Chatbots and messenger bots have become fantastic tools for customer service teams to respond swiftly across social media networks and websites. Can they be used for more than this, in this article we look at how we can creatively use chatbots and the rationale behind doing so.
A chatbot used with Facebook can give you:
- Engagement, which through the comments helps expand your organic reach
- Build up a subscription list through the Facebook messenger
- Drive messages through your subscription list (this will in turn trigger a notification which will help to increase open rates).
What is a chatbot?
So let’s kick off with what is a messenger bot. I’ll assume most people know but for those who don’t it is an automated messaging service that can be used on your pages across Social Media, Facebook being the most popular platform to execute the strategy. A series of words tigger the bot into responding with a set of messages that are predetermined and you can give users options to steer them to a particular outcome.
Messenger bots and chatbots are a great way to ensure you are getting quick responses to those enquires on your facebook page, they can help you steer customers and complaints to a quicker resolution or outcome. They also can be used creatively to drive better engagement for your content and to build lead generation through social media that your target market will open.
We have tested several versions, our most successful to date was for a launch strategy.
For SocialDay we decided to use a chatbot as part of the launch strategy, we were doing a livestream and wanted to develop
- Organic reach
- Build a subscription list
- Distribute a report
- Give our marketing character a personality
- Put our own marketing at the cutting edge
For the launch we used software to flow in an animation we had created, this animation featured our main character that the marketing is centered around. “Tiny” our resident punk host was used to introduce a promo video we had pulled together from this years event, this in part was used to launch the 2018 event.
“Tiny” was then used to introduce Lucy who was fronting the traditional aspect of the livestream, however using the software we were able to add logos and green screen animation live. You can see the livestream below:
Part of the Livestream and launch was to distribute the research we had conducted with over 300 social media marketers (report can be found here) and to do this we gave “tiny” a personality through the chatbot.
We asked viewers of the livestream to comment with “tiny” in the comments section, this triggered the chatbot to send an automated message
This brought Tiny to life for our audience and gave us an effective way to distribute our report rather than sending out a series of posts, it created a sense of occasion.
- We used a programme called ManyChat which is straightforward to use and has loads of support materials with it, it’s also has a free version for you to test this out.
Let’s talk about reach!
The Facebook algorithm already looks favourably on livestream, although it can be hard to get visibility doing it from your page. We opted to do this from our Socialday page, we promoted the livestream as an event starting a week out from the date. We felt this was about the right time, not to far away and enough time to create some buzz.
Once the livestream begins encouraging the audience to engage naturally helps with the reach, putting in a call to action (downloading the report) further boosted the engagement as those who usually just watch decided to test out what we were doing and get a copy of the report. It does not just stop at the livestream, once the live was over we continued to get engagement and comments on the catch up which made the content far more sticky and have a much longer shelf life than most posts.
Does this work for lead generation?
Totally, the other aspect of using a messenger bot is that you can build a list of subscribers, the advantage being you get far less competition from other marketing within someone’s messenger space either on a desktop and clearly the advantage is that on mobile you will receive a push notification. (although we do recommend that you ask people to subscribe and that they have an option to unsubscribe)
We were in a few days able to build a quality list of highly targeted subscribers, this in large was down to the high value content we were offering, in truth we did not need a list as we already have a good reach into this particular market, however if we did not then doing this exercise over a few weeks could build an extremely powerful marketing list in a very short space of time with fantastic open rates.
Points to think about:
- It’s still early days for general use of bots, we can see that some users clearly feel it’s a human response just from the nature of the replies.
- This a great opportunity for some businesses beyond just customer service, it’s a great way to get people engaging with your content and leaving comments on your posts, videos and livestreams.
- Bots can be used across most platforms, be creative with your execution and have fun with it.
What did we learn?
- Start with something basic, and test it works! Although setting up a bot is relatively simple you need to ensure the flow of the text conversion works, it can take a while to get it right, so get someone to test it for you.
- Try and add some personality into the messages, ok it’s automated but that does not mean that the copy should be dull, after all this is still an extension of your brand and you will be judged on it.
- If you’re building a list make sure people know they are being added to the list, you still need to get them to opt in (good practice and keeps you GDPR compliant)
- Think about content that is being pushed out if you are using a bot to build a list, for many this will feel like an intrusion, although no one likes spam generally we are more accepting of email as it’s been around for longer, most people only receive messages from friends via facebook, be mindful of this.
If you want to have a go at creating your own messenger bot for Facebook then you will find this step by step tutorial from SocialDay useful – get free tutorial here
If you want to talk to us about setting up a bot or about lead generation through Social Media, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org