When promoting a business through social media, one of the keys for success is keeping up with customer interactions. It’s important to engage directly whenever you can to help show that the are real people behind your company and how much you really care! This is the reason why responding to inbox messages is absolutely crucial.
Sadly, this can be a cumbersome task, especially if your account gets a lot of messages.
The great news is that in the last year or two, messages on Instagram have gone through countless updates.
Today, we’re going to cover some of the features that can make a business owner’s life MUCH easier when trying to keep up with their IG Inbox.
Desktop Access to Inbox
This is really key! We can probably all agree that typing a lot is 149798 times easier on a keyboard than it is on a little touch screen.
This feature is relatively new, so many people still haven’t realized that they can now access their Inbox online! This makes it easier to read messages and to respond to them (especially the long ones). Try and set off a little time once or twice a week to power through your messages and make sure every customer and potential customer gets the attention they deserve!
It’s all too easy to let unread messages get lost when you are getting a lot at a time. To make sure nothing goes unanswered, click the ‘Filter Inbox Messages’ button in the corner of the search bar. This will let you decide if you’d prefer to see your Unread or your flagged messages only, so that you can make sure that they all get addressed.
This is one of the newest message features in the Inbox. Head to your chat setting and pick a theme for that particular message. This will change all the colours of the following messages you send.
At first sight, you may think that this is purely aesthetic (a pink message thread IS pretty, after all) and can’t make your life any easier. That’s not totally true.
We recommend coming up with a few colour codes for your business that can help you understand who the customer is or what stage of purchasing they’re in. Decide what makes sense for you. One example is dividing customers based on if they are existing customers or new. You can also pick a certain colour for customer service-related messages or a special colour for extra loyal and active fans.
This can help give you context for the conversation without having to read it! Extra useful if you have a few different employees taking care of the inbox.
Primary and General Inbox
This can make your company’s life a bit easier by prioritizing which messages need to be responded to. You can easily move the thread between different inboxes, just by going to setting and clicking “move to…”.
Again, it’s up to your business how you want to categorize messages. One option is to divide active customers and potential customers. Another is to move customers with active questions into the primary inbox and keep resolved threads in the general thread.
This is our personal favourite! If you find you’re receiving a lot of similar question, if you want to have a welcome “funnel” or even a discount code that you offer all new followers, this is a really handy tool and can save your company loads of time.
You can find the Quick Reply function in your reply field, it’s a speech bubble with three dots in it. Once you click it you can add new quick replies with the plus button. It will also give you a short cut so you can just type a single word and it will pull up your pre-determined quick reply.
We consider this one of Instagram most underrated messaging features. Not only can replying with a voice clip make responding to your inbox much quicker and easier, it actually comes off as a way more personal interaction.
Your customer will feel extra valued and like they really got a chance to know you and your brand! So we call it a big win-win situation: save time, build better relationships. Just hold down the mic in the reply field and start talking!
Another useful tool to prioritize messages. Flagging a message is easy and fast, and can help prevent you from forgetting to respond to a customer. Just hit the little flag in the top right corner of the message and it will get a little marking on the main inbox page.
If you ever get a question that you need to double-check, you can just let them know that you will look into it and then flag. That way you can easily find your place again!
To learn more about why you should be getting a little personal on Instagram, head to our post about personal vs. professional on business feeds.
If you feel like you don’t quite understand engagement, take a look at this post where we break the whole concept down!