Direct messaging was introduced to Instagram a few years ago and it’s yet another example of a feature that can be used to help your business online. Being able to send private messages to users makes it possible to engage with users on an even more personal level. If you have an Instagram strategy in place and haven’t incorporated Instagram Direct into it as yet, then you’re missing out! Today we’re sharing some examples and tips of how you can use Instagram Direct to reach your marketing goals.
1. Connect with Influencers
The idea of getting influencers involved in a company’s marketing strategy has picked up a lot of traction in recent years. Whether you decide to go for huge influencers or micro influencers, they can potentially help you reach the audiences you’re aiming for and generate some brand awareness surrounding your offerings. Some influencers place their emails in their bio’s for business purposes, but if this is not an option, you need to find another channel to personally reach them. And this is where Instagram Direct comes in.
Perform some research on the influencer of your choosing, so you’re able to be genuine when speaking to them since you know what kind of content they post and are familiar with their online personality. Once you know all there is to know about them, slide into their DM’s and establish that first contact! If you’re not getting responses at first, don’t be discouraged. This is all trial and error. Some influencers you contact will prefer to speak via email, and your DM could be just what you need to get your foot in the door. Others may not respond at all, while others would be happy to go through the entire transaction via the direct messages. You never know till you try 😉
2. Streamline your Customer Service
This is perhaps the most underrated use of Instagram Direct, though one of the most powerful in our opinion. Instagram is where the people are, and if someone has a customer service request, they are more likely to reach out to you in the manner that suits them. And what’s easier? Leaving a comment under an Instagram post, or searching for the customer service email on the website, then sending one out? I think you know the answer.
Users are increasingly airing their grievances out under public posts, not only on Instagram, but also Twitter or Facebook. And when they do this, this is simply not the type of engagement you want taking up the bulk of the comments under a post. Especially if the issue is highly specific to just that user. Instead of going back and forth publically, simply ask the user to send you a message where you can handle the situation there. This leaves your comments section free from those sort of potentially negative conversations and gives you the chance to meet customers at the place where they want to communicate with the brand. Something they are sure to appreciate.
3. Make your Top Followers Feel Special
Everyone loves rewards, so if it’s possible to give them out, you should. Every brand has a set of super fans or brand ambassadors. That select group that like every single photo, comments on a regular and gets all their friends to follow you too. Using Instagram Direct is a way for you to deepen those connections even more and just thank them for being there! We’re not sure about you, but we know it’s definitely a good feeling to be recognized for a while. It also acts as a motivator to ‘keep up the good work’, so to speak.
If you’re looking to keep your brand advocates around for a very long time, then send them exclusive content or offers as a reward for their loyalty and excitement about your brand. We prefer the one-to-one route for this, to make them feel even more special. But, another option is to group them all together. You’re allowed to send a group message to up to 15 people, so if you are short on time and would rather do some bulk messages instead, you can always make a group chat. Thread this avenue a bit lightly since some people may not be too receptive to being added to a group chat with people they don’t know! So being an engaging moderator of the chat and specifying why they should be in the group is key.
One last thing that you can do to make your top followers feel good is to let them be the first to know. Maybe you’re launching a new product or just signed up for an amazing collaboration that you’re excited about. If you tell these followers before you tell all your rest, they will feel a part of the journey with you and thus, get some sort of entitlement to it, making them feel even more connected to you.
4. Learn From the Users
Your followers are interested in what you do, making them a valuable source of information for your brand. So you should be using your direct messages to tap into that knowledge. The followers can let you know what they enjoy about what you do and offer, and insights on where you can improve. Use the DM’s to hold some informal market research to get feedback on your overall Instagram feed, or some new ideas you have going on in your head. Your brand’s advocates are a good starting point for this. Or if you notice someone new engaging with your posts, it could be a good idea to chat with them and figure out why. How did they find you and what do they like? That way you can know what’s working and what isn’t.
And while your followers are terrific for feedback, they aren’t your only options of users to learn from. Other users who have some valuable knowledge for you are of course, the followers of your competition. It’s one of the big questions marketers face: why are people going for the competitors instead of us? Getting into the heads of these people can be pretty difficult to do when you take a traditional market research route, but Instagram can help you out here. Do some research on your competitors’ Instagram audiences and try to identify who their most engaged users are. Once you do, think about how you’ll approach them. Maybe you want to ask for 5 minutes of their time to participate in answer a few marketing related questions, or perhaps you want to invite them for a formal sitting. Whatever it is, direct messaging is your way in.
No matter what way you use Instagram Direct, make sure to be genuine and honest in your messages. When crafting your messages, try to put yourselves into the shoes of whoever you’re messaging. If a brand messaged you out of the blue with that message, would you be creeped out or inclined to respond? If you think that they would be inclined to answer, then go ahead and click send! It’s time to stop ignoring this channel and get to enjoy all the opportunities that Direct Messaging can bring to you!