We get it: no one likes to put labels on things. (Though… that is your girlfriend, right?) But it’s pretty important to define the important role of community manager on your marketing team.
Community managers are the all-stars responsible for fostering engagement, building relationships, and maintaining the integrity of online communities.
In the mile-a-minute world of social media, they are the crucial bridge between brands and audiences.
And while community management may not always be the easiest task, it’s an impactful one that brings value both to brands and the people who love ‘em.
So it’s time to clearly define, explore, and, yeah, celebrate the humble community manager label. Today, we’re breaking down exactly what a community manager does (and how they differ from social media managers), and what the future holds for this thrill-a-minute position.
A community manager is the caretaker of a brand’s online presence, the “digital custodian,” if you will.
Community managers are responsible for curating and nurturing communities around a brand, product, or cause. They’re the party hosts with the most, there to strategically make sure everyone’s having a good time.
If you’re here on this social media strategy blog, you’re probably most interested in community management for platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter/X), but online communities can also live on forums or blogs.
Wherever your fan community hangs online, a skilled community manager understands the interests and needs of that community, engages with members, and ensures that it remains a positive and productive space. In other words, community managers are guardians of the vibe.
A community manager is in charge of responding to comments and DMs on social media. They’ll provide answers to questions and offer customer support.
They may also be proactive about fostering a sense of community on a social media platform: crafting content that prompts responses or conversations, coordinating contests, or producing other interactive content.
The goal, overall, is to build both the engagement rate and your customer loyalty. (No pressure.)
The less fun aspect of the job is moderating and dealing with any issues or troublemaking trolls — in a polite and professional way that upholds your brand’s values, of course.
Community manager vs. social media manager
Community managers and social media managers work side by side to make a brand’s social media presence the best it can be. But their focus is pretty different.
A community manager’s focus is to build relationships within online communities. They create, curate, and moderate content specifically designed to engage followers.
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Community managers answer questions, review comments and DMs, and resolve issues to keep the community vibrant (and ideally harmonious).
On the other hand, a social media manager will concentrate on executing the overall content plan. That means crafting and scheduling posts, advertising, and analyzing metrics to enhance brand awareness on social platforms.
A successful community manager will possess a variety of skill sets, such as…
Are you responsive and talented at expressing the right tone? Are you known for your top-notch communication skills? This might just be the job for you.
You’re gonna be typing up a storm in this role, so the ability to clearly express yourself (and the voice and values of the brand) is absolutely essential.
But communication isn’t just an important skill to have to connect with the community. You should also be able to clearly communicate with the internal team about what exactly is happening online at any given moment.
A community manager doesn’t just spend all day swappin’ memes and running contests. Sometimes, they have to deal with issues and conflicts (uggggh).
Having the ability to problem-solve effectively and efficiently is super important. You’ll have to navigate all sorts of surprising situations with grace and professionalism and be adept at finding solutions that satisfy community members and align with the brand’s values.
Bonus: Save time and download 20 free, customizable Instagram DM templates for your brand, including greetings, partnership requests, FAQ responses, replies to complaints, and more.
A good community manager is patient and kind. After all, the job really is about being a good pal and making your followers feel both welcome and heard. Understanding the needs, concerns, and emotions of community members is crucial for building trust and rapport.
As important as it is to be a shoulder to cry on, sometimes, a community manager needs to lay down the law.
Without moderation, a comments section can quickly turn into a toxic free-for-all. Strong community management requires a little bit of enforcement — managers need to follow through on any community guidelines and policies to help ensure these online spaces feel welcoming and safe for all their fans.
Some of these “skills” are definitely on the softer side, but having an analytic brain is important for successful community management, too. What’s working? What’s not? How can success be quantified? Community managers should be able to thoughtfully analyze engagement metrics via tools like Hootsuite Analytics in order to refine their strategies and measure their impact.
Obviously, a community manager’s job description can vary wildly, depending on the industry and company size. That being said, a community manager’s role typically includes responsibilities like:
- Developing and implementing community engagement strategies
- Moderating discussions and content
- Responding to community inquiries and feedback
- Collaborating with marketing and support teams
- Analyzing data to assess community engagement
If you’re creating a community manager job description for a job posting, you might want to seek out a candidate with an education in online marketing or marketing communications, but a degree certainly isn’t necessary for success in this role. It’s more important to find someone who can demonstrate skills like communication, problem-solving, and analytical thinking.
Like any position, the salary for a community manager varies by location, work experience, and industry. According to Glassdoor, in the United States, entry-level community managers can earn anywhere from $41,000 to $65,000 per year.
Of course, professionals with more experience or those working for large companies could earn even more, with some online community managers on Glassdoor reporting annual salaries of $115,000.
For more details on salaries in the social media marketing industry, including salaries for community management roles, download our Social Media Career Report for 2023.
To evaluate a community manager’s performance, consider the following metrics:
- Engagement rate (likes, comments, shares)
- Growth in community size
- Response time to community inquiries
- Net promoter score (NPS) from community members
- Sales conventions
Ultimately, a community manager should be evaluated on metrics that align with your brand’s overall social media goals. If growing your community size isn’t important to your business objectives, it doesn’t really make sense to focus your time and attention on racking up the follows, right?
Like everything else in the social media landscape (RIP, Nexopia), the role of a community manager has evolved significantly over the past decades.
Initially, the role of a digital community manager was to respond to comments, monitor social channels for negative sentiment, and moderate content. Today, a community manager is expected to practice strategic planning, customer service, and data analysis, too. It’s about going beyond being reactive and being proactive, intentionally encouraging engagement and building loyalty along the way.
We’re at an interesting time in Internet History, with this new influx of accessible AI technology. The future of community management will likely be shaped by this sort of automation. It’s possible chatbot technology will take a big leap forward in the next few years to provide even richer, multi-platform customer support that goes beyond answering FAQs.
But while AI can absolutely assist in data analysis, common questions, and routine tasks, we’re confident that a human touch will remain essential to quality community management. No matter how convincing AI may get, it’ll always take a real person to foster genuine connections and resolve complex issues for your (human!) community.
In the future, it’s likely the role will evolve, and we’ll see community managers handling the bigger-picture ideas. They might use AI to help with more mundane or repetitive community management tasks and spend their time practicing more strategic decision-making and deeper integration with overall business objectives.
But whether they’re working in the trenches or dreaming big, as technology advances, community managers will always continue to find new ways to connect, engage, and create meaningful experiences for their communities. Um, excuse me, are community managers both party hosts and heroes? The facts don’t lie.
Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.
5 B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics That Actually Work
B2B social media marketing can be an effective way for brands to build awareness, strengthen relationships, and close sales. But B2B social marketers face unique challenges when it comes to tone and content mix.
So, how do you use social tools to bring in (and keep) followers, create engagement, build brand awareness, and fill your funnel? Read on for all the tips you need to build an effective B2B social media strategy.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
B2B social media marketing is the use of social channels to market products or services to business clients and prospects. (B2B stands for business-to-business, as opposed to business-to-consumer or B2C.)
Marketers at B2C companies use social channels to reach consumers and influence purchases. Effective B2B marketing requires a different approach. B2B marketers have to think more strategically to reach business owners and decision-makers. They then nurture relationships that can lead to large purchase agreements.
All social channels can have a place in B2B marketing. But the balance and type of content will look different for a B2B social media strategy than for a consumer-focused plan.
B2B social media success begins with a sound B2B social media strategy. Here’s how to build one for your brand.
1. Align goals with business objectives
Just like a good B2C strategy, every B2B social media plan should answer the following two questions:
- What are the company’s business objectives?
- How will B2B social media marketing help achieve them?
But the similarities mostly end here. B2B and B2C social media marketers use social platforms for different purposes. B2C social media campaigns drive sales, while B2B social is more “top of funnel.” Social media goals for B2B marketers should likely focus on longer-term business objectives.
In fact, the top 3 overall goals for B2B companies are:
- Create brand awareness
- Build trust and credibility
- Educate audiences
Generating sales or revenue comes in at number 8.
Those top three goals all contribute to social media B2B lead generation. Successful B2B marketers also use content marketing to nurture subscribers, audiences, or leads.
Our blog post on goal-setting can help you establish the right goals and objectives for your B2B social media plan.
Don’t forget to include internal objectives and goals within your plan. According to research published in the Journal of Business Logistics, social media can help account managers increase both product and competitor knowledge.
2. Know your audience
Your corporate structure probably caters to various client personas. Or, at least, different client categories.
For instance, a design firm might work for commercial, public, and residential customers. It likely has team members or verticals that specialize in each category.
Your B2B social media marketing strategy should do the same. Focus on building fleshed-out buyer personas of your ideal customers. These will allow you to create social media content that speaks to real people.
Understanding your audience also means understanding which social channels they use. As a general rule, you should be where your customers are. Not sure where that might be? Start with the overall social media demographics. Then, dive into some audience research.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
For paid social media posts, the picture for B2B social media platforms is similar but not identical. LinkedIn again comes out on top (78%). But Instagram outranks YouTube and Twitter (a.k.a. X) is down at the bottom of the pack.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Separate channels may also be relevant for different verticals, products, and markets. Depending on the industry and size of your business, you might want to consider:
- a news channel
- a careers channel
- a customer service account
Or any other account that speaks to a specific audience within your niche. Make sure you’re delivering the information your target audience wants in the right place and at the right time.
Keep in mind that B2B social marketing will likely become even more personalized in the future. Account-based marketing (ABM) will become the norm. In ABM, sales and marketing teams work together. They personalize outreach and marketing to decision-makers at target companies.
Social media is a prime tool for ABM. For instance, social listening allows you to keep tabs on your most important prospects.
3. Understand the competition
While you never want to copy the competition, it’s always useful to know what they’re up to. Understanding what the competition is doing helps you understand your own specific niche.
You can get an even better understanding of the competition by using social media listening to monitor their social media activities, so you can gain insights from their B2B social media examples. Such as:
- When and how often they post
- What kinds of voice and tone they use
- What kind of content gets the most engagement
- Specific customer pain points that may be unaddressed
You can use this information to guide your own social strategy. Especially before you have enough data to get meaningful insights from your own social posts. (More on that later.)
Want more details on competitor research? We’ve got a full blog post on how to conduct a competitor analysis on social media.
4. Create a content calendar and content library
Once you understand your customers and the competition, it’s time to think about what and when you will post on social media.
First, you need to plan your content calendar: What you will post on each of your social accounts and when. Deciding on the right content mix is an important part of this step, as no one will want to follow you if all you do is promote your products. We’ve got some content ideas for you later on in this post.
A social media management platform organizes your content calendar so you can create and schedule content in advance. And 76% of the most successful B2B businesses do so.
Hootsuite’s Composer allows you to schedule all of your social media channels from one screen. You have a holistic view of your content distribution. This advance planning gives you time to use the built-in content approval workflows. Composer also recommends the best time to post on each platform based on your past performance and selected goals.
Hootsuite’s content library is another important feature for B2B marketers. You can use the library to store pre-approved content and brand assets.
This protects your brand identity and reputation while making life easier for all members of the content creation team.
5. Analyze and refine
Almost all (87%) of the most successful B2B content marketers say they measure their content performance accurately. Compare that to only 19% of the least successful.
What metrics and data should you monitor? This depends on your business goals. You might focus on response time, impressions, engagement rate, conversions, sales, and more. The important thing is to set benchmarks and achievable goals.
Don’t ignore barometers like customer satisfaction ratings, qualitative reviews, and your Net Promoter Score. Look at reductions in recruitment and customer support costs as well. All of this contributes to return on investment.
Be realistic about what efforts you’ll have hard numbers for and which will be trickier to quantify. Remember, just because you can measure something doesn’t always mean you should. And just because you can’t measure something (easily) doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.
Your best ally in building out a performance measurement plan is a good social media analytics tool. Hootsuite Analytics gives you one-screen access to performance data from every social network, including easy-to-understand graphics and charts.
Speak to humans, not businesses
Remember that you’re not talking to brands – you’re talking to the people behind those brands. Likewise, they want to do business with the humans behind your brand.
In the LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact study, 64% of executives said they prefer “a more human, less formal tone of voice” over “an even-toned, intellectual voice.”
And you’re not just talking to CEOs and purchasing officers. Younger people will move up the ranks and be making purchasing decisions within a few years. It pays to nurture relationships with industry pros at all stages of their careers.
One simple way to break out of the boardroom with your content is to get your employees involved. Tell their stories. Highlight their accomplishments. Real people make your social media presence and brand voice appear more human and boost your recruiting efforts.
Tip: You can easily build a streamlined employee social program using Hootsuite Amplify.
Help your audience do their jobs
Think about ways you can make your followers’ (work) lives easier or more enjoyable. Provide content and resources that delight them in some way. Think how-to information, industry news, trends, tips, strategy, and so on.
Thought leadership is particularly important. 61% of decision-makers say thought leadership can be ”moderately or a lot more effective at demonstrating the potential value of its products/services compared to traditional product-oriented marketing.”
In content that does specifically promote your product, focus on how it will directly benefit the customer in real business terms. The latest Linked-in-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report found that non-business-critical suppliers can best increase their chances of making a sale by:
- Proving they will increase a prospect’s profit margins or minimize losses
- Showing they can increase the likelihood of the prospect retaining customers and clients during a downturn
- Showing they can help the prospect outperform competitors
Use humor your followers will understand
B2B social media is about starting conversations and building relationships that lead to sales in the long term. That “long term” part is key, though. Followers aren’t going to stick around if your content doesn’t interest them.
So don’t let B2B’s reputation for boring content hold you back. Humor is an import tool in your content-creation toolbox. You just have to find the right tone.
What kind of humor speaks directly to your audience? Is there an inside joke that only industry pros will understand? A pun that will amuse your followers while highlighting your product benefits? Signal to your audience that you understand social media is primarily a platform for content that entertains and delights.
Respond to DMs and comments
If we were to highlight the most important component of a B2B social media strategy, this would probably be it. Anyone who comments on your content or sends you a DM is expressing interest in your brand. They’re practically raising their hands and shouting, “Hey! I’m a lead!”
That said, it’s easy for comments and DMs to get lost when you’re juggling multiple social platforms, each with its own inbox. A consolidated social media inbox like the one built into Hootsuite makes sure you never miss a thing.
Hootsuite Inbox also speeds up your response time by automatically routing messages through to the most appropriate person on your team. This ensures potential sales don’t get bogged down in the customer service queue.
1. Share a free resource
A free resource like a white paper or report can be a valuable way to earn the trust of your B2B social media followers. But only if the report provides quality information backed up by reliable data and research – and offers real-world suggestions for how to incorporate that information into operations.
Two of the main qualities business leaders look for in thought leadership content are “robust research and strong supporting data” and “concrete guidance on how to respond to the issues or opportunities discussed.”
For example, here’s the primary and secondary data information for the Hootsuite 2023 Social Media Career Report:
And here are some of the ways Hootsuite shared the report on social media:
But how much asking is too much? 🤣
All kidding aside, this is why you must ask for the damn raise already! You deserve it for so many reasons.
— Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite) September 19, 2023
2. Crack a joke
We talked about humor earlier in this post. Here’s where the rubber hits the road. From a tongue-in-cheek play on words, to a funny meme, to a straight-up dad joke, tickle your followers’ funny bones from time to time to keep them coming back for more.
The level of humor can vary with the platform, and should be based on audience research. For instance, you can likely skew a lot more silly on TikTok than on LinkedIn.
@artandsuchevan finds creativity in the tiniest and most unexpected places ✨
Keep a close eye on your analytics after posting anything outside the norm for your brand to see how your audience responds. If they love it, give them more. If the response is tepid or you see an unusual number of unfollows, rethink your strategy and try a different approach to humor.
3. Join a relevant conversation
We talked about social listening above in the context of competitor research. But it’s also a great way to find conversations relevant to your industry and your brand.
Simply add relevant hashtags and industry terms to your Hootsuite streams. When you find a relevant conversation, pop in with helpful information (never a hard sell). This is all about building relationships and creating brand awareness.
For example, when Patrick Mahomes was caught correcting an awkward grammar mistake on Twitter (shout out to the edit button!), both Grammarly and Merriam-Webster jumped in.
The edit deserves a touchdown.🏈
— Grammarly (@Grammarly) September 12, 2023
Proud of this edit.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 12, 2023
4. Share some stats
We’ve talked about the importance of thought leadership already. Quick stats and infographics are an easy and effective way to share thought leadership on social media without requiring followers to dive deep into a long report.
Infographics are snackable and highly shareable, meaning they can help your content spread well beyond your own social followers.
Business can be tough, and you can gain a lot of brand loyalty by showing you understand the difficulties employees face. Remember, you need to win the hearts and minds of future business leaders, not just those who are making purchasing decisions today.
We hope this message finds you well. Unless you’re on PTO. In that case, we hope this message does not find you; we hope you find yourself with a fully recharged battery. 🔋
— Slack (@SlackHQ) September 19, 2023
Easily manage all your social media profiles using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage your followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure results, manage your ads, and much more.
2023 Average Engagement Rates for 13 Industries [STATS]
So you’ve planned and launched a social media campaign, and waited patiently for the likes, comments, and conversions to roll in. Now you’re looking at your performance report, wondering what the numbers actually mean. Is a 2% engagement rate high or low? Did your target audience love your campaign, or was it a flop?
Without social media benchmarks (a.k.a. average performance stats for a social platform or industry), it’s difficult to make sense of raw data. But we got you. In this post, we’ve rounded up average social media engagement rates from 13 top industries to give you a better understanding of where you stand. (And empower you to brag to your boss with data-informed confidence — you’re welcome.)
We’ve even included a simple (and free!) engagement rate calculator you can use to quickly double-check your own performance stats.
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Below, you’ll find the latest average engagement rates (per post), broken down by industry and social network.
Where did this data come from? Our team collects and anonymously compiles data from social accounts connected to Hootsuite. Each benchmark is based on at least 100 social accounts, and no data can be traced back to any individual account.
For more benchmarks (including impressions, audience growth rate, posting frequency, and much more) and insights that will help you improve your marketing strategy, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial and browse stats from your industry — and hand-picked competitors — in Hootsuite Analytics
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.02%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.06%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.18%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.71%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.03%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 3.16%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.63%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.81%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.52%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.4%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.66%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.09%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.32%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 9.77%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.99%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.87%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.74%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.79%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.49%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.71%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.11%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.33%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.05%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.64%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.14%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.8%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.92%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.28%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.31%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.61%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.75%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.18%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.47%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.61%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.26%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.63%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.81%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.5%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.01%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.68%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.39%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.87%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.07%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.29%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 1.21%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.89%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.62%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.05%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.55%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.36%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.34%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.47%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 1%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.72%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.55%
- Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.32%
- Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.7%
- Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
- Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.47%
- Average TikTok engagement rate: 6.01%
Across almost all industries, Instagram consistently has the highest average rates compared to other social networks.
Interestingly, educational institutions generated higher Instagram engagement than any other industry in September. If you run social media for a school, college, or university and struggle to get your engagement rates up to the industry average, here are some tips that will help.
Exceptionally high TikTok engagement rates suggest that short-form video is a great way to capture audience attention in these sectors. If you operate in one of these industries and haven’t started using TikTok to promote your business yet, you might be missing out! Our beginner’s guide to TikTok marketing will help you get started and connect with TikTok’s hyper-engaged community.
In general, financial institutions and tech companies appear to generate slightly lower social media engagement compared to other sectors — on every social media platform except for LinkedIn. This might be because these industries deal with complex and technical topics that can be challenging to engage a broad audience.
Remember: It’s not a product or service that makes something seem “boring” — it’s bad marketing. You can create engaging social content even if your industry has a boring reputation. Not sure how? Check out these blog posts for inspiration:
Restaurants and other food-related businesses see high engagement on Instagram — which makes perfect sense, considering the platform’s focus on visual content (and its users’ obsession with posting pictures of their meals).
Ready to compare your performance to industry benchmarks? Use this free tool to find out your engagement rate by post.
Note: If you’re calculating your account’s total engagement, include information about all your posts (e.g total number of posts published, total number of likes, and so on). If you’re calculating the engagement rate of a specific social media marketing campaign, only include the details of the posts that were part of the campaign.
If you’re looking for more detailed data or you want to calculate different kinds of engagement (like engagement rate by reach or engagement rate by impressions), download our free spreadsheet calculator that will do the math for you.
Or, better yet, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial to easily track the performance of all your social channels in one place (so you can replicate what works and get more engagement). Hootsuite’s social media analytics tool collects your stats from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
With Hootsuite Analytics, you can also:
- Find out when your audience is online
- Get personalized recommendations for your best times to post for each of your accounts
- Easily view industry benchmarks and see how you compare to competitors
Use Hootsuite to track and improve engagement rates across all your social media channels. Try it free today.
How To Save Tons of Time With Instagram Auto Reply
Responding to messages quickly is a huge part of social media customer service—and it’s no different whether you’re dealing with messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Luckily, Instagram has an easy-to-use option that can cut down on your team’s time responding to questions.
With Instagram auto reply, you can easily set auto-responses to common questions and messages. This feature cuts down on the time your social media support team needs to spend monitoring and replying to customers.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the Instagram auto reply feature, how it can be used, and a few message examples for inspiration.
Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.
Instagram auto reply is a feature available in your Instagram message settings that allows you to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions.
For example, if you regularly get a question like, “Do you offer free shipping?” your team can set up an auto reply that will answer the question instantly rather than forcing the customer to wait for a real person to respond.
There are a few different ways you can do this:
- Instagram tools: Set automatic responses for frequently asked questions or craft canned messages that your team can easily send out via Instagram DM.
- Meta Business Suite: Set up messaging automations for both Instagram and Facebook.
- Third-party inboxes: Use tools like Hootsuite Inbox to easily monitor and manage your Instagram direct messages and comments.
Learn more about how a social inbox like Hootsuite’s can help streamline your social media communication in this video:
There are several ways to take advantage of Instagram’s auto reply feature. Here are just a few types of automated responses you might consider setting up:
- Welcome messages
- Away messages
- Frequently asked questions
- Share contact information
- Share business hours of operation
- Provide shipment and payment details
- Offer discounts
- Explain wholesale pricing information
- Tell customers how to handle issues with their orders
- Share links to additional resources
So why use Instagram auto reply? Is it the best option for creating automated responses and freeing up your team’s time? As always, it depends on your needs.
Let’s cover some basic pros and cons to help you decide.
- Make a good impression. Instagram shows your followers how quick your team is to respond. A faster response time is a better look for your business.
- Answer questions before they’re asked. Create an auto-responder that gives your customers a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from a real person—unless your auto replies can give their answer immediately.
- Save your team time. Stop writing the same reply over and over again. Automated messages give your team more time for escalated messages and other customer support issues.
- Never miss a message. You don’t have to worry about time zones when you enlist auto reply. Even when your team isn’t working, customers can get answers as soon as they send a message.
- Only for Instagram and Facebook. Instagram/Meta’s built-in features only work for these two platforms. You’ll have to enlist the help of external tools for other social media platforms—don’t worry, we’ve got more on that below.
- You have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages. In order to access some of the more advanced tools, you must use Meta Business Suite, so you’ll have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages.
Not sure what types of auto replies to set for your Instagram messages? Here are 15 examples to help inspire you.
Send one of these options to all new incoming Instagram DMs whenever your team is unavailable for a quick response:
- Thank you for getting in touch! Our team is available from 10am-3pm CT. We’ll get back to you within those hours!
- Hey there—thanks for reaching out! Your message is important to us. Someone on our team will get back to you within the next 12 hours.
- Sorry we missed you! Our team is currently unavailable, but we’ll be back around 8am GMT.
Use one of these when someone messages you on Instagram to ask about hours of operation or contact information:
- Our hours of operation are 11am-11pm ET Monday through Saturday.
- To get in touch with a representative directly, please give us a call at [###-###-####].
- To learn more or request a demo, email us at email@example.com.
- Our offices are located at 1234 Business Street.
Here are a few common questions and answers you might want to incorporate into your Instagram auto replies.
How long does shipping take?
- You can expect your items to arrive within 3-5 business days of your order.
How can I cancel my plan?
- To cancel, go to the “Account” section of your dashboard and find the “Cancel plan” button.
- We’re sad to see you go! To cancel, please call one of our representatives directly at [###-###-####] or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you offer any discounts?
- We love that you asked! Use promo code INSTA for 10% off your purchase.
What services do you offer?
- We offer accounting services for small businesses.
How much do your services cost?
- We work on a monthly retainer basis. Packages start at $1,000/month and go up to $15,000+ depending on your needs.
Are you taking new patients?
- Yes, please head to our website to fill out the form for new patients.
- Unfortunately, our therapists are fully booked at the moment. Please check back next quarter to see if any spots have opened up.
There are two ways to set up auto replies on Instagram. The first is pretty easy—do so right inside the Instagram app. The second involves digging into the Automations option in Meta Business Suite.
We’ll walk you through each process.
First, open the Instagram app. Tap the messages icon in the top right corner of the home feed. Then, tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of your messages dashboard and select Tools.
Here, you can set either saved replies (canned responses your team can tap on to send manually) or auto replies for frequently asked questions.
Tap on Frequently asked questions to access the auto reply feature. Instagram will typically include a few starter questions. You can customize these or use them as is—just add answers.
Add as many questions as you want. You can even show these questions in chat, so customers who want to message you have options to choose from.
If you have your Facebook Business Page set up and optimized and your Instagram business profile connected, you can use Meta Business Suite to create automations like this.
First, head over to your Facebook Business Page, then click on Meta Business Suite in the left-hand sidebar.
You’ll then be taken to the Meta Business Suite dashboard. From here, click on Inbox in the right-hand sidebar.
This inbox section will hold all messages and comments from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you’re looking for a single place to manage these, Business Suite is a great place to do so. The biggest downfall is that those are the only platforms you can monitor here (more on that later).
To set up your auto-reply messages, click the atom icon to access Automations.
Here, you can set up a number of automations relating to your direct messages across all of Meta’s platforms. If you haven’t previously set up Frequently asked questions, it will appear as one of the Suggested for you options. Click on it to get started.
Select your Instagram account from the list of places you want to turn this automation on. Then, start adding questions. You can preview them in the left-hand sidebar.
Once you’re done, click Save changes and toggle this automation into the On position. And voila! You’ve got your frequently asked questions set up.
Other automations you can create are:
- Away messages
- Instant replies
- Follow ups
We mentioned that Meta Business Suite is great for managing your messages and comments on Facebook and Instagram. But if your brand uses other platforms, like X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, you’ll need additional support.
Good news—you’re in luck! With Hootsuite’s Social Inbox, your entire social media and customer support team can monitor, manage, and respond to messages across all social media platforms in one space.
You can store information about various customers so you never start a new interaction as strangers, helping customers feel seen and valued. Assign messages and interactions to certain team members so the most-equipped person can handle each specific issue.
Use Hootsuite Inbox as your social media help desk, resolving messages as soon as they’ve been responded to and keeping notes on customer issues.
Create auto-responders for every social media platform you manage with Hootsuite.
Instagram auto reply is a great way to minimize wait time for frequently asked questions. If you know common questions your audience has, and there’s a set answer you can provide, set it as an auto-response.
This saves your team time and ensures your Instagram followers don’t have to wait for a response.
There’s no quick on-off toggle for Instagram auto reply. Instead, you’ll have to go into your Instagram messaging tools and remove any frequently asked question responses you’ve input.
A saved reply is a similar tool to auto replies. Instead of sending instantaneously, though, saved replies are simply stored in your Instagram messaging settings for your team to manually send out. This works if the question someone asks has different answers depending on the time of year. You can save replies for a quick response, but you don’t want to have the response be automatic.
Keep your customers happy with faster message responses, thanks to Hootsuite. Respond to questions and complaints, create tickets from social conversations, and work with chatbots all from one dashboard. See it in action.
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