As many of you are probably well aware, social media has been revolutionizing the marketing industry for years. Digital marketing surpassed traditional strategies long ago, which created a whole new arena for creating brand awareness and engagement. As social media marketing becomes increasingly integral to overall digital success, businesses are constantly looking for ways to stand out against their competition and create lasting, meaningful impressions on their audience.
The employment of technology in the digital marketing sphere has developed drastically in a relatively short period of time. Paid media campaigns, geo-targeting, search engine optimization software and algorithms are just a few examples of technological advancements that have shaped digital marketing. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to be on top of the latest marketing technology to ensure your brand doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
According to SmallBizGenius, statistics show that 80% of companies will be using chatbots by the end of 2020. Eighty percent! If you don’t already have a chatbot, it’s not too late; and if you do, it is essential that you optimize its use to get as much benefit possible from the amazing technology at your fingertips.
A chabot is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered software that chats with users online to help when they have questions about a brand or need guidance when navigating a site, making a purchase, etc. Chatbots are typically coded using if-then scenarios, which help the AI learn how to appropriately reply to questions. Humans can use this method – or a variety of others – to program chatbots to act as automated customer service representatives. AI deep learning processes mean that chatbots usually improve over time; as they chat with more and more people, they are able to store and learn from past conversations and develop more intelligent dialogues.
The two overarching ways to classify chatbots are informational and utility, according to their function. Informational bots aim to engage customers and personalize their experience by delivering content in a new and exciting way – via online chat. Utility bots are designed to solve problems; their capabilities range from answering users’ questions to assisting with online purchasing, and even completing clerical tasks like scheduling meetings and disseminating reminders. Depending on your brand, the platform you intend to employ the chatbot, and your business’s overall goals, one kind of chatbot may prove more useful social media marketing amplification than the other.
What Can a Chatbot Actually Do for My Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Bots have the power to rejuvenate your entire marketing strategy, if employed efficiently. Chatbots on social media provide a service for people online by offering quick and direct solutions to an inexhaustible list of customer queries. One of the most advantageous features of social media bots is that consumers can both seek and receive assistance while they are already on a specific site; landing page, Facebook page, customer service page, you name it. Chatbots eliminate the grueling process of seeking help over the phone or via email, which can be both frustrating and time consuming, by existing and engaging users during their normal browsing experience.
Consumers are also more likely to build a stronger and more authentic relationship with a brand that they have one-on-one interactions with. The convenience of quick customer support – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – encourages a consumer to trust in a brand and feel valued as a potential customer. People are now, more than ever, aware of their buying power and influence and are more likely to support brands that appreciate their business.
Key to chatbots’ success in social media marketing is that they can be integrated onto social media messaging platforms. Some of the most common platforms used are Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, Kik. The advantage here is that chatbots are able to hook people while they’re already going about their regular media habits, making it easier than ever for businesses to connect with consumers.
Social media marketing chatbots therefore eliminate the responsibility of consumers to take action. Traditional marketing practices (print, mail, broadcast, etc.) require people to take the time to respond, remember to do so, and switch mediums. The odds of someone today seeing a commercial on TV, remembering the product, and then searching it on their computer to make a purchase has decreased immensely. Social media chatbots are able to blend each step of the purchasing process into one cohesive and simple process.
Chatbots’ social media functionalities provide brands with an opportunity to connect with an unprecedented number of individuals. By facilitating a larger quantity of marketing conversations, chatbots are able to create higher conversion rates and improve overall brand sentiment across audiences. Bots are so great for automating traditional customer service tasks – without sacrificing quality – that businesses can reallocate and refocus human efforts in other areas that need more support.
Chatbots in Customer Service
By no means is this a claim that chatbots are ready to replace humans in customer service entirely; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Every customer will not be completely satisfied with the result of their interaction with a chatbot customer service representative. In the present moment, social bots have the most potential to increase efficiency and complement human efforts making it convenient to start the marketing conversation. Person to person conversations can actually be optimized by the initial steps taken by chatbots on social media platforms.
When a consumer cannot get to the answer they’re looking for via chatbot, they will request contact information to get in touch with a human. That is great for two main reasons. First, the human representative is spared from entertaining all of the conversations that can be sufficiently handled with a bot. Second, representatives can access the information given to the bot, and adjust the conversation accordingly. That way, a customer who has already spoken with a bot will not have to repeat the basic information they’re already given to the chatbot, and the service representative can get straight to the root of their inquiry. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved, and it all began while the consumer was merely online browsing.
Overall, chatbots can have an extremely positive and important impact on social media marketing. With a range of functionalities that can be personalized to individual business needs, chatbots are being adopted at a rapid pace across industries – and for a good reason.