Social media marketing trends change all the time, but chatbots will become even more crucial for marketers in the years ahead. Since their start in the mid-19th century, the technology that drives them has undergone tremendous changes. Today, they’re deployed by companies for a variety of uses. By concentrating on personalization and other factors, chatbots can help improve overall social media marketing engagement and other benefits.
Social media chatbots for marketing
In the 21st century, social media chatbots used for brand marketing have come a long way. When looking at the purpose of chatbots on social media, it’s easy to see a variety of uses for many companies in an array of industries. Here’s a look at some of the most basic uses for chatbots in social media marketing online.
People like to feel welcomed. Greeting people effectively can help lower their defenses and make it easier to deliver a message, even if it’s a sales pitch. Conversational marketing is a science and an art form, but it’s important to make sure consumers feel a positive emotional connection. A good SM chatbot can automate greeting people while also ensuring they aren’t intimidated or turned off by the experience.
Facebook Messenger for business can be a great tool for communicating with people who are interested in a brand or company. However, it’s tough to have a human available all the time to answer incoming messages, especially for companies that receive a lot. Many automated tools for greeting people are available for the Facebook Messenger platform, and many more will be released in the years ahead.
With so many options available to consumers these days, deciding what to buy and what to pass over can be a time-consuming process. Chatbots can help with this problem by offering recommendations based on several factors. After a person interacts with the chatbot and gives it information on what they have liked in the past, it’s easy for them to receive recommendations.
Using automated recommendations can also be a way to improve Social Media Marketing Engagement across different platforms. By seeding your communities with recommendations, you can give them a reason to get involved and engage with your content. This can be something as simple as “if you enjoyed X, you might also like Y.” Giving the recommendations in a conversational format can make it seem less like advertising.
Frequently asked questions
Another area where chatbots can help business owners is by automating answering Frequently Asked Questions. FAQs can be useful if a person can easily find the answers they want without wading through a lot of questions and answers they don’t care about to find what they do. Quite a few companies use chatbots to allow people to ask a question and get the answer quickly without a lot of searching through or reading irrelevant information.
Another benefit of this method is that chatbots can collect new questions that don’t have answers yet so programmers can add the information. This saves business owners from having to hire someone to answer the same questions repeatedly. Best of all is the way some of these chatbots can learn and evolve as people ask more questions and ask them in a variety of different ways.
User information collection
To improve Social Media Marketing Engagement, it’s important to know as much as possible about users interested in a company or brand. Chatbots can make gathering user information easier and a more seamless process by using conversational techniques to engage users. A well-designed chatbot can drastically improve the amount of data you can collect from users without it seeming too heavy-handed.
The act of processing orders is usually already automated to an extent, but chatbots can make the experience even better for everyone involved. Chatbots can offer consumers even more personalization when they’re purchasing products or services. They can also upsell certain products or services when appropriate. A streamlined system for taking orders that uses chatbots in the process can make sure the customer always receives what they want.
Pros of social media chatbots
When using chatbots on social media, listing out the pros and cons and knowing how they relate to a specific industry is important. Below, we go over some positives and negatives.
Benefits of chatbots
Here’s a quick list of some positives for using chatbots on social media for marketing.
- Quick Customer Service – Most humans hate waiting. While people enjoy talking with a real person more than an antiquated automated system, modern chatbots go a long way in making customer service quick and painless.
- Lower Labor Costs – Hiring enough people to manage customer service, order taking, marketing, and other aspects of a business can be expensive. Quality social media chatbots can help business owners save time and money by lowering labor costs and freeing up humans to work on more important areas of the business.
- Always Working – One of the best things about chatbots is that once they’re deployed, they keep working non-stop. They’re even able to work with multiple people at the same time. Imagine having a workforce that keeps going 24/7. Offering consumers after-hours customer support helps with ensuring consumers are satisfied.
- Good for Qualifying Leads – Qualified leads are goldmines for businesses selling products or services. By not wasting time on people who are not interested in what they are offering, businesses can deliver more value to the people who are genuinely interested. Using questions and other means, chatbots can help business owners weed out low-quality leads.
- Smart Upselling – By giving a chatbot access to previous orders and other information collected about a consumer, chatbots can effectively upsell products and services with a high success rate. This can improve a business’ overall bottom line while allowing them to make consumers aware of all the options they might be interested in.
How to use chatbots in SMM
Current social media advertising trends predict increased use of chatbots in the years ahead. Those looking to use this ever-evolving technology only need to go through a few steps to implement SMM chatbots. After defining the exact needs of the chatbot, it’s important to find the best chatbot platform to use. Luckily, many options are available. Additionally, some media companies are specializing in creating chatbots based on specific criteria.
- Do It Yourself – Creating and launching a social media chatbot isn’t rocket science, but there’s a steep learning curve for implementing and maintaining social media chatbots that work well. While it’s possible for companies to deploy their own chatbots for SMM, they should be aware of the time commitment necessary to do it correctly.
- Hire Professionals – The other option is to hire professionals with experience in building and maintaining live social media chatbots in a variety of formats on a wide range of platforms. When it comes to deploying effective SMM chatbots, those who know the technology in and out and have been through the process before are in a good position to offer solutions that will positively affect the bottom line of a business.
As you can see, hiring a digital marketing company to build and implement social media chatbots is a wise decision. Next, we take a look at why hiring professionals to create and maintain chatbots is a smart idea.
Messenger chatbot services in demand
Facebook messenger bots are very effective, but some smart business owners don’t want to do the work themselves. Not many digital marketing companies offering this service yet, but the ones who do are professionals who can translate simple chatbot ideas into reality. Companies offering these services are in demand for a reason – they provide results.
When looking for a digital marketing agency to handle chatbot implementation, it’s a good idea to look at those companies that already offer a variety of digital marketing services like SEO, PPC, Facebook ads management, and WordPress mastery. This is because a good chatbot compliments existing social media marketing strategies.
Social media marketing chatbot examples
Here are six different examples of social media chatbots that are currently available. While each of them have similarities, all the companies have added their own flair to the chatbot and have seen success implementing the technology in the real world. These are just a small sampling of all the SMM chatbots available today, but they serve as good examples of what’s available in 2019.
Using the Chatfuel platform, HelloFresh created a critically acclaimed chatbot that has reduced customer service wait time and more. One thing this company does right is not pretending that their chatbot is a live person. Most people can tell the difference between a human and a chatbot still. HelloFresh introduces their chatbot in a way that helps consumers know their precious time isn’t being wasted. Using prompts to help things run smoothly, the HelloFresh chatbot is a great example of the technology being used effectively.
While simple in its premise, the Domino’s Pizza chatbot allows users to order their favorites using conversational techniques that mimic talking to a human and ordering over the phone. One interesting feature is that the chatbot remembers users’ earlier orders, making it super simple for them to order the same thing again. Another interesting aspect is the ability of the chatbot to track the delivery, letting users know when their favorite food is close to being delivered. Massively created the Domino’s Pizza chatbot.
Taco Bell has a chatbot that interacts with users on Slack, a popular messaging service. People who interact with the chatbot can link to their Taco Bell account, easily ordering via the service. The chatbot, which has a bit of personality baked in, uses uses Wit.ai for Natural Language understanding. Personality comes from things like favorite movies and other little touches that make the chatbot seem more real. The chatbot was created by agency Deutsch.
Starbucks has two different chatbots available, one integrated into their mobile app, and the other available as an Amazon Alexa skill. Both are able to recognize a customer’s voice, and order through an “innovative conversational ordering system.” Orders are directed to a nearby store based on the user’s location. These two Starbucks chatbots are both good examples of making it easy to interact with chatbots for practical purposes.
Sephora really makes use of the technology with two separate chatbots available; Sephora Reservation Assistant and Sephora Virtual Artist. The first can parse natural language, making it easy for users to get their questions answered. According to the company, they’ve seen a higher conversion rate since implementing the chatbot Assi.st developed. Their other chatbot, Sephora Virtual Artist, developed by ModiFace, allows users to upload a photo to get recommendations for which lipstick color to choose. Both are great examples of using chatbots to make life easier for consumers.
Isabel is a Twitter chatbot that allows users to play a game via Direct Messages. Using multiple-choice questions, the software guides users through a gaming experience. As a reward, players who do well are given unique GIFs and other exclusive content to download. This interactive chatbot “game” was created by IC Group, Twofifteenmccann, and Emerging Media Technologies. At the time of writing this article, the Twitter account for the chatbot has over 4,500 followers on the social media platform.
Future of social media marketing bots
The future of chatbots is bright. Personalization of social media bots will become even bigger in the years ahead with new technological breakthroughs expected. Current social media advertising trends show a big interest in this technology from both consumers and those marketing to them. Smart companies are already investing in this type of social media marketing because it’s the future.
As the ability of AI increases, chatbots will become even better at communicating with humans. Each breakthrough will be used to better serve everyone in the equation – both consumers and business owners. The future is bright for chatbots in the world of social media marketing. From text chat to voice interactions, chatbots will become an even more important layer between people and companies in the years ahead.
Oisin is a software engineer based in Galway, Ireland with a special interest in chatbots. He is the author of Chatbots: An Introduction And Easy Guide To Making Your Own.