How To Set Up Instagram DM Automation For Your Marketing Strategy

Save time on your marketing strategy with these creative uses for Instagram DM automations for your business.

You’ve tapped into the power of Instagram to build your brand online and boost audience engagement. Across the social media platform, you’re showing up consistently with unique and thoughtful content, Instagram Reels that are sure to drive organic visibility, and Instagram Stories with handy tricks to drive sales. 

But then come the messages and countless comments, and suddenly, you’re unable to respond to everyone. Whether it’s a new follower or a reply to your Stories, building your community with personalized messages can be time-consuming, leaving you with no time to focus on other elements of your marketing strategy. 

If this sounds familiar, you’re likely not taking advantage of Instagram’s DM automation features. These automated direct messages present an incredible opportunity for brands and business owners to enhance the customer experience and connect with audiences. Whether you’re looking to initiate conversations, drive engagement, or scale your interactions to grow your revenue, this helpful guide will cover everything you need to know about DM automation. 



What are Instagram DM automations?

With recent statistics projecting Instagram users are expected to hit 1.4 billion worldwide in 2024, responding to every message and managing your online community can be a challenge. Instagram direct message (DM) automation is an effective way to engage with your audience in a timely manner, even when you’re not online. 

Within Instagram’s DM inbox, you can set up automated replies and answers to frequently asked questions. When a user contacts your brand, they’ll be prompted to explore these automated responses first to reduce the time it takes to receive a response. 

Why should you use Instagram DM automations?

As well as saving you precious time by cutting out the manual work required when responding to messages, Instagram DM automations can help increase brand visibility and increase sales by sharing new offers, sending follow-up messages, personalizing communication with followers, and enhancing the customer service experience. 

Still not convinced as to why you should be using Instagram DM automation? Consider the following reasons:

  • Answer your FAQs: If you’re showing up consistently on social media, chances are you’re receiving countless messages in response to your posts, Stories, or Reels. Manually responding takes time, but with DM automation you can respond to followers 24/7, allowing you to focus on other areas of growing your business.
  • Build brand awareness: The community aspect of Instagram is significant, as it’s through building trust with your audience that you’ll see greater engagement across your platform. Automations can be used to cultivate a community and engage with your followers while retaining a personalized response that feels authentic and genuine to your voice.
  • Improve your customer service: Social media is the preferred place for many shoppers (particularly Gen Z consumers) to contact brands and businesses. By automating your Instagram DMs, you can ensure customers instantly receive a response with answers to their question, no matter what time of day they’re contacting you. 

Your step-by-step guide to setting up Instagram DM automations

So, you want to save time and build brand awareness with Instagram DM automations. Follow this steps that will have you communicating at scale in no time!

Turn on Instagram Direct FAQs

Creating FAQs to jump-start conversations and create a positive customer experience for those coming to your business page. You can create FAQs or use suggested questions recommended for your business. These will be shown to people who try to message your brand on Instagram, with four FAQs displayed at a time. Here’s how to set it up. 

1. From Instagram home, tap the Messenger icon in the top right of the screen.

2. Tap the three dots, select Tools and select ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. 

3. Toggle next to “Show questions in chat” and under questions, tap ‘Add Question’. 

4. You can then enter a question and optional automated response before clicking Save once you’ve finished.   

Turn on Instagram Direct FAQs

🚨Hot tip: Within Instagram DMs you can also set up other automations, such as saved replies which allow you to quickly save common responses to use time and time again in messages using a specific shortcut word or phrase. 

Use third-party apps for automated Instagram DMs 

Apart from FAQs and Saved Replies, Instagram doesn’t have built-in features to allow for automated direct messages. Thankfully, there are a number of third-party apps that can do this for you, including MobileMonkey’s InstaChamp and ManyChat which deliver personalized comment replies and messages to followers on your account’s behalf. 

To use these apps, you’ll first need to create an account and then connect it to your Instagram. The steps will vary depending on which app you use, but typically it’s straightforward. Using the app, you’ll be able to create engaging Instagram replies for story mentions, post comments, and direct message replies. 

In ManyChat, automated messages are called “flows,” and you’ll need to set keywords that trigger these conversations. Essentially, when someone types that keyword in your direct messages or on a post, they’ll be sent an automatic reply. Consider the example below, where stylist Nicole Sereda asks followers to comment “outfit links” to receive information regarding how to build an outfit, sizing information, and links to similar products featured in the post. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by nicole a sereda (@nicolealyseee)

This can be done on ManyChat by setting up a keyword trigger to set off the automated message. For Instagram Stories, you can also create a trigger so that if someone mentions your username, an automated message is sent on your behalf, too. 

automated messages

5 creative ways to use Instagram DM automations

Now that you know all about Instagram DM automations, it’s time to put it all into practice! 

Here are some creative ways you can use Instagram DM automations for your business. 

  • Thank you messages: These can be used when a follower has placed an order via Instagram shoppable posts, followed your Instagram page, replied to your Instagram Story, or mentioned you in a post e.g. ‘Thank you for featuring us in your post!’
  • Welcome messages for new followers: Engaging on a personal level with followers is important when it comes to building trust and boosting brand awareness. The first message you send to new followers is an important one as they come to get to know your business better and, hopefully, interact with you more in the future. Consider sending a welcome message like, ‘Hi! Welcome to our Instagram page! We are so happy you’re here!’
  • Acknowledge new messages: Engaging with your audience is crucial for building trust and brand awareness, but it can be time-consuming to reply to every message at all times of the day. Automated messages can acknowledge new messages and assure followers that they’ll receive a reply soon. Consider sending, ‘Thanks so much for getting in touch! This inbox is moderated between X and X each weekday, so expect a reply from us during those hours. Best wishes, [insert business name]’
  • Customer order support: Use automated messages to send an instant reply to any questions a user might have. As well as being an efficient way to respond, it ensures the conversation gets straight to the point. Questions can also be integrated into the chat such as ‘Was this answer useful?’ with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ poll, to which you can jump in should the issue not be resolved.
  • Outreach to new accounts: As well as sending a welcome message to new followers, consider more creative ways to introduce them to your brand and make them feel special with an exclusive offer or discount that will help drive sales e.g. ‘Hi! It’s so nice to meet you. As a special welcome, we’re offering a 10% discount on all our products. Just be sure to use [insert discount code] on our website!’ 

Ready to elevate your Instagram marketing game?

Whether you’re struggling to keep up with the fast-paced nature of social media or simply want to devote more time to growing your business and focusing on those tasks that take place offline, Plann’s range of features is sure to help save you time with an automated social media strategy. 

From AI-generated captions to cross-posting, analytics, hashtags and more, Plann can help you maintain a consistent posting schedule while you remain focused on business growth. 

Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!


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