Last month we wrote about how a Google AdWords beta is revolutionizing digital advertising by letting businesses embed “text” calls-to-actions on mobile search results. Now, Instagram is the first social media platform to allow customers to text businesses instantly with the click of a button.

Instagram has begun to roll out new business tools to streamline customer experience and drive engagement with texting. Business Insta-accounts have a “contact” button that gives followers the option to “text” the business’s phone number. This is great news for anyone who dislikes picking up the phone to call –which is a lot of people, according to a 2014 Harris Poll survey:

“44% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to press a button to initiate a text conversation immediately.”

This texting feature gives consumers a time-saving way to engage a business without having to wait on hold and provides the luxury of keeping the conversation going when it’s convenient for them. For Instagram’s tremendous audience of millennials and Generation Z’ers, texting is already ingrained in their daily routine. Allowing them to text their favorite brands makes perfect sense.

 

How it works

From the Instagram app, click the Contact button on the business’s profile page. When you click the Text option, your SMS app launches with the business’s phone number pre-loaded. Just type your message, send, and that’s it!

 

What does it mean?

The possibilities for Instagram’s new tool are endless. Let’s say you follow your favorite restaurant, who just posted a pic of a new lunch option. Now, you can text in your order or reservation. Or maybe you follow a boutique clothing store who just posted a picture of a new vintage jacket. Texting allows buyers to quickly ask about inventory or store hours.

How do I add texting to my Instagram?

As a business, you can enable this feature by…

  • Making sure your Instagram account is switched to Business Profile (you can access this in Settings)
  • Click Edit Profile
  • Choose Business Contact Information
  • Hit the phone icon
  • Under “How would you like to be reached?”, click Text.

*Note: You must have the latest version of Instagram to use the click-to-text feature.

This cool Insta feature highlights how ubiquitous texting has become. Users can seamlessly contact businesses on their own terms, in a conversational way. Major internet platforms have already implemented click-to-text, so chances are, if you aren’t letting users text you, you’re losing ground.

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zipwhip

Zipwhip is the productivity tool that lets businesses and customers text each other like friends. Zipwhip text-enables your existing (landline, VoIP, or toll free) business number. With direct connections to tier 1 carriers - Zipwhip is the trusted, scalable solution to business texting.