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Instagram Business Chat: The ultimate business guide

Mastering Instagram Business Chat: a guide for effective business communication

Instagram Business Chat, as a form of instant messaging, allows businesses to communicate with customers who prefer to reach out through Instagram. Therefore, other than offering aesthetically pleasing content, brands must also learn to provide a more convenient and effective method for their customers to reach them on Instagram. 

What is Instagram Business Chat?

Instagram Direct Messenger

Instagram Business Chat is a messaging feature that businesses can use to connect with their customers on Instagram. Instagram Business Chat is designed specifically for businesses and involves strategies that include features like automation, quick replies, and access to Instagram inbox messaging analytics.

Getting to the basics: what is Instagram for Business?

Select category for Instagram Business account

Instagram for Business is a feature of Instagram that is designed to help businesses promote their products or services on the platform. With an Instagram business account, businesses can access features such as:

  • Business tools: insights that provide analytics on post and account performance and ads that enables businesses to reach a larger audience

  • Business details: allows brands to optimize profiles by adding contact information, business hours, and other relevant details

  • Room for creativity: lets businesses create engaging content, such as photos and videos, to showcase their products or services and build a strong presence on the platform

So why is Instagram so popular? The answer lies in its ability to provide a unique and engaging user experience that caters to our love of visual content. Unlike other social media platforms that focus on text-based updates or long-form content, Instagram's emphasis on photos and videos allows users to tell their stories in a more engaging and authentic way. Whether it's showcasing their hobbies, sharing travel adventures, or simply posting selfies with friends, Instagram provides a platform for users to express themselves in a visually stunning way.

Another reason for Instagram's popularity is its ease of use. With its simple and intuitive interface, even those who are not tech-savvy can quickly and easily post content and connect with others. The platform's algorithms also make it easy to discover new content and connect with like-minded individuals, making it a valuable tool for personal and business use alike.

90% of people follow at least one business account on Instagram.

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Types of Instagram accounts

Here are several types of Instagram accounts available to users:

  • personal accounts

  • business accounts

  • creator accounts

Personal accounts are designed for individuals who want to share their personal experiences and connect with friends and family. 

Business accounts are tailored for businesses and brands who want to promote their products or services. 

Creator accounts are intended for influencers, public figures, and content creators who want to showcase their work.

If you’d like to increase exposure and engagement for your business on Instagram, switch to a professional account. Learn how from the section below.

Features of an Instagram Business account

Instagram as social commerce platform

Instagram for Business offers several features that are not available on personal Instagram accounts. Some of the key features of Instagram for business include:

  1. Instagram Insights: provides detailed analytics on post and account performance, including data on reach, impressions, engagement, and follower demographics

  2. Instagram Ads: reach a larger audience and promote their products or services with visual content and generate leads

  3. Contact button: allows businesses to add contact information to their profiles, making it easier for customers to get in touch

  4. Instagram Shop: brands can tag products in their posts and enable customers to purchase directly from their profiles

  5. Creator Studio: allows businesses to manage their Instagram accounts and content from a single dashboard

  6. Instagram Stories: for sharing quick content such as behind-the-scenes, highlighting products or services, and running polls or quizzes to engage with the audience

  7. Instagram Live: for live streaming videos to followers, offering an opportunity to connect with their audience in real-time

Instagram for Business provides businesses with a suite of powerful tools to connect with their target audience, promote their brand, and grow their business on the platform.

Want to automate comment replies to boost engagement? Explore SleekFlow’s auto reply for post comments and chats.

Best practices for using Instagram for Business

To make the most out of Instagram for Business, it is important to follow certain best practices. Here are some of the best practices for using Instagram for Business:

  1. Create a consistent visual brand identity: use a consistent color palette, font style, and visual style across all your posts to create a strong brand identity that your followers will recognize.

  2. Use Instagram's various features: diversify your content by using Instagram's various features like Stories, Reels, IGTV, and Live Videos. This will keep your audience engaged and interested in your content.

  3. Engage with your audience: build a strong relationship with your followers by responding to comments and messages, running Instagram contests and giveaways, and reposting user-generated content.

  4. Use hashtags: use relevant and targeted hashtags to increase your reach and attract new followers who are interested in your brand.

  5. Post consistently: post content regularly to maintain engagement with your followers and increase your visibility on the platform. Use Instagram Insights to identify the best times to post.

  6. Collaborate with other brands or influencers: partner with other brands or influencers in your industry to expand your reach and increase your credibility on the platform.

  7. Use Instagram's analytics: track your performance using Instagram's analytics to measure your success and identify areas for improvement. Use this data to optimize your strategy and improve your content.

  8. Create in-depth connections: chat with your audience and potential customers on Instagram Business Chat. Set up automation and chatbots to make sure that they get immediate responses.

  9. Integrate custom chat solutions: Explore the option of creating customized chat solutions for your Instagram Business account through collaborations with a software development firm. These bespoke chat solutions can be tailored to your specific business needs, providing personalized interactions with your audience. This can enhance user experience and set your business apart by offering unique and interactive features integrated directly into your Instagram account.

By following these best practices, businesses can create a strong presence on Instagram and connect with their target audience in meaningful ways.

Need more tips? Check out our blog: Instagram marketing starter kit.

Tips for using Instagram Business Chat

To make the most of Instagram Business Chat, businesses should follow these tips:

  1. Set up automated replies to respond to messages immediately. Show customers that you value their time.

  2. Use chatbot flows to save time and make it easier to respond to FAQs.

  3. Personalize your responses to show customers that you care about their individual needs.

  4. Monitor your performance with Instagram Business Suite analytics to identify areas for improvement.

How to set up Instagram Business Chat

Setting up Instagram Business Chat is easy. First, you need to install Instagram and create an account on Instagram. Once the account is created, you can switch to a business account through the following steps:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.

  2. Select ‘Account’.

  3. Choose ‘Switch to Professional account’.

Switch to Instagram professional account

Then, you can select the category for your Instagram Business account.

Once all the steps are completed, you can start chatting with customers using Instagram DM or Instagram Business Chat. 

How to use a third-party platform as an Instagram Message App

Comment auto reply on Instagram

While businesses can easily reply to customers via the Instagram inbox, some use third-party platforms (e.g. SleekFlow) as their Instagram Message App. Other than managing Instagram direct messages, the smart tools on these platforms can also be used to: 

  • increase work efficiency and improve team productivity

  • maintain account activity and brand exposure

  • Increase impressions, reach, and user engagement

  • sell better to audiences on Instagram and boost conversion

If you’re looking to choose a multi-functional omnichannel platform that offers Instagram solutions, these are some of the helpful features you should consider:

1. Automated comment and Instagram Business Chat replies

Automated settings for replying to post comments and Instagram Business Chat conversations can save businesses a lot of time and effort. When users engage and leave comments on your posts, it means that they are highly interested in your products and services. In other words, they are high-potential leads that can bring you more conversion. If you accidentally ignore these comments or wait for too long to reply to them, you may easily lose these potential customers. By setting up auto replies for comments and directing them to your Instagram inbox, you can avoid missing your opportunities to thank users for their engagement, answer frequently asked questions, or provide more information about a product or service. You can respond to customer queries instantly, even during off-office hours. This improves customer satisfaction and helps businesses maintain a professional image.

2. Chatbot for your Instagram campaign

Qualify leads with Instagram DM chatbot

A chatbot for Instagram campaigns can be powerful as they ensure that your brand engages with customers, answers questions, and provide personalized recommendations based on their preferences almost instantly. Since 82% of consumers now expect near-immediate replies from businesses, making sure that your Instagram Business Chat is equipped with a chatbot is important. You can even incorporate this Instagram chatbot with your ad campaigns where the users who engage with your ads are directed to a chatbot for a survey. For example, a fashion retailer can publish a new series of clothing on Instagram Story, asking users to reply ‘YES’ to claim a discount code. Once they replied to the story, a chatbot can be triggered to ask about their gender, interested fashion style or clothing type, their desired location, and more. This will not only lead more customers to your physical stores, but also offers more customer information for accurate retargeting campaigns.

3. Messaging analytics for Instagram Business Chat

SleekFlow analytics

Messaging analytics, including open rate and reply rate, can help businesses understand how customers are interacting with their Instagram Business Chat. Businesses can use this data to identify areas for improvement, track the success of their marketing campaigns, and optimize their messaging strategy.

SleekFlow payment links in chat

To avoid customers from abandoning their carts, you must make sure that they get a seamless checkout experience. Using an in-chat payment link for your Instagram Shop can help streamline the checkout process and improve customer satisfaction. Customers can make purchases directly through Instagram Shops, make inquiries on Instagram Business Chat, add to cart and pay without having to navigate to a separate website or app. This reduces friction in the sales process and helps your businesses generate more revenue.

5. Instagram Business Chat labeling for social CRM

Instagram Business Chat labeling can help businesses manage their customer relationships more effectively. Businesses can use labels to categorize customers based on their interests, preferences, or buying behavior. This helps businesses provide personalized support, target their marketing campaigns more effectively, and identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. This type of social CRM strategy can help businesses build long-term relationships with their customers and increase their lifetime value.

6. Instagram Business live chat for lead generation

SleekFlow live chat

Instagram Business Live Chat is another powerful tool for businesses. Since live chat offers a more personal and immediate way to communicate with customers, businesses should install a live chat with Instagram as one of the channels on their websites. This will allow customers who prefer chatting through Instagram to make inquiries through your Instagram Business Live Chat, where you can answer customer questions, provide product support, and even generate leads.

Learn more about SleekFlow’s free no-code omnichannel live chat widget which includes Instagram DM as one of the channels. 

How to use Meta Business Suite inbox for your Instagram account

Connecting your Instagram Business account to Meta Business Suite

If your business is just starting out and there’s not enough budget to invest in third-party tools, you can choose to manage conversations from your Instagram Business Chat on Meta Business Suite inbox. By setting up quick replies, you can easily respond to customers on both Facebook and Instagram in the same inbox.

Here are some steps on how to use Meta Business Suite Inbox for your Instagram account:

  1. Connect your Instagram account to Meta Business Suite inbox: Log in to Meta Business Suite and connect your Instagram account. Once connected, Meta Business Suite will pull in all your Instagram messages.

  2. Organize your messages: categorize your messages and put them into different folders, such as "Spam," or "Done", so that you stay organized and respond to messages in a timely manner.

  3. Automate responses: create quick replies to common questions or inquiries to ensure that customers receive a timely response even outside of business hours.

  4. Analyze your performance: use analytics on your messaging and post-performance, such as response time, message volume, post reach, and engagement. Utilize these metrics to optimize your messaging strategy.

Looking for more information for your Instagram strategy? Find out how to create the best Instagram CRM strategy to boost engagement.

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