Responding to your direct messages on social media is a crucial aspect for maintaining a successful business.
“Many people think a brand’s impact happens during a customer’s conversation with a business, but it’s actually the residual feeling people come away with that defines who you are as a brand,” says Christy Laurence of the Social Media Examiner.
Because this is the case, it is important to look more deeply into your interactions on Instagram, especially in your DMs. Sure, the comments you respond to on your brand’s profile are also influential, but it is the direct message that will leave the biggest impact.
Comments are public. DMs are private, so the conversation you have with that one person can affect how your brand is seen. If your customer has a poor experience, they may tell their friends how they felt after speaking with you. That’s why it’s important to understand how you want people to feel after they’ve had interactions with your account.
To help you out, we have compiled some tips on how to respond to direct messages appropriately and listed them below:
1. Choose Your Tone
Like we said, it is extremely important to solidify the feeling you want your customer to have associated with your brand after each interaction.
If you want that tone to develop naturally, it could take years to nail down, so it is easier to choose how you want to be perceived by the market. Maybe you want to be understood as optimistic, professional, or silly.
No matter the personality you choose, it must match your product, mission, and brand identity overall. You can’t be serious on one platform, and overly positive on another.
If you are having trouble visualizing what it means to show your personality through DMs, here is an example: “If you want to leave customers with an impression of professionalism, you could direct them to an email address to continue a conversation formally. This would work perfectly if you need to bring other people into the conversation or officially acknowledge a complaint,” recommends Laurence.
2. Set a Response Time
The worst thing that could happen to one of your customers is that they do not get a response from their favorite brand. They put a lot of time and money into the success of your business, so not responding to their messages promptly or forgetting altogether is disrespectful and rude.
So, to ensure that you respond timely, set a schedule for when you can answer a message. Your customers understand that they cannot be answered every hour of every day.
We are human; we need to sleep. But, you do need to find an appropriate window for how long a message can go unread before being answered. Of course, you should do so during business hours, but there are a lot of other tasks to do before the end of the day.
An appropriate amount of time to respond to a message could be anywhere from 4 – 6 hours. This enables you to get all the tasks you need completed and out of the way to focus on your customer.
3. Ready-to-Send Messages
You can really make a customer feel special by having a custom message sent to them every time you reply to their DMs, but customizing every message is inefficient.
One way to save time on your day is by using Instagram Quick Replies. This is an actual feature within the Instagram app and it “allows you to set up canned responses for frequently asked questions through Instagram DMs” writes Laurence.
The issue with this application, however, is that your brand can end up sounding like a robot because you have spent so much time curating the right response– there is no spontaneity to it. A quick fix for this issue is to add the customer’s name or a nice send off related to the weather outside, such as “stay dry!”
Remember your audience wants to feel special after talking to your brand.
4. Form a Bond
Ultimately, the whole point of responding “to an Instagram direct message is that you want to deepen your relationship with someone beyond the point of them being a follower” according to Rebekah Carter of Upleap.
Though you are initially helping your followers purchase your products or subscribe to something, you need to make sure that you start by making them feel connected with your brand.
Focusing on your DMs is a critical aspect of Instagram that can affect your business positively if done right, or negatively if neglected.
When you have mastered the skill of answering messages you can see your business reap the benefits: building connections with your followers, increase in brand loyalty, and ultimately an increase in sales.
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- How to Build Your Personal Brand
- How To Handle A Reputation Crisis On Social Media
- 5 Most Important Elements Of A Successful Brand Identity
- How To Discover and Engage Your Target Audience
- How To Turn Your Social Media Followers Into Subscribers
- 5 Best Ways To Connect With Your Instagram Followers
Claire Erickson is currently a blogging intern at LadyBossBlogger.com. Claire has just returned from studying abroad at the London College of Fashion and will finish her senior year studying retail merchandising back at her home university – University of Minnesota (Twin Cities). She is looking forward to having a future in buying, trend research, or planning.