If you care about increasing your engagement on social media, you should 1000% take the time to respond to comments from your supporters.
As someone who previously built from scratch and ghost managed a musician’s social media following of 40k+ people, I can attest that people are much more likely to re-engage with you if you engage with them.
Think about it this way, if someone walked up to you in person, smiled, and told you they loved your shirt, and then you responded by not acknowledging their presence and walking in the other direction, how likely is it that they’ll give you another compliment? (Note: as @nikkiq pointed out, this philosophy doesn’t necessarily apply if the commenter is hitting on you).
I used to personally respond (as my artist) to every single fan who tweeted at him or commented on on our Facebook page. The result was that we could drive 1,000+ likes in the first ten minutes of a new post because we created deep connection and loyalty!
Not having time is not an excuse, it’s just a way of saying that building your brand is not a priority. Especially when you’re trying to build your early supporter base, being responsive will go a long way.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts.
PS. As @mikefalb pointed out, there is an extreme counter strategy in the music industry (doesn’t necessarily apply to brands) where you can build mystique by not responding to anyone.