April 28, 2014

With over 200 million monthly active users on Instagram, chances are your customers are using this platform. And if they're using Instagram, they could very well be talking about you and your business. Are they saying good things? Are they issuing complaints? How can you find out?

There are three different ways to find out if people are talking about you on Instagram.

I will cover all three reasons here. But first, I want to make sure you know why you should be monitoring this information.

In a connected world, customer service and quick responses to customers is paramount in setting yourself apart from your competitors and for setting up your future successes. If you can resolve a customer complaint or offer a solution within a short period of time, your customers will most often appreciate the effort and the benefits will magnify themselves.

Imagine you had a bad meal at a restaurant you frequent regularly and you shared a photo and complained about it on Instagram just because you were annoyed (meaning you weren't attempting to be malicious). What if later that day the restaurant responded to you and not only apologized but offered you a free meal on your next visit. You'd take them up on that right? You would have been impressed with their customer service. You're looking forward to a free meal now (so now you're a returning customer again). And you'll probably go and tell a bunch of people about the great response.

That is all good publicity for the restaurant and shows how they can easily calm a negative comment and turn it into a positive.

Now, what if they never responded to you. Would you go back again? Probably not. Would you tell others about the negative experience? Likely so. The restaurant loses not only you as a customer but potentially other new customers too.

This concept of social media customer service isn't new. We all know that this same principle is in effect on Twitter and other social media sites. But we all too often forget about Instagram as business owners. This is a mistake. As Instagram grows in popularity and influence, the need for attention on this platform is magnified.

Ok, so now you know why  you need to monitor who's talking about you on Instagram. But how do you do it?

@ Mentions

The easiest way to see who is talking about you is to check your notifications for @ mentions. Every time someone mentions your business in a post or tags you in a photo, you will receive a notification. This is easy because you receive these notifications directly on your device.

However, Instagram only shows you the last 75 notifications. If you're receiving multiple notifications for photo uploads and new followers, you could easily miss regular @ mentions. Therefore it's important that you are checking your notifications regularly throughout the day. The frequency will depend on the level of activity on your account.


If you have custom hashtags associated with your business, you should be monitoring these regularly. You can search the hashtag directly on Instagram to see all images and videos tagged with your hashtag. This is quick and easy and will give you a clear insight as to who is talking about you and what they are saying about you.

I also recommend checking for common mis-spellings of your hashtag. Do people often leave out a letter by accident? Do they add a "the" or something else to the tag? Find out what common mistakes people make and search for these hashtags too. You'd hate to miss something because someone forgot to include one letter.

Also, if you're tracking your hashtags across multiple social media sites, you can utilize sites like Tagboard which will show you when your hashtags are being used on the big social media sites, including Instagram.

Geo-Tagged Locations

Have you ever "checked-in" at a location on Instagram? You know, when you add the location feature to your photo and choose from a list of options to find the business name. It's easy and tells your friends where you are. But did you know that you can find all the posts geo-tagged with a specific location?

It's a little harder to do and many don't commonly use this method. Which is why I recommend you do! Stand out from your competitors.

To find out all the posts tagged at a specific location, you need to click on the blue location name (hyperlink) from a post. If you have posts on your account that you've geo-tagged with your business location, just pull up one of those images and click on the location. You will be taken to a list of all the photos for your business as well as map showing the specific location.

You can also do this for any business, not just your own... Maybe a little spying on your competitors is in order?

If you don't have any photos in your feed tagged with your business name - why not? You should be tagging all of your business photos with your location! This makes it easier for people looking for you to learn more about you!

But anyways, if you don't have any photos with your location tagged, upload a photo and when you get to the screen to add your description and "add to map" select your business name from the list of businesses to add the location to the image. Once the image is uploaded, you can click on the blue location name as I just mentioned above.

So now you know how to find out who's talking about you on Instagram. And now it's up to you to talk to these people! Respond to their comments. Engage with them. Thank them. Apologize if needed. Use this information to create brand advocates who will help your business grow leaps and bounds!

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