In the last few weeks, Instagram introduced a new feature that has largely gone unnoticed by many. However, if it's used effectively, it could really have a positive impact on your posts, your engagement with your followers, and promoting yourself.
Recently, I can’t remember too many times I’ve felt Instagram (or its big brother, Facebook, for that matter) has introduced new measures that have actually been helpful for users. From changes to its algorithms that reduce reach and access to your followers all the way through to littering your feed with sponsored post after sponsored post, it’s felt like an eternal uphill battle to both enjoy Instagram and use it for any kind of meaningful business promotion.
That being said, Instagram has recently implemented a small change that I think has the potential to be very helpful if used prudently. What is it? The ability to pin specific comments to the top of your comments list. Until this option was put in place, comments used to appear either in chronological order (newest first) or in "top" order (whatever that meant), and there was nothing you could do to reorder them or change their position. This was mildly annoying because oftentimes, I wanted the option to put a specific comment at the top of the list instead of leaving it buried 20 comments down the list and hidden from pretty much everyone else’s eyes.
Now, however, you can easily select specific comments and pin them to the top of the list. To see what I’m talking about, let me show you some images to make it clearer.
In the photo above, I’ve put a red circle around a specific comment that I liked. At that time, it was buried deep down in the comments list, and not many people would have seen it. It was even placed well beneath a comment with little more than six fire emojis. Prior to the new update on Instagram, there was nothing I could have done about its position. But as you can see in the image below, following the update, if you swipe left with your finger across the comment from the right side, then you get that little pin icon you can push.
Once you’ve selected the comment to pin and then clicked on the little icon, the comment is labeled “pinned” and will sit nicely at the top of all your comments, regardless of when it was written, as you can see in the image below. You can pin up to three comments in total.
Why Would You Use This Feature?
It’s a particularly helpful feature if you happen to have something you’re promoting and someone writes a comment that is positive or informative in relation to your promotion. Let’s say, for example, you’re having a flash sale on prints from your website for seven days only. Then, someone writes a comment on your most recent post and says: “Hey, I got my print delivered today. Absolutely outstanding quality. Thank you!” That’s a really good word-of-mouth testimony coming from a customer. Of course, you’d want to pin something like that to the top so all other people looking at your image would see that comment first and might be more inclined to buy from you having seen someone else's approval. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting really good feedback and seeing it buried20 comments down beneath a couple of love heart emojis.
You could also pin one of your own comments to the top if you wanted to give it more impact or didn't want to include that information in your image caption. For instance, you might post a particular image and write about it in your caption, discussing elements of the image and, perhaps, the gear you used and so forth, but you might want to keep the caption related entirely to that specific image, so then you could use a pinned comment for something else. For example, you could use it to remind your followers that you're having a seven-day flash sale going on. It could be something along the lines of: “Just a friendly reminder that if you like this image or any others in my gallery, there’s a seven-day flash sale on all images at up to 50% off. Visit my website for more details.” These are just two simple examples but I think it’s a really good feature that Instagram has introduced.
Playing a social media game isn’t easy. As I posted recently, there are a couple of little things you can do to help promote yourself, and I think this new pin comments feature is one of them. It might be small, but every little bit of help counts. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.