It has been 3 years since the much-awaited feature ‘Instagram Direct’ was released for use. This handy feature, allows a user to share a picture, video, profile or location with an individual or a group of people (maximum 15). It is estimated that nearly 100 million people use this service every month, nearly a fifth of the number of total users per month.
This feature offers functionalities similar to those offered by Social Media newcomer Snapchat. The good news for marketers, though, is that it can ease life substantially by providing another platform to improve your outreach and disseminate information.
Ahead, I have presented some tips and tricks to help you employ Instagram Direct for your marketing jobs and needs. A few advantages of using Instagram Direct are
- Improve customer service
- Brand reputation management
- Engage directly with customers
- Cater to a niche audience
These points make the Instagram Direct feature a very attractive and effective tool for any marketer.
Let’s get into some more ways in which you, as a marketer, can use this feature to the best of its abilities.
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!
Ah! Who doesn’t love a contest! A chance to win and be recognized. It is basic human instinct and slight greed that makes a competition so attractive and popular. A marketer’s job is to give the customer what he wants, and adhering to that policy, contests should be held regularly.
One of the biggest advantages of holding a contest is the outreach and exposure your brand can get. Customers subconsciously remember the brand organizing the contest they enter, especially if they win. It is a win-win situation for both the marketers and the customers.
Word of mouth subsequently spreads the brand name even more and makes the advertising job of the brand or product much easier. Instagram Direct is the perfect medium for connecting with your customers, individually or in a group.
Let me give you an example of how you can connect with your customers and engage them in your contests using Instagram Direct. You can send an image of a product to a select few and ask the user to think of a tagline for that product. The best 10 taglines will get that product for free!
Alternatively, you can hold public contests, in which say, the first 10 commenters for a picture each day, will get entry into a lucky draw. If you are able to, ask customers to post pictures which include your product and special hashtags. The best pictures will be judged its owner will be awarded a prize. You can even use the photos further for a marketing campaign or just to show customer involvement on your Instagram page.
For Your Eyes Only
Customers love it when exclusive products are released. Limited edition products sell almost instantly and satiate the customer’s hunger for new products. Everyone wants something unique. This makes our work easier. Just make sure that when you release such products, you advertise them judiciously since over-advertisement decreases their appeal.
Instagram Direct is perfect for such purposes. You can use it to contact an individual or a small group of people, maximum of 15. Give users a sense of exclusivity and make them feel special. Sneak peeks to the latest product might be just the thing you might be missing.
Before launching the product in the market, send a sneak-peek to around 100 customers. These customers will feel valued and special. Word of mouth has been known to be the best form of spreading information and guarantees a high conversion rate. Organic recommendations lead to many more sales and brand reach, without the hard work.
Choose the users carefully and send them just a sneak peek, make sure that they will be interested to know more. Don’t mention too many details about the product, which can bore a user. Send an attractive image with a catchy tagline and a link to the product page. Your users will surely want to know more.
Word of mouth is probably the biggest weapon you have in your arsenal. Your product will spread like wildfire if you have targeted the right users. When sending a sneak peek always provide a link to the product page in case a user wants to know more.
Listen To Your Customers
The attribute provides a user-friendly dais for identifying your network on a personal level and creating conversations about the brand, owing to the comments that are visible to everyone included in the direct message. You can always take a list of users to choose between two products that are featured in a picture or as for their feedback on the product line.
When a customer gives feedback asked by you in an exclusive way, it provides him/her a sense of appreciation and a sense of value which is a priceless asset for any brand.
Going through user profiles can also be beneficial. Search for hashtags related to your products or brand and spot users who have bought a product recently. You can thank them or communicate with them directly using Instagram Direct. This will really make the user feel special, improving your reputation as a brand.
Treat Your Loyal Followers
The most important aspect of marketing is to make the customer feel loved and serviced. He should get enough attention and should be kept in the loop for latest brand news and updates.
A simple way of identifying the low hanging fruit, or spotting the followers who have supported you regularly, is by using the popular website simply measured.
You can initially use the free trial, but purchasing a subscription will be very cost effective for you in the long run. This website offers great features related to the analytics of your social media accounts. It tells you about the followers who post your content, like your content or comment on your content regularly. It gives you a good idea of your most loyal followers and also provides additional information such as what time you should post your pictures and which location has the most active users.
Use these metrics to identify your die-hard followers and then communicate with them through Instagram Direct. Offer coupons and special offers to show your gratitude and thank the follower.
Small steps like these can be extremely beneficial in the future and ensure that your followers and fans feel loved and appreciated.
Check Out The Competition
A useful resource for understanding what your customers want is your competitor’s page. Browse through your competitor’s posts and search for users who are active and communicative. Also, judge the popularity of posts and determine what works.
Instagram Direct also allows you to send messages to users who are not following you. Once a message is sent, the user can choose to accept or reject the message. Try approaching new users via Instagram Direct and offer them an alternative to your competition.
More users, especially active ones, guarantee more engagement, activity and eventually sales.
Where You At?!
Location services on Instagram have totally changed the landscape. Sharing locations on Instagram is gaining more popularity day by day and has increased the effectiveness of posts.
A good example of how you can use locations to gather more interest and increase your exposure.
It is seen that images with locations receive more engagement than those without locations. This is because a person relates to a location more easily than he or she relates to a hashtag or a product.
Users can search for images close to their geographic location and can add locations to any image. Adding a location gives your image another dimension of appeal to involve your audience.
So adding locations to Direct messages can also be very effective and efficient in involving your audience.
Use the tips mentioned above to make full use of Instagram Direct. This feature has a lot of potential, especially for marketers, and if you’re not already using it, you could be missing out on possibly 100s of followers. Just make sure not to over-message and annoy your audience.
The biggest advantage of using Instagram Direct is that it allows you to communicate with an individual user and also allows you to connect with a group of users and start a discussion.
Get with the times and start using Instagram Direct.