Learn how to message your entire Instagram audience in just a few easy steps.
Most businesses have the same goals when it comes to Instagram: boost brand loyalty, share content, and stay connected to their audience.
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t make reaching that last goal very easy.
Not only can Instagram’s algorithm be famously hard to navigate and subject to change, but people simply aren’t scrolling their feeds 24/7. That means they can easily miss an important update or announcement from you.
This is made worse by the fact that there’s currently no (convenient) way to send a mass message to all your followers from Instagram’s platform.
The good news is that you can reach all your Instagram followers with outside software. I’ll break the process down here.
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The closest thing you can really get to mass messaging on Instagram itself is bulk messaging to a group of people
That means that while you can start a group message between multiple people, everyone within the group has access to all the messages. This can be really inconvenient if you’re messaging a bunch of customers and don’t want them to see each other’s replies (it also puts a damper on your personalization efforts).
If you want to start promoting content or sharing exclusive offers with your followers, you need to look for an alternative platform.
There are, without a doubt, platforms that can facilitate sending mass DMs through Instagram. When looking into Instagram bulk messaging platforms for this article, though, I found a couple of red flags.
First, Instagram may actually ban any user who sends a mass DM to all of their followers on the platform to cut down on spam or bots, so use these services with caution (and a few mass messenger websites even state this openly).
Second, some of these messenger services have been shut down themselves for violating Instagram’s rules. Proceed at your own risk.
In fact, I had planned to add a section to this guide outlining the best Instagram DM services out there, but after looking through the options, I found there weren’t any I could recommend in good conscience.
Sure, you may not be able to send out a group message on Instagram itself (at least, not without consequences). But will messaging your followers on another piece of software really make a difference?
Short answer: yes. Here’s why.
Your followers follow hundreds if not thousands of people.
For this reason, it’s likely that a percentage of your audience occasionally misses out on your posts, whether it’s the algorithm or just bad timing.
As your views increase, so should your engagement. That engagement has a direct impact on your searchability on Instagram and tells the Instagram algorithm that people are enjoying your content. The more people engage with your content, the more Instagram publicizes your profile.
Engagement is how you land on the coveted Search Page, making it easier for prospective followers to find you. It’s also one of the first statistics requested by brands and sponsors who want to work with you.
Sending a message to your followers to alert them to new posts (and including the link to the post itself) is a great way to boost engagement. This shows both the platform and potential brand partners that your followers are active and care about your content. Just make sure the content you post about is worth their time, or they may opt out of your texts.
In October 2021, our world went a little quieter when Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp all stopped working for over five hours.
There were a lot of lessons learned from the outage, but arguably the biggest takeaway was how important it is to not be fully reliant on one marketing channel.
Thousands of brands and Instagram influencers around the world were unable to work during the outage. Their audience, their work, and their content were out of action for hours: Anyone who posted just before the outage lost out on thousands of likes and comments.
In the hours that the platforms were down, people began creating contingency plans once they recognized the financial impact of a world in which Instagram and Facebook didn’t come back online.
To avoid this issue, you need a separate channel to reach out to followers. If an incident like the outage ever happens again, you can rest easy knowing your whole life isn’t riding on a famously opaque company.
We’ve already mentioned how you’re not the only person your followers…well, follow. This makes building a unique connection with them even more important.
If you want higher engagement and strong follower loyalty, you need to give something back.
Offering your followers the chance to message you directly and stay in the loop is a great way to make them feel more connected to you and increase their loyalty.
It’s why more brands and influencers focus on collecting phone numbers (for texting purposes) and emails. With the former, you can take advantage of the 98% open rates of text messages to get more eyes on your content.
SMS is a safe and secure way to reach your followers, and a growing number of brands and influencers are turning to it. Just look at how Reese Witherspoon asks her followers to text her.
In the example I mentioned earlier, Reese isn’t giving out her actual phone number. He’s using a text messaging platform like SimpleTexting to communicate with his followers and a separate text-enabled phone number.
And he’s not the only one. Lacey Keigley of So Every Day uses a texting platform (ours, in fact) to keep in touch with her Instagram following after her account was hacked and she realized she wasn’t in control of her main way to communicate with her audience.
I hear you. How on Earth do you bring your gargantuan Instagram following over to your text lists? Well, it all starts with keywords.
Keywords are memorable, short words or phrases that contacts can text to your number to sign up for your text messages. They’re also the most convenient way to gather contact information and build out a contact list.
When your audience hits send, they’ll receive a confirmation text and you can start sending or scheduling messages when you want to reach them.
To get started with keywords, watch this short video or follow the steps below.
Your keyword should be relevant to you and your brand. We recommend using your Instagram handle or something similar to make it easy to remember.
Once you’ve named your keyword, write out a short introductory text to your SMS contacts.
This will automatically be sent whenever somebody texts in the keyword.
Your followers need to know about your new platform, so start spreading the word by advertising your keyword.
On Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube, share your keyword across videos, captions, and photos to make sure the message is loud and clear.
Whether you want to keep your followers updated on new content, share an exclusive brand deal, or send a quick life update, using an SMS platform is the most effective alternative to Instagram itself.
Remember to keep your sending schedule consistent and intentional (and always make sure what you’re sending is valuable to your list).
There are many reasons Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, but the messaging features aren’t one of them.
Your followers already use their phones to engage with your content, using SMS is how you make sure you have a reliable communication channel to reach them.
Alice is a copywriter at SimpleTexting. When not teaching the world about the benefits of business texting, you can find her feeding family, friends and strangers with her latest baking experiment.More Posts from Alice Dodd
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