We often see social media through the prism of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In fact, instant messaging apps take up most of the social media channels we use now. And there, marketing has been almost nonexistent in the past years. Customers would write on Messenger or Skype and brands only responded. The emergence of multifunctional chatbots, for the first time in the marketing history, has allowed for a more proactive approach toward the user. It turns out, however, that not everyone is ready for it because the market is still at the stage of early adopters. [Read also: Technology and PR. What’s changed over the years for the industry]
The cultural shock on Messenger
In 2016, the average response time for a Facebook’s business page was 10 hours. And it’s not so bad, considering that some companies knowingly neglect this channel. People generally consider it to be rude when a friend leaves their query for hours without a response, let alone when a brand does it. The implementation of well-calibrated chatbots allowed the reaction time to be reduced to seconds. On the other hand, there is no greater disappointment when our chatbot is faking to be a human and the user discovers it. It’s definitely better to get it all out in the open and create a tool that is tailored to the real needs of your users. To do it, you will need a detailed brief. And don’t try to cut corners here because if you want to sell to and serve your customers through a chatbot, you need to approach the process precisely already at the planning stage.
Be proactive and cool
Messenger, WhatsApp, or Slack are a natural extension of every smartphone user’s arm, if they want to stay in contact with their friends, family, people from work, and now also with brands. We, the instant messaging users, send memes, GIFs, invitations, warnings, shopping lists, or emoticons to each other constantly. At times, we tend to be informal even in formal situations—it’s because instant messengers can shorten the distance quickly. On the other hand, we will think twice as hard before we knock on somebody’s door than before we send a short message via Messenger to someone. Following this logic, brands should not go too far with being formal in their messages. Through a chatbot, we have plenty of time for talking to users, so don’t just reveal the entire brand strategy in the first 30 seconds of your conversation. Brands should welcome their users, greet them, use jokes, and convey good and important messages.
Communicators closer to business
Less than two years ago, Facebook IQ conducted a survey about the use of mobile messaging apps among 12,500 people worldwide. It revealed some very promising trends among respondents. And today—in the context of chatbot development—these trends find confirmation in many case studies of businesses implementing this tool in their organizations.
● 63% of respondents claim that getting into conversations via instant messenger apps with businesses has increased over the past two years
● 56% would prefer to message rather than call the company’s customer service
● 61% like getting personalized messages from companies
● 50% are more likely to shop at a company with which they can exchange messages.
That’s just a small part of all the positive voices out there. Today, on Messenger, there are 300,000 active chat apps, which serve the business also in the context of sales. The whole world is sending messages, so if you don’t want to sleep through the moment, you should learn why your company needs a chatbot on Messenger. [You may also check this live-chat infographic].
Usefulness above all
User-friendly design is the very foundation of every product. When it comes to chatbots, the idea behind them is pretty much the same as with other applications in the mobile apps market. If a chatbot on Messenger is to be popular, used commonly, and associated with something cool—it needs to be useful. It might be push notifications reminding about a doctor’s visit, it might be a simple quiz which gives advice on what kind of meat we should eat, or an easy-to-use app to help you choose the best skis for yourself or tell you where is the nearest shop. Contests, quizzes, and games are attractive too, in some target groups. And all of them are great tools to help you build an engaged user base.
The best user base
It expands with Messenger chatbots. It is being developed and enhanced every day with new users coming in. Everyone who has ever interacted with Messenger chatbots appears in the chatbot user base with his or her basic data. You can easily collect more data and enrich the database by asking questions. You may encourage users to fill in forms, take quizzes, etc. And at the end of the day, what you get is a database of perfectly segmented and profiled users containing plenty of qualitative data. [How to make your PR content more data-driven]
Boost your user base & sales
Messenger chat apps offer account linking. It lets you log in to your favorite e-shop’s chatbot and see your cart, delivery details, or any coupons available. It’s a personal space where up-selling is more than welcome. A chatbot is a virtual, personal assistant to which only users talk. By the way… This feature provides the best direct F2Fchannel that lets people recommend your product to their friends… Do not forget about the “share” button!
The potential is… huge!
A while back, the first SEO people learned how to easily dominate the SERP, and now the first brands on Facebook have learned how to build gigantic communities of engaged users. Today, we come across less and fewer examples of “being the first” at something. Especially when the term “social media” continues to be associated with a particular platform that is available to many. Communicators are trying to reverse this trend by resorting to a very personal and close communication level through chatbots. The sooner you learn how to use them in your business, the sooner you start reaping the benefits. [10 Most Important SEO Tips]