In the digital world, “DM” usually stands for “Direct Message.” A DM is a private mode of communication between social media users. When you send a direct message, only you and the recipient can see the content.

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all have their own direct messaging platforms. The restrictions for messages vary for each platform. For instance:

  • On Facebook, users must “like” a page before you send them a DM.
  • On Instagram, DMs can be sent to up to 15 people
  • Twitter allows for DMs to up to 50 people and requires a “follow.”

Direct messaging (DM) on marketing

Direct messaging is a powerful tool in a brand’s ability to build relationships with customers. DMs are private, intimate and personalized. Companies use direct messaging for the following benefits:

  • Access to instant networking opportunities: Connect with partner brands, potential influencers and brand ambassadors.
  • Improved customer engagement: Give your clients a way to reach your business beyond your email address or phone number.
  • Build meaningful relationships: Send custom messages to certain prospects to improve your brand reputation.
  • Better customer experiences: Set up a direct messaging strategy with chatbots to help customers access quick answers to their questions.
DM chatbot example

When to use DMs in marketing

Social media is crucial to building and maintaining business reputations today. One of the biggest benefits of social media is its ability to strengthen customer relationships. DM strategies are an effective way to build on these relationships, particularly with the help of a smart inbox tool. Companies use DMs to:

Respond to negative reviews: Handling a negative comment on your social media page in the privacy of a DM reduces the damage done to your brand reputation. Solve problems quickly through direct messaging, then encourage your customer to share their results on your public profile.

  • Offer customer support: 79% of customers prefer live chat options for customer service. The immediacy of being able to talk to someone straight away – even if it’s a chatbot, improves customer experience.
  • Exchange private information: If a client makes a request on your social media page and you need private details from them, a DM continues the conversation on a more intimate level.
  • Connect with industry influencers: Direct messaging is an excellent way to connect with influencers, ambassadors and partners you want to work with in the future.

Best practices for better DMs

As customer experience becomes the a key differentiating factor for modern brands, DMs are growing in popularity. With direct messaging, companies offer memorable and convenient service to customers. However, it’s important to use direct messaging with care. Remember to:

  • Avoid sending promotional messages: Sending promotions via direct messaging doesn’t play well with users. Customers must be able to “opt-in” to marketing messages.
  • Respond quickly: Direct Messaging is all about real-time communication. Your customers will expect quick responses, even if they’re automatically generated.
  • Use chatbots: Bots in your social media DMs help customers to serve themselves, so you can focus your attention on the clients that need you most.
  • Make conversations personal: Give a personal touch to the DMs that aren’t automated. Use the customer’s name and address their issue with care.
  • Manage messages carefully: With so many DMs across various social platforms, a message management tool is essential. Sprout’s Smart Inbox makes it easier to handle your messages and respond to them quickly.