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5 Ways to Win Followers and Customers With Your Responses to Instagram Comments Taking time to reply to your followers shows you care what they say and value them.

By Lesya Liu Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Time after time I see businesses not engaging in conversations on Instagram. I am not sure what it is about the platform, because this particular issue is not so widespread on other networks. Most companies respond to tweets. A vast majority of businesses can't afford ignoring comments on Facebook. Yet, Instagram feedback is treated coldly.

Instagram is a social network. Did you get it? Social. So, be social and react to comments. You wouldn't ignore people's remarks at a party and just casually pass them by.

So how do you respond to Instagram comments?

1. Spam and @ mentions.

This one is very easy. You report users and block them from future ability to comment and mention you.

When someone tags you on spam, click on the actual photo, select 3 vertical dots up top, click "Photo Options." Simply remove the tag.

If someone mentions you in a spam comment, you can just report it and block the handle. Same goes for mentions on the photo. Although it's a bit different than tagging in the actual photo, it works the same way. Simply remove the tag and block the user.

But what do you do if someone tagged you with the best intentions, but you don't want this image to be visible on your profile? Maybe, the image is blurry, you don't like how you look, or it's a promotional thing from one of your vendors? Simply toggle "Keep in Photos of You" to off. This will not remove the tag and offend anyone, but it will keep your profile clean and only with images you want to display.

Now that spam is out of the way, how do you respond to genuine posts?

Related: 5 Content Strategies That Will Always Work

2. One-word or emoji comments.

Instagram is notorious for this type of responses. How can you reply to it? This is the only instance, besides spam, that you don't have to address. Unless you really want to. Then, you can simply thank them for the comment or respond back with an emoji.

3. Praise and reviews.

This is the best kind of comments. If a person spent time writing you a compliment, thank them for it. Don't be ungrateful, because you might not get any more positive reviews after this. A simple thank you may suffice, but it is better to encourage the conversation by writing a thoughtful response. Plus, don't waste your chance to ask for permission to use it as a review on your site.

Always show your appreciation and gratitude. This will only raise you in the eyes of your followers and encourage even more praise.

Related: A Laid-Off Facebook News Curator Reveals What Fueled 'Trending' Topics

4. Negative comments and reviews.

If a negative review comes from a real person after a real incident, take the time to get to the bottom of it and make it right. Comments section might not be the best place to do it though. So, reach out to the person in another, more private medium or ask for their contact information.

This will show that you maintain your reputation, but that you take care of such matters in private. It's important to take negativity offline as much as possible. It will rub off wrong on you, not them.

Related: She Built an App Without Knowing How to Code -- and is Now a Millionaire

5. Questions.

This is the most important part. People took the time to ask you a question. Respond to it! If this is a simple question regarding your product, type out the response or send them to the link that has an answer.

If the question requires a wordy answer, ask for their email address in the comments and send the full response through email. You can also ask them to contact you by calling. Yet, you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to impress your followers with the level of the customer service you provide, so don't just count on them contacting you. Find a way to reach out to them, like through sending them a Direct Message (unlike with Facebook). If you decide to contact them privately, publish a public comment letting them know to look for your DM.

There is no right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on the situation and how lengthy the response will be. Generally speaking, if you require more information to respond, or your answer is really long, it's better to take it off the comment section.

After all, Instagram is no different from other social networks when it comes to comments. Take the time to go through them and address the ones that require a reply. Even if your posts get millions of likes and thousands of mentions, monitor them and respond to the most pressing ones. It will show that you read what your followers have to say.

Lesya Liu

Social Media Strategist at The Social Media Current

Lesya Liu helps entrepreneurs create a meaningful and profitable Instagram presence that feels right for their creative businesses. Born and raised in Ukraine, she is a social media strategist and a photographer. Her passion lies in combining art and marketing to create compelling storytelling, both visually and textually. Most days she roams the Interwebs, looking for fresh, inspirational ideas or testing things out on her own social channels.

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