How to Make the Most of Instagram’s ‘Quick Replies’ Tool

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We’re all busy people, right? So being able to respond to private customer messages on Instagram efficiently would be a great time-saving hack.

Luckily for us, a recent Instagram update has added a new tool to your settings that allows you to create responses to FAQs & inquiries in advance. Meaning that you can save a heck of a lot of time by not having to manually reply to each and every direct message (DM) you receive!

Excited yet? Find out how to make the most of this feature for your business below…

This update is not…

Before we chat about how this new tool can save you a ton of time, it’s important to clarify that Instagram’s new addition is not the same as Facebook ‘chatbot’ – you can’t create sequential automatic responses to questions left in your Business Page’s messenger.

Unfortunately, the tool is much simpler than Facebook’s ‘chatbot’, as it still requires you to read & respond to each private message individually. However, with saved response types, you’ll be saving time and the hassle of manually typing out a response for all of your Instagram inquiries.

How it all works

To access this feature you need to make sure your Instagram account is set to a ‘Business Account’. If you’ve already done this, then feel free to scroll past this bit. Otherwise, have a wee read of how to update your account status below!

Business Page switch: go to your profile and find ‘Settings’. From here, scroll down and select ‘Switch to business account’. Press ‘Continue’ & away you go!

Let’s go…

First things first, head into your Instagram account’s menu bar and tap through to your ‘Settings’.

From here, scroll down to ‘Business Settings’ and follow through to the ‘Quick Replies’ tool.

You should reach a page that looks like this.

From here you’ll be able to start creating your ‘Quick Replies’. Just tap the ‘+’ symbol in the top right corner or the ‘New Quick Reply’ to get started.

Below is the template for creating your ‘Quick Reply’.

As you can see, you get the option of creating a paragraph (as far as I can tell, without a word/character limit) that will serve as your response.

The ‘Shortcut’ section at the bottom of the page is where you type in the keyword or phrase that you attribute to the message you’re creating – we’ll get onto the functionality of this bit later. This ‘Shortcut’ can be up to 15 characters and cannot include uppercase characters or spaces.

Some advice: Before you start creating your ‘Quick Replies’, make a list of your FAQs (frequently asked questions). You can do this by scrolling through previous messages, or by taking a look at any comments in your Instagram posts. This will give you a really good idea of the types of responses you need to create for your business account.

Once you’ve created your ‘Quick Reply’, or ‘Quick Replies’, you can apply any one of these to your DMs (direct messages) in Instagram.

To do this simply go into your Instagram messages & select the ‘+’ button on your message bar. From here, you’ll be able to select the ‘…’ icon. This will allow you to choose from any of the ‘Quick Replies’ you’ve previously created.

Don’t forget to personalise your message where you can. Even though the ‘Quick Replies’ we’ve created are great time-savers, it’s important that you maintain your company voice and continue to be welcoming and personable to your customers/potential customers where you can.

As you can see, below we’ve just made the addition of adding the customer’s first name to the text. If you’re receiving B2B messages then you could simply add the name of the company that you’re chatting with.

It’s that simple!

Instagram has said that another way to retrieve one of your ‘Quick Replies’ is to type the ‘Shortcut’ that you previously attributed to each of your responses into the message bar.

This is supposed to pull the relevant ‘Quick Reply’ through to your message bar, allowing you to edit the text – should you need to – before sending it out.

However … And there is a however.

Both James & I have tried doing this on Android and Apple devices and nothing has happened.

Feel free to try this when you’re messing around with ‘Quick Replies’ yourself, and let us know in the comments below if you’ve managed to hack this wee glitch. But we’re a bit stumped with this one – as you can see from our barely decipherable messages below!

Why I’m on board with this update

I think this update is fantastic, and, if you make the most of it, will prove to save you time and stress when it comes to responding to any customer messages you get on your Instagram.

If you’re still unsure as to whether ‘Quick Replies’ are for you, here are my 3 top suggestions for why I think you should at least try this new tool:

1. Quick responses to FAQs

Because no one likes typing out the same reply countless times, this tool is perfect for saving tired fingers and bored minds.

You’ll be able to respond in a tone that is consistent with your brand, and that provides your customer/potential customer with all the knowledge they need to make a decision.

Don’t forget: as mentioned before, I’d definitely recommend at least adding the name of the brand/account/person into the message before sending it. Personalising a response in this manner can really go a long way with your digital community!

2. Great customer service management

Everyone likes to be heard and looked after. And by giving you a quick way to respond to them, this tool makes your customers (or other brands) feel like you’ve paid attention to their message and are having the decency to reply.

This could even be something as simple as a ‘Thank You’ response to a message about how great your Instagram feed looks.

3. Useful if you’re running a campaign

If you’re running a campaign, or are in the process of launching a campaign, then this feature is a real life saver.

Just set up any appropriate ‘Quick Replies’ to expected questions about the campaign before running it, and your full inbox won’t seem so overwhelming!

All in all I’m really liking this new addition to Instagram!

It’s a super-easy, free tool that you should definitely make the most of. Especially as it’s a great time-saver and prevents us all from making those awkward spelling mistakes that are bound to happen when we’re frantically typing out a response for the umpteenth time that day!

If you have any questions then feel free to drop them in the comments below! Or, if you’re already using this feature for your Instagram business account then please share your tips, thoughts, or experience with ‘Quick Replies’ with everyone.