Instagram Business Chat allows over 500 million active brands on Instagram to provide customer support, gather feedback, and boost engagement through direct messaging right within the app.
But how exactly does it work, and how can you make this channel work for your business?
In this 2,300+ word definitive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know to master Instagram Business Chat:
What is Instagram Business Chat and Why It Matters
Instagram Business Chat is a direct messaging feature available on Instagram business profiles. It provides a private, embedded chat allowing followers to start conversations directly with brands.
With Business Chat, brands can:
- Automate conversations using chatbots
- Route inquiries to the right teams
- Manage conversations across multiple departments
- Analyze performance with real-time metrics on response times, sentiment, and message volume
- Provide support, advise customers, handle complaints, and more through messaging
Industry research shows the business impact of leveraging platforms like Instagram messaging:
- 73% of consumers prefer chat for quick communication with brands [Source: Drift]
- 56% have higher brand loyalty with companies that offer messaging [Source: Twilio]
- 2-5x higher conversion rates from users who engage via chat before purchasing [Source: Kayzen]
Clearly, Instagram Business Chat presents an immense opportunity to engage with customers in a convenient, high-converting channel.
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Instagram Business Chat
Here is the complete process for activating messaging for your Instagram Business profile:
Switch to a Business Profile
You must have an Instagram business profile, not a personal profile. Here‘s how to upgrade:
- Tap your profile photo
- Tap the menu icon (3 lines)
- Choose "Switch to Professional Account"
Confirm by tapping "Business" when prompted about account category.
Connect Your Facebook Business Page
Link your Instagram account to an associated Facebook business page:
- In your Instagram settings, select "Business"
- Choose "Facebook Business Suite"
- Select "Connect Account"
- Tap to connect the Facebook page you want associated
Turn on Messages
Finally, enable the messaging feature in your settings:
- Go to Settings
- Select Messaging
- Toggle on the option: "Allow People to Contact My Business on Instagram"
After enabling, a Messages button will appear on your business profile. Tap here to view and manage all incoming chats!
Set a Greeting Message
You can customize an automatic greeting message that is sent to customers when they first message your business.
This greeting sets the right tone for conversations while managing expectations on response time.
With the foundation set up, let‘s maximize your success with Instagram Business Chat using pro tips…
How to Expertly Manage Business Chat: 8 Pro Tips
Driving real business impact from Instagram messages at scale takes skill.
Apply these proven best practices shared by social media and customer service experts:
1. Automate with Saved Replies
Set up automated answers to instantly resolve common questions like store hours, shipping times, return policies, and more.
When a user sends a message with a predefined trigger word, your associated saved reply is automatically sent.
2. Develop Customer Service Chatbots
Chatbots take automation further by using AI to understand full conversations, not just keywords.
Program dialog flows to guide users through options and provide answers without agent assistance.
Over 85% of questions can be handled directly by bots for brands with robust dialog engines.
3. Document Subject Matter Expertise
Equip agents to resolve complex issues by centralizing knowledge management docs like help center articles, product specs, tutorials, and company info.
Embedded knowledge management helps agents respond faster and more accurately.
4. Personalize Agent Replies
For unique cases needing human assistance, ensure reps personalize each response.
Use customer names, relate to prior messages, and communicate empathy. This personal touch strengthens relationships.
5. Monitor Key Metrics
Leverage built-in analytics to diagnose opportunities. Key metrics include:
- Response time: Benchmark >90% answered within 5 mins
- Resolution rate: Target >80% resolved in 1 message
- Sentiment: Prioritize negative sentiment conversations
- Peak volumes: Add staff during weekday mid-mornings when volumes spike
Continuously analyze this data to maximize efficiency.
6. Assign Conversations to Specialized Teams
Route different message types to specialized service agents:
- Sales inquiries to sales reps
- Billing questions to finance staff
- Technical issues to product specialists
This drives first contact resolution while providing tailored guidance.
7. Integrate Chat with Other Channels
Tie messaging into your broader customer service strategy:
Email: Connect Instagram conversations to associated email addresses for unified continuity.
Messaging: Merge cross-platform messaging via tools like Zendesk.
Call Center: Transfer ongoing chats to voice support.
With a single view of the customer across channels, agents can continue conversations seamlessly.
8. Proactively Message Users
Messaging in Instagram is bidirectional. Use chat proactively to:
- Promote new products
- Offer special discounts
- Wish happy birthdays
- Request product reviews
- Ask for feedback on recent purchases
This outreach reinforces your helpful, trusted status.
Maximizing Business Results from Instagram Chat
Beyond efficient operations, Instagram Business Chat uniquely moves key business metrics:
Traffic: Promote your messaging availability via Stories and posts to attract new visitors.
Engagement: People who message businesses have 4x deeper relationships and demonstrate 300% higher posting engagement.
Leads: Invite followers who interact with your brand to continue the conversation via direct message.
Sales: Offer special discounts, early access to sales, and speedier support exclusively via chat.
With some strategy and effort, brands see a 2-5x lift in conversion rates from users who first engage via messaging before purchasing.
Getting Started with Instagram Business Chat
Hopefully this guide provided everything you need to enable messaging and manage growing volume like a pro.
Here are a few parting thoughts:
Review the Instagram Business Chat setup guide for step-by-step activation walkthroughs. Reach out if you need help!
Build a library of saved replies and chat sequences for your most common questions to ease launching chat.
Monitor analytics continuously and tweak your approach based on actionable data.
Messaging presents a new way to connect with your audience – don‘t leave this opportunity untapped!
Have you used Instagram Business Chat? Share your experiences managing conversations at scale and driving business success through messaging.