Using Instagram direct to hit the social jackpot

    Among the many aspects that make social media platforms continuously evolve and have a measure of instability is the potential for great returns when you do proper marketing. Many businesses particularly love this because they remain a cost-effective method of marketing their brands, without the split-hair costs of traditional methods. It gets even better when someone comes across a great nugget on social media.

    The recent introduction of direct messages by Instagram, in the form of Instagram direct, proves this benefit. It allows people to send each other videos and photos through Instagram direct message chats. This feature was not well understood by some, while for other companies it proved to be just as effective in marketing their products through a more personalized way.

    For the businesses that have managed to land great success through this method, what are some of the things you can learn from them? Here are a few.

    Know the strategy you are working with

    This is the first thing you need to accomplish – setting your strategy is like writing down your business plan, you cannot achieve much without it. Because Instagram is fast moving, similar to other platforms of social media, it is great to have goals and objectives of employing this specific tool.

    Among the most successful companies that implemented it well was GoEnnounce, which is a platform for students to track their achievements in their education. It therefore made sense for them to include their potential and current users to share educational milestones and create conversations through Instagram Direct.

    Because the students were already posting such achievements of their accounts, for instance gaining admission letters from various colleges or their graduations, the company understood that it could get benefits if it rewarded the students accordingly.

    In turn they were able to build a highly engaged community of followers through this method.

    Allow users to win prizes and rewards

    We are very sure that you enjoy winning prizes, and so does the community of followers you have. This makes contests one of the top methods of increasing your engagement using automation apps, you can check out our new Instagram likes app.   

    When looking at the strategy for GoEnnounce, they also did this and increased their engagement, through secretly sponsoring a kit known as ‘Welcome to College’ the students participating each received a direct message telling them their gift will ship once the company reached its maximum limit of gifts. The students then tagged their friends to increase participation and engagement levels.

    In the same way, creating a contest can generate buzz around your brand, and it is a good idea when you tell your followers through direct message. This will also encourage them to bring in the people they know, and your brand gets more attention.

    Building an exclusive audience

    One thing that makes direct messages surpass simply tagging users is that they make the recipient feel special and valued to the sender. This also makes them have higher levels of engagement with your brand due to customer loyalty.

    When the audience engages with you, it is best to engage with them as well, preferably directly. Keep maintaining a conversational feel; this is social media and the main purpose is to connect with people, not sell things. Offer them discounts as they build their loyalty, and ask them thought-provoking questions. Who knows, their collective intelligence is likely to serve you well in the future, especially when it comes to golden marketing chances.

    It is important to find out about the audience you are seeking to target, as they may not appreciate certain approaches and they may enjoy others. Keep them in mind, even when using Instagram direct to contact them and bring them on board.

    Renew and reap all your engagements

    Social media marketing should be a diverse mix of strategies, as relying solely on one method may prove detrimental in the long term. However, if you decide to use Instagram direct in the efforts you are making, then you have a golden chance to create great campaigns. Particularly for start-ups, these businesses have a great opportunity to recharge the enthusiasm of their followers and get them directly involved in the process.

    The best part about social media marketing is that it is never impersonal. You have an opportunity to talk to your followers directly and engage with them, as well as tapping into whatever they are doing already.

    It allows you to perform test runs

    You probably know the feeling just before you launch a product or service- it is nerve-wrecking, because you do not know if your efforts are a waste or whether they will give positive results.

    Well, with Instagram direct, you do not need to worry so much anymore, because it gives you a chance to do some test runs with your loyal customers. They can easily give you honest feedback, which they probably would not do through normal posts. In fact, you can even take it a step further and use the method to come up with new products or services.

    One way to do this is giving your followers a list of products or services, and ask them the ones they prefer to get from you. Or, you might ask them about ideas to improve your service or product.

    All of these methods ensure your customers feel they are a part of the process, instead of only being passive consumers. It creates a greater sense of loyalty, and they feel valued because you are taking active steps to improve your relationships with them. That will always go a long way in how they feel about your brand.

    Improves networking skills

    It could be that you are seeking to improve your engagement levels, but Instagram direct offers you a great chance to network more closely with current and potential followers. Even though email is usually the default, you can use the best practices of Instagram direct to get more benefits.

    Final thoughts

    Growing your influence on social media is a great thing, but it is even better when you can develop solid relationships with your customers. Instagram direct offers you many opportunities to do so, making it a great option for Instagram marketing.


    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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