We all know that Instagram offers tons of tools to promote your brand and business on social media, like stories, IGTV, ads, likes, posts and comments. But the most under-used tool on Instagram, that really gets a conversation going with a lead, is Direct Messages!
Direct Messages’ original purpose was not for business. But what other messenger system was? Thousands of brands are developing chatbots for their pages on Facebook, and they work very well! So why aren’t we using Instagram Direct Messages with the same idea of reaching out to potential customers?
Instagram DM (Direct Message) is great, if you know how to use it.
Have a Conversation Planned
What is the first thing you will be saying to these people? You don’t want to sell to who you are reaching out to right away, since we wouldn’t do that in person! So what will you say? Plan out a mini script of how a conversation can flow into the conversation you want. This means adding questions and steering it to the way the script is, to eventually get to the point of selling.
If you want an idea or script you can use for almost any business, you can download our 11 Direct Messaging templates at the very bottom of the page!
The next thing you need to have planned out, is how you are going to find your customers. You don’t want to be messaging random people in the hundreds for 2 reasons.
Instagram only allows you to message 15 people a day.
You won’t really know who you are messaging and they may not be your target customer at all.
Hashtags to look for are ones that are relevant to your business, and what your customers would be hash tagging. For example, we worked with an online retail company who sold products for pregnant women. When Direct Messaging them, we would search a common hashtag that use on their posts so we could find them. A great one we used was “#babyannouncement” because when people find out they are pregnant, they will post and use this hashtag.
Locations is the same idea as using hashtags for finding people to DM. Unfortunately, you cannot search a hashtag IN a location. But if you are looking for a generic person, but in a specific location, searching the tagged location you need.
Or, you can use the hashtag (ie. #barrieontario) and look for people that way, as well as searching for a specific person or business (i.e #barriebusiness or #barrielawyer) and find people who have used that hashtag in their posts.
Look at Profiles (Who Are They)
Before deciding to Direct Message as many people as you can, really take a look at who you are messaging. Just because they tag a certain location, does not mean they live there. Just because they hashtag “#baby”, does not mean that they have/having a baby.
Check out if they are a serious account (not fake), see what kind of stuff they post and the overall vibe and personality you get from them. This makes it easier to DM them since you know them a little bit more. Plus, we do that in person anyway when we go to network or make a sale, so why not here?
Comment on Photos/Videos, or Start the DM’s
After checking out their profile and getting to know them a bit more, decide if they would be the right type of customer that you would want. If it makes sense and you can help them, you can DM them, or even just like or comment on a post.
REMEMBER, your initial comment or DM should not be selling right away. Just start a conversation.