What exactly is a Facebook Chatbot? In the most simple terms, chat bots provide companies with an easy way to automate many of low-level client support functions. Rather than waiting on hold for hours to talk to a customer service representative, customers can now chat with a bot on Facebook Messenger to perform basic inquiry-type actions, like checking availability and pricing information. If a company also has an application available, that chat bot can also conduct basic transactions, like sending messages and receiving updates from other bot users.
This functionality has allowed chat platforms like Facebook to spawn an immeasurable number of applications, each with its own specific niche. However, many companies have used Messenger Bot in conjunction with their own in-house marketing solutions, resulting in real, tangible results. Messenger Bot is especially useful for online businesses that need to provide quick answers to basic questions or handle routine sales requests. For example, a customer service representative might be able to use this bot to post the hours he/she is available, remind a customer about the status of an order, or check if a delivery can be made the next day. In each of these examples, automated bots provide real, on-demand customer service that saves both time and money.
Another popular use for Messenger Bot comes in the form of marketing automation. Many online businesses, particularly those with smaller staffs, find it difficult to keep up with customer interactions on a routine basis, particularly in light of the fast-paced nature of online business. As such, marketing programs, such as Facebook Messenger Bot, have become integral components of many marketing campaigns. Messenger Bot allows companies to run campaigns based on specific types of conversations, such as those that take place during certain times of the day, on certain days of the week, over different types of conversations, or even during specific holidays. Because the bot eliminates the repetitive nature of most conversations, this also frees up a company's marketing staff to take on more client-related tasks.
A third way in which marketers can use Messenger Bot for business purposes comes in the form of segmentation. Many large marketing programs, such as Facebook, automatically segment people into various groups based on demographics and interests. This means that when someone performs a search on Messenger Bot he/she will be able to see who is searching for information on the products or services a company offers, how often, and what type of interaction takes place between users. This information can then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are specifically designed to interest people in a particular area, demographic, or interest group.
In addition to segmenting customers, marketers can also use Messenger Bot for a more straightforward purpose, funneling customers through to conversion pages. Basically, marketers want to create a "pay-per-click" (PPC) experience that results in customers clicking on a link to go to the product sales page instead of simply leaving the website. This process is known as discovery. To accomplish this, marketers often create a series of videos, podcasts, or articles revolving around the product or service they are trying to market. Then, after a customer has clicked on the link, he/she is directed to the sales page. The video, podcast, or article then serves as a link that leads to a potential customer to purchasing a product or service.
In addition to segmenting customers, marketers can also use Messenger Bots for a great way to get started with social media marketing. Since it can be accessed through one's own website or a separate app, it is always available for use. Moreover, Messenger Bots is great to test in the lead-capture stage. You can record a short video showing a step-by-step demonstration of a product, and then show it to people you know in order to get their feedback.
Using Messenger Bot for lead generation is also a great way to get started with conversation. If you already have a large network of friends, you can easily take the conversations you have online and record podcasts or videos to upload to YouTube or Vimeo. Those interested can then view the recorded conversations and get started with building a personal relationship with others.
A final application for Facebook Chatbot is for marketing. Since the Bot has a conversational style of communicating, it is an excellent tool for getting brand name recognition for new products or services. In fact, I personally have used Messenger Bot in its conversational style for marketing a product line I was working on. Through the Bot, we were able to receive product reviews, customer testimonials, and even personalized recommendations for those interested. I'm sure other marketers would be interested in learning more about using the Bot as a part of their marketing.