I use Grum for scheduling my Instagram posts, but it isn’t an approved API so I’m not going to say “go use Grum!”. There are other options available (like Planoly) that allow you to schedule posts via desktop, and get a push notification on your phone when your post is supposed to go live. For me, this doesn’t work because I rarely look at my phone. If you’re glued to your phone all day, though, it’s perfect.
5. Be active. This means liking, commenting, and following in an authentic way. Follow popular users in your niche to see what they’re doing well – and what they’re not doing so well. Just like with every other platform, it’s trial and error for each individual.
6. Link your website in your profile. I use LinkInProfile* and to be honest it hasn’t increased my blog traffic from Instagram a TON, but like everything I think it needs a chance to catch on.
Remember, the number of followers you have doesn’t matter nearly as much as your interaction rate does. Yes, sponsors and brands are impressed with big numbers, but if you have 50,000 followers and nobody ever likes your photos, it’s kind of pointless to even have all of those followers, right?