How Do I Track Instagram Comments?

When you've got lots of Instagram comments to manage, use these tools

Photo © Carl Court / Getty Images

Encouraging your Instagram followers to leave comments on your photo and video posts is a great way to engage with them, but if you've got hundreds or thousands of users commenting, it can be pretty difficult to keep track of them all. Luckily, there are at least a couple tools to help you out with that.

Free: HootSuite for Tracking Instagram Comments

HootSuite is one of the most popular social media management tools that you can use for free to manage your accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram and more. It displays streams of information from your accounts in easy to view columns so you can keep a bird's eye view of everything and manage them all.

When you sign up for a free HootSuite account, you should see a button labeled Add a Social Network near the top of your dashboard. Clicking that will allow you to connect your Instagram to HootSuite.

The best way to track the comments you receive on Instagram is by adding a My Posts stream to your dashboard. You'll then see a stream of your posts just as you would on your own Instagram profile, along with the comments beneath them shown in reverse order (most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom).

You can click the comment number link directly beneath the post (such as "150 comments") to expand them all in a new popup window. Unfortunately, HootSuite doesn't have the built-in reply button for commenters that the Instagram app has, nor does it all you to delete comments from HootSuite, which is a bit of a bummer for those who want to seriously manage and moderate comments rather than just view them. You can, however, reply to other commenters manually by typing in their usernames in the box directly beneath the post, right before the comments.

Premium: Iconosquare for Tracking Instagram Comments

Iconosquare (formerly Statigram) is the leading analytics and marketing tool for Instagram, which connects directly to your account so you can manage comments, find out which photos have performed the best, see how many followers you lost and so much more. You can manage your entire Instagram experience from this platform in ways that no other platform does. 

Iconosquare is free to sign up to get access to some basic features and a trial of the premium features, including the comment management feature, but after your trial is up you'll need to pay to keep using it. You'll be required to create an account with Iconosquare by entering some basic information (like your name, time zone, email address and password) before you can connect up to two Instagram accounts upon signing up.

You may have to wait a bit before Iconosquare fetches all of your information from your Instagram accounts. It shouldn't take more than an hour.

To start tracking comments in Iconosquare, roll your cursor over the menu icon to the left of your screen until you see the menu slide out. Clicking Manage will reveal several more menu options, including the comment tracker.

The comment tracker will display a feed of your most recent thumbnail photos similar to how your Instagram profile looks. Here is where you can easily read and respond to comments that you may have missed while using the app, showing you all your unread comments on your most recent posts. Iconosquare pulls updates to show you the latest comments that came in over the last 5 to 10 minutes.

Iconosquare's comment tracker is great for Instagram accounts that see a high level of interaction and when a user needs a clean, simple layout — ideally on a desktop computer — to properly manage comments. Although new comments show up in the activity tab on the Instagram app, they can get lost in the feed of likes and follows, making it easy to miss lots of them or lose track of the ones you need to reply to.

Premium: SproutSocial for Tracking Instagram Comments

If you take social media marketing very seriously and have other social networks you'd like to manage in addition to Instagram, SproutSocial may be a more appropriate option than Iconosqaure. As one of the top social media management tools out there, SproutSocial has a very extensive offering of features and you can also use it to manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

If you're serious about managing your Instagram comments, you'll want to check out SproutSocial for its super simple and functional engagement feature, which puts all your Instagram comments in one place. You can find and reply to any comment in a thread with just a click.

Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial, after which a premium membership is at least $99 per month per user. Iconosquare in comparison is at least $54 a year, but its Comment Trackers will only track the five most recent posts on your account.

Choosing Your Instagram Comment Tracker

While HootSuite may do just fine for casual comment tracking — even for slightly larger accounts with lots of engagement — Iconosquare or SproutSocial are likely better options if you need to track and reply to hundreds or thousands of comments in a timely manner. These two premium platforms are also ideal if you want access to more premium Instagram tools, including hashtag tracking and analytics.