How to Add an Instagram Auto-Reply Message For New DMs

DM Auto-Reply: Like Voicemail for Your Instagram

You can’t be online 24/7 (trust us, we’ve tried!), but you can STILL respond to direct messages around the clock. Many people from creators and influencers to brands and online businesses rely on a customized auto-response in order to reply to customers in a timely fashion.

Auto replies are a great way to make people feel seen and heard, no matter when they reach out to you:

  • Set up is quick – can be done in under 5 minutes 
  • Easily update your auto-reply message at any time
  • Send the customized response to new messages 24/7/365

If you’ve got too many DMs and too little time to answer, keep reading for quick and easy instructions on setting up an IG autoreply while also getting PAID to respond.  

Why Content Creators and Influencers Use Auto Reply

Hand holding phone with short messages, icons and emoticons. Chatting with friends and sending new messages

Instagram lets you create an instant message, which is automatically sent when someone contacts you for the first time. This customized message can be anything you want – including letting them know of alternative ways to reach you.

Automated responses to Instagram DMs are easy to use as part of your overall marketing strategy but they also help you to stay engaged and connected with your followers. There is unlimited potential with an auto-reply message, such as using it for one of these reasons:

  • Promote an upcoming live event, new product, or giveaway
  • Answer FAQs
  • Send a generic but warm greeting to new followers
  • Include a link to your website, Shopify store, SwayDM profile, etc
  • Link to your bio or landing page 

3 Ways to Set Up a Direct Message Auto-Response

Having an automated response for your DMs offers way too many advantages for you NOT to use it! There are a few ways you can set up an auto-reply message for your Instagram account that we’ll cover below.

We personally set up and tested each option at SwayDM and while each method had its pros and cons, we prefer the last option (option #3).

Option 1: Use Auto-Reply in Meta (formerly Facebook Business Manager) 

Facebook is now Meta, including the Meta Business Suite. To set up an auto-reply in Meta, you must be the page administrator or have another role that gives you access. And you’ll need a Meta business page, not a personal account.  Then you’ll navigate to your Inbox, choose the type of auto-reply you want to set, and which platform you want it on:

The Pros:

  • Create specific auto-replies based on FAQ or keywords
  • Send appointment reminders and post-appointment messages
  • Share more information, such as other contact options and location
  • Acknowledge job applications
  • Create an instant reply message or away message

The Cons:

  • Requires a Meta business page
  • Sends a response for each DM, regardless of address (one person could get multiple replies)
  • Pushes original message to primary or general Instagram folders, making it difficult to find in your inbox
  • Has additional quirks and bugs that make setting up automated messages time-consuming and frustrating

Option 2: Use a Third-Party 

Many third-party platforms claim they can set up an Instagram auto-reply for you. These include SocialBee, Combin, and more, usually offering additional services in addition to setting up an automated response. 

The Pros

  • Someone else takes care of setting up an auto-reply
  • Technical support if you need it
  • Some other free, basic services

The Cons

  • Primarily message management that combines all your DMs into their platform
  • Can get expensive
  • Third-party servers don’t always transition for smooth auto-reply on Instagram

Option 3: Use the Instagram Mobile App

We found that using IG’s app to create an automated response on the platform using their FAQ feature is by far the easiest, fastest, and cheapest method. No matter what your experience level is with IG, you can easily set up an auto-reply in under five minutes.

The Pros

  • Simple process using the Instagram app that most content creators are familiar with
  • No need to hire or use a costly third-party
  • No bugs or glitches (unlike the Meta Business Suite)
  • Free switch to a professional account (necessary to set up automated responses)

The Cons

  • We couldn’t find any!

Don’t have a professional Instagram account? No problem! We’ll show you how to convert your account and set up an auto-reply in no time. 

Switch to Professional IG to Enable Auto-Reply

It’s fast and easy (and free!) to switch your personal Instagram account to a professional one:

  • Go to IG Account Settings
  • Navigate to Account
  • Scroll down and Click “Switch to Professional Account”
  • Navigate Through the Onboarding Workflow
  • Choose a Category that Best Fits You (most people choose creator or business)

Professional IG Accounts Have More Advantages

You need a professional (business or creator) Instagram account to create automated responses, but  there are other benefits to having a professional  account, including:

  • Access to more Instagram insights and analytics
  • Ability to add a contact button
  • Show your industry on your profile (fashion, fitness, etc.)
  • Create promoted posts and paid ads 

Create an Instagram Auto-Reply 

You’re just a few steps away from sending an automated response to everyone who DMs you! To create a personalized auto-reply for your professional IG account:

  1. Go to Account Settings and then go to “Creator+” for creator accounts or “Business” for business accounts, then to Frequently Asked Questions and toggle it “On”
  2. Select “Add a Question” and if you are trying to steer users to your SwayDM profile, add something like “Want to reach me guaranteed?” Or “Want to have a conversation?”
  3. Once you’ve named the question, add an auto-response. If using this for SwayDM, try something like, “Let’s chat! If you want to reach me, message me on SwayDM for a fast response! https://sway.dm/yourusername. Be sure to add https:// to any link you want to add in your auto-reply, or the link will NOT work.

    Here is an example of how this would look using the above question and answer examples:

Using automated responses is a huge timesaver when you can’t personally reply. A couple of things to be aware of:

  • These messages should funnel to your “requests” folder in IG
  • If a user messages you without tapping the question  first, the button goes away, and it acts as a regular DM (they won’t receive any auto-reply)
  • The auto-reply message will remain ever-present in the DM convo, even if the user continues to message you (yay!)

Take Your Auto-Reply to the Next Level with SwayDM

Setting up instant and away auto-reply messages help you prioritize your DMs. However, only SwayDM lets you monetize and prioritize your DMs. 

How SwayDM Works

  1. Create your SwayDM account and set your messaging price
  2. Share your SwayDM profile link on your online accounts and encourage people to “SwayDM” you by adding the link to your auto-reply message and/or link in bio
  3. Get paid for viewing and responding to the messages that matter most

Funnel Visitors to Your SwayDM Account

Creating an auto-reply for your Instagram account helps save you time and money when you can’t respond. When you funnel your Instagram and other social media messages to a SwayDM account, you not only control your inbox, but you EARN money with every response. Your followers enjoy priority and guaranteed responses while YOU enjoy compensation for the time, attention, and value you provide with your responses. 

To learn more and sign-up, request an invite!

Katie Bradley

Katie is Head of Marketing at SwayDM, a paid messaging app. She has been published across a variety of digital media sources and tweets in her spare time (@ktbee21).

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