Used the right way, chatbots can boost leads, customer engagement and sales.
Technological advancements have made it possible for marketers and business owners to strategize their marketing campaigns in various social media platforms. Consumers nowadays rely on the internet when they want to look for products or services they need.
Social media has opened up new opportunities for businesses to grow without requiring huge upfront marketing budgets. According to a report from eMarketer, 45% of consumers said they make purchasing decisions based on the opinions posted by consumers on social media.
According to a report from Hubspot, 92% of online marketers consider their social media marketing strategies crucially important to their business or specific campaigns they are running. Nearly 50% of marketers who utilized social media in the past two years report improvements in their conversions.
Managing social media campaigns can, indeed, be daunting and require a lot of effort and oversight to attain your goals. However, there are now convenient tools offered by social media platforms that allow businesses to connect, interact with, and communicate with their customers and improve their marketing executions. One such tool is a chatbot.
More and more businesses are using chatbots as a proper marketing tool.
Why social media marketers are using chatbots
Social media chatbots can automate and facilitate many social media marketing tasks, and devising creative and efficient ways to utilize them can take your marketing game (and your business) to the next level.
Facebook is the top social media site, and chances are you already have a business account for Facebook. Within Facebook Messenger, you can create a Facebook Messenger bot to communicate with your customers that helps your business achieve several goals. Below are five reasons why your business should utilize Facebook Messenger chatbots in your social media marketing efforts.
1. Chatbots increase visitor engagement.
Chatbots can provide a personalized experience for your visitors by monitoring their posts and noting their personal preferences. Over time, chatbots can provide accurate information, including products, to your visitors based on their preferences. This can help your business attain more engagement with consumers.
2. They help spread consumer awareness of your brand.
A chatbot not only delivers content, but you can use chatbots to deliver specific information about your brand. For instance, you can send industry-related news that may interest your visitors or inspire them. You may also do minifeatures like a "brand fact of the day" or a shortlist.
3. Chatbots provide personalized content delivery.
Marketers and business owners strive daily to determine the best ways to attract their targeted audiences in a more personalized form – chatbots can do just this; they can be programmed to deliver personalized content based on your visitors' preferences. Just by asking a few questions, it can give visitors the content they are looking for or need.
4. They provide analytics instantly.
Data gathered by chatbots, such as preferences, purchase history, customer behavior, and demographics, are crucial for you to create personalized products or services offers, promotions or advertisements.
5. Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer service.
Customers always have questions about products and services, and they expect an immediate response. If they don't get an immediate answer, they seek other options. Chatbots can help you establish timely, excellent customer service with a lot less tedium.
They can help you build good relationships with your customers while not having to hire so many customer service representatives to handle common inquiries. You can use chatbots for your general, frequently asked questions while letting your personnel resolve more pressing concerns.
Due to their recent prevalence, people are now more willing to interact and communicate with chatbots. On Facebook alone, there are around 300,000 chatbots installed in Messenger.
How major brands currently use chatbots on Facebook Messenger
Below are a few examples of how different brands are using chatbots on Facebook Messenger. You might want to consider some of these applications for how your business helps customers.
TechCrunch's chatbot sends its followers the content they want, when they want it. Followers choose the number of times they'd like to receive new content and what kind of content they want. Users aren't spammed, and the chatbot tracks the types of articles users read so it delivers similar content and suggests new articles for followers.
Sephora's chatbot, which the company calls your "personal assistant," provides makeup tutorials, product reviews and ratings for customers shopping the beauty company's online store. Also, consumers can book appointments for makeovers or skincare consultations using Sephora's chatbot. Customers don't have to call their local store to schedule these appointments; the chatbot asks the customer for their location and schedules the appointment.
Spotify makes it easy and convenient for their followers and subscribers to search, listen, and even share music with their family and friends. Once you get started, you're given playlist recommendations that are based on your mood, the music genre you want and what you are doing. Chatbots make it easier for both businesses and customers to interact and engage to communicate about what they need and want.
The limitations of chatbots
While it may seem like chatbots are miracle workers, they're not without their drawbacks. Many misunderstand what chatbots do and what they're good for. Chatbots do indeed make social media marketing easier, but they don't make it hands-free. Knowing their limitations allows you to use chatbots wisely within your own business.
1. They're not a "set it and forget it" tech tool.
No matter how good the chatbot is, you can't leave it to its own devices and not do anything else. Chatbots automate chat correspondences with customers, but they're not a computer version of you. They still need to be monitored to ensure they're providing satisfactory responses to consumer questions and feedback.
Chatbots are not there to replace customer support jobs; they are there to supplement your customer support team's efforts and make their jobs a little bit easier.
2. Chatbots handle small problems, not big ones.
Chatbots are usually designed with live chat takeover, which lets a human jump in at any time. While good chatbots can learn or be programmed to handle higher-level concerns as time passes, there should always be the option that an individual can intervene when an issue has been escalated and requires more serious help.
Even if your chatbot has been programmed over a period of time to handle just about every single problem you can think of, it still isn't capable of handling inquiries that involve nuance and human understanding.
While chatbots make customer services more convenient, only human representatives can handle customers with unusual requests and inquiries, in addition to resolving complicated problems.
3. Chatbots can be abused.
In using a chatbot, your aim might be to let the tool handle every inquiry, and while you might think it's not a big deal to use a chatbot as a way to respond to customer concerns, it matters greatly in the long run. Not having adequate measures in place to address and resolve customer concerns and complaints is unethical.
Another potential abuse with chatbots is chat blasting, where you send messages to contacts on your list. Right now, customers can simply not respond to your blast, but if you chat blast contacts with reckless abandon, you may get the attention of Facebook. If your activities are found to violate Facebook's terms and conditions, you may be banned from the platform.
Bottom line on Facebook Messenger chatbots
Marketers and business owners can create intelligent chatbots within Facebook Messenger to act as a useful and helpful resource for their customers. Your business can offer consumers extensive information about your brand, products or services through a chatbot. Many chatbots seamlessly integrate into Messenger. Regardless of the type or size of your business, many chatbots take just a few minutes to set up, and then you're on your way to increased sales, leads and higher customer engagement.