As I learned to use Instagram, one of the first tactics I learned was to add my hashtags as my first comment on the post.
But I wasted time looking for a tool to do this. You don’t need a tool to do this.
We add hashtags as the first comment because:
- then they don’t clutter up the description,
- as your post receives more comments, the hashtags are eventually hidden away behind the “see more comments” link.
Because I am tech-savvy, I have a tendency to look for supporting tools. And I went off to look for a tool to help me do this.
Instagram is one of the harder platforms to automate because they especially forbid a lot of automation through their API.
Therefore when we automate post creation, all the tools have a manual step on a mobile device where you have to finish the upload process.
- the image is added and ready for you to apply filters
- the description is added to your clipboard ready to paste
Automating the creation of a first comment is not supported. Most likely because the API only allows you to create comments as ‘replies’.
Obviously then. I set out to look for a tool to help me create that first comment.
Long story short, I didn’t find one.
I was tempted to write one… but didn’t.
I only realised what I should do after adopting the following tactics:
- typing in hashtags through the mobile device (painful)
- using a bluetooth keyboard to type in hashtags to the mobile device (time consuming)
- copy and pasting from evernote (hassle)
Belatedly, I realised that I already had everything I needed during the workflow I was using.
What to do
I tend to work from my desktop or laptop, therefore I schedule the posting of Instagram through PromoRepublic
- I create an image either in PromoRepublic or Stencil
- I write the post description in Evernote, and copy that into PromoRepublic - I always write my online posts offline to reduce the risk of browser or connection failure
- I use my HashTag Tracking and Research Spreadsheet to select the Hashtags that I’m targetting
- I add these HashTags to Evernote
- I copy and paste from Evernote, into PromoRepublic when scheduling the post - this includes both the description and the hashtags
- When PromoRepublic prompts me on my mobile device to complete the post upload to instagram, during the process where I paste in the description
- Prior to hitting “Next” to upload the post, I select and then ‘cut’ the HashTags so they are not part of the post
- When the post has been uploaded, I add my first comment, which is the set of HashTags from the device clipboard that I cut out of the description
I don’t need any additional tools.
I never did.
Too often I jump to tooling to solve a perceived problem, when the fact is I just needed more practice on the platform.
This is why we have to remain practioners and constantly explore the platforms that we work with. Even for simple activities like cut/copy/paste.