Instagram Comments and Engagement — 6 Things You’re Doing Wrong

Instagram Comments and Engagement
Instagram Comments and Engagement 5


Can we talk about Instagram comments for a moment? I’ve been reading, investigating & learning & I have some tips if you want to ‘up’ your engagement. It turns out I’ve been doing things a bit wrong (a bitter pill to swallow), but I’m not the only one. That’s comforting at least. 

We all know that engagement is important on Instagram, especially right now. The algorithm has been an absolutely [insert word here] lately, and I have personally dropped from 300-and-some followers and 80-100 likes per post to 330 followers and around 20 likes per post.

I have a hundred and one words I could use to describe how I feel about Instagram right now, but I think an emoji might do the trick quite well. 


Instagram Comments and Engagement 2


Instagram Comments and Engagement — 6 Things You’re Doing Wrong

Beyond annoyed that I’m putting in all these Insta-hours and getting nowhere fast, I did some reading. A lot of reading. I looked at what seemed to be working for those bloggers and other influencers that were doing considerably better than me. I read every blog post under the sun that I could find. And then I trawled Instagram endlessly, trying to find some sort of pattern between good engagement and bad engagement.

This is what I found …

1 – You’re not posting long enough comments.  

I honestly I don’t know why this is. Perhaps Instagram doesn’t think a comment is really a comment unless it contains five words or more, but what first started out as an “Instagram rumour” might actually be true. 

I took a peek at some of the best performing Instagram accounts that I follow. One blogger with a large following (20k +) consistently posts comments on other blogs and every single one of those comments is … yep, you guessed it: longer than five words. Whenever she responds to comments on her own Instagram posts, those responses always contain five words or more. 

If your Instagram engagement is going down the pan, you’ve got nothing to lose, right? Try the five-words-or-more comment and response trick. If it’s good enough for the 20k folk, it’s good enough for me. 

2 – You’re posting 6 emojis in a line. 

Five words or more … 6 emojis should be just enough, right? 



Firstly, 6 emojis in a line works occasionally for, like, seriously special comment-occasions, but regularly?


How is someone seriously meant to respond to a bunch of emojis? They don’t ask a question. They don’t really say anything. Emojis are easily misinterpreted. They’re cute and all, but are they really suitable for that Insta-comment? 

If you’re going to leave a bunch of heart-eyes and flame emojis, switch them up for:

“Love that outfit! You look fab. Where’d you get those shoes from?”


“I love your Instagram page! Such beautiful images. What camera do you use?”

3 – You’re not asking a question that demands an answer.

Do you see what I did with the suggestions above? I asked a question that demanded an answer. Well, kind-of demanded an answer. Someone with 20k followers on Instagram probably gets so many comments every day that they wouldn’t have time to respond to every single one of them. You never know though; someone else might just answer your question if the original poster doesn’t. 

Engagement, engagement, engagement! 

I say it a lot and I’ll say it again right now — if you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you don’t ask a question, you won’t get an answer. Go out there and ask for your engagement.

In the words of Take That: “It only takes a minute, girl.”


Instagram Comments and Engagement 3

4 – You’re not responding to comments fast enough.

Experts believe that you get your best engagement on Instagram within two hours of posting. In my experience, this is true. I get the odd little trail-off of likes and comments, two or three days after I post, but the majority of likes and comments come in the first two or three hours. 

I read that your Instagram post will only be shown to around ten percent of your followers initially. If they respond well — commenting and liking the post — it will then be shown to more followers — the other ninety percent. 

Is it true? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that the Instagram posts I “pay attention to” get much better engagement than the ones I don’t. And, by “pay attention to,” I mean posting, liking a bunch of other posts with the same hashtags, commenting on a few (5 words or more), and then responding to comments immediately — within an hour or two.

5 – You’re copy/pasting the same comment on a bunch of different images. 

Instagram will think you’re spam for sure if you do this. There’s a good chance that the person whose post you just commented on will think you’re spam too. Your comment might even get deleted. What a waste of your time. 

In my experience, trying to copy/paste the same comment a whole bunch of times on different images soon results in an error message — Instagram can’t post the comment right now, please try again later. In a world of shadowbanning, this behaviour probably isn’t going to do you any favours. 

It takes just a moment to tap out a comment on Instagram, and a unique comment is going to grab the attention of whoever posted it much more than a generic message that you’ve posted on a hundred other pictures already. If the comment isn’t worth your time to tap out, it’s not worth your time to post. 

6 – You’re not playing fair. 

When was the last time you posted an updated, clicked on one or two of the hashtags you used, and liked or commented on a few of the posts you see in the results? Or are you more of a post-and-run kinda guy/gal? The latter isn’t good for Instagram growth. 

In order to receive, you’re going to need to give. Make people know that you exist … Give them a reason to come and like your Instagram posts and follow you. Check out the people and accounts that are liking and commenting on your posts and give them some love in return. You should take a closer look at other accounts using the same hashtags as you too — they haven’t found you and your account yet, but if you give them a like or a comment first, they might just find you and follow you. 

Let these potential new followers know you exist — there’s nothing wrong with making the first move. Plus, it’s rude to receive, receive, receive and not give anything back in return. 


The clue’s in the name … SOCIAL media. 


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I have a whole bunch of other tips to share, but I think I’ve talked the ears off you lovely lot enough for today. They’ll be in a future blog post, I promise.

I’m putting my own tips to the test on my Instagram account right now, so I’ll be sure to come back and let you know what’s going on. I’d love to know if these tips have helped you. Have you tried any of them already? What happened when you did? I’m dying to find out! 

Thank you so much for reading my blog today.

Have a great one!

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2 Thoughts to “Instagram Comments and Engagement — 6 Things You’re Doing Wrong”

  1. I’ll have to try the five word reply tip. It’s all too easy to just say “Thanks lovely” I’m as guilty as the next! I tend to find no matter whether I use hashtags or no hashtags, the one thing insta is all about is return engagement. I’ve not been too good lately and my likes have dropped off the scale. I’ll be referring back to your post. Great tips!

    Samantha x

    1. ukwordgirl

      Hi Samantha! Thanks for reading & commenting! 🙂

      I think it got to a point where it didn’t matter how many comments I left, I still didn’t see an increase in engagement. It annoyed the hell outta me! I did some researching and I saw the 5-word thing, gave it a try and I actually think I’m getting more likes. (Mostly on my vaping Insta, not this one yet.)

      I’m making notes so I’ll be sure to update you. It might be another one of those Insta-fads that everyone tries and soon stops being effective, haha.

      Hope you’re having a fab long weekend!


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