These days it seems every business wants their follower numbers to skyrocket. But how can your social media following translate to money in the bank? Brands have become aware that social media channels are for more than cultivating their identity – they can affordably churn out high-quality leads and increase revenues.
In addition, social media monitoring tools can help you put an ear to the proverbial ground by tracking any mentions of your business. Follow up and you can potentially coax people into your sales funnel and convert leads. Some of the more obvious ways to generate leads are:
- Competitions aimed specifically at relevant market segments
- Gated content
- Free samples
- Paid ads
The first three methods involve a give and take. They dangle carrots and hope that people will bite. When this happens, people pay for said carrots with their personal information. Namely, ways that they can be contacted. And so it comes to be that people are persuaded to part with their dollars. If nurtured, this relationship can be profitable and yield returns for years. And now there’s a new tool in the arsenal of social media marketing.
Facebook Bot Marketing
Chatbot marketing is taking off in a big way. During the last two or three years, major brands across industries have used this innovative method to make more sales. We’re talking the likes of Lyft, Mastercard, Pizza Hut and Sephora. What do they all have in common? Facebook Messenger Bots.
For a lot of people, bots are associated with shady goings-on. But 65% of bots are of a different ilk – they’re the benign worker bees of the internet.
Bot is short for robot. The robot in question is a friendly automated customer service agent ready to take your marketing to the next level. Chatbots are nifty – they’re not called artificial intelligence (AI) for nothing. You can program them to operate within chat interfaces and they quickly, intuitively and reliably answer queries from customers and ask lead-generating questions of their own. If they don’t know what to say in response to a complex question, they connect to human personnel.
Chatbots store information about users and interact with them in one integrated platform. This makes them super-efficient at anticipating needs and lowering the drop-offs that would usually occur between adverts and webpages. When operating through Facebook messenger, bots have access to all the information users have publicly posted. That’s a whole treasure trove of data for personalized, micro-targeted, highly effective messaging.
If you’re concerned that customers may be averse to this, don’t be. Use cases have shown that when companies are transparent about how customer data is used, and when they provide opt-in and opt-out options, customers feel like they have agency. Not only do they choose to try out a chatbot service, but they continue to use it when they realize the time-saving convenience and interactive support it affords them.
The Pew Research Center suggests that, amongst adults under 50, chat is the preferred way to communicate. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users and that figure is growing – it beats out every other social media platform for active use. If you can’t reach your customers on this particular app, they may just be doomsday preppers living off the grid.
As it stands, Facebook Messenger users exchange approximately 2 billion messages with businesses on a monthly basis. That’s an eye-boggling statistic for companies. And all the back and forth bears fruit. New York Times bestselling author Neil Patel mentions that colleagues who used a Facebook Messenger bot marketing campaign garnered an 88% open rate and a 56% click-through rate (CTR). These are impressive numbers that indicate success rates far greater than email marketing. In fact, people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook Message than a marketing email.
In May 2018, 300 000 bots were deployed through Facebook Messenger for the purposes of conversational commerce, triple the amount from the year before. That’s a lot of businesses, sure. But given the steady growth, it’s a fraction of what will likely be commonplace in a few years. According to an Oracle survey, 80% of businesses would like to be wielding chatbots by 2020. Savvy marketers (that’s you!) would do well to harness this potential and capitalise on a first-mover advantage.
Chatbots are the best iteration of social and mobile marketing. The good news is that small to medium-sized businesses can get in on the action too because the barriers to entry are low. Although multi-dimensional chatbots are expensive, simple but useful chatbots need not cost a fortune. So what are the benefits?
- Instead of being flagged as email spam by consumers, you will actually reach your audience through a medium they love. The best part is Facebook will actively assist you.
- By crafting messaging scripts with engaging replies for customers to select, you can differentiate your brand from competitors and extract useful information from leads. If you limit and define your bot’s goals, you will exceed expectations and encourage loyalty.
- Chatbots are an easy, labour-saving way to upsell and nudge people through the marketing funnel in record times. We’ve got 3 words for you. Close. Sales. Faster.
- Chatbots take the work out of generating qualified leads. You’ll no longer have to painstakingly curate an email list through a process with multiple steps, each of which progressively loses you more customers. Instead, a single click connects buyer and seller. One and done.
- Scale up your communications effortlessly. Bots can handle thousands of repetitive questions simultaneously at any time of day, leaving you better able to accomplish other value-creating tasks.
- Facebook bots are way cheaper than building a dedicated app, and users are much less likely to delete Facebook Messenger.
Here at PWD, we can help you optimise your social media marketing strategy and navigate chatbot technology.
Contact us and start exploring new frontiers.