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6 Tips for Responding to Direct Messages on Social Media

Social media gives us several ways to communicate within its ecosystem. There are posts. There are comments. And then there are direct messages. The direct message, sometimes referred to as simply a “DM,” is the most private way to communicate with another social media user or business page. For our purposes, direct messages are a way for customers to reach out directly to a representative of a business. And for brands, there is certainly an art to responding to direct messages on social media.

The benefits of being timely in responding to direct messages on social media

Above all, you should implement a system for your business page to regularly respond to incoming direct messages on your social media platforms. Of course, this is just a common customer service courtesy—but there’s more.

On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you actually get rewarded for a track record of timely responses with a badge that says “Very responsive to messages.” This badge is for pages that have a response rate of 90 percent or more and a response time of less than 15 minutes.

Suggestions for responding to direct messages on social media

Use an automated response.

Setting up an automated response to the direct messages you receive should be a standard for any business. It lets people feel that they have been addressed, even when you are not available to immediately answer their message. Most automated responses will thank customers for reaching out and let them know that you will follow up with them shortly.

 Make time to check messages each day.

Checking and responding to direct messages on social media should be a part of your business’ daily routine. Carve out a bit of time each day to have someone from your business check your social media inboxes and respond to messages. Depending on the volume of messages you receive, this could even turn into a full-time position.

Check for messages across all platforms.

When we think of direct messages on social media, many of us think of Facebook alone. But keep in mind, most of your standard platforms have a form of direct message inbox. Don’t neglect other places you may receive messages like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Note: Since Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same entity, you can check your direct messages on Instagram all in one place via Facebook’s business manager.

Take advantage of organizational tools.

Speaking of Facebook, it actually offers a pretty helpful suite of tools to help you keep your inbox organized. This includes adding internal notes about individuals who message you, assigning labels to conversations and more. Use these to your advantage!

Be professional and polite.

We’ve previously touched on the importance of customer service on social media. Responding to direct messages is one instance where customer service on social media comes into play. You should interact in a direct message with a customer the same way you would interact with a customer in your storefront or over the phone. Professionalism and politeness go a long way!

Follow up when the situation calls for it.

Your automated response went through. You’ve responded beyond the automated response. But you’re not finished! Make sure to follow up on what the customer is inquiring about should the situation warrant it. If you say you are going to check on the status of an order, do so. If you say you’re going to give them a call to discuss something over the phone, do it!


Responding to direct messages on social media in a timely and professional manner is in your best interest as a business. When the customer is happy, everyone’s happy!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

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