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Let's Talk: Social Media and the onset of Chatbots

Updated: Dec 31, 2022





What the Heck is a Chatbot, Anyway?


Chatbots. This term might be new to some users. You might have seen one on a website but are sure what it was. To explain, the tiny chat box that appears automatically, commonly on the bottom right corner of the screen, is called a chatbot. By technical definition *clears throat* it is a computer program simulated to communicate with human users regarding various topics.


One of the classic examples of a chatbot is the customer service chatbot seen on many popular websites and apps - illustrated in the image below.


example of a chatbot messenger

Source: Livechatinc


Apart from this chatbot, there are various other types of chatbots that are extremely helpful in managing customer requests while you are offline. Chatbots provide streamlined ways to automate our customer service and sales processes. Today, there are many chatbots to choose from for each various social media network.


Here in this article, we will take a look into various types of chatbots and how they can be good for your business. We will also establish an understanding of using chatbots with social media and how it is helpful.




Chatbots and their types


To fully understand chatbots and their use, we need to discuss the technology behind them. How they work is an important factor for deciding which bots to use in your social media strategy. Chatbot technology can be categorized into two types:


  • The first being a closed-source chatbot, has pre-programmed questions and answers. These chatbots don’t learn on their own and are commonly referred to as Rule-based chatbots. An example of this would be Facebook's automated responses (on Business Pages) and Messenger Apps.


  • The next type of chatbot is far more advanced and recently has become quite popular in the digital marketing world. These chatbots are considered AI-powered bots. They can reply to random unprogrammed questions (similar to Google) along with smart learning side by side technology. The technology that governs this behavior is called Natural language processing and to put simply, it "learns as it goes". ChatGPT is an example of this technology.




Basically, chatbots are designed on these two concepts but they also have varieties based on the application area. Giant tech firms use chatbots for various purposes to help and assist their customers. You have probably interacted with a couple already. Social Media websites use chatbots for various purposes and agencies favor bots for Messenger Ads as they can be quite flexible to your ad goals and have high convertibility.


The most commonly found chatbots used on social media platforms are as follows:


#1. Customer Service Chatbot

Customer Service is the most demanding job sector today and every one of us has engaged with at least one customer service representative. What if you need the help at a late hour when no human support is available? Chatbot has entered the chat. These chatbots are designed in a way that they answer the basic queries of the users and can usually file your request with a representative if the information needed is not readily available.


#2. Assistant Chatbot

The second in this list of chatbots is the assistant chatbots. These are most frequently used by Apple product users all over the world. One of the primary examples of an assistant chatbot is Siri from Apple or Amazon's Alexa. Chatbots like these are used to obtain information on large databases (such as the internet or your order history). Social media leverages the power of these chatbots to suggest products to the users based on their preferences. In short, assistant chatbots simplify the process of finding and buying things for the customers.


#3. The Branded Chatbot

This type of chatbot is used to suggest specific product information. Often used in the retail space to suggest fresh fashion styles based on user preference. The general working of this type of chatbot is like asking questions about the style choices of the users and providing them with choices of clothes to buy based on that. One classic example of this type of chatbot is Tommy Hilfiger’s Messenger Chatbot named TMY.GRL. Social Media sites can also make and use these chatbots to show users with posts based on user preferences.




How Chatbots Can Benefit Your Social Media Marketing


In the social media space , chatbots are used resolve a customer issue, provide information, or just get to know your audience. A chatbot can drive sales and brand awareness as well as provide assistance when your team is technically off the clock. As we are well versed with the type of chatbots in the market, let’s take a look at how they are taking the social media market by storm.




Source: Later.com


1. Personal engagement

Chatbots can be a great tool for actively engaging your user on the front end. A chatbot can provide more details than what is contained in an ad or post and such can help you continue the conversation from these entry points. Our favorite ways to engage include interactive prompts and questionnaires. Chatbots are a great way to get to know your audience on a more personal level and expand your persona knowledge (think: research)!


2. Suggestions and marketing of products

As stated above, ads and other web 2.0 marketing content does not have the ability to interact with users by asking questions or offering personalized solutions. An example of product marketing could be a chatbot that asks users a general questions like, what is your dream destination or what is your favorite music style. Based on these answers, and the excellent programming of your chatbot technology, it can then suggest products and services catered to their interest-type or needs.


3. Increase Sales and Conversion Rates

Ok, so the question all business owners are asking: Do Chatbots really help my bottom line? Research has shown, people who have interacted with chatbots are 67% more likely to purchase items from a business. One way brands and businesses can use chatbots is by offering promotions via Facebook Messenger as soon as a customer visits their profile.


In this example, company JW PEI, has a messenger bot greet users with a welcome message and then immediately follow-up with a discount code and a direct link to their cart. This is a great example of automating sales processes and increasing overall brand satisfaction. Not to mention, the hours saved on labor. So we would answer: Yes. Chatbots are a great way to drive sales and increase conversion rates!






4. Feedback and Reviews

Another one of our favorite ways to use chatbots, is to incorporate a follow-up sequence aimed at collecting customer feedback and reviews. Social proof is invaluable in today's world. According to research, 77% of customers "always read" reviews before making a purchase online (BrightLocal, 2022). By automating these reminders, you not only increase your reviews on top platforms like Google and Facebook, but you also increase the likelihood of purchase from future customers.



Conclusion


These are the basic uses of a chatbot in social media marketing. It's important to note that a chatbot is not a readily-available feature from an app.


They are obtained by two ways: Either in-house (if you have skilled developers on your team) or you can partner with a third-party marketing agency that specializes in chatbots.


If you’re looking to add a chatbot to your brand’s marketing portfolio, contact Young Media to see how we can help.




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