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What You Can Learn from Dolce & Gabbana’s 5 Instagram Comment Types

Instagram, the fastest-growing social media platform ever, has become an indispensable tool for brands trying to reach their target audiences, understand those audiences better, and foster trust and credibility. In this “pictures or it didn’t happen” age, Instagram has proven itself integral to forming brand visual identity, especially when it comes to fashion.

According to research from L2 ThinkTank, 98% of fashion brands worldwide have adopted Instagram. In the past few months, we have been tracking the following top fashion brands by audience size on Instagram.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-1-21-10-pmWe can see from the graphic above that Chanel has the largest number of followers in this data set, but, as our earlier study on the fashion industry indicates, a high number of followers does not guarantee high engagement or a highly active community.

Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) received the highest amount of engagement in this data period (17.4M), 559.5K more than the brand with the second highest engagement, Dior (16.9M). And this is for good reason: Dolce & Gabbana’s high art, magazine-style account aesthetic is tailor-made for its luxury goods–loving audience.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-3-19-02-pmWhile Likes on brand posts are the predominant engagement type, accounting for 99% of each brand’s engagement, it is important not to ignore the other 1%: comments. Gaining insight into what your audience is actually saying about your content is key to understanding what your brand perception is and how well your content is resonating.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-1-24-10-pm D&G was not only the most engaging brand; it also received the highest number of comments between 11/1/16 and 1/31/17.

Let’s look at the five different types of comments that D&G gets on its Instagram posts.

1. Brand Appreciation

D&G’s audience loves the brand and wants to let D&G know, using either emojis or positive words to show brand affection.

What Should Brands Do? Responding to these comments in a thankful manner can help brands go a long way in forging a real connection with their audience. While responding to each and every comment might not be possible, a few extra steps can make brands appear more genuine.screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-10-30-59-pm

For example, AirBnB reciprocates positive sentiments from its followers, and is one of the most successful brands on Instagram.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-2-59-21-pm

2. Soliciting Information

A large percentage of D&G comments are looking for more information on products, where to find them, and information about models and designers.

What Should Brands Do? Making a connection with a brand requires exchange of information and regular communication to keep the audience informed about products (new launches and their availability). While Instagram is a platform mainly for brands to build their visual identity, it also is a great resource for brands to listen in to their audience and promptly answer their questions in order to deepen their interest in the brand.

In our earlier studies, we have seen Wayfair reaching out to their customers with information on products and availability in Instagram comments. Tactics such as these made Instagram their most engaging and their fastest-growing channel.

3. Advocating the Brand

D&G’s audience does not just love the brand, they also recommend D&G’s products to their own networks. Word-of-mouth is the best kind of marketing a brand could ask for. It is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands.

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According to research by TNS, Ogilvy, and Google, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

What Should Brands Do? By keeping track of the posts that users tag their friends in the most, brands can determine which products/image types they should feature in the future. Such comments also provide a great opportunity for brands to proactively reach out to audience members with more information and offers about the product to help them make their decision.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-11-30-00-pm4. Discuss Product Aspects

Apart from mentioning their love for the brand, D&G’s audience also discusses various details of the brand’s materials and prints on Instagram.

What Should Brands Do? These are great moments to capture the audience’s interest by providing them with more detailed information about the product’s aspects being discussed, designers, etc. Such 2-way interactions can help portray the brands as more human and help them connect with their followers on a deeper level.screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-10-28-57-pm

While D&G’s audience appreciates the brand, they are also quite vocal about feedback on the products the brand showcases. Even though the brand doesn’t need to defend its designs/decisions to its followers on Instagram, this type of feedback reflects the values and interests of the brand’s target audience likes and dislikes, which could prove to be very informative for helping creating products the audience would love.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-9-37-02-am5. Comments in Foreign Languages

While D&G’s Instagram posts are in English, their audience’s comments range from Chinese to Russian to Arabic. This is not surprising, given that 80% of Instagram users come from outside the U.S.

What Should Brands Do? Track user comments in languages other than English. Deep dive into your Instagram data to understand how you are perceived in different parts of the world. Especially for global brands, this can be a rich source of information on what appeals to users beyond their primary market.  

Instagram comments provide an unprecedented opportunity for brands to not only listen in to what is being said about them beyond their brand mentions, but also to reach out to followers based on what the audience says about the brand. Building on this two-way communication is critical for any brand that aspires to truly understand, serve, and sell to its social audience.

Does your brand deep dive into user comments on Instagram? How do you gain access and sift through all this data? How should brands utilize this data to strengthen overall digital strategy? Leave us a comment, or download the kit below.


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Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!

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