Out of all social media platforms, Instagram is the most popular and also the most visually oriented. Which is great for ecommerce businesses that have a strong visual brand or sell aesthetically pleasing products.
But while Instagram is the perfect platform for building an audience, engaging this audience and converting them to paying customers is, for many, still quite the challenge. With a few clever Instagram DM automations for ecommerce, you can activate your Instagram audience in new ways.
Why ecommerce businesses need to start using direct message automations on Instagram
Yes, Instagram is the perfect place to raise awareness about your products. Those carefully crafted product photos in your online store shouldn’t go to waste: sharing them on your Instagram page puts them in front of a global audience.
So what comes next? Sure, the introduction of Facebook & Instagram Shops has made it somewhat easier to promote products directly. But most Instagram users aren’t scrolling through their feeds because they’re looking for things to buy. They’re not in buying mode.
Think about it: what do people on Instagram do? They use this platform to be entertained, and perform actions such as liking, commenting, sharing and - most importantly - messaging each other.
Why Instagram DM automation is perfect for converting followers to customers
With last year’s release of the Messenger API for Instagram, it’s now possible for businesses to automate a bunch of messaging actions on Instagram. This is a better way to keep your audience engaged and incentivizing conversions, than pushing direct sales.
Think of it like warming up your audience: nurturing and building relationships in a conversational way, instead of aggressively promoting your products.
And it’s not just starting conversations that’ll help turn your followers into engaged and happy customers. These new Instagram automation tools also help ‘wow’ your audience with features they’ve probably never seen before.
Let’s dive into a few of the possibilities of using Instagram direct message automations for ecommcere.
3 examples of Instagram direct message automations for ecommerce
The new Instagram automations are divided into two main categories: public and private interactions. More on that below. We’ve outlined 3 examples of what ecommerce businesses can do with direct messages on Instagram.
Comment-to-Instagram: automate replies on native posts
The first new feature we want to outline falls in the public category of Instagram DM automations. The Comment-to-Instagram feature is quite self-explanatory:
It allows you to automatically reply to comments on your Instagram posts with a direct message.
With Comment-to-Instagram, you can kill two birds with one stone, since it allows you to:
- Open a direct line of contact with your most engaged followers - people who comment on your posts
- Send on-brand direct messages on auto-pilot, minimizing the workload for your social media management team.
Turn each and every comment on your Instagram posts into a potential buyer with this nifty new feature.
Keyword reply: get customers to send you a keyword and auto-reply
Here’s another great way to activate and engage your audience: Instagram keyword replies. You can use Instagram’s new API to create auto-replies to specific keywords.
Imagine this scenario:
You’re an ecommerce business trying to promote a specific model of shoes like the Adidas Stan Smiths.
With Instagram keyword replies, you can activate your audience by:
- Creating a story asking them to DM you a specific keyword
- Setting up an auto-reply for this keyword
- Sending them relevant content automatically, in this case the discount code
Here’s an example of an engaging story aimed at getting DMs and stirring up a conversation.
Links to the Adidas Stan Smith product page is shared in the automatic reply. How’s that for a fun and engaging way to drive followers from your Instagram page to your online store?
Story mentions: respond automatically whenever someone mentions your brand
The Instagram story mention automation falls in the more private category. It’s a great way to automate direct messages to your most loyal fans.
This feature lets you automatically reply to @mentions in your audience’s stories with direct messages. Check out this example of what’s possible with Instagram story mention automation.
Remember: people that @mention your brand in their stories are probably among your most loyal brand ambassadors. These are the superfans you should cherish.
Offering them a discount code in a DM auto-reply, rewarding their sharing your brand is a very clever way to turn your audience into recurring customers.
They might just tell their friends about what happened, turning your Instagram story mention campaign into a viral growth loop.
Setting up a successful Instagram direct message campaign for your store
With ShopPop, it’s super easy to set up all of the Instagram direct message automations for ecommerce we mentioned. If you’re uncertain how to get started, we’d be happy to show you the ropes.
If you’d rather get started and figure everything out yourself, that’s just as easy. Simply sign up for a free account here.