In an article which appeared on Forbes, it was stated that 1 in 4 social media users follow a brand on these platforms. It has been noticed by many digital marketers that this behaviour may result in them purchasing something from the company. Brands have taken this massive potential that social media provides – in terms of converting mere bystanders into customers – and have looked into ways that they can further leverage the power of social media marketing for their digital marketing campaigns.
What is a chatbot?
A ‘chatbot’ is defined as a computer program which is designed to simulate conversations with users. These bots have been used on social media in order to help brands to make the online experience of their company seamless for the user.
“Chatbots,” says Lisa Schneider: managing director of the Digital School of Marketing “have an incredible part to play in social media marketing. This is because they ultimately become another ‘employee’ in your business and, as such, they assist with spreading your brand message on social media.”
Organisations are increasingly seeing the merits of having a chatbot act as the spokesperson for them. According to a study which was done by Oracle, 80% of companies want to have a chatbot in place by 2020.
The Facebook chatbot’s power
Facebook has a staggering 2.38 billion monthly users who are active on the platform. Statistics have it that 65 billion local businesses use Facebook Pages for the business. These users are contacting the businesses by writing on company’s wall or sending them private messages by using Facebook Messenger.
A user’s experience of an organisation is defined by the service that they receive from that business. In other words:
- Does the business offer me a quick resolution to my queries?
- Do they make me feel like I’m special that I’m a customer of their business?
- What added value do they offer me?
- If I complain, are my concerns dealt with in a speedy manner?
If a company communicates well with their customers these clients will rate the company highly with respect to customer service. This social proof is gold when it comes to social media marketing.
How to Facebook chatbots work?
Chatbots – some which come standard with Facebook Messenger – provide organisations with the opportunity to be in regular communication with their clients. Because the chatbot can be programmed with a number of automated responses to common queries they can take away the necessity of a human employee manually answering the question being posed.
“Think about the chatbot as your receptionist,” says Schneider. “There are a number of frequently asked questions that people – who phone into your business – ask, for example what times are you open? A chatbot can be programmed to give this information to people. Chatbots can also direct the person to someone who can assist them further with their query.”
Chatbots are also able to introduce your company to those people who message your page. It’s very easy to get up an automated response that gives a short introduction to who your company is and what you stand for. Be careful about making this too salesy. Remember that the purpose of Facebook Messenger is communication and not advertisement. If you want to advertise on Facebook keep it to your page where there are many advertising options for you to choose from.
In this way, the chatbot provides the customer with the solution to a pressing need – for information – that they may have. It provides your enquirers with this information in real time so freeing up your employees to do other things. At the moment, these bots are only able to answer very simple questions as the technology has not evolved to such an extent that they are able to process complex logic questions. However, with the rate at which tech is evolving, we are sure that this ability will be forthcoming soon.
Want to learn more about social media marketing? Check out the Digital School of Marketing’s Social Media Marketing Course for more information.
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