‘Saved Replies’, previously known as ‘Quick Replies’, is a handy little feature tucked away in Instagram business accounts.

It was rolled out, without much fanfare, at the end of 2018.

Used with some creativity, business owners and marketers can find it pretty helpful and efficient.The main purpose of this feature is to set up pre-formatted responses that answer commonly asked questions you receive via direct messaging on your Instagram business account.

So, instead of typing out a repetitive response over and over, you simply click in the message field, type in a shortcut word, which automatically pulls in the respective copy and, Voila, your pre-formatted message magically appears.

This feature is a useful tool helping to free up some time or improve communication with your followers, while at the same time keeping you engaged with your audience.

I must emphasise that this is not an automation like a chat bot that sends a canned reply.

It does require you to read the message to respond to, but if you have a selection of pre-formatted messages set up with the shortcut word then you’ll definitely save a lot of time and effort.

If you’re unfamiliar with this time-saving feature, I’ve outlined below how to set it up, and give you a few ideas on some useful ways it can be used.

Setting up ‘Saved Replies’ on your Instagram Business account

 (please note this may vary slightly depending on the type of biz account you have): 

  • From your IG Profile click on the 3 lines at the top right-hand corner
  • Click on Settings at the bottom of the screen
  • Click on the Business tab
  • Click on ‘Saved Replies’
  • Hit the Plus button top right
  • Type in the message you want to send to frequently asked questions and such like
  • Choose a key word in the message to use as the shortcut word
  • Hit the Blue Tick top right to save
  • Repeat this process for multiple messages and shortcuts

How to use the ‘Saved Replies’ message when responding to a direct message

  • Jump onto your IG profile and hit the < button at the bottom right of the screen to go to the main feed
  • Top right, click the Chat Bubble to go to your Chats page
  • Find the message you want to respond to
  • Tap the message field and type in the shortcut word, a chat bubble with 3 dots will appear, tap it
  • The pre-formatted message connected to that shortcut will appear. Note, if you want to make any changes to the message, personalise it or add some additional details you can do it here
  • Hit Send and off it goes

If you have multiple ‘Saved Replies’ you can access them all when you open a conversation in Direct Messages, and click the Plus button in the message field.  The icons will expand to microphone, image, gif etc. Tap the speech bubble with 3 dots and all of your ‘Saved Replies’ will pop up.  You can then tap on the response you want to send which will populate in the message field.

Some useful ideas for using ‘Saved Replies’

  • For repetitive responses to frequent questions such as your opening times, the cost of your services or products, and such like
  • For quick responses like, “Hi, I’m not available but will get back to you asap” if you haven’t got time to write a lengthier message but want to acknowledge their message to you
  • For new followers! Why not send them a Welcome message with a bit of blurb about yourself and a link to your website, landing page or free offer
  • Competitions, giveaways etc could benefit from this feature to keep people up to date with the rules, how long it’s running/the closing date, what will happen when the winner is announced
  • Use to leverage the customer support for your business
  • Respond to those DMs complementing your posts. This could be a selection of formatted really short messages and several emojis
  • Do you have a social media or content manager looking after your Instagram messages? Then some carefully thought-out responses to common questions would be useful for them to not have to verify each response with you
  • If multiple people manage a single business account then pre-formatted responses maintain a consistent brand voice. It also will ensure that each person provides the same information on each topic
  • Pre-formatted ‘Saved Replies’ to common topics that have been reviewed by a legal team or industry expert would be useful in technical or regulated industries, like Law or the Financial sector, to eradicate misinformation

Couple of tips:

  • To help you compose your message check out some previous message threads and find commonly asked questions and what responses you used. Copy these over to the ‘Saved Replies’ storage area and adjust accordingly.
  • To copy previous messages simply tap and hold the message you want to turn into a quick reply. From the pop-up screen, choose Save Quick Reply.
  • Spend a wet afternoon snuggled up on the sofa and construct your ‘Saved Replies’.
  • You can edit the text, change the shortcut or delete the pre-formatted message in the list of saved messages from the business setting option.
  • Remember that you should always sound as though you’re authentically responding to a person’s message. ‘Saved Replies’ is meant to help you be more efficient about it, not act like a chat bot which will make you sound cold and insincere, so always customise with a bit of personalisation.

Let us know in the comments if you’re using ‘Saved Replies’ in conjunction with your Instagram marketing, or how you think it will help to streamline your time management.

About Lisa

I’m a social media manager and content creator who’s cut her teeth with over 30 years in the traditional and digital marketing industry, nationally and internationally.

Wanna check me out then jump over to my about page on my website here or join me on socials below.