A social media comments section without community management is like walking through a minefield and hoping for the best.
Users spend all this time humanizing brands, which is why they want to see that there is a person behind the brand that takes the time to engage and care about what they have to say.
In this post, we'll take you through the importance of social media comments and tips and tricks for managing and participating in Instagram and TikTok's comment sections.
A social media post's comment section is a lens into what your followers care about and what content of yours interests them. It's also a place for them to communicate with other followers to gain insight, show support, or ask any burning questions about products or services, etc. In addition to leaving positive comments or clarifying questions, a comment section is also a place for criticism. Followers who are unhappy or have a bad experience with your products or content can express that. And even though it's hard to hear a follower or customer is unsatisfied, it's a learning opportunity for your business or brand.
As the creator, brand, or business owner, you can respond directly to user comments or use direct messages for an "offline" or a more private conversation. Engaging with your audience builds trust with your followers and promotes future engagement on other posts because they know you are a responsive account who cares.
Instagram and TikTok are two of the most popular social media platforms out there. Both have highly engaged audiences of people who like to comment on posts and videos. However, each platform's comment section serves a different purpose. For example, followers use Instagram for questions, while TikTok's comment section provides a secondary form of entertainment. Let's break each of these platforms down in more detail.
Your Instagram comments are the only place users can publicly communicate with you. They are a chance for your audience to experience your brand personality. Many brands use comments as another form of customer service.
If your brand is going through a rough patch of negative sentiment, monitoring comments can act as a form of damage control. When things are going well, responding to comments can make your brand's personality shine even brighter.
Here are a few tips for managing comments on the day-to-day:
Pinning a comment ensures exposure. If you see a comment that presents your brand in a positive light, pinning it to the top makes it the first comment anyone will notice. The same goes for an interesting or funny comment you want everyone to see or even a frequently asked question with your response.
Engaging with your comments makes your brand more relatable. People like to know there is a person behind your account. Responding to and liking comments does wonders for boosting engagement, brand awareness, and overall brand sentiment.
Here's an example of how to respond to a customer who had a negative experience with your product, "I am sorry you had that experience. We'd love to make it right. Send us a DM." It shows the customer and everyone reading the comments that you care and will take the time to fix it. Taking the private conversation lets you address their concerns without worrying about public discourse.
Deleting negative comments is typically a bad idea. Concerned customers who comment often wait for a response. If they see that you disregarded their concern by deleting their comment, they will likely return and have even more negative things to say. Show them you are transparent with your audience and accepting of criticism.
However, you should delete hateful comments and words that target and potentially harm an individual.
Instagram has a few options for when you want to take more extreme measures in your comment section. Despite transparency being a best practice for a creator or brand on social media, it's sometimes beneficial to clean up your comment section by creating a list of words you want to filter out from your comment section, blocking comments, or turning off a post's comments completely. For example, hate comments or when a brand or account gets called out for a position or decision that's either scandalous or problematic. To learn more about this, check out our guide to callout vs. cancel culture.
Additionally, Instagram posts experience a lot of spam comments, especially if it's a big brand or account. It's best to delete these types of words to remove the clutter so people can participate in the conversation or read your answers to important information.
PLANOLY Pro-Tip: To help combat these spam-like comments, you can use Instagram's privacy settings to create a list of words commonly used in spam comments to avoid them altogether. Here's how:
Step 1: Head to your Instagram profile page, and tap the icon with the three bars on the upper right part of your screen.
Step 2: Tap' Settings', ' Privacy,' 'Hidden Words,' and then scroll down to 'Custom words and phrases.'
Step 3: Tap 'Manage custom words and phrases' and then add the words you want to hide from your comment section. Once you've added your list of words, tap the arrow to return to the previous page.
Step 4: Underneath 'Manage custom words and phrases,' says 'Hide comments,' tap the toggle to activate your custom list of hidden words and phrases.
The TikTok comment section is a place where users go for more entertainment. TikTok users developed a unique sense of humor and language, and it all starts in the comment section. The TikTok experience wouldn't be the same without comments. Not only do the comments enhance the video and are often funnier than the actual video, but it's also a way to discover new trends before they blow up. For example, the eye lip eye emoji sequence ( 👁️👄👁️ ) probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for TikTok comments. So like the TikTok kids, "I tripped running to the comments," you should for almost every video come you scroll on.
Here's how to benefit from the TikTok comment section's powers.
There are a few advantages of TikTok's comment pinning feature. TikTok humor and inside jokes start in the comments. Usually, one comment sets off a chain reaction of similar jokes and reactions. Pat your commenters on the back by pinning top-performing comments to the top of your post. In doing so, you make it easier for new viewers to find the comedy hotspot when they pop open the comments section.
You can also filter TikTok comments. Just head to your safety settings, tap 'Filter Comments,' then add keywords you want to avoid.
Leave Comments On Videos
Successful TikTok brands DuoLingo and Tinder are finding success by replying to their comments and commenting on the posts of users in their audience. They're joining the conversation at the same level as their commenters, which makes the brands feel more approachable and encourages more engagement all around.
Tinder often comments on videos of people talking about their dating life. In these videos, people talk about their "unhinged" dating stories through a competitor dating app, and Tinder will swoop in with a witty comment about joining their app instead (TBT to West Elm Caleb.) Not only is it cool for accounts to get comments from big brands, but also an easy way to stay relevant to your audience. According to Sprout Social's Harris Poll, "77% of consumers will choose a brand over another after a positive experience with a brand on social media."
TikTok has a feature where you can make response videos to comments and serves as a video content idea or bucket for your TikTok content strategy. For example, you can take a comment a user leaves and use it as the background of your video. People answer questions this way or make 1, 5, etc. part series videos telling a story And one of the best ways to keep up with what's trending on social media is by being in the comments on TikTok.
A lot is going on when it comes to TikTok. Trending video ideas, sounds, and dance challenges, but one of the most valuable tools is learning and paying attention to the terminology. A lot of popular phrases derive from popular TikTok videos. Like "He's a ten, but he…" or "Tell me you ____ without telling me you ____." Knowing where these phrases come from can help you create your content or comment on videos in a relevant and relatable way. Check out this example from Jordan Firstman, where he makes an entire video mimicking Gen Z vernacular.
That's the breakdown for social media content management. Wanna learn more about managing social media comments for video content? Check out the PLANOLY Presents Building Community workshop. You can also learn more about our Comments Manager tool for Instagram. It will save you time when keeping track of your community engagement.