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Why Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Should Include Chatbots

Business.com / Social Media / Last Modified: September 20, 2017
Photo credit: denvitruk/Shutterstock

Chatbots are a critical part of a brand's social media marketing. Here are some tips to make them work for you.

Chatbots have been the talk of the technology and business world for quite some time. Experts believe that chatbots are today what the web was two decades ago and the exponential growth is just around the corner. A recent report by Retale, a location-based mobile advertising service provider, indicates that 58 percent of users who interacted with chatbots on various social media platforms termed their experience as a positive one.

Here is how using a chatbot can help you as an enterprise chalk out a new direction for your social media marketing plans while enhancing your customer engagement and brand value.

Why they must be part of your marketing strategy 

Chatbots are essentially automated systems operating on a chat platform. These platforms allow a seamless integration of developed chatbots into various messaging apps. As a result, chatbots can respond to user queries without any human intervention. The Facebook Messenger bot is a prime example of how chatbots are engaging users in online chat. Chatbots are based on artificial intelligence tools built with language assistance to mimic conversations. The AI interface allows chatbots to understand and interpret what a user may be asking and respond accordingly. What's more interesting is that the chatbot solutions are not limited to text-based chats – they can respond to audio and video conversations as well as GIFs.

Social media started off as a small tool for marketing a product or service, but it has developed over the years into an independent channel for marketing teams. The use of chatbots complements the social media marketing mix, increasing web traffic and driving sales, as chatbots drive users to the apt business vertical. Tommy Hilfiger, for example, has designed its chatbot, TMY.GRL, as a fashionista that drives trends along with the marketing campaigns and helps with user queries.

Tips to implement chatbots in social media marketing

Independent professionals and large enterprises can use chatbots with equal efficiency. Here are some tips to ensure the chatbots offer a perfect social media marketing mix, rather than underutilizing or going overboard with them.

Intelligent social media assistance

The popularity of chatbots has resulted in extensive development of chatbots in the tech world. Based on the underlying chatbot platform, these bots can be broadly classified into two distinct types. One is the basic rule-based ones that work with respect to certain predefined rules and inputs programmed during the development phase. The second is the new-generation, AI-based chatbots. These AI chatbots are preferable, since they do not require an exact input command to give out relevant information. The more intelligent the bot, the higher the chance of customer satisfaction post-interaction.

Going beyond Facebook 

Facebook, arguably the most popular social media platform, opened up its messenger app for third-party chatbots in 2016. Over the following year, successful enterprises and brands leveraged chatbots as part of their marketing strategies as well as post-sales customer care. Today, when you interact with an enterprise on Facebook, the chances are high that you as a consumer are interacting with a bot.

While Facebook bot development has become quite popular and mainstream, chatbot integration needs to be common for all social media platforms. Other social media platforms like Twitter, Kik and WeChat are also allowing chatbot integration. Domino's Pizza is an apt example of a brand significantly improving its marketing and customer support using chatbots on various platforms, including its official website and call-in help lines.

Nurturing campaigns 

Many businesses do not maximize the chatbot deliverability, as they fail to set up chatbots optimally for their unique needs. For example, chatbots can build user listings, like email lists that are far more centralized. Chatbots can be tweaked to send forms, PDF files and worksheets besides text chats. All of these features can be used as part of various marketing campaigns of a brand. Using customized chatbots for such nurturing campaigns helps in automating visitor experience, offering businesses relevant information and directing the user to the appropriate business context.

Successful brands are using AI chatbots as an essential part of all their marketing plans. Optimizing and customizing chatbots can allow for a great marketing tool as well as a brand enhancer for businesses.

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