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How to Use Automated DMs for Your Small Business

Responding to DMs is an important way to create community and build brand loyalty on Instagram. By responding to your followers quickly, you show them that you care about their business and their time. But ... who wants to be tied to their phone 24/7 to respond to DMs? Not us. By setting up automated DMs you can get the conversation started and keep it going with minimal effort. You might even be able to lead them straight to a sale.

What Are Automated Instagram DMs?

With Instagrams launch of Messenger API for Business back in June, business accounts can use automated DMs to facilitate conversations with their customers without having a human behind the keyboard. Automated DMs are essentially a set of questions that Instagram users can choose from when they start to DM you. The boutique Julia Rose allows users to pick from the questions below:

When you select one of the questions, an automated response to the question immediately pops up:

You can set up these automated DMs by using services like ManyChat, Inflact, Chatfuel or MobileMonkey. Just make sure you use a program that is approved by Instagram. We all know how Instagram punishes third party bots it doesn't approve of ...

Why Should You Use Automated DMs?

Did you know that over 200 million people message business on Instagram every month? According to a survey by Radiance Labs, "75% of people want to message a company when needed, and 64% said they prefer it over the phone and email communication." The data is clear - customers want these ease of messaging apps for their customer service needs. If you aren't offering simple DM solutions to your customers issues, you might be missing out on future sales. But staying tied to your phone 24/7 to respond to your customers needs isn't a realistic solution. Automated DMs are the realistic solution.

How to use DMs for Your Business

1) Gain Leads

A great way to get your followers into your DMs is by prompting them to DM you through your Instagram stories. When they swipe up and DM you, your automated response will lead them to select a response of what they need help with. Now that you have them in your DMs, they can turn into a viable lead.

2) Grow Your Email List

By using the story method above, you can encourage your followers to DM you by offering an incentive. For example, "DM us for a 10% off code on your next order by sending the word HOLIDAYFUN". Set up an automated response that sends users a link to an email capture form that will send the 10% coupon to their email. They get a discount, and you grow your email list.

3) Round the Clock Customer Service

Like we've said before, responding at every hour of the day to your customer's needs via Instagram DM is a sure fire way to become burnt out while running your business. Make sure your automated options are the questions you most frequently respond to via DM. If you're a photography and people are always asking how to get a quote, make sure one of your options is "How much do your photography services cost?" and your automated response can be a link that sends them to your price sheet. Simple as that.

4) Automated Response to Story Shares

User Generated Content (UGC) is an essential part of growing brand loyalty and trust on social media, but it can be hard to keep up with all of the story tags when your DMs are full of customer needs. Set up an automated response to story tags to fix this issue. You could go the simple route: "Thanks so much for the share!" or grow your email list and get permission to use their content at the same time. Create an auto-response that sends the user to a form that requires their email and has a checkbox that gives their permission to use their content. UGC ✔️ Email List ✔️

5) Send Followers to Your Website

This is an easy one. If you don't have the time to create a detailed, automated response system that guides followers through their questions, you could simply create an automated response that says "Thanks for reaching out! Someone will answer you ASAP. Until then, head to the FAQ section on our website at the link below to see if you can find your answer there. Chat soon!" According to a recent survey by Sprout Social, 40% of consumers expect a response within an hour. This option gets your response speed time up and helps boost your SEO.

And remember, our brains get a little boost of dopamine every time a notification pops up on our phones. When you response to customer DMs and story tags, your brand is the one creating that dopamine hit in your customer's brain. You don't want to miss out on that connection by slacking on automated DM responses. Save your time and makes sales by getting your DMs automated ASAP.

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