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How to Automate DMs on Social Media

Automated DMs are pre-set responses sent to people who direct message you on social media, often used for frequently asked questions.

Colleen Christison March 2, 2023
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Are you looking to automate DMs on social media and live the good life, never having to manually reply to an FAQ again? Well, thank goodness you found this article.

After reading this blog post, you’ll know what automated DMs are, all the ways they can help you, and how to do it on your favorite social platforms. At the end, we give several tips and tricks you can implement when automating DMs.

To start off, here’s our video on automating your Instagram DMs:

Bonus: Save time and download 20 free, customizable Instagram DM templates for your brand, including greetings, partnership requests, FAQ responses, replies to complaints, and more.

What are automated DMs?

Automated DMs are pre-set responses sent to people who direct message you on social media.

You can automate any type of message you like. Whether it’s for frequently asked questions, shipping information, promotional offers, or your extended family asking when you’ll get married. The sky’s the limit.

Most brands will automate DMs by using a chatbot. When you find the right chatbot for your business, you can use them to do the work for your customer support team. Many chatbots use conversational AI, so you know the communication will flow naturally. This type of software is much more reliably trustworthy than other certain black hat Instagram automation techniques.

8 reasons why you should automate DMs on social media

Automating your DMs is an efficient way to save time and stay connected with your followers. People don’t like to wait for a response, so why make them? Automate your DMs, cut down on tedious tasks, and find eternal happiness.

Save your customer support team time and resources

Automating your DMs can save your customer support team time and resources. By automating, you can set up automatic responses to common questions, eliminating the need for your team to respond to each message manually. Automating also allows you to keep track of customer queries and complaints, so you can quickly address any issues that arise.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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Drive sales with personalized shopping experiences

Automating your DMs can help take your sales to the next level. By using chatbots, you can give your customers personalized shopping experiences that are designed to drive conversions. For example, you can use chatbots to recommend products based on purchase history, personal preferences, and demographic data.

Kusmi Tea detoxing teas personalized shopping recommendations

Source: Heyday

Chatbots can also be used to generate leads and collect contact information. Ultimately, chatbots can improve the customer experience and boost sales.

Book in-store appointments

By using a chatbot to automate your DMs, customers can easily book in-store appointments via Instagram without having to speak to a human or mess around in a calendar. It makes it as easy as possible to book an appointment

Provide customer service 24/7

Automating your customer service through chatbots is an efficient way to provide support around the clock without needing to hire a night staff. People hate waiting for a response. When you can provide them with 24/7 customer support, you can improve your response rates and by proxy, your customer experience.

Drive customers to your website

If you don’t have the capability to sell directly on Instagram, then your next best tactic is to drive traffic to your website. Automated DMs can easily direct followers to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services and hopefully move further down the sales funnel.

Gain leads through newsletter sign-ups

You can also program your chatbot to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter. Newsletters are a cost-effective way to gain leads and promote your business.

Provide relevant and timely information in your automated DMs in a conversational manner. And tell them there’s more where that came from in your newsletter. You’ll quickly build a database of potential customers who have opted in to receive your communications.

Make the sign-up process as easy as possible by simply having your chatbot ask for their email while chatting, and be sure to promote the benefits of subscribing. You can also offer incentives for signing up, such as discounts or exclusive content.

Gain leads through a Story and DM combination

If you’re not advertising on Instagram Stories, you should be! 50% of people surveyed say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing it on Instagram.

Creating a Story with a CTA leading back to your DMs gives potential customers a natural path to follow. Once they’ve reached out in your DMs, you can automate a reply welcoming them to your brand. From there, it’s natural to send them either to your site or show them products they might like.

Build a community

Building a community of loyal customers is not an easy task. It requires two-way communication, which means you have to talk with your followers from time to time!

The best way for businesses to do this is to DM regularly. Sending automated messages like updates on new products coming soon or “thank you for your support” messages is one way to stay engaged.

How to automate DMs on Instagram

To automate DMs on Instagram, use a chatbot!

Automating Instagram DMs with a chatbot is so much better than the market alternatives, like spammy bots that pretend to be real people. With the right Instagram chatbot, your customers will be aware that they’re talking to a robot, but they won’t mind.

How to automate DMs on Twitter

The best way to automate DMs on Twitter follows the same method as Instagram: Use a chatbot. Twitter is all about communication. You’ll want to be sure to choose a bot that can echo your brand voice and speak naturally to your customers.

How to automate DMs on Facebook

For Facebook, the best way to automate DMs is the same as Twitter and Instagram. Use a chatbot. One advantage you’ll get from using the same chatbot for all of your customer touchpoints is being able to see all of your conversations in one place.

Heyday dashboard with conversations

Source: Heyday

Facebook Messenger bots can be used for customer service, sales, and social commerce. People are receptive to speaking to brands on Facebook Messenger; it’s a great place for promotions and advertising.

Vero Modo dress options chatbot

Source: Heyday

8 tips for automating DMs on social media

Have we convinced you that automating DMs is the way to go? If so, here are eight tips to help you get started:

1. Manage all your DMs in one inbox

The easiest way to automate DMs (and save tons of time) is to collect all of your messages in one inbox and set up automated responses, saved replies, and easy team workflows.

With Hootsuite Inbox, you can bridge the gap between social media engagement and customer service — and manage all of your social media messages in one place. This includes:

  • Private messages and DMs
  • Public messages and posts on your profiles
  • Dark and organic comments
  • Mentions
  • Emoji reactions

… and more.

The all-in-one agent workspace makes it easy to 

  • Track the history of any individual’s interactions with your brand on social media (across your accounts and platforms), giving your team the context needed to personalize replies
  • Add notes to customers’ profiles (Inbox integrates with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics)
  • Handle messages as a team, with intuitive message queues, task assignments, statuses, and filters
  • Track response times and CSAT metrics

A full screen view of the Hootsuite Inbox agent workspace for social media managers and social customer service agents.

Book a free demo

Plus, Inbox comes with handy automations:

  • Automated message routing
  • Auto-responses and saved replies
  • Automatically triggered customer satisfaction surveys
  • AI-powered chatbot features

2. Keep it simple

When crafting your automated DM, make sure the message is clear and concise. You want your audience to understand what you’re trying to say without getting overwhelmed by too much information.

3. Make it personal

Your audience is more likely to engage with a message that feels personal and tailored to them. Try to include some element of customization in your automated DM, such as their name or location.

4. Offer value

It’s no secret people love free stuff. What can you offer your audience that will make them want to respond to your DM? Whether it’s a discount code, exclusive content, or early access to a new product, make sure there’s something in it for them.

insportspace beauty mask discount Instagram DM

Source: Bothelp

5. Be timely

Automated DMs are most effective when they’re timely and relevant to what’s going on in your audience’s life. If you can send a message that ties in with something they’re already thinking about, you’ll be more likely to capture their attention.

6. Test, test, test

As with anything else in social media, it’s important to test out your automated DMs before you roll them out to your entire audience. Send a few messages to a small group of people and see how they respond before making any changes.

7. Experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of DMs. You might try sending out a discount code or asking people to vote in a poll. A playful message can also be a great way to get people’s attention.

8. Use your analytics

Keep an eye on your analytics, and use them to inform your DM strategy. See which types of DMs get the most engagement, and adjust your approach accordingly.

One of the key benefits of using a social media inbox or chatbot to automate your DMs is that you’ll have access to analytics. This includes response time and CSAT metrics as well as chatbot analytics which provide insight into how users interact with your chatbot.

9. Use a bilingual bot

Using a bot to automate DMs that have bilingual capabilities is a no-brainer! This way, you’re widening your potential customer base and giving people what they want. A bot that can speak to them in their preferred language.

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

Get a Free Demo

Save time on social messaging with automated responses, smarter workflows, and friendly chatbots — all in the Hootsuite Inbox.

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By Colleen Christison

Colleen Christison is a freelance copywriter, copy editor, and brand communications specialist. She spent the first six years of her career in award-winning agencies like Major Tom, writing for social media and websites and developing branding campaigns. Following her agency career, Colleen built her own writing practice, working with brands like Mission Hill Winery, The Prevail Project, and AntiSocial Media.

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