Direct messages on Instagram and Facebook

Direct Message (DM) or Private messages (PM) are ways you can communicate with your audience.  I have found that businesses seem to only use DM (Direct Message) if someone is messaging them directly on their accounts. However, there are opportunities for businesses to reach out and DM followers or potential followers.  For example, in Instagram you can not only DM your followers but you can also DM people who are not following you.

This can give you a wider scope on reaching out in a friendly way.

One recent campaign we did with a cafe was just that. We sent an offer to locals in the area who enjoyed coffee. (Who doesn’t enjoy a good coffee?)   First, we kept an eye on the local hashtag (a hashtag helps you search a common theme word i.e #Orewa or #Townsville) and we engaged with all that used it.  We followed all the locals who used the local hashtags and we engaged everyday with our followers and those who don’t follow.  We also followed our other local business owners and interacted with them. This presented a really nice collaboration between 3-4 businesses where they all worked together chatting on each other pages.

We sent followers who engaged on our page an offer through direct message.  Which they just had to show us when they came in next time.  “Hi ‘Name’,  We really appreciate your chatter on our posts. Thank you for your recent comments. Next time you are in the cafe show the barista this message and get a coffee on us” Jim.  (Owner)

Or “Hi ‘Name’, We noticed you are new to the area. Welcome. Next time you are near our cafe, pop in and get a FREE coffee on us. Show this message to the barista.. We look forward to seeing you in store” Jim

The best way is to tailored the message to each individual. We gave free coffees for a range of different things.  Random Acts of Kindness!

One of the things you can do is take a photo of you and the customer when they come in. Not everyone will want to and that is ok. Its about the Act of Kindness not the promotion of it. Most people will take a photo and share anyway.

This campaign turned our customers to huge advocates of the cafe and the retention of customers was at an increase of 80%.

This campaign changed the whole vibe of the cafe.  It was no longer just about customers it became about friends. We learnt a lot about our customers because we followed them on Social Media and we not only interacted with them on their page but we followed that conversation on within the cafe.  (The cafe where the staff knew nearly everyone’s name and what they liked)

This campaign cost the business owners $100 a week but increased their turnover by 30%. Now they had an influx of customer returning for the familiarity and the relationship that was built.


  1. Its ok to reach out to potential customers
  2. Always follow your customers and engage with them. It helps with retention
  3. Plan out the campaign ahead of time – How much will you spend a week?
  4. Be consistent with your postings.  Post 1 photo a day – Think about times your customers will be online.
  5. Keep an eye on your location #Hastags – These are a great way to interact with people who are new or visiting the area as well as locals who dont know about you yet.


In your business how can you use Direct Messaging to reach out to your fans on your pages?

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