Direct messaging feature on social media platforms is something I am utilizing more and more lately. Turns out, businesses and influencers on all platforms actually want to connect with other businesses and work deals. A lot of the time all you have to do is ask. I try and DM about 3 or 4 influencers a day as a general rule ( a lot of the time I just do a bunch in my spare time on Sundays). When I say influencer, I mean someone that has a following of any size that is putting out valuable content for their users. When reaching out via DM to someone on Instagram to promote my business I say something like “Hey there, my name is Ethan. I am the owner of a soda shop called Thirst. I follow your page and really enjoy your content (I usually name a specific thing that I like). I was wondering if you would like to work together to do some collaboration! I think I could bring some real value to your page. I have a lot of loyal and engaged followers that I know would really love to follow your page. I would love the chance to chat with you more about some tag team marketing that I think could really benefit us both!”. It is as simple as that. About 65% of the time, they don’t respond. But when they do respond, it is of the most importance that I capitalize. I truly believe the following: In my opinion, the most under-priced and most effective form of marketing on this day today is Instagram influencers. I do not only thing DM is good for business to business or business to influencer communication. DM is AWESOME and CRUCIAL to engaging with customers. When someone mentions you on their story on Instagram, it is so important to first like their message and then respond (same goes for comments on your post obviously). Even if the message or comment seems like it is something that doesn’t imply that they want or need a response, I ALWAYS RESPOND. How many brands respond to every comment? Not a whole lot of them do. When a brand or business or heavy influencer responds to its followers comment or DM’s EVERY TIME, they create personal connection with the consumer. But perhaps more importantly, they remind the consumer that their is ACTUALLY A HUMAN behind the iphone of that instagram. It reminds consumers that no matter how big my company may get, they will always get the same home town feel of customer service because we truly care about them.