What is Direct Messaging?
Direct messaging is the wave of the future. It allows individuals to connect in a way that they never had before: instantly. Direct messaging is also a sound business technique allowing companies to connect with their consumers, but how do you successfully use a direct message campaign, without “sliding into their DM” (creepy)? This article will describe tactics users find invasive, such as message flooding and messages that are obviously auto-produced, and offer solutions like engaging with the consumer publicly in order to build the relationship before switching to direct messaging.
Benefits of Direct Message Marketing
Direct messaging is more than just adding a chatbot on a website. The development of direct messaging on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, allows companies to privately develop relationships with their users. Facebook messaging was among the first platforms to do this and now we see direct messaging on Twitter and even direct messaging on Instagram becoming even more useful in these campaigns. Messaging, in general, is a useful tool for a business’ marketing campaign, but companies tend to forget the appeal of “instant” – the most powerful reason to use direct messaging.
1. Instant Networking
Event mixers and conferences are great, but the problem is that you have to wait to attend them and wait to return to the office to make changes. On the other hand, a direct messaging campaign is instant. While you may not ever meet your consumers in person, in today’s world, meeting them digitally is totally acceptable. Messaging allows you to connect with the people you need and more.
The level of outreach through social media direct message marketing is far beyond a few hundred people that would attend a conference. Did we mention it’s instant? This gives consumers the freedom to be anywhere they want, and the freedom to campaign anytime you want.
What better way to promote your business, than by sending it directly to your consumer’s inboxes. Gone are the days of emails, ads, and flyers in the mail. The problem is that these things take time, whereas sending a URL tagged image or a message to visit your link is immediate, with an immediate response from your consumers. Those promotions that users had to wait for are now readily available at the click of a button. In addition, getting a promotion sent directly to your inbox on social media, makes users feel valuable.
Whether you sent the same link to ten different users or not, direct messaging is still more personal than other techniques. You can even promote across multiple platforms including direct messaging on Instagram, and direct messaging on Twitter. You can provide the same promotion on all platforms or different ones on each, encouraging users to connect with you everywhere.
Communication is key. You might feel like you are always communicating with your customers, but sending them an email that sits in their inbox is not considered an active form of communication. Some of the most common ways online businesses communicate through messaging are by using direct messaging for order and product questions, telling a client how they can invest, or reaching out for reviews. This helps your business stand out from others by creating a positive and meaningful customer experience.
Direct messaging allows you to make relationships with your consumers more personal. Messaging that arrives instantly in your user’s inboxes can assist with immediate issues. Companies can be productive, proficient, and most of all proactive when dealing with customer support. Users will appreciate your concern before a little problem becomes a big one.
Things to Avoid
Use direct message marketing for your next campaign; don’t abuse it. The concept of being able to reach your consumers privately is a glorious thing for brands and companies, but if you fill their inboxes with message flooding and auto-produced messages, your campaign will be less than successful.
>> Message flooding
Message flooding is when a company sends multiple messages, whether or not part of a direct messaging campaign, while the recipient has not yet responded to even one of them. On social media, message flooding merely leaves the customer drowning in direct messages. Message flooding can be auto-produced or personally written. This leaves a trail of unread messages and a full inbox that most users won’t even read based on principle. Message flooding is less common with Facebook messaging but is frequently seen with direct messaging on Instagram and direct messaging on Twitter. Direct messaging is a beautiful thing that can quickly turn ugly when used the wrong way. If the person you are direct messaging does not respond, the message is clear, stop messaging.
>> Auto-Produced Messages
Direct messaging today also has a bad rap. Especially direct messaging on Instagram and direct messaging on Twitter has become nothing but a file folder full of auto-produced messages. While direct messaging can be highly effective and preferred by users, automated messages will ruin your chances. Once again, most users won’t even open or read automated messages on principle alone. Auto-produced messages are the opposite of what businesses want from their direct messaging campaign. Messaging in this way is both annoying and contradictory to the idea behind direct messaging marketing campaigns, which is to develop personal relationships with users, not automated, generic ones. Unless you kill this vibe, auto-produced messages will surely kill your brand’s name and reduce your number of followers.
Tips for Direct Message Marketing
Direct message marketing is a golden marketing opportunity. Although less common with Facebook messaging, on Instagram and Twitter a direct message (DM) is often the first step in acquiring a new client, or the takeoff of an influencer’s marketing campaign for that brand. If you want to grow your business potential, utilize this feature the right way.
1. Engage Publicly
Although the beauty of direct messaging is its privacy, for the most successful direct message marketing, you should first engage publicly. Simply popping up in anyone’s inbox randomly is just plain creepy. In addition, there is no way to ensure that users will even open or read your message, since users today are annoyed by the frequent spamming.
Once you have a target set, engaging them publicly means to comment on their instagram, retweet, or leave an insightful comment. Keep in mind, the “bigger the following, the more you’ll need to engage”. However, this technique is well received by your users, and each time you engage publicly, you’re building the relationship. With a strong relationship in tact, your consumers will be more likely to open, read, and even respond to your direct messages.
2. Build Meaningful Relationships
The ultimate goal of direct messaging is that the relationship you establish with users will be more meaningful than any other type of marketing campaign. With direct messaging, you can also reach out directly to individuals with whom you may want to collaborate. Only be careful to choose them with intentionality. For instance, reaching out to a photographer could lead to become finding the key component in a visual marketing partnership. When you see an influencer/ photographer/ designer that you admire if you want to create a lasting partnership, direct message with a purpose.
3. Raise Up Referrals
The only thing more meaningful than the relationships you establish is the power of referrals. Once you establish a solid relationship with a user through DM, laying the foundation for referrals is a useful technique. Florian Alt, senior director of global communications at Addidas, couldn’t have said it better, “If it comes as a referral from your mate, you’re much more likely to pick it up than from a brand”. This means that not only are you reaching out with the power of direct messaging but encouraging those individuals to reach out personally to other users through referral, which almost instantly ensures a new client/ collaboration. The reason being, the power of trust and referral. In addition, raise up your users that commonly refer your brand/company. Be sure to give them exclusive offers, new products, and be the first to be invited to new experiences, to thank them for advocating for your brand. From referral action alone, your campaign could soar.
4. Create Loyalty
Direct messaging is also a powerful technique to encourage and establish loyalty. Any successful brand/ business has those customers who like every post, engage in every conversation, and share, re-share, and refer frequently. Think about where you would be as a brand without these individuals? For individuals who have shown this kind of genuine loyalty on their own, reward them. Utilize direct messaging and take the next step, by ‘meeting’ with them more personally. Go ahead, throw a discount or promotion in there as well.
5. Give, Don’t Ask
At least, in the beginning, its important to give your users more than you ask for in return. Often through direct messaging it is common to see a follow for follow barter system build, but if you really want to see your direct messaging marketing campaign skyrocket, you need to give a little more.
Other forms of giving could be a shoutout on your own page if you have a sizable following; otherwise a free sample or trial of your product is always a good choice. This technique establishes meaning, loyalty, and longevity. By giving more, this makes the statement that you care more about the user than your brand, which is exactly the message you want to portray. Giving through direct messaging also means that you are providing these benefits to the user personally, unlike typical brand-wide promotions.
So, What Should Your Direct Message Look Like?
Once you are ready to begin your direct messaging campaign, it can be intimidating to think of what to say. Even after you feel like you’ve mastered the direct messaging concept, the way your message reads can still make or break the new relationship you are trying o establish. Come across too pushy, and your users won’t be interested; come across with not enough conviction, and your users won’t think you are legitimate. The tips and tricks for sending the most effective direct messages are to be original, complimentary, social, and shareable.
You won’t find any automated messages here, but even when scripting individual messages to your users, try not to use any sort of ‘template’. You cannot just slap a username and consider it personalized. The first thing your users will notice is how genuine and authentic your message is, so be original.
Today, we live in a world powered by the number of likes we receive. In addition, individuals like things that make them feel good. Using this psychology, make your users feel good by liking and complimenting them first, in a direct message. You’ll be surprised at what a long way this technique goes.
It is called social media, right? Being social in your direct message does not only mean coming across as personable, it means to socialize. The more you socialize, the more likely you will gain a response and a follower. This means that you should try sending as many direct messages at once – 150 on average. Even if you are social, complimentary, and original, not everyone will be interested, so the more you socialize, the greater number of responses you are likely to receive.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone, be shareable. You may send out as many direct messages as possible, and it still won’t compare to the number of users who could be reached if your content is shareable. Shareable content is the best way to increase brand awareness.
“Sliding into a DM” is acceptable when used correctly. If brands and companies are more mindful about their direct message marketing techniques, the power of direct messaging can be limitless. This tool is new, especially to Instagram, and businesses are not yet fully jumping on the benefits that this strategy can offer. If you want to boost your following with genuine, loyal, and strategic customers, its all about the DM.