How to use Instagram Direct message to grow your business

The chamber of Instagram Direct message secrets has been opened.

direct messages business elise darma instagram dm

What was once an Internet meme has a whole new significance to business owners.

Instagram Direct messaging means cha-ching, cha-ching to your business.

No freaky three-headed dogs or giant snakes here; just a powerful (and 100% free) feature you’re probably underutilizing in your ‘gram game.

We all know I’m a big believer in the power of connection through Instagram Stories — but it’s what comes after the Story goes live that results in some biz-growing goodness (hint: it all goes down in the DMs).

What is Direct Messaging on Instagram?

Simply put: it’s Instagram’s private messaging feature (commonly known as a “DM”) that allows you to virtually connect with anyone using the ‘gram (so basically everyone on the planet except Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone).

Move along FaceTime and cold lead e-mails – a new superstar is in town, and it’s changing the virtual connection game.

What can you send as a Direct message?

There’s a lot that happens inside that mysterious paper plane icon in the corner of your Instagram app so let’s unwrap the six types of Direct messages you can send through Instagram.

1. MESSAGES

Hey, what’s up, hello!

Instagram DM’s most basic form: simple text messages back and forth.

Chat it up with your mom, an old college roommate or respond to the people responding to your Stories.

The most default feature; it’s small but mighty!

2. PICTURES

Cat photos + Elise = A happy Elise

Cat photos + Elise = A happy Elise

Took an epic photo that isn’t ready to be posted to the world of Instagram just quite yet?

Or have a photo of something cool you want to share with a customer, client or IG friend?

Maybe it’s an adorable kitten photo that doesn’t go with your feed (in which case — change your feed). Send it off using Instagram’s Direct message for only certain people to see!

You get a kitty pic, you get a kitty pic!

3. VIDEOS

Cat videos are ALWAYS welcome in my DMs.

Cat videos are ALWAYS welcome in my DMs.

Did you go a step further and take a video of an adorable kitten? Perfect! Send off a private video to someone who needs a smile.

And while we all love cat videos, you can use this feature for just about any kind of video content!

Have a client who has a few questions? Or maybe a customer who wants to see a demo of your product?

Record a quick video and send it off to them!

4. VIDEO CALL

elise darma video call instagram direct message.png

We have the technology!

Connected to data or WiFi? Fabulous! You can now easily have a video call with other Instagram users!

Why switch between other video calling apps when you can use the app you already spend most of your time on? Score!

Whether it’s planned or impromptu chats, Instagram DMs has got your back.

5. GROUP CHAT

Gather round the ‘gram with friends!

Send videos, memes or just indulge in some friendly conversation with up to 50 people at the same time.

I’m more of a small group gal, but hey – you do you, social butterfly!

6. VOICE MESSAGES

Hold your horses, people.

This just in.

(Like, literally, this just in. I just saw this brand spanking new feature as I was putting this blog post together.)

We’ve got voice messages in our DMs now, too! And look how fancy it is.

 
elise darma direct message instagram.png
 

Thank you, @Instagram!

Now all my memos for coaching clients, casual chatter to friends and long rants to my business circle can move from text to audio.

How does Direct messaging help your business?

There’s more to that DM button than just entertaining video chats with friends. As a business owner, there’s some serious money-making to be had within the Direct messaging goldmine.

Let’s dive into how (professionally) sliding into the DMs will help grow your business!

1. Instagram Direct messaging builds connections

This DM could potentially lead to a client for my Instagram agency,    Canupy   !

This DM could potentially lead to a client for my Instagram agency, Canupy!

It’s the name of the Instagram game.

If someone takes the time to engage with you through Direct messaging, take time to respond back to them!

It could be a new biz opportunity or an influencer wanting your attention — maybe a potential partnership, lead or maybe even a kitty pic. All equally important.

Direct messaging is a chance to build a relationship with someone outside of the ever-scrolling Instagram feed and comment section.

Sales 101: people buy from those they feel a connection with!

2. Increase brand loyalty for followers

Sometimes sending over a quick Instagram DM is handier than typing up an entire email.

My inbox is full of current course students sending over questions about the course or looking for general Instagram knowledge/advice. They all have my email or access to our private Facebook group, but if I see that they’re “online” on the ‘gram, I may just pop a quick response via Instagram. It’s become a one-stop shop!

Instagram Direct messaging provides a chance to give quick and personal customer service to current and potential customers; it’s not just for pretty pictures, anymore!

3. Make or grow industry connections

elise darma instagram direct message.png

Grow your business by reaching out to other influencers or like-minded people in your industry!

Have we emphasized the power and importance of connections yet?

Instagram Direct messaging is a casual way to connect and share quick ideas with people in your niche, especially through the group chat feature.

Bring the gang together through some virtual networking or knowledge-share happy hours, and don’t forget the cocktails! 🍹

4. Increase sales

I mean, this is why you’re ultimately reading this blog article, right?

My tip? Leverage the power of influencers.

Use Instagram Direct messaging to reach out to influencers that can promote your service or product.

Don’t send an email that gets flagged and buried down in their inbox.

Reach out to them using a platform where they can see what you and your brand are all about, instantly!

5. Lead generation

Have someone engaging often with your Stories or posts? Give them a shoutout in the DMs!

Let them know you appreciate their continued support and use Direct messaging to engage with them regarding their comments or questions.

This private conversation can spiral into them becoming a future customer of yours! The power of the DMs at work, people.

What can you say with Instagram DMs to grow your business?

Convinced that using Direct messages will help you grow your business, but feeling a little frozen?

Well, let it go, let it go; here are some templates to crank it into high gear to start killing it in your DMs.

Whether you’re an e-commerce brand or an influencer, we’ve got you covered.

1. Ask for a trade of services

Maybe you’re an expert in Instagram strategy looking for a messenger bots wizard to swap services with. Here’s a template to slide into their DMs!

Hi [name]!

I love what you [create/do/say]. I especially love how you [mention specifics].

My name is XYZ and I’m an expert in [...]. I help [target customer] achieve [their biggest pain point]. I couldn’t help but notice our businesses are aligned and I bet we’d get along great, too.

If you’d be interested in working together to trade our skills or services, I’d love to connect. I think your [service] would be a great FIT/SWAP with my [service]. If you’d like to discuss this idea more, let me know and we'll find a time!

2. Send a product for a shoutout

Running an e-commerce powerhouse and looking for influencers to spread the word on your new product? Give them a shout using the template below for a product feature request!

Hi [name]!

I love what you [create/do/say]. I especially love how you [mention specifics].

My name is XYZ and I create [product] for [target customer]. I’m based in [city] and my product is best known for [problem your product solves].

I’d love to send you a complimentary shipment of my [product] to hear your thoughts. I’m always looking for feedback and if you’re a fan, it’d mean the world to me if you could share your honest thoughts in an Instagram post. Let me know if you’d be interested!

3. Ask for a product; give a shoutout

Are you an influencer wanting to connect with a brand you love or are interested in? Try this one on for size:

Hi [name]!

I love what you [create/do/say]. I especially love how you [mention specifics].

My name is XYZ and I’m a [profession]. I’m based in [city] and I’m most known for my [skill/gift/unique angle]. My audience LOVES my take on [niche] on Instagram.

I see that your PRODUCT/SERVICE would be something my followers would absolutely love to learn more about. Would you be open to sending me a [sample/free product name] in exchange for a review and shoutout on my Instagram feed and Stories? Hope to hear from you soon!


Ready to double tap and scroll your way into growing your business?

 
 

Customer service and networking are still huge parts of growing your business and luckily for you, it all can happen on just one platform: Instagram.

Recognize the importance of brand awareness on Instagram but still not sure where to start?

Join my free Instagram masterclass, where I teach you three secret strategies to gain 1,000 new followers in just 30 days.


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Elise Darma

About the Author:

Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.