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Instagram Messaging for business: why it’s key to community care

Facebook rolls out Messenger API Support for Instagram publicly, now available to Emplifi clients.

Throughout the years, businesses like Emplifi are helping brands around the world to create efficient customer care and community management workflows. Now, that’s extending to Instagram – a platform that’s grown immensely in importance for every marketer.

According to Q1 2021 data from Socialbakers (now part of Emplifi), the audience for the 50 largest brands on Instagram was 40.3% larger than on Facebook, while Instagram’s audience grew by 10.3% compared to Q1 2020. In addition, 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram.

With those growing audiences, however, come extra pain points for marketers. Managing incoming direct messages for many brands can be a daily challenge, and a solution, like Emplifi, can boost efficiency immensely.

Facebook launches access to Messenger API to support Instagram

At F8 Refresh on June 2, 2021, Facebook announced it would start publicly rolling out the Messenger API Support for Instagram. The updated API allows businesses to integrate Instagram messaging into their business applications, and workflows, allowing brands to manage Instagram messaging at scale. This functionality was previously available as a beta only for a select group of partners that included Socialbakers. So, how does the API create value for brands looking to scale up their customer experience (CX) efforts on Instagram Messaging? Here are three reasons why messaging is so important:

1. Drives more brand awareness through messaging

Increasing customer satisfaction fosters more trust between a brand and its customers. It also helps breed loyalty among more casual customers, providing them a path to eventually become brand advocates.

But this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a multitude of efforts to extend beyond that reach – and direct messaging is an important one. Direct messaging offers the 1-to-1 attention today’s customers seek, helping generate possible upsells, and driving more meaningful customer experiences at key moments in the customer journey.

2. Caters to consumers’ growing demand for more convenient experiences

Customer expectations for fast and frictionless experiences only continue to grow. This has led to many consumers shifting from using traditional customer support channels to get their answers to leveraging social media and messaging apps. In fact, and especially at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many turned to social media and direct messaging to connect with brands in search of fast answers to new questions.

At the same time, messaging and live commerce have been emerging as go-to channels for shoppers seeking new interactive ways to shop online.

By including Instagram messaging as part of existing customer care and commerce workflows, this API integration enables all incoming communications to be consolidated in one unified platform, helping streamline communications, while providing access to key reports measuring sentiment and engagement on the social media platform.

3. Improves your social customer care and response rate

Customers value quick responses when they message brands on social media. This channel gives customers a way to reach out to brands on their terms. However, lengthy delays or no responses can be detrimental to the customer experience. Worse, it can lead to unnecessary PR situations.

In addition to providing live agents with the tools needed to handle incoming 1-to-1 conversations at scale, it also provides a channel through which they can easily re-engage customers, and easily view their interaction history for context.

Plus, for the first time on Instagram, Facebook is introducing new features that will allow businesses to answer volumes of common inquiries with automation, while still having the ability to pass the conversation to live support when necessary. This comes with an important additional benefit — Being able to process incoming Instagram messages through automation not only improves response times, it also offloads teams to focus on incoming queries that require an individual approach.

The takeaway

Messenger by Facebook is innovating further to bring people and brands closer than ever. While direct messaging becomes more seamless and effortless, customers will heavily rely on direct fast communication at each stage of their journey, whether they are just starting their research, participating in live shopping, or seeking customer support. And brands have to be ready for it by having the tools to scale their efforts and ensure excellent experiences every step of the way. With Messenger and Instagram messaging now seamlessly integrated and available within social media marketing platforms, brands gain new capabilities to create better customer experiences.