Well, we’re in 2016, and there are no flying cars or robot butlers yet. But, we’re getting there. The concept of chatbots is a big step forward for both technological advancements and social media marketing. There has been a lot of buzz around these talkative programs lately, and the hype is only rising. So, here’s everything you need to know about chatbots and their impact on social media marketing.
First of all, you might be unsure of what exactly we’re talking about. A chatbot is an automated program that people converse with on a variety of messaging applications. Most likely, you’ve already had dealings with bots without even realizing it. Apple’s Siri is one of the most popular and accessible- although a vast majority of bots use text to speak instead of a robotic voice. Now, more and more businesses are creating their own AI systems to create a brand new experience.Here are the incredibly simple steps someone takes to chat with a company’s bot.
1. Choose your platform. Many people will utilize Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to speak with bots since they already use these messaging tools. Still, many platforms such as Kik, Skype, and We Chat are adopting chatbot features as well.
As you can see, you don’t have to download the Nike app to chat with their chatbot, or the Wall Street Journal’s app to chat with theirs. Instead, they are using the most popular platforms to be in their audiences’ line of sight, just like they do with traditional social media.
2. Choose your bot. First, we tested CNN’s chatbot. On Facebook Messenger, we simply searched for CNN and picked the bot from the results. (It had the lightning bolt-emblazoned Messenger logo next to the profile image.)
3. Start chatting! After choosing CNN’s bot, we chose “top stories” from the chat menu, and it started giving us all the headlines we could ask for! Then, we searched for “social media marketing” news, and it gave us a customized result.
Each bot has unique commands, prompts, and buttons. For example, Uber’s bot has a car button that you can press to start scheduling a ride. It’s a new way to customize communication with your customers that works along side your pre-existing social media marketing.
Business owners from many industries have begun creating chatbots. There’s a bit of irony, however. There’s a less human side to this area of social media, but people feel closer to their brands because of the “one on one” feel of the chat. Conversation truly is an artform, even with a robot.
The big question is quality. Chatbots are created to be able to respond a wide variety of user-generated prompts. Yet as we have seen with Siri, an AI can only do so much. Still, updates are released every day, and the future seems bright for robot-kind.
These bots may not be the robots we all thought we would have in the future, but they appear to be doing a good job. While the bots are slowly dominating messenger apps, it remains to be seen just how receptive audiences will be. So far, people like them for their instant response and convenience. And if fans start to congregate towards a new communication device, marketers must adapt.
Are you struggling to adapt to all these social media updates? Contact us today to see how we can handle it for you!