Social Media Direct Messaging: A Case For Sliding Into DMs and Creating Genuine Business/Brand Relationships

My headline on this website is “Discover the Power of Social First Digital Marketing” so if you are surprised or confused by this title, well, I invite you to keep reading.

Sliding into DMs has quickly become synonymous with the new way of picking someone up. Where you used to get your best friend to tell your crush’s best friend that you like them, we are now using social media as the middle person.

Now, this is a digital marketing page, so I promise that there is a marketing and sales point to be made here.

DMs are the only private area of social media platforms. Your posts on social media are sent out into the world for all to see as soon as you hit “post”. But your DMs are yours. Someone taking the time to send you a DM shows a different level of effort to connect beyond leaving a comment or liking a post. Although there is some abuse of this feature with bots and drop-shipping companies inviting you to their ambassador programs, there is still some opportunity to do good here.

I’ve heard of people building real relationships via DMs, and so in this new era of customer service I think that the DMs are one of – if not the key place – to build genuine connections with your prospects and customers.

The Power of the Modern DM

When I first started using Facebook I was still using MSN messenger. So when Facebook introduced the world to Facebook messenger, there wasn’t anything special about it. Fast forward 15 years and the DM has come a long way.

Facebook, for example, has introduced a number of features for businesses to help improve response times, answer frequently asked questions, and even thank people for sharing recommendations (both negative and positive).

Instagram’s DMs, as an extension of the Facebook ecosystem, are also incredibly powerful. As a personal trainer you definitely want to be using the DMs as a place to nurture leads and current clients. You have a number of options to make this experience as personalized as possible.

Automate Your DMs

The first I recommend is setting up automated DMs. If you’ve ever seen a personal trainer, or any small business owner on IG, include a “DM me [WORD]”, it’s probably because they have set up an auto-response.

You can set up auto-responses through Facebook messenger. On Facebook for desktop go to your Facebook page and on the left hand side choose “Messenger”. On your Business Suite App, click the 9-dot square in the bottom right hand corner, click settings, and then automated responses.

You have a number of options for auto-responses like away messages, hours, etc. but to set up your auto-responses to prompts like “DM me [WORD], you’ll want to use the frequently asked questions button.

In here you’ll set the question to your prompt word. This could be something like CLIENTS or PERSONAL TRAINING or I’M READY. Whatever you choose to be your prompts, make sure you put this in the question box.

Then in the response box write out whatever your auto-response will be. This could be something like

“Hey! Thank you for the DM! I am so excited that you’re interested in personal training with me. Follow the link to learn more about my personal training program. If you’re ready to commit to your fitness today, then hit the button to sign up for my group session!”

Obviously you can customize this to sound more like you and include the information that you want to include. Along with your message you can include an attachment, like a free download or info package, or you can include a button, directing people to sign-up or shop pages.

Automation can save you A LOT of time, and I highly recommend this. I’ll be doing an article on automated email sequences at a later date, so stay tuned for that.

Personalizing the DM experience

Okay so you now have a steady flow of clients following you on Instagram and/or Facebook. What if someone sends you a message with a question, comment or concern?

The absolute best way to respond to these is by making it as personal as possible. You really want to show you care and you that you want to be there for them. What shows you really care? Video and voice messages!

Here’s a quick story to demonstrate my point:

Before moving to Sweden, I had been following Passion for Baking on YouTube. Her Swedish Princess Cake video was so relaxing and it looked delicious! When I was in Sweden, I sent her a message a few weeks before my birthday asking if I could order a cake from. It would be a dream come true to have 1 of her cakes and I’d do anything to have one.

The woman who owns Passion for Baking, someone that I adored, sent me a voice note. It made my day. Even though she was saying that she does not do deliveries, and so the message was disappointing – that didn’t matter. I had just received a voice note from someone who I was a big fan of.

When you are hired as a personal trainer for a client, you are in some way an idol to them. They trust you to care for their health and that trust creates a unique bond. So if they send you a message one night saying they’re feeling really low in confidence and energy and don’t know that to do – send them a voice note or a video message. I promise it will work wonders for your business and only make the client-trainer bond stronger.

Make DMs a Part of Your Funnel

I hope I have made it abundantly clear that DMs can not only save you time on lead generation, but they are also an incredibly valuable tool for client-nurturing activities. It only takes a few minutes to set up your automated messages, and it will save you so much time in the future.

And when your clients are looking for a personal connection to you, sending video or voice messages can help you stand out from all of the other personal trainers on the market.

If you have more questions about how DMs can help you scale you personal training business, send me an email at

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