While many brands don’t see it that way, social media is not for one-way communication but for a two-way conversation. This phenomenon of brands having one-way communication with their current and potential customers was prevalent in one of the most used social media platforms of our time, Instagram.
Brands with a significant amount of active followers were unable to have a conversation with them because they lacked the right processes to do so and the platform’s inherent limitations before the October 2020 messaging API update. Brands could only respond to customer inquiries through the Instagram app and through Facebook’s business inbox. It is possible to handle queries in the above format if you’re a small or medium-sized business with limited customer queries coming daily. But for a national brand with hundreds and thousands of followers, not having a way to converse with their customers at scale had a huge opportunity cost.
As a small business owner, one can respond to each DM or comment they get. For bigger businesses, even Instagram’s primeval feature of ‘Quick Replies’ where one can save templates for frequently asked questions, wasn’t going to be of much help.
Instagram has more than 1B monthly users, out of which 81% use it to research products and services. 500 million use Stories every day, while 130 million tap on shopping posts every month. It’s obvious that you can definitely acquire new customers on Instagram while keeping your existing ones engaged.
Year on year, Instagram was seeing a spike in the conversations initiated between individuals and businesses. A whopping 40% increase in conversations on Messenger and Instagram was observed by Facebook’s team when they compared the 2019 and 2020 stats. This led them to open up their Messenger APIs to support businesses to communicate via Instagram as well.
This bold move opened up a plethora of opportunities for big brands to interact with their customers. You must be wondering, what does this update mean for my brand and my customers?
The customer is king. So let’s start off with them first.
Hypothetical scenario, would your king like it if he asks you a question and doesn’t get a reply immediately? Wouldn’t he be pissed off when your sales agent takes his own sweet time to reply to him?
With the new update, you can have AI-enabled bots that will analyze the customer queries using natural language processing and reply immediately no matter what time the query comes in. With guided workflows, customers can get a majority of their doubts solved, questions answered and purchase products right then and there.
People can build their carts in the chat and check out in the most frictionless manner imaginable. Your customers will have the best possible experience with your brand leading them to refer you to their peers.
Now coming to you, a brand with a huge active follower base.
Why should you care about Instagram messaging API updates?
To start off, by leveraging this API update in the right way, you can give your customers a superior shopping experience that would set you apart from your competitors. Your potential customers can message you directly from the shop page, your stories, or directly from your profile. Based on the entry point, a specific context would be set to initiate a conversation. That’s where you have the facility to set up a chatbot to solve product-related questions and drive sales.
The feature we love the most in this update is that you can set a specific hashtag for each post which, when mentioned in the comments directly triggers a conversation to be initiated from the brand side in Instagram’s very own DMs. How cool is that?
Need we even mention the countless hours of your sales agents that will be saved by having prebuilt workflows and bots to address repeated customer queries? We believe that a human’s personal touch cannot be truly mimicked by a bot at this stage. Hence, you can assign chats to your agents as and when you feel a unique or complex scenario has come up. Essentially the same agent would handle 10x more customer interactions if you set up the right automation.
You can also integrate your existing CRM with Instagram messaging. Thus enabling your team to have a holistic view of your customer. The data they can access in that single and unified dashboard will empower them to have more personalized and meaningful conversations, leading to increased revenue and customer satisfaction.
If you wish to know more about Facebook Messenger API and what it can do for your brand get in touch with us for a quick demo.
You want to check if you will have a first-mover advantage and rock the Instagram conversational commerce game? Just slide into the DMs of 5 of your competitors and see how long they take to respond. Without getting too dramatic, Instagram is no less than a battlefield where every brand is fighting for the same set of customers. We at Jumper.ai will provide you with an army of intelligent bots that will help you win.