We watched as Instagram single-handedly made the Vine app obsolete a few months ago; did the social platform just push Snapchat out of the way, too?
Unveiled on Thursday, Instagram Direct is the photo-sharing network’s answer to direct messaging. The Instagram community now has over 150 million members using it as a means of visual communication. Instead of posting a photo or video to your Instagram Feed, you can pick out specific people to receive your post. Simply select the names of the people you want to see your photo or video, type in a caption and hit send. You’ll be able to see who has viewed your message, who has liked it and view comments in real time.
So how can you use Instagram Direct for your business?
Gap was the first brand to take advantage of this new marketing tool by messaging the first 15 commenters on an Instagram post with a limited edition Gap product. As we have discussed previously in our blog, people follow brands on social media for a number of reasons, including offers/discounts, insider information, entertaining content, brand/product news, practical help, product information and to give feedback. So let’s use those facts to utilize Instagram Direct:
- Ask for feedback on a product or service that you post as a picture on Instagram. The first 10 people to comment on it will get an Instagram Direct message with an exclusive discount code for the product or service that they commented on.
- Let your brand ambassadors get inside information before you announce it to the world. You can use Instagram Direct to message a sneak peek of a product or an event teaser to your loyal fans. This lets your brand ambassadors know that you appreciate them and are willing to reward them for sticking by you!
- Instagram Direct can be utilized as a visual customer service platform. If customers have a question about your product, you can respond to them with a personalized how-to video. Your customers will know that you care and appreciate that you are using social media to connect with them. Remember, it’s all about being social!
- Host a scavenger hunt. Send a direct message to users who guess the correct answer to a clue with their next clue. Every time a user guesses the answer, you send them their next clue. Continue until all clues have been solved and the user wins a prize at the final destination.
Has your brand used Instagram Direct to communicate with customers? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section!