How to Auto Reply to Instagram DM

By Joren Wouters Updated on

In this tutorial, I will explain how you can automatically reply when somebody messages you on your Instagram DM.

I will explain how you can:

  • Set up a greeting message when somebody starts a conversation on Instagram
  • How we can set up auto-replies for specific words in your Instagram DM
  • And how we can manually reply to messages if no auto-reply is triggered

Let’s dive in!

Why should you auto reply to Instagram DM?

Let’s face it.

Manually replying to messages in your Instagram DM takes a lot of time, and often feels like it never ends.

Followers are replying to stories, messaging you with questions, want to know more about your products, have partnerships, and so on.

Basically: You are being bombarded by messages.

And within this pile of messages, it’s easy to miss the important ones (such as questions about your products).

If that happens, you can potentially lose customers, which will go directly to your competitors.

That’s where Instagram Auto-Replies come in.

By using an Instagram Auto-Reply, you can:

  • Reply immediately to messages in your Instagram DM
  • Send messages 24/7, even when your business is offline
  • Filter between standard questions (which you can auto-reply to) and custom questions (handled by humans)

You can even use the auto-reply for multiple purposes:

And there’s much more what you can do with it.

So let’s see how this looks inside Instagram.

 

Example of an Instagram Auto-Reply Message

Before I will show you how you can set this up yourself, I will show you a simple example of an Instagram Auto-Reply message:

instagram-auto-reply-example

If someone types in something related to ebooks to my Instagram account, they instantly get a message back if they want to get my free ebook.

And if they want to get it, they can get it directly inside my Instagram DM. This chat automation will always reply, even when I’m sleeping and my business is offline.

If you want to set this up for your own Instagram account, then follow the rest of this tutorial!

 

What type of Instagram account do you need?

If you want to automatically reply to Instagram messages, you need to have a Professional Instagram Account.

This is either a:

  • Business account
  • Creator account (currently only Creator accounts with less than 500K followers)

 

Connect your Facebook Page to Instagram Account

Before we can automatically reply to messages in our Instagram DM, we need to connect our Facebook Page to our Instagram account.

By the way, you need to make sure that this account is a business/creator Instagram account and that it is connected to a Facebook Business account.

Now, go to one of your pages on Facebook and click on Settings –> Instagram.

Here, you can click on Connect account and connect the two accounts to each other:

connect-instagram-facebook-business

 

Set up a Greeting Message for your Instagram Followers

Now that we’ve connected our Facebook Page to our Instagram account, we can start by setting up a greeting message for our Instagram followers.

And the first thing we need to do is create a ManyChat account. ManyChat is one of the best chat automation platform for Instagram and it’s really easy to use.

If you don’t have an account yet, you can just click on the button below and create your ManyChat account:

Create ManyChat Account

Here, you can just click on “Get Started Free”:

manychat-get-started-free

Select “Instagram”:

manychat-account-instagram

Then, log in with your Facebook account:

manychat-continue-with-facebook

And choose the right Instagram account you want to work with:

select-instagram-account

And now we’ve successfully connected ManyChat to Instagram.

So we can start by creating our first greeting. To do this, go to Automation and click on New flow (in the top-right corner):

manychat-automation-new-flow

Click on Start from scratch:

manychat-start-from-scratch

And give the flow a good name, such as “Greeting message”:

manychat-new-flow-greeting-instagram

Then, ManyChat automatically creates a flow for you. How this is work, is that with every ManyChat account you can have unlimited number of flows.

And you can connect these flows to specific triggers, which are also called the starting steps.

So inside the starting step, you can set up a trigger that will activate the flow. So, you can just click on Add trigger:

manychat-add-trigger-flow

Go for the Instagram Keyword:

manychat-instagram-keyword

And then we want to activate this flow if a message contains a certain word, such as “hey”, “hi” or “hello”. So you can just add these as keywords in ManyChat by clicking on + Keyword and typing them in:

manychat-ig-keyword-greeting

What this will do, is that every time a user says something inside your Instagram DM that contains “hey”, “hi” or “hello”, the messages in this flow will be send to them.

Let’s say we are an influencer and we want to give all of our followers a free coupon when they’re greeting our Instagram account.

So, you can just add a message by clicking on Instagram:

manychat-first-instagram-message

And add the following text:

Hey there! 👋

Are you interested in getting a 10% discount on my latest course?

manychat-greeting-message-text

Then, you can also add a quick reply by clicking on Add Quick Reply and typing in the text on the quick reply (Unlock Discount):

manychat-add-quick-reply-discount

P.S. In general, I always recommend using a Quick Reply over a Button wherever possible. Both elements display a button in Instagram, but a Quick Reply just looks better and bigger inside your Instagram DM.

If someone clicks on the Quick Reply, we want to send them another message. And we can do that by clicking on the Quick reply and dragging it somewhere in the flow builder:

manychat-connect-quick-reply-instagram-message

Now, we can add the next message, which will be:

Awesome!

Here is your 10% discount code on my course: DISCOUNT10

Just click the button below to get it 👇

Also, we will add a button to this message that will go directly to your website:

manychat-instagram-button-to-website

By the way, now I’m using a button (instead of a quick reply), because with a quick reply you cannot send someone to your website. This is only possible with a button.

The last thing you need to do, is click on Publish, which will publish this flow on your Instagram account:

manychat-publish-flow

And that’s it! Now every time a followers greets you inside your Instagram DM, they will automatically get the question if they want a discount. And if they want it, they will be directly send to your website!

 

Auto Reply to specific words in Instagram DM

The next thing I want to show you is how we can automatically reply to specific words inside your Instagram DM.

Again: Let’s say we are an influencer and we want to give a free checklist to our followers. Then, in ManyChat, we can create another flow for that.

So just create a flow by going to Automation, clicking on New flow and naming it “Free checklist”.

Then, we can add a trigger to this flow and choose for the Instagram keyword:

manychat-instagram-keyword

Here, we want to only reply if someone messages us the word “check1”. So, you can just add this to the Instagram Keyword pane and click on Create:

manychat-ig-keyword-check1

P.S. In general, it is good practice to combine a small word (3-8 letters) and 1 number if you want your followers to trigger a specific flow in ManyChat.

Next, we can add the following message with the question if they are interested in the free checklist and add a quick reply:

Hey there! 👋

Are you interested in my FREE checklist “15 Tips before Posting your First Instagram Reel”

Just click the button below to access it 👇

manychat-instagram-message-checklist

Then we can connect that quick reply to the next message, just like we did before.

Here comes the best part of ManyChat: you can ask for someone’s email inside your Instagram DM. And when someone filled in their email, ManyChat will automatically check whether it is a correct email.

To do this, we are going to remove the first message by clicking on the red cross and add the User Input element to our block:

manychat-instagram-user-input

Here, we can add the following question:

Allright, all you need to do is fill in your email address and I will send it to you immediately!

Just fill in your email address below 👇

And we will set the Reply type to “Email”, so that ManyChat knows we are expecting an email (and ManyChat will check if the given email is a correct one):

manchat-ask-for-email

Lastly, we need to give access to our checklist. So, we will add a last message with the following text and a button to our website:

Thank you so much!

Just click the button below to access my checklist 👇

manychat-instagram-access-checklist

So, when someone DMs you with “check1”, we will ask if they want the checklist, ask for their email and give them the checklist with the following flow:

manychat-instagram-checklist-flow

 

Reply manually to chats when no ManyChat keyword is triggered

Lastly, I want to show you how you can manually reply to chats in ManyChat, when no specific keyword is triggered.

And we can set this up by using the Default Reply. Inside ManyChat, go to Settings > Instagram > Default Reply and select Create new reply:

manychat-new-default-reply

Then, instead of adding a message (what we did before), you need to add an action:

manychat-default-reply-add-action

Click on Add action:

manychat-add-new-action

And then select the Assign Conversation:

manychat-action-assign-conversation

What this will do, is that the chat will be assigned to someone inside your ManyChat Team. Currently, I am the only one in my team, so I can only select myself:

manychat-assign-team-member

Next, we are going to add another action named Notify Admins:

manychat-action-notify-admins

And what this will do, is that it will send a notification via email (and via your mobile phone if you have the ManyChat iOS or Android app) to the admins in ManyChat:

manychat-notify-select-admins

So the final Default Reply flow looks like this:

manychat-instagram-defauly-reply

The only thing you need to do left is click on Publish and that will be it!

Now every time a user doesn’t trigger a specific keyword in ManyChat, you will be automatically assigned to the conversation and can answer it manually by going to the Live Chat section:

manychat-livechat-instagram-assigned-conversation

 

Now It’s Your Turn

And that’s how you automatically reply to Instagram DMs and forward the conversation to a human if no specific keyword is triggered!

Now I’d like to hear from you:

How are you going to use Instagram Chat Automation?

Please let me know by leaving a comment below 👇

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