Have you optimized the full utility of your Instagram account? Here are some ideas that might help you rethink how to use Instagram’s real estate. Remember, you must protect your brand equity. Don’t be tempted to hop on perceived trends if they’re not appropriate for your business.
- Make the only URL you have count. Use a CTA (call-to-action) link to a landing page or some other targeted page in your profile instead of a link to your main website.
- Automated messages. Make yours stand out by:
- Acknowledging that people aren’t dense and can tell when you’ve prepared an automated message. Generic messages aren’t engaging to your followers.
- Be honest and still try to engage even those that may be following you for other reasons (like they’re using a program that arbitrarily follows accounts to gain followers on theirs) — “Hi ______, welcome to the club. You’re receiving this automated message because I’m probably walking my two pugs or scouting a local farmers market for more delicious fruits to go in my delicious smoothies (have you tried one yet?). Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll respond to you with a real message (seriously). Also, feel free to take a look at my page. I’ve got tons of funny photos of people enjoying my colorful and healthy smoothies! And if I don’t hear from you in a while, I’ll give ya a ring? Sound good? Thanks for following.” – this example was actually inspired by an automated DM we received. It was quite refreshing to see something different from the norm.
- Anticipate that who ever is on the receiving end of your automated direct message might also have an inbox flooded with several others. Just like cold emails to potential prospects you’ll need to craft an opening line that stands out among the noise of other messages. And you only have so many words to accomplish this, since your message will be truncated. A quick glance at our Instagram DM inbox revealed that an overwhelming majority of automated direct messages we receive start with “Hello/Hi/Hey/Thanks _____” or some variation thereof.
- Many people include links in their automated messages but links aren’t clickable. A suitable alternative might be to create another Instagram account that serves as a “landing page” since @____ are clickable within messages. I personally haven’t seen this done (yet). You still won’t evade the issue that Instagram does not allow click-through buttons yet, so you’ll have to be creative if you try this.
- If you someone actually replies to your automated DM, respond back. This is a given, but I can’t tell you how many times someone actually responds to an automated DM anticipating a response from the user and doesn’t receive one. Like the example in #2, if you commit to giving a real response to your followers and don’t deliver, you’re only creating a bad first impression and throwing your trustworthiness out the screen.