Instagram plays an important role for many craft business owners. It’s a place to build community, to demonstrate your process, and to show your portfolio of work to the public. Artists and makers are often contacted for new opportunities through Instagram including potential brand collaborations, licensing, and even book deals. Plus, customers may reach out with questions or just to interact. 

As your following grows, using Instagram successfully is dependent on keeping up with all of your Direct Messages. So how are busy craft business owners staying on top of their Instagram DMs? We reached out to several to learn more:

“I keep on top of my DMs by using the features available with the Instagram Business account. This type of account allows me to categorize messages into Primary, General, and Requests so I can prioritize my time when responding. I also turn off my direct message alerts to help me stay focused. DMs are always the first thing I check when I finally open the app, though.”


Toni Lipsey, Creative Genius
TL Yarn Crafts
IG: TLYarnCrafts
Website: www.TLYarnCrafts.com

“Instagram DMs are a really great way for me to make connections with other business owners and customers — it’s so much more personal than responding to comments on posts. If the conversation requires action, I move it over to email and it becomes part of my workflow.” 

Andrea Tsang Jackson
3rd Story Workshop
IG: 3rdStoryWorkshop
Website: www.T3rdstoryworkshop.com

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After I post something on instagram I like to try and spend 30 mins responding to that post and while I’m doing that I also use that time to respond to DM. A lot of the time the messages require short answers which makes it go quickly and if someone reposts I usually heart the image. I also find if you do it more often it won’t feel so daunting.


Arounna Khounnoraj
IG: Bookhou
Website: www.bookhou.com

“Like most businesses, social media creates a huge opportunity for us to connect with our followers. Missing a message, or worse, letting one get lost in the shuffle is just too big of a risk, especially when as a company, we promise super fast and super great customer service!! So, DM’s come immediately to our Marketing Manager’s phone, they simultaneously come in as a notification on their computer and iPad as well, and in case they miss any of those, they also check our inbox roughly every two hours per day. It’s a full time job.” 

Laura Zander, CEO
Jimmy Beans Wool
IG: JimmyBeansWool
Website: www.JimmyBeansWool.com


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I find checking Instagram direct messages SO DIFFICULT! Since I’m not alerted to new messages from people I’ve not had contact with in the past, it’s really a matter of happenstance if I see them at all! I will come across message requests for two reasons. One, If I have lots of DMs from friends and I go in to respond I will chance upon message requests. Second, I occasionally panic and remember to check for message requests. It’s not a great system! Instagram just doesn’t make that type of communication easy, in my opinion.

Melissa Q. 
A Happy Stitch
IG: ahappystitch
Blog: ahappystitch.com
Espadrille Kits: etsy.com/shop/ahappystitch

“I’m typically on Instagram multiple times a day (for good or bad!) and I review DMs as they come in. What I do depends on the message. For simple expressions of support, I’ll just “heart” the comment so the person sees I read it and responded. For anything related to customer service (e.g. where is my order) I will ask them to email our customer support, and occasionally if someone messages about something I really care about (and I have the time) I’ll have a full conversation with them. Dealing with the DMs ultimately becomes a natural part of my social media management during the day; at some point, I will transition it over to our Customer Service person, but for now I like that it keeps me connected with our customers and in touch with the topics of the day in the sewing world.” 


Jenny Rushmore, Founder & CEO
IG: Cashmerette
Website: www.cashmerette.com


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How are you keeping up with you Instagram DMs? Share you success strategies in the comments.

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