Written by Michael Keenan

July 28, 2021

In today’s world, engaging in Instagram marketing is one of the most important steps a small business can take to succeed. It’s the foundation for building an online presence and accelerating your business. 

When people come to your Instagram (IG) page, you can learn more about them, turn them into a lead—or even better, a paying customer—all inside Instagram Messenger. If any of these outcomes result, it’s a win! 

Now, how do you get people into your Instagram Messenger experience? 

Using Instagram Automation by ManyChat, you can easily drive traffic to your bot and start conversations with your followers. Try these five approaches for virtually guaranteed success! 

1. Greet new visitors with Conversation Starters

Many customer relationships start when someone messages a brand on Instagram. That’s “conversational marketing” at work. Now, when you know the questions people frequently ask, it’s easier to get the conversation started. 

These questions might be industry-specific, such as shipping times for eCommerce or consulting fees for coaches and influencers. Or they could be support-related questions about a recent purchase. 

With Conversation Starters, you can provide an effortless way for followers to ask common questions. These pre-filled buttons appear in the chat window when new customers message your account. When a user taps the button to message your brand, it initiates a conversation with your business—the customer doesn’t even have to send a message for the Conversation Starter buttons to appear. 

conversation starter example

Conversation Starters offer quick responses to questions people typically have for your brand. You can send users down different flows—be it one for customer support, lead generation, or viewing your product catalog—depending on what button they press 

Keep in mind that Conversation Starters only appear to users who have never messaged your business through Instagram, which is helpful to help resolve new followers’ or customers’ issues quickly.

2. Promote a keyword in your IG Stories, Reels, and Lives

You’ve seen it all over Instagram: influencers and brands prompting you to swipe up to receive everything from ebooks to discounts and more. The evolution from :: Kim Kardashian voice:: “Swipe up, you guys” to “DM us with [keyword] for more information” is now complete. 

ManyChat’s Keyword Automation feature is an incredibly useful and valuable tool for eCommerce brands and influencers that want to start conversations with followers. Once someone messages a pre-set keyword to your brand, it’ll kick-start a conversation in Instagram Messenger.

Keyword Automation allows you to get tactical with your Instagram Stories, Reels, and Lives, leading to more clicks and conversions.

Jonathan Senin, Product Lead at ManyChat

Take ed-tech company Mindvalley. The brand relies on Instagram to acquire registrations for its free masterclasses. For Donna Eden’s class on energy medicine, Mindvalley published a story with a call to action (CTA) telling people to message the word “energy” to sign up.

Instagram story with keyword

When someone messaged Mindvalley with the keyword, it triggered a conversation with the brand in Messenger. 

Conversation from IG stories

Using Keyword Automation to initiate more conversations in Instagram Messenger drove substantial masterclass sign-ups. The campaign, which ran from March to May 2021, resulted in a 522% increase in registrations and 99% decrease in response time on Instagram. 

Learn more by reading How Mindvalley Achieved A 522% Increase in Masterclass Sign-Ups Using Instagram Automation

3. Optimize your bio with a keyword

Directing Instagram profile visitors to your Instagram bot encourages them to engage with your brand and get answers fast. Another way you can use keywords to increase bot interactions is through your profile. Place a text CTA in your Instagram bio along the lines of “DM us with the word [keyword].” 

keyword in bio

Just like if someone saw your CTA on Stories or Reels, when someone messages you the phrase, your bot will start chatting with them. If you are using keywords, make sure to create different flows based on where a user came from. For example, if someone types in the keyword listed in your bio, you could tailor the messaging to say, “Thanks for checking out my IG profile, [Name].” 

4. Respond to mentions with Story Mention Trigger

You may get multiple brand mentions on people’s Instagram Stories; everyone from customers who tag you when they unbox their package to those who see your products in a store like to join in on the fun. Did you know you can use automation to respond to everyone in seconds, right inside Instagram Messenger? 

For example, say a recent customer loves their purchase. They take a picture of themselves using or wearing it and mention your brand in a Story. Using ManyChat, you can send this person people a quick thank you note and trigger an automated conversation. 

Story mentions trigger

Frazer Brookes, a well-known network marketer and coach, loves connecting with his followers on Instagram. Because he’s the author of two best-selling books, people constantly mention his Instagram handle in Stories. The problem is, he can’t respond to everyone right away.

Frazer decided to try ManyChat’s Story Mention Trigger to reply to mentions automatically. He set up a flow (pictured below) to send users who mention him one of four messages in Instagram Messenger two minutes after they post.

Using ManyChat's randomizer to respond

The result? A 40% lift in engagement. Learn more about Frazer’s Instagram experience by reading How Frazer Brookes Saw a 40% Lift in Story Engagement Using Instagram Automation.

5. Drive traffic to your bot with click-to-Instagram Direct ads

Instagram ads are a tried-and-true way to drive traffic. Ads can be a powerful outreach tool to target an audience and direct them to specific flows in your bot. 

Ads that click to Instagram Direct show up in the Instagram Feed or Stories. They allow people to start a conversation with your business after clicking your ad. Here, you can interact with shoppers to help answer questions, offer support, or facilitate a purchase. 

instagram direct ads

Resources:

There’s no doubt that Instagram Automation is improving the way businesses interact with followers. Both retailers and influencers can leverage the power of automation, offering fast customer support to people as they’re browsing and shopping on Instagram.

Grow your Instagram following and make sales with Instagram Automation by ManyChat. See if your business is eligible by applying below.

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.