Instagram has become a powerhouse for customer engagement and sales growth — but accessing its full potential has been throttled by a lack of functionality and integration options. Here’s how the new Messenger API for Instagram enables brands to unlock all the channel’s capabilities.
With over one billion monthly active users globally, Instagram is now the de facto choice for brands wanting to engage with one of social media’s most active user bases. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as Instagram’s commercial reach is massive:
130 million users tap on shopping posts every month with 80% following at least one company.
60% of people say they discover new brands on Instagram while over 80% use it to research products and services.
50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service on Instagram.
Instagram: Source of genuine CX opportunities — or instant logistical nightmares?
Many savvy brands are already carving their own path on the social channel, creating conversations, answering questions, and deepening customer relationships. While engaging with consumers on their own turf may sound ideal, it’s quite another story for customer relations departments. They face very real logistical hurdles as there is no defined or centralized approach for managing customer interactions efficiently.
One moment it’s a Direct Message from a customer about a product, the next a delivery query via the Shop, all before spotting a glowing mention in a consumer’s Story but responding too late to be meaningful. Being flooded with multiple messages or missing mentions means what should be a boom for customer engagement can quickly become a bust.
API-enabled: How wrangling Instagram’s CX potential just got way easier
This situation is finally set to change with the arrival of the new Instagram Messenger API that brings order to the chaos on two key fronts by:
- Offering the ability to integrate Instagram easily with existing systems (think CRM) using the API.
- Handling Instagram interactions — along with other leading social channels — via a single centralized platform (see Conversations Inbox below).
Such critical functionality means customer conversations can now be managed and scaled far more effectively, in turn enabling brands to reduce response times, increase user engagement, and boost sales. For instance:
Manage every interaction
Receive a customer Direct Message or mention (including hashtags) and the API immediately notifies the brand, highlighting where the missive or shout-out has come from (think Profile, Shop or Sponsored Post). This offers critical context for effective response management plus enables agents to reply instantly — even to mentions within a customer Story.
Exceed (your) expectations
Offer guided sales to ensure the customer gets everything they want from their experience — effortlessly and all in one place — right up to checkout. To aid live agents further, potential sales and up- and cross-selling opportunities can be identified based on the customer’s purchasing history once the Instagram Messenger API is integrated with an existing CRM system.
Don’t bottle it, bot it
A brand’s live agents can’t be everywhere at once, so use third-party bot and AI solutions to deliver instant replies or answer frequently asked questions so teams aren’t swamped with busywork. The ability to hand over to a live agent can also be offered if the customer has an issue that requires a human touch to resolve.
Remove all friction
Based on the customer’s information, automatically route their query to the right department whether it’s an upselling opportunity for sales or a complaint that requires customer service intervention. To grow customers’ loyalty rates, automatically move regular shoppers to the front of any queue so their queries or issues are dealt with more quickly.
Instagram API for Direct Messages: Multiple routes to social channel success
Brands have two options for leveraging Instagram Direct Messages depending on their CX strategy’s needs:
Instagram Messenger API
The API enables brands to access and use existing customer data in all Instagram-based customer conversations. For instance, integrating the Instagram API with a CRM platform enables live agents to view related customer information immediately during any interaction without the need to move through multiple applications. For those companies solely using Instagram to provide social channel-based CX experiences, this is the ideal solution, especially when used in conjunction with tyntec’s Conversations API, which fully supports the Instagram API.
For brands using multiple social channels, tyntec’s Conversations Inbox offers an easy-to-use platform that brings all channels together into one place, including Instagram Direct Messages via the Instagram Messenger API.
Conversations Inbox allows brands to:
- Answer customer inquiries coming from any connected channel
- Engage with the customer throughout their entire journey
- Manage customer messages from Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, and more.
Best of all, Conversations Inbox removes the need for pricy development or coding costs. Instead, tyntec’s solution allows brands to ‘plug-and-go’ with Instagram as well as introduce off-the-shelf, no-code AI and chatbot solutions that can provide simple but vital customer services.
tyntec’s Instagram options: Total access, complete control
Adopting the Instagram Messenger API is already delivering positive, demonstrable results for early adopters. Research shows four hours per agent per week are being saved by brands, plus response rates are dramatically improving as well; in some cases by up to a reported 55%. Importantly, for brands servicing multiple channels at once, tyntec’s Conversations Inbox in conjunction with the API enables them to finally unlock the social channel’s full range of possibilities, all while making savings and enjoying significant productivity gains in the process.
Instagram Messenger API
Sign up to tyntec’s early-access waitlist for the Instagram Messenger API here.