Setting up an Instagram account for your brand or business is an effective way to promote your products and services to a wide range of people, especially when what you’re doing is visually appealing or you’re able to create interesting content for your potential customers.
An essential part of the process is to reply to people that message your brand through the various channels available on Instagram. This can include direct messages, comments on your posts, or your stories.
Follow along as we take you through how to reply on Instagram, the benefits of replying, and best practices.
Direct messages are when a customer or Instagram user goes to your profile and sends you a direct message which is not publicly viewable. This is often to request information or discuss something specific with your business.
Try to acknowledge DMs quickly with an introductory message to let them know you’ve received it and will follow up. You should then address their issue or provide the information they’re requesting as quickly as possible.
Instagram calls its DMs Instagram Direct. This can be accessed from a desktop (PC or MAC) or mobile device (Android or iPhone) by logging into Instagram and clicking on the paper airplane icon in the top right corner.
You will see a list of messages with the name, photo, and part of the most recent message received.
Click or tap on the message you want to reply to, and you will see the full message and other historical messages from that user.
A message input section is at the bottom of the screen to type out your response.
Instagram posts are the core of the platform where you can provide photos and videos to showcase your brand and gain public interest in what you’re doing.
Instagram users can like, share, and comment on your posts and you will need to decide whether you ignore, like a user’s comment, or respond to Instagram post comments depending on what is being said.
You should review most comments to ensure nothing disparages your brand or offensive being displayed on your profile. You can also respond to any users asking for further information or clarification on anything.
For the Instagram algorithm, it’s best to respond or acknowledge all comments within the first hour of your post to gain more traction; after that, responding is mainly for the benefit of the users.
You can respond to Instagram comments to your posts through a computer (PC or MAC) or through your mobile device (Android or iPhone).
If you’re receiving a larger number of comments that you want to reply to, then a mobile device may not be optimal for responding quickly.
Instagram stories are another way for you to share your posts and other content you want to provide. The content in stories is removed after 24 hours, so it’s a good option if you have a time-sensitive promotion or deal that you don’t want to stay up on your main Instagram account.
Users may simply react to your story, which doesn’t often need a reply, but in some cases, they will send you messages through stories to perhaps find out more about the promotion or other products and services you’re showcasing.
When users interact with your story through a comment or sending a gif, that message is sent to you as a DM or Instagram Direct message. You can then respond to the user as a standard DM.
You can respond through your computer (PC or MAC) or any mobile device with an Instagram app or the mobile device’s browser.
Depending on how much time you have and how many messages you’re getting on Instagram and other platforms, it’s a great idea to reply to customers; it connects with a real person rather than a brand that just posts promotional messages all over social media.
Social media is about interacting, and a brand that doesn’t interact at all will often lose the interest of its followers. Without interaction, your posts won’t do as well, thanks to the algorithms used by most social media platforms like Instagram.
Social media is also a method many people use to alert brands to issues or problems that need to be addressed. However, if ignored or handled poorly, the situation can escalate and become a big PR nightmare for your business.
Any business will have problems, but how you handle them and how quickly you do it can be the difference between a forgiving customer base and customers that just leave.
As your brand grows, you’ll get more customers messaging you through all of your social media platforms, and it becomes challenging to check and respond to all of them quickly.
You can hire a social media manager in-house or a company that can provide those services for you and alert you to any specific issues or questions that you need to answer.
You can also sign up for a service such as Hootsuite that will let you combine your social media profiles under a single platform so you can see and respond to messages from one place.