Hello there, welcome to the #AskNatchi show. Today, we have a good question about using Instagram as a customer support tool. The nonprofit that asked us this question is having a lot of followers on Instagram and they want to know whether they should continue all the conversations they’re having with their followers on DMs inside Instagram, or should they take them to a CRM tool or somewhere where they can actually give them support like they regularly do, a regular customer support.

Now, this is a great question because it’s important for you to have clarity about how you are serving your Instagram audience. Because it’s one of the fastest growing social media tools, so having clarity about the workflow in the long term is very important. Let me answer this question.

You can go either way. But first let me talk to you about having the conversation outside Instagram. What you need to stay very clear about is: how are you going to transition this conversation? People have started a conversation inside Instagram with you, you are talking to them, you or your representatives are talking to them, giving them more information, serving them inside Instagram.

Now how are you going to get that to move outside Instagram? Are you going to give them a link? Or how are you going to do that? And that process needs to be as smooth as possible. Make sure that it is not a very complicated, make sure it doesn’t make people feel so uneasy that they will stop the conversation because it’s all a matter of comfort and convenience for the audience. You have to meet them at the point of need. The user experience has to be very, very smooth.

Here’s my thought. If possible, try NOT to move them outside Instagram. Because people have started that conversation on a particular platform or an app for a reason, right? Because they feel comfortable. They feel good dealing with you on that platform. They trust the conversation levels. They have seen your content there and they’re used to using that platform.

There are two things always involved in a conversation. One is the comfort level of the platform. Try to keep that in mind. And the other thing is whether this whole disruption will make you lose that conversation. Be very conscious of these two factors.

I would recommend that you keep them on Instagram as much as possible. You may ask, ‘But Natchi, how do we track it? What about CRM?”. See, if you want something on a very simple level, you can actually use… if you go to your Facebook page… I’m sure your Facebook pages and your Instagram account are connected… if you go to your Facebook page, there is something called ‘Inbox’.

That inbox feature is becoming better and better. Facebook now gives you tools like labelling, notes, etc. If you go on Facebook page as a business, if you have business users, all of them can access that inbox on your Facebook page, and they can label each conversation on Instagram. Your Instagram conversation also appear on that inbox, because there’s this integration of both Facebook page conversations and Instagram conversations.

Instagram business conversations are going to appear inside that inbox and all your employees can access that. They can label it. For example: you can say ‘New conversation’ or if somebody is a ‘Supporter’ or a ‘Donor’, you can label them. You can also add notes. So inbox gives you the ability to add notes for each conversation. That notes will be visible only to the support team in your organization. These are all available within Facebook for free.

But if you’re okay with spending and getting some tools, there are CRM tools which helps you keep the conversation on Instagram, but still give great customer support, because in your backend you will use those tools to continue that conversation. I’ll give you some of the links on the show notes where you can go and check out those tools that helps you add a CRM component to your Instagram. But try to keep that conversation within Instagram itself.

Just before I close, I want to tell you recently Facebook announced that you can start Facebook Messenger Rooms from Instagram DM, which means you can actually have a video call with your customers on your Instagram DM, without leaving Instagram DM. You just have a chat, and then in the chat you just select the direct message and then click on video, click on ‘create rooms’ and you can have that conversation with your customer in the messenger rooms. And that’s a seamless experience provided by Facebook itself. So things like that are going to happen. The face of customer support is completely changing, so you adapt your ministry accordingly. That would be my input.

Social media tools with CRM built in:

  1. Agorapulse
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Sprout Social
  4. Buffer

I hope that was useful. I hope this was useful to even others who are thinking of using Instagram for your customer support, or your donor support, or your nonprofit ministry support team, etc. All right. God bless you.

If you have any other questions related to digital, social media, let me know. I’ll be happy to answer your questions. God bless you. I’ll see you next week with another answer to another question. Have a good day. Stay connected. Stay blessed. Stay safe. Bye.

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