If you operate a business in today’s world, having a business profile on Instagram is the most automatic thing to do. With the announcement of an Instagram update, the conversations between businesses and their customers are definitely going to change.
Previously, business profiles on Instagram had the same Direct Messaging (DM) structure as a personal profile. Customers prefer to DM a business than email them a query. If a customer messaged a business profile that wasn’t a Follower, the business wouldn’t get an alert and the message would go to the Pending folder. Since most businesses don’t follow their customers, this pattern was not beneficial for both the business and the customer.
Instagram has improved this feature for business profiles by allowing new customer messages to be delivered to the Direct Inbox rather than go to the Pending folder. A business can also mark messages as Important so it’s easier to find at a later time. Instagram is also working on ways to make it easier to respond to common questions.
(Image Source: Instagram Business Blog)
Along with developing the DM feature, Instagram is working on introducing Action Buttons which will allow customers to directly ‘Book’, ‘Reserve’, ‘Get Tickets’ or ‘Order’ when they access a business profile. A customer wouldn’t have to even leave the page to use these functions and would be moving from discovery to action at a much faster pace. Along with the introduction of Shopping Tags, these call-to-action buttons show that the platform is really looking at helping businesses increase their net profits.
As of November 2017, there are more than 25 million active business profiles on Instagram. By making it easier to do business, businesses can now be more focused on increasing their brand presence and can communicate more efficiently with their customers.
The changes to the Direct Messaging feature for businesses are active with the latest version of the app. Instagram is currently testing action buttons with a range of partners and will roll them out more broadly in the future.