Written by Fara Rosenzweig

July 1, 2021

Whether you’re eligible or not for Instagram Automation, you can now get a taste of how powerful Instagram Automation by ManyChat is for your business. 

The ManyChat team has worked diligently to make a test account available to those who want to learn how to automate all of those DM conversations in your Instagram messages.

All of us at ManyChat are so excited to finally open this amazing communication channel with you. We know that the ManyChat community has been so eager to get their hands on Instagram Automation, so we’re so happy that it’s finally here.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to get your Instagram test account started and set up.

  1. Create a test Facebook Business page
  2. Create an Instagram test account
  3. Link your Facebook business page to your Instagram test account
  4. Sign up for ManyChat
  5. Learn all of the key features
  6. Prepare your flows!

Create a Test Facebook Business Page

Before heading to your Instagram account, you’ll need to create a test Facebook Business page. This is a crucial step for later on when creating your Instagram test account.

In order to connect Instagram (IG) to ManyChat, your IG account must be connected to a Facebook Business page.

Follow the steps below: 

  • Find Pages in the left-hand sidebar in Facebook
create a business page
  • Click create new page
facebook business page
  • Fill out the appropriate details
create a facebook page
page name details

By default, this should appear to be a Business Page, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. You’ll see some business management tools on the left-hand side. Leave this page open.

facebook business manager

Create a test Instagram account

To begin, create a test account on Instagram with the naming convention as such: test_xx

Examples include:

  • @test_mydoggie
  • @test_waterbottle
  • @test_1234

You CAN create a test account with your existing handle like “@test_{yourhandle}”

Follow the steps below to create your test account: 

  • Go to your profile. 
  • Click on your photo in the bottom right. 
  • Click on your handle name at the top.
instagram profile
  • Click on your handle name to open up the slider. 
  • Click “Log in or Create a New Account”.
new instagram account
  • Select “Create New Account”
add new instagram account
  • Create your test account handle. 
  • Make sure you include the “test_” at the beginning of the new handle name.
setting up a new instagram account
  • Fill out additional information and then opt to SKIP connecting to Facebook. You’ll do this step later in the process.
instagram set up

How to turn your Instagram account into a Business account

At this point, you have created a new Instagram account. However, in order to use Instagram Automation by ManyChat, you need to turn your new IG account into a Business account. 

Note: all accounts, both test and real, must be a Business Type, in order to connect to Instagram Automation by ManyChat.

Use this step-by-step guide to turn your account into a Business profile:

  • First, go to your test account profile.
  • Click the “hamburger” icon in the top right of your profile. 
  • This opens a slider window.
  • Click Settings
instagram automation account
  • Scroll down to the bottom of your settings and you’ll see a blue button to Switch to a Professional Account
switch to pro account
  • Next, you’ll see “Get a Free Professional Account”.  
  • Click Continue. 
free professional facebook account
  • Provide the category information that is being asked. 
  • Click Continue. 
facebook profile settings
  • This is critical: Pick Business. DO NOT pick Creator.
  • Only Business accounts can connect to ManyChat.
  • Select Next.
business facebook page

Connect your Instagram account to Facebook

One of the final steps of creating a Business account is to connect it to Facebook. 

Because you’ve already created a test Facebook Business page, you can connect it from Instagram. Otherwise, you can connect Instagram to Facebook from the Facebook page.

Follow the steps below to connect your IG test account to Facebook: 

  • Pick the Facebook Business Page that you created earlier.
  • Click Next.
connect to your facebook page

Here’s how to connect Instagram to Facebook from the Facebook page if you accidentally skipped the previous step.   

  • First, navigate to your Facebook page, and on the left sidebar, scroll down to where you can see the Settings button.
  • Click on Settings. 
facebook business page
  • In Settings, scroll down to Instagram.
instagram set up
  • Click “Connect Account”.
connect facebook and instagram
  • Give access and click “Continue”.
instagram message

If your Settings look like this, then your Instagram test account and Facebook Business Page are connected. 

professional instagram account

How to create a ManyChat account for Instagram Automation

At this stage, you should have the following: 

  • a test Instagram Business account
  • a test Facebook Business Page
  • IG test account and test Facebook Business Page connected together

Now, you can now sign up for a ManyChat Instagram Automation account. 

Sign up for a new ManyChat account

You can create a new account by going to ManyChat.com or from within your ManyChat account.

chat marketing solution

If you already have a ManyChat account, we recommend that you create a new account for this test_ Instagram account. 

  • Go to your existing ManyChat account and in the bottom left, click “My Profile.”
add instagram account to manychat
  • Click “Add New Account”.
add new instagram account
  • Next, go through the ManyChat account creation process.
  • Select Instagram as your channel.
Manychat Instagram
  • Select your test_ Instagram account. If you don’t see it here, click the support article down below.
connect to instagram
  • Complete the on-boarding questionnaire.

Note: We suggest picking “technical/testing/demo account” as an answer to the first question.

instagram strategy

If you see this window, it means that you’ve successfully created a ManyChat test account on Instagram. 

Try out one, or all, of the instructional tours to learn how to use key Instagram Automation features.

instagram automation campaign

Test Instagram Automation features and Flows

Now you’re all connected. It’s time to play around with the features so when you’re eligible to use Instagram Automation, you’ll be ready to go.

ManyChat dashboard

The image above is your “home base” of ManyChat. From here you can access:

  • Instructional tours
  • Instagram Automation Video Course
  • Case studies
  • One-click install Templates
  • And more content to help you get inspired and started

Since you now have early access to Instagram Automation via this test account, we highly recommend that you not only test out Instagram Automation features but also build out Flows that you expect to use on your official account. 

Once you build your Flows, you can easily copy and paste them to your official account. While you won’t be able to “export” Flows to another account, you can simply copy and paste them by using the trusted Cmd +C and CmdP!

If you really want to be ambitious, you can always create templates of your own Flows, and then “install” your own Template to your official account. This approach allows you to save and install other ManyChat objects like Custom Fields, Tags, Conditions in one click. Check this guide on how to create Templates.

Watch the Instagram Automation video course to get started.

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.