Direct message, often shortened to just "DM", is a way for social media users to communicate privately.
Major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all feature their own platforms for DMing, each with unique requirements and restrictions.

Direct messaging and marketing

Direct messaging is a perfect tool to use whenever a company is looking to establish and/or develop rapport with its clientele. Owning to their privacy, DMs allow brands to be more engaging and personal as well. Here're some of the benefits a company can leverage by implementing direct messaging:

  • Raise client engagement — by giving an alternative to calls and emails, you ensure your clients can reach your business easier;
  • Build relationships — customized, personal messages lead to building a proper rapport with your clients;
  • Improve client experience — DMs can be set up to automatically answer the most common questions your clients have via a chatbot.

Best applications for direct messaging

Social media presence is crucial for maintaining the reputation of a modern company. As such, appropriate usage of DMing is an effective way of handling reputation crises and strengthening client relationships. Some of the most common applications are:

  • Handling of negative experiences — taking the clients' bad experiences away from the public space helps you mitigate the reputational risks. Quick and personalized handling of the issue can result in positive feedback in the public section of your page; 
  • Offering general support — people prefer using live chat options for their issues. Even if the few first steps are done via a chatbot, the option to immediately raise the issue with someone on your team improves the overall experience;
  • Reaching out to influencers — direct messaging the potential influencers you want to work with is the most foolproof (and often the only) way to get in contact;
  • Handling sensitive information — direct messages are the perfect means of sharing sensitive details between you and your client.

Direct messaging: best practices

As with everything, it is crucial to adhere to a few rules and practices whenever you're using direct messaging:

  • Be quick — one of the main benefits of DMing is its near real-time factor, so make sure to use it;
  • Be personal — leverage the ability to give a personal touch to messages sent through DMs to improve client relations;
  • Avoid promotional content — rest assured, nobody likes getting unsolicited ads to their private inbox;
  • Implement chatbots whenever possible — this will help your clients get the answers they might need themselves, saving your time and resources.