In an article on Forbes, it was stated that 1 in 4 social media users follow a brand on social media. It has come out that this behaviour may result in them making a purchase. Brands have taken this huge potential that social media provides – in terms of converting users into customers – and have looked at ways in which they can further leverage the power of social media marketing for their digital marketing campaigns.
A ‘chatbot’ – which is defined as a computer program that is designed in order to simulate conversations with users – has been employed on social media in order to assist brands to make the online experience of their company seamless for the user. (The most well-known of these chatbots is Facebook Messenger.) Other chatbots that are familiar to many people are Siri, Cortana and Alexa.
Chatbots have an incredible part to play in social media marketing as they ultimately become another ‘employee’ in your business and help to spread your brand message on social media. Companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of having a chatbot act as the spokesperson for them. According to a study by Oracle, 80% of businesses want to have a chatbot in place by 2020.
The power of the chatbot on Facebook
Facebook has 2.38 billion active monthly users. There are 65 billion local businesses who use Facebook Pages for the business. These monthly users will be contacting the businesses who make use of the Free Pages feature either by writing on their walls or sending them private messages through Facebook Messenger.
A user’s experience of a company is determined by the service that they receive from the company. In other words:
• Does the company offer me speedy resolutions to my queries?
• Do they make me feel special that I’m a client of their business? What added value do they give me?
• If I complain, are my complaints dealt with speedily?
In other words, if a company communicates well and timeously with their clients these customers will rate the business highly in terms of customer service.
What do Facebook chatbots do?
Chatbots – some of which are integrated into Facebook Messenger already – provide organisations the opportunity to be in constant communication with their clients. As the chatbot can be programmed with various automated responses to questions they can take away the necessity of a human employee responding manually to the query being posed.
Think about the chatbot as your receptionist. There are certain frequently asked questions that people who phone your business ask, such as what times are you open? A chatbot can be programmed to give these responses to people who ask these questions. They can also direct the person to someone who can help 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.