Navigating Private Social’s Surge

If you haven’t watched this Adam Mosseri clip, it’s worth a listen. He reveals that more photos and videos are shared in Instagram DM’s than Stories and in Feed.

This may explain why Instagram has released a slew of recent features that facilitate more private conversations, including private Stories that only select friends can see and Flipside, which turns “Finstas” into an actual product. 

Amidst this private messaging explosion, marketers should consider how to engage consumers when they are increasingly turning their attention to a place where ads and brands don’t really exist. 

Don’t know where to start? Check out some of these best practices: 

  1. Double down on community management: If the action is happening in comments and DM’s then you need to be active there as a brand. The experiences you create for consumers on social is oftentimes the most important they have with you as a brand (other than using/consuming your product). Don’t just post, respond to those comments and keep those DM’s active!
  2. Partner with influential voices in social groups/communities: Even in private groups there are group leaders and influential voices. It’s not always about mass followings, sometimes being the go-to community voice is the most impactful influencer for your brand.
  3. Use the new tools: If you aren’t playing with features like broadcast channels, private stories, Flipside (when you get access), and others, then you need to start experimenting. It’s harder to communicate at scale with these tools, but oftentimes your most loyal customers are the most important in creating brand evangelists that bring your message to the masses.
  4. Take the conversation offline: Expand beyond the walls of social and outside the screen with in person activations. Sometimes that means showing up at major events (think Coachella), but that can also mean intimate brand events for loyal customers, live creator experiences, and more.

Private messaging is only going to comprise a bigger share of the social conversation so make sure you have a plan for how to stay in the game.

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