Jan 15, 2014

5 Ways To Use Instagram Direct For Your Brand

Peter Isaacs
Jan 15th, 2014 - 2 mins read

While it might not seem as obvious, Instagram Direct is a great tool for brands. 

Recently Instagram released Instagram Direct – a direct messaging service within Instagram that’s similar to Snapchat. These messages can be sent to individuals or groups of up to 15 people.



How it works

Using the Instagram Direct feature is fairly straightforward and all you have to do is the following.


  • Upload or take a photo or video and then if you want add filters and a caption
  • Tap “Direct”  (an option on the top of your screen).
  • Choose the names of the followers you want to send the photo or video to
  • Hit Send


A notification then appears in the upper right-hand corner of the receivers screen, which lets them know they have received a private message.


So how could brands use this? Here are 5 ideas that I’ve had just to get the cogs turning.


  1. Hold a contest: This is the most obvious application for this feature and has already been used by a few fashion retailers, the first of which was Gap. So far these contests have consisted of retailers asking followers to send a photo of themselves using/wearing a product and then directly submitting it to a brand or Instagram Direct Group.
  2. Launching a product: A great way to use Instagram Direct would be to launch a product through a select group of influencers with a 15 second video or photo. Doing this will make your recipients feel special and in turn create brand ambassadors for your brand.
  3. Market Research: Want to know more about your audience? Why not put a call out to your fans to partake in a private conversation, for example, they could tell you what they like about your products, or where and when they buy your products.
  4. Customer Service: Do your customers have a problem with your product? A great way to troubleshoot customer’s issues is with Instagram Direct and it’s photo and video messaging. This way you could show them how to fix what ever they’re  having trouble with.
  5. Reward Fan Loyalty: Reward Fan participation or new followers with private messages that contain an exclusive discount code



We’re in the early stages of Instagram Direct and these ideas are only the tip of the iceberg. However with over 150 million users world wide, I think there’s potential for some really exciting stuff.

Got a great idea with how you’d use Instagram Direct, let me know in the comments below.

Peter Isaacs
Jan 15th, 2014 - 2 mins read