Are you feeling a little frustrated with the results of your current digital marketing efforts? Wanting to truly get a leg up on your competition? Looking for that platform that allows you to easily communicate with customers but that isn’t already saturated with marketers? We may have found your holy grail: Facebook chatbots.
Chatbots are a type of “messenger marketing,” insider lingo for the use of messenger apps like Facebook Messenger to reach and communicate with clientele. And this type of marketing is growing in popularity. Like, really growing. In general, people now use messenger apps more than social networks. According to Facebook:
- 63% of people are messaging more than they did two years ago,
- 80% of adults and 91% of teens use messaging apps every day,
- 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message, and
- 56% of people would rather message than call customer service.
Why Does Messenger Marketing Work?
The reasons for such compelling stats are clear: We live on our smartphones and want to connect in smartphone-friendly ways. More so, we want conversation, communication that feels personal and one-on-one.
Unless email marketing campaigns are optimized for mobile devices, they can be difficult to view on a phone. That’s a big reason why email campaign open rates range, on average, between six percent and 19 percent, while messenger campaign open rates hover around upwards of 80 percent. And while email campaigns can absolutely be a vital part of your marketing strategy (we plan to talk about them on the blog in the near future), they are certainly less interactive than messenger marketing approaches like chatbots.
Right, So What on Earth Is a Chatbot?
The future is here: A chatbot is a computer program, powered by a set of rules and artificial intelligence (AI), that “chats” with customers. It can live in a variety of platforms. For example, if you’ve gotten SMS notifications from your doctor about appointments, asking you to text back a 1 to confirm or 2 to cancel, that’s an example of a very simple chatbot. Or maybe you’ve interacted with a customer service chatbot online about, say, returning an item and not even noticed you were interacting with an automated assistant. You can build a chatbot on Facebook’s Messenger platform that automatically launches and interacts with your customers and clients; this is what we recommend (more in a minute).
AI comes into play in that the chatbot uses logic in interacting with your customer and can understand language, not just commands. Unlike email autoresponders, chatbots allow for true personalization: They can respond to clicked links and other actions the users take as well as keywords they type and much more. That’s why this high-tech form of engagement has been dubbed “conversational commerce.” In fact, chatbots can do just about anything a website can…and do it in a way that’s more tailored and reciprocal.
How Do I Get Chatting?
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert at AI to create an effective, engaging chatbot; there are countless chatbot platform tools to help you. We recommend building a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Why? It has the most users: an enormous reach of 1.3 billion per month. What’s more, it regularly tests and expands the capabilities of Messenger specifically in regards to chatbots.
We believe the best Facebook chatbot service out there now is ManyChat. But other options include ChattyPeople, Botsify, and Chatfuel. You can also build your bot directly through Facebook Messenger, and they offer lots of resources to help you accomplish that build.
Ready to chat about chatbots and become an early adopter of this awesome marketing tool? Contact us today! And stay tuned for a future posts about chatbot best practices.