1.3 billion users.
No matter how aware you are of this number, it’s always incredible to ponder just how massive Instagram actually is.
Loved mostly by young adults, it is the fourth largest social media platform (after Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp respectively).
As expected, with such a massive audience, businesses have flocked to create an Instagram presence — and rightly so. If your target audience hangs out on there, there’s a chance they’ll spend a portion of their average 53 minutes per day on the app looking at your business.
An estimated 71% of US businesses use Instagram. The opportunity is there for the taking.
But, did you know a wind of change is blowing through Instagram? Something that’s been brewing over the last year or so. Something most businesses will come to adopt very soon.
That’s right. Chatbots have made their big appearance on the Instagram scene in June 2021 (after a long year in beta). We all remember the incredible growth Facebook Messenger chatbots enjoyed back in 2016. Now, it’s Instagram’s turn.
The Case for Instagram Chatbots
Why does Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) bother with Instagram chatbots? Well, clearly, they learned a thing or two from their Facebook Messenger chatbot days — mainly that chatbots drive insane growth.
In 2018, merely one year or so after releasing them, Facebook revealed over 300,000 chatbots had been created on their platform. That was before most of the tools you can now use to easily create them were even available.
Instagram has enjoyed a vast business adoption (remember, 71% of US businesses are on there). What Facebook most likely realised was businesses would want to, soon, automate some of their processes.
Things like DMs, product recommendation, customer service; all of these have been done through Instagram and can now be automated.
More Than a B2C Tool
As you picture the use case for an Instagram chatbot, chances are you are imagining a B2C situation.
Perhaps someone reaching out to their local gym or asking for product availability to an online store.
It’s important to make the following clear: Instagram automation can also play a huge role in B2B automation. After all, people buy from people — regardless of whether it is for themselves or for their company.
Use case: customer service
Over 150 million people have a conversation with a business every month on Instagram. We don’t know for sure, but it’s safe to imagine the vast majority of these interactions are related to customer service?
Instagram is a fantastic place to handle customer service. Your customers can immediately reach your reps through your DMs and get quick answers to their questions.
Until your reps get overwhelmed, that is.
Enter our first Instagram chatbot use case: automating customer service.
With a chatbot, you can easily automate some of the most common queries you may get. Answering these FAQs manually may take 40 or even 60% of your reps’ time. Instantly get all this time back with a bit of automation and conversational magic.
Use case: capturing leads
Remember when I said Instagram was also a great place to do B2B sales?
Well, one of the downsides of being popular on Instagram is you may not always be available to capture a hot lead when they reach you.
Thanks to chatbot automation, though, now you can.
Building a chatbot that captures lead information (name, email, phone number, etc.) and passes them on to your sales team is a piece of cake. Platforms like ubisend and their conversation builder would allow you to build this to your specific requirement, as well.
Once set up, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’ll never miss a single lead.
Use case: innovate in your field
A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about innovating through Tiktok. The point was there’s an opportunity there, one you should attempt to seize. You might get there before your competitors.
It’s a similar story with Instagram chatbots.
So far, we’ve looked at pretty standard use cases. Automating customer service and generating leads are staples of chatbot automation, regardless of the channel.
With Instagram, though, you have an opportunity to truly innovate and be the first in your industry to offer something different.
You could, for example, create stories that encourage your followers to engage with a funny chatbot persona. You could create a fully automated quiz through your DMs that help followers find the right pair of shoes. You could go beyond simple customer service automation and teach your chatbot to engage in a witty way.
With the right platform, there is a lot you can do to stand out.
We’re in the early days of Instagram chatbots. There’s value in being early, delivering excellent experiences, and seizing the opportunity.