Are you using the Instagram DM – direct messages?
If not, you are missing out a lot of great things. Even though this feature was added a couple of years ago, many people are still not using it to its full potential. With it, Instagram has proven that it is one of the most intuitive apps out there. From the messaging feature to the sponsored ads and the Discover feature, it seems like the fun doesn’t stop as soon as you open the Instagram icon.
The Things That Make Instagram DM A Lot Better For Sending Messages Than Other Platforms
Straightforward and intuitive, the Instagram DM feature is basically letting you send a direct message to anyone you know and even people you don’t know. Knowing that the platform is usually compared to Snapchat in terms of this feature, we must say that the Instagram DM (direct message) feature outperforms Snapchat in all means and makes communication totally private and easy.
Also, unlike Snapchat, the Instagram DM feature does not delete your direct messages after 24 hours. Instead, it keeps everything stored and you can use it to send photos and videos to up to unlimited friends at a time.
Still, Instagram DM is not as smooth of an experience as sending messages on Facebook Messenger. However, it is not meant to be that way – but only serve as a nice communication tool in a photo-based social network. After all, who wants to chat for hours on Instagram when you have WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber and tons of apps made for that manner?
Still, Instagram serves its purpose in that manner pretty well. And if you want to see how to send a message using it, follow our next part.
How To Send a Message Using Instagram Direct
Sending a direct message via the Instagram DM tool is easy. In fact, so easy that everyone can do it. The only thing you need to do is open the app and tap the icon in the upper right corner. This is the icon that loads your conversations and lets you start a new one.
Step 1: Snap a Photo Or Video And Run Through The Filter
Alternatively, you can start with snapping a picture or video via the Camera icon in the middle icon (like you do it when taking a photo). This way, you have the option to send a photo via the Instagram DM feature but also edit it, add some filters or crop it as you like. And way to go – that is a great conversation opener!
Step 2: Tap ‘Next’ And Add Your Description
Once you are done with the filters, crops and whatever options you are adding to your photo, just tap on the ‘Next’ text in the upper right corner and proceed to the next screen, where you should add a description of your photo and prepare to share it.
Step 3: Switch From ‘Followers’ To ‘Direct’
At this point, you probably know that adding a description and sharing your photo is easy with one tap of the button. However, in order to send it via Instagram DM – you should switch from the tab ‘Followers’ to the tab called ‘Direct’ and pick a user from the list at the top of the screen. Once you do that, the feature will send the photo as a private message instead of one shared with all of your followers.
Step 4: Add A Caption To Your Picture
If you want to add a caption to your pic or video, you can type it in the ‘Direct’ box at the top of your screen after choosing the user to whom you want that message sent. Captions are nice to open the conversation through Instagram DM – and a great way to share your thoughts regarding the photo or video you are sending.
Step 5: Choose Up To 15 Recipients By Tapping The Circles
You can choose up to 15 recipients for your Instagram DM – direct messages by tapping the circles next to each of your friend’s names on the right side of the screen. Your friends will be listed alphabetically with the top friends listed first (based on communication). Now it’s time to send your message – hit the ‘Send’ bar at the bottom of the screen and expect replies!
Step 6: Your Message Is In Your Instagram DM Feed Now
You should know that at this point, all of your messages are located in your Instagram DM feed that is located in the upper right corner of the app. Here, the message will be shown in a group of friends that you have chosen – or the one friend you sent your message to. You can keep communicating and share text by tapping on each of the conversations here – and chatting will be easy.
Step 7: Check If Your Friends Have Seen Your Message
Don’t forget to check if your friends have viewed your message. You can do that easily, by tapping on the Instagram DM feed again and in each conversation you want. If your friend has seen your message, it will preview a mini icon of an eye with their username next to it, at the bottom of the screen (right above the text bar).
If it is a group of people you are sending your Instagram DMs to, their mini icons will appear once they have seen the photo, again at the bottom of the conversation feed. They can also like and reply to your message easily (and you can do that too) – by tapping two times on the media shared.
Sending Instagram DMs With Content From Your Feed
Want to send that picture of your crush to your friend as a private Instagram DM (direct message)? Or maybe that funny video without tagging your friends in the comments? Or re-share your photo in the Instagram DM feed to your friends?
Now, all of that is easy. All you need to do is find the content you want to share and tap on the arrow that is located right next to the Like and Comment icons. As soon as you do that, a mini box will appear from the bottom of your screen, telling you to select the names of your friends that you want to see this particular message.
As you can see, Instagram DM is a great way to share nice posts and send everything you like to your friends. However, you should know that private profiles that you follow will not show to your friends, in case they don’t follow them.
What About Instagram DM For Business?
Now that you know how the Instagram DM feature is used for sharing content, messages or the photos and videos that you take – you should see its full potential when used for business. Below, we are listing the five greatest ways you can use Instagram DMs for your business profile.
1. Create A Thread With Your Best Advocates
Obviously, sliding into someone’s random DMs seems rude and unethical if you are a business. However, it is not so scary once you identify some brand advocates. To do that, you can see which users use the exact hashtags as in your brand and identify who these top users are. Then, you can reward them with a customized DM and nurture your biggest fans.
A great example of such DM would be ‘Hey there – just sharing love from our brand – keep on rocking!’ or a personalized message that is written in a positive and humorous way to encourages the followers to continue promoting your brand. Also, you can give coupon codes or share early bird discounts!
By the way, you can also turn these advocates into influencers
2. Discover The Best Times For Engagement
There is a difference between sliding into someone’s DM feed in the afternoon and late at night. Especially for brands. Nowadays, people live in different time zones and a brand cannot allow to make mistakes and send Instagram DMs in uncomfortable times.
So, the best way to use the Instagram DM feature is when you connect with your audience at the correct time. The truth is, there is nothing worse than feeling that you have your excitement disappear and your DM collects dust. That is why you should discover when are the best times your followers want to be engaged – and send your DMs during those times.
Even though each business has its own public, you can start to understand whats your best time for engagement, analyzing the best times to post on Instagram, for example…
3. Slide In Your Competitors’ Followers DMs
We must admit it – this is a brave step for every brand. However, it is not one that you should not try – and it doesn’t mean that it won’t pay off. You can flip your Instagram DMs onto the followers of your competitors. To do that, you should ideally analyze your competitor’s Instagram audience and pluck out some of their top fans. Once you do that, craft a personalized message with a discount, a coupon code or a bit of humor in it.
Who would expect that coming – right?
4. Use Some Location Tags
According to some Instagram studies, it was found that photos tagged with a location got 79% more positive engagement than those without a location tag. Now, Instagram Direct allows users to share locations – which makes this a lot important and a great feature.
So, it is definitely better to filter out the messages with a particular location. For example, if some users were in your restaurant in London, you can give them tips, tricks or share an exclusive coupon code for discount once they post the photo in your restaurant!
5. Optimize your Profile With CTAs
Instagram Direct is not all about sending photos and waiting for your friends or followers to reply. It also has a great feature where you can share profiles as a message. For example, if someone stumbles upon your Instagram page, they can click on the upper right icon and send it right over to their friends as a message. But how would your page appear in a message?
Ideally, you should put a nice profile photo, a powerful description and call to action. After all, that is the first impression you are leaving when someone shares your profile to their friends.
So, Why Is Instagram DM A Great Feature After All?
There are many reasons to label Instagram DM as a great feature. Basically, even though it offers a functionality that we are used to, Instagram DM offers it in a way that every user would appreciate it. For example, messages can be sent instead of tagging your friends – but also to win more followers.
So for individuals, Instagram DM is a great way to:
- start private conversations;
- share content privately;
- chat with your Instagram buddies;
- share profiles that you have followed instead of sending the text link to them.
On the other hand, for businesses, Instagram DM is even better, mostly because it:
- improves the customer service;
- optimizes the brand reputation management;
- lets you engage directly with your customers;
- lets you cater to a specific niche or audience.
From all these points, it is safe to say that Instagram DM is a feature that is very attractive and a tool that is very effective at the same time. Whether you are an individual looking to effortlessly share content to your friends or a marketer wanting to increase your follower base – it is a feature that does wonders.
A Final Word
In the end, the biggest advantage of using Instagram DM (Instagram Direct) is that it basically allows everyone to communicate openly in a messaging-like experience that lets people connect with individuals, businesses and groups – and start their discussions.
Are you active with the Instagram DM feature? Or still don’t know how to fully exploit Instagram Direct besides from your friend conversations?
Let us know in the comments!