Instagram recently released a new direct messaging feature. Now, users have the option to send photos and videos to specific people rather than posting to their profile. This change competes with Snapchat, a popular photo messaging app with photos that “self-destruct” after a certain amount of time. The feature offers brands an opportunity to interact with customers in a whole new way. Here’s how to use Instagram direct messaging for your business:
Utilize Group Messaging
Instagram allows users to share messages within a designated group. This is a great opportunity for businesses looking to build community engagement. For example, your brand can select specific influencers to interact with in one message, and send “insider” deals to the group. This would help your brand build customer relationships and leverage influencers on social media.
Gap’s use of group messaging is a great example for brand campaigns: Gap posted this photo to Instagram with the caption “Join our #WIWT @Instagram Direct challenge: first 15 people to comment below will get a message from us to participate!” Once the entries were complete, Gap asked the first 15 commenters to direct message photos of their current outfit to Gap’s private inbox. After the selections were complete, winners of the contest received a denim tablet case. This strategy was particularly effective because Gap built immediate excitement among Instagram users and created lasting marketing buzz. After the contest, users still feel encouraged to follow the brand on social media for first-to-know deals. Keep in mind that Instagram’s promoted posts are different from the direct messaging feature. Leveraging this social media opportunity goes beyond advertising to help brands deepen relationships with customers through engaging content. Need help building excitement on your brand’s social networks? Contact SocialNicole for a consultation!