Direct Messages on Instagram isn’t a new feature by any means— it’s been around since 2013, so with 8 strong years of sliding into people’s DMs, it’s time to see how we can expand the use for even more productivity.
Over 375 million users are active on DMs, and that number is only growing. How can we take advantage of that number and use it to connect with our audience members?
Instagram is one of the biggest marketing tools available today because of the content sharing and messaging functions available to businesses. IG makes it easy to connect with users in your target audience on a big scale.
When you want to make even more personal connections with your followers on an individual basis, you can use DMs to do exactly that. If you haven’t started using it yet, it’s time!
Let’s take a look at what Instagram direct messages can do for your business and how you should be using them.
A Brief Overview of Instagram Direct Messages and How to Send Them
If you have somehow avoided using the DM feature on Instagram, we’ll give you a quick overview:
- In the upper right corner of Instagram, there is a little chat bubble icon that will allow you to open direct messages.
- There, you can view and respond to your Instagram DMs, create new messages, and also see which users tagged you in their stories.
There are also ways to send DMs outside of the main inbox:
- If you’re watching an IG story, responding to the story will send a DM.
- Visit someone’s profile and click the message button to send a DM.
- If you’re looking at a post, the third icon from the left, also a paper airplane icon, will share the post into a DM to the user of your choice.
Now, you can even send more than text messages via DM— you can send voice messages, do video calls, as well as send images and videos. You have so many great ways to interact with your users and develop a winning brand strategy.
How to Use Instagram Direct Messages for Business
Instagram stories and in-feed content posts are great for reaching the masses, but DMs allow you to connect more personally with your audience.
Here are four ways you can maximize your use of Instagram direct messages to grow your business.
Connect with Leads Individually
When someone contacts you directly, it’s vital that you respond quickly; this is what people expect and if you don’t respond quickly, you’ll seem inactive.
Responding to your followers and viewers builds trust and makes connections with your leads. If someone takes the initiative to message you, you’re already ahead— they’re interested.
Interact with your users and make sure that you connect with them on a personal basis; your recommendations and contact means a lot and can inform your profitability.
Use Instagram Stories to Get Messages
The Swipe Up feature on IG stories is one of the biggest, most powerful ways to funnel traffic to your website. This feature is only available to users with over 10k followers and a business account, though.
So what if you don’t have it? Direct messages can help you make up for it in a few ways:
- Ask a question in your stories and encourage followers to send you an answer via DMs. You can then make a connection with them.
- If you are discussing a new product or service, add a poll to your story asking who wants more info. If you got a yes response, send that user a DM.
- When sharing stories about upcoming events, ask your viewers to DM you for more information. You can then have real-time conversations about the event and get people interested.
You can even combine some of the features— use a poll with a question tag! This is a great way to show users that you want to hear from them and connect with them.
Use Instagram Direct Messages to Network
It’s obvious that you can use DMs to make connections with your customers, but how about possible partners? It can also expand your business contacts.
Maybe there’s an account on Instagram you’ve been following and would love to interview on IG live, or perhaps there are some industry experts that you want to create content or a blog post with. It could be that you just want an influencer, business, or IG user to share your content.
Use Instagram direct messages to help make those goals a reality! When you message someone directly, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to get in touch with that person quickly.
Before you do this, though, be sure that you’ve been engaging with that user’s content through liking photos, commenting, viewing stories, etc. This means they’ve likely seen your username pop up a variety of times before you message them.
Your message can be light and friendly without too much rambling. Be clear and direct. If you get no response, you can follow up with them.
This shows that you’re serious about creating a relationship. If you’re wondering what are the best ways to start, here are some ideas:
- Research their brand or business and know what value you can offer them (monetary or otherwise)
- Ensure you’re doing this to truly build a relationship that benefits everyone, not simply asking for them to do you a favor.
- Reference a recent post element or comment on their relevant Instagram story.
Here’s an example of how your message may look:
Hi (brand or influencer)! I just saw in your story that you’re starting a new workout program and you’re looking for accountability partners. I’m happy to do that for you— maybe we can create some different content and tag each other for accountability! Let me know 🙂 Thanks, (your name).
Hi (brand or influencer)! I just finished reading your most recent blog/ website/ book and I thought it was awesome. I’m a social media manager and I’d love to create 5-10 posts for you at no cost! Let me know if you’re interested so that we can set up a call. Thanks so much -(your name).
Reach Out to Constant Engagers
Pay attention to who is always liking your content, commenting, or viewing your stories. Do they always respond to your polls? Do they watch your IGTVs or Lives?
When you have a very active user, send them a personal message. Be authentic and genuinely thank them for engaging with your content. This personalized experience will make them feel happy and encourage them to continue engaging.
You can also offer them a special promo code or alternative thank you, which will help lead to more sales and prompt them to take action.
Why Choose Instagram Direct Messages?
There are plenty of ways to connect with your target audience, like email, text, or phone, so why bother with Instagram direct messages? People are active on social media, and they’re likely to see it very quickly.
In the past, you couldn’t send users a direct message directly from your news feed until after May 2018. Previously, direct messages from users that you weren’t following went into a pending folder, increasing the likelihood that it would be missed or unseen.
Now, that’s not the case— it’s simple to send and receive direct messages and this promotes productive conversation with your clients, leads, partners, and potential partners.
Quick Reply for Business Accounts
In order to help businesses even more, Instagram has implemented the Quick Reply feature, allowing businesses to create and load pre-created responses to make it easier to get back to your followers.
This can be particularly useful if you have a new product launch or event coming and people are going to be asking for a bunch of similar information. The quick reply helps to get that information out more effectively and without retyping it over and over again.
Here’s an example:
The event is June 10-12 in (City, State) at (venue name). Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at URL.com. Is there anything specific you’d like to know?
Tip: Don’t send pre-written messages to users who DMd you. They want you to really talk to them, not simply send a bunch of bot or generic responses. For this reason, when you use these types of quick replies, take a second to customize it for each user and make sure that the reply matches their initial message and responds to anything they told you.
How to use Quick Replies
To create a quick reply, go to the Business Settings portion of your app and select Quick Replies. You can then add, edit, or delete quick replies.
When you want to add a quick reply to a message, click the message icon with three dots. Your quick replies will appear; tap the one you want to use, edit and customize it, and send it off.
Instagram has a huge impact on sales; a Business Insider study shows that a product was purchased by 72% of IG users after seeing it on Instagram, which is a big deal. Further, 80% of social media users look to Instagram to decide which brands or businesses to support, and personalized experiences caused 49% of consumers to make a purchase.
Hence, Instagram DMs have a huge impact. You can use Instagram to promote new products in your stories and also in your content; you can do Q&A sessions on Instagram Live, and more. In all of these methods, you can let users know to contact you via DM if they need any help, have questions, or just want to say hey.
People expect brands and businesses to be responsive and have an active presence on social media. Responding quickly and in a personalized way helps to show your customers that you do.
What’s more, people are very active on social media, so it’s likely that you can easily reach them and it won’t be an inconvenience for them to get back to you, making them more likely to consider buying from you or building a relationship with you.
Direct Messaging On Mac And PC – Step-By-Step
It’s super easy to DM on a mobile device, but if you’re using social media for business, it’s likely that you also want to use either a Mac or PC as well.
Instagram is available on these devices, and you can now use Instagram direct messages on the web version as well, so we’re going to quickly show you how you can do that.
Step 1 — Access Instagram Direct Messages
The first thing you need to do is navigate to Instagram.com and log in on your computer. You’ll then go to your feed, seeing posts and stories from the accounts you follow. In the top right corner, next to the home icon, you’ll see the chat bubble icon.
Step 2 — Choose an Account to Manage
Click the chat bubble icon and you’ll end up in your direct messages. You will see all of your previous conversations here. If you want to chat with an account you’ve already messaged, you can scroll through and find it.
If you don’t want to scroll, or you want to send a new message to a user you haven’t contacted, you can use the blue Send Message button that appears on the right of the screen.
A window will appear with a search box and also suggested accounts. Find the user you want to send a message to and click Next.
Step 3 — Compose Your Message
Now, you can simply compose your message. There’s a bar at the bottom of the screen for you to type in your desired message.
You can add any images or files into the DM as well, and you can also use the smiley icon on the left to insert emojis into the message. The heart on the far right will send a heart into the chat.
After you’ve created the message to your liking, simply push Return or Enter on your keyboard, and your message will be delivered.
If you sent your message before you were ready, you can unsend it by clicking the three dots that appear next to the message. Don’t do this too frequently though; your recipient may receive a notification of a message and then wonder why nothing is there.
Final Thoughts: The Potential of Instagram Direct Messages for Business
Instagram direct messages can be used as a strong and effective marketing tactic that allows you to build relationships with your target audience. The key here, though, is personalization.
People don’t want to receive generic messages that don’t address them on an individual level. Doing so can actually hurt your reputation and make your account look spammy.
Practice now— go over to your Instagram account and see if you have any messages. Consider every interaction to be a very important one and give your followers and leads the time they deserve.
When you respond to DMs on Instagram, it’s a great way to network and build a relationship with your followers. Don’t miss out!