Chatbots are taking over conversations
Remember the movie Ex Machina? where a programmer gets to spend a week in a villa with an A.I powered humanoid & found out the robots intelligence capability is far superior to the scientists predicted? Well, your chatbot may not go that far in terms of A.I capability, but I am going to explain how you can create a compelling conversation experience through the social chatbot, why it matters & how brands, organization & individual influencers can harness it for greater customer engagement.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated assistant much like Siri or Cortana, that can use artificial intelligence, natural language processing or directional method to effectively run conversation & make the communication more engaging.
Why Social Chatbot?
While you can build chatbot for multiple platforms, social chatbot makes sense, because your target audiences are already there. Here, we will mostly talk about Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Why?
– Messenger Platforms are being used by over 1.2 billion people every month.
What are the features of a Social Chatbot?
Chatbot can automate the direction, talk to the people directly or do both at the same time. It uses visualization more than talking & sending text messages. It can also create new connections by giving the sharing ability of your bot to the new people through messenger platform.
You can send plain text messages, use Rich Media like GIF’s, Audio or Video or create messages with pre-built structural templates.
There are several conversational methods you can use to direct people to your targeted destination or conversation.
- You can use directional button and point the users to the action & task you want them to complete.
- Use artificial intelligence to identify & understand what other people are saying & help your bot to prepare for human-like interaction.
- Let users provide some defined set of response through “Quick Reply”.
- eCommerce capability: setting a complete set of Sales & Checkout flow within the messenger, so that they can buy your product directly by the credit card. We will talk more about this later in a different article.
- Create an interactive experience using the Webview. Extremely useful for businesses with the website for converting the bot user to their specific web pages. I have multiple web views for jmustafa.com website for categories based on topics. So that, my audience can get a glimpse of what they’re expecting by visiting the site.
- Sharing bot using the web link share option, telling other people to contribute to their own list of shopping or task. There are other ways to share the chatbot link, which is the unique link and Messenger code which can be scanned through any Smartphone scanner. Here’s my messenger bot URL: m.me/junayedmustaf4. You can access it both from mobile & PC.
This is where things are getting interesting. According to Facebook: “Chat Extensions lets bots provide interactive, social features that users can invoke directly into their conversations”. That means You can create an app like platform within your chatbot so
Some potential use cases claimed by facebooks are:
- Expression: Create stickers or memes right inside Messenger. Share songs, videos, or other content.
- Media: Send stories on topics you follow the group as they happen.
- Commerce: Group ordering and planning
- Productivity: Send updates from task trackers, collaboratively edit a document.
- Entertainment: Create games or group challenges.
Facebook already has an open source task chatbot extension so that people can experience what an extension can do. Here’s some snapshot of my task for the agency & how I collaborated that with a team member. Experience it from here.
The Messenger chatbots capability is far beyond just chat extensions as this is built on a platform & not just an app. Facebook has revealed Messenger 2.0 platform in their F8 Conference & Messenger 2.1 has already released with Natural Language Processing (NLP) & Handover Protocol in beta. Where NLP can detect meaning from peoples message and send the recommendation to the bots. Apart from Welcome, Thanks & Bye, NLP can also figure out date, time, location, amount of money, phone number and email.
For example, if someone sends, “tomorrow at 7 pm” or “3 days before the Eid” bot can get the actual timescape through NLP.
The Handover Protocol also allows both the live customer service team & the bot to work simultaneously on the Messenger platform for seamless customer experience.
Running Messenger Ad for Chatbots
You can also run the Facebook ad for getting more users for your chatbot. Go to the ad platform or business manager, check Traffic or Conversion as your objective, specify the target audience & budget for your ad set, use Image, Carousel or Video as your format, Select Messenger as Destination, create your ad content & run the ad.
You can try out really Interesting Campaign Idea in a far engaging way than just putting an Image Ad on Facebook while running a Selfie Contest Ad. Social Media are providing us the right tool & as a creative agency, freelancer or media house we can not just stick to basic static & interactive visuals like GIF. We need to promote not just Content & but Experience to the brand users.
How I designed my own Chatbot?
I have built a chatbot for my Facebook business page and the goal is to drive conversion to my website’s article & categories based on the particular interest of my audiences. Though I used little AI feature, the target was to build a conversational method which engages a human connection with my audience and the chatbot. In case, the audience wanted to have a direct talk with me, I kept the provision to contact me through email & phone number without going to my website.
So, now you can see some of the features I have built for my chatbot to drive conversion to specific pages & categories. Apart from that, some AI command were also used for common conversation. Such as: for “How are you?“,“How is going on?”, the bot will reply, “I am fine, how about you?”
There also an option for subscribing categories like Marketing, Technology, Sales from the chatbot itself. The audience can then share their email address to subscribe & get new article update from me directly from the messenger when I will post any new article or based on the daily, weekly update cycle. The lead generation from chatbot is much faster than the traditional landing pages as per the research says.
Running Engagement Campaign using Chatbot
For running social media or marketing campaign, chatbot unveiled a whole new era of engagement. With two-way swift action communication, instant data collection & 24/7 content sharing, you can create campaigns with a high number of engagement from the audiences.
Below is an example of running a Selfie Contest through chatbot, where you can upload your own photo, check out other’s selfie, vote them & share them with your friends to participate – all within the same CHATBOT!
With over 1.2 billion monthly Messenger user, it is now 4th largest social media platforms after native Facebook platform, Youtube & Whatsapp. A chatbot can change the game from mobile app to personalized chatbot & it’s evolving faster than the prediction. No wonder, it’s already being adopted by top brands like TechCrunch, L’Oréal Paris, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, Uber, Adidas, Forbes, Netflix, Ogilvy & Mather, trivago & CNBC. Some research from Hubspot also says:
1. Content delivered in messenger has open and read rates of up to 90%+ compared to 20 – 30% email opening rate.
2. 65% user retention by 3rd week by quality bot conversation compared to the general website conversion rate.
3. Messages sent through a bot appear on the user’s’ locked phone screens – same as messages they receive from the friend.
So, are you going to implement social bot for your business? It’s obvious, isn’t it?
If you’re looking for creative tech solutions for your marketing/sales need, feel free to knock me for a consultation. I’d be happy to help. 🙂
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