A guide to using chatbots on social media

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Social media chatbots open up tons of digital marketing opportunities. Making use of their many benefits can yield fantastic results for the online presence of your company or business. While there are many social media chatbots out there, you must first understand the fundamentals of chatbots to utilize them effectively and optimize them to suit your needs.

What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are programs that automatically engage in conversation by answering questions and providing useful information to customers. A business can program a chatbot to respond with a specific answer based on the keywords it recognizes in the questions.

There are all kinds of chatbots available for different social media platforms. Many of them can “learn” as they interact with clients and optimize their answers based on how successful they were with previous interactions.

The Benefits of Chatbots on Social Media

These are just a few of the advantages of using social media chatbots.

1. Quick Access to Information

The current social media content consumption habits favor quick but useful information. Clients are not looking to read paragraphs of text to grasp the fundamentals of a company’s products and services. Chatbots excel in this regard, as they are programmed for effective business communication without overloading users with paragraphs of wordy text.

2. Off-Hours Service

Scheduling is one of the biggest challenges of a live chat service. Companies looking to provide 24/7 client interactions need to hire specialists who will work after hours. Chatbots are always present regardless of the hours and can interact with clients any time of the day throughout the whole week.

3. Fast Integrations

Onboarding new customer service agents is laborious work. Regardless of their professional experience, new hires will need some time to learn the ins and outs of products and services to provide helpful information to clients. On the other hand, you can quickly integrate chatbots into your social media pages and program them to relay accurate information within a few working days or less.

4. Greater Customer Service Reach

A company that provides services globally is often faced with language barriers. Businesses can train chatbots to interact with clients in a variety of languages. This feature means less information is lost in translation, increasing customer service reach for your company. This benefit, in turn, means greater lead generation and higher conversion rates.

How to Integrate Chatbots Into Your Social Media Marketing

Here are the initial steps to integrating chatbots into your social media marketing.

Why Do You Need a Chatbot?

Understand why you need a chatbot and what social media growth goals you’d like it to accomplish before integrating it. Are you looking for a chatbot that handles basic customer service needs and provides general information about your products and services? Perhaps you need a chatbot to help you generate leads and warm up cold clients by providing them with tons of great marketing material.

In some cases, clients even use chatbots to directly interact with the business more seamlessly, such as ordering food or scheduling services.

Understand what goals chatbots will accomplish before integrating them into your social media account. This approach gives you a better idea of what kind of chatbots to use, how to optimize their use cases, and which social media platforms to integrate them into.

Which Platforms Will You Use?

On the topic of social media platforms, it’s important to remember that people use each social media platform differently. Therefore, businesses should integrate and use chatbots differently depending on the social media platform.

For example, Facebook is great for businesses that sell physical products, since both platforms have an integrated map plugin that helps customers see where the business is in relation to their own location. Hence why so many businesses on these platforms use chatbots that allow customers to order products via text.

What Kind of Information Will the Chatbot Relay?

After deciding on a social media platform for your chatbot, it’s important to consider what kind of information the chatbot will provide. For example, you should ideally have a list of questions that are commonly asked (FAQ) about your products and services. Feeding these questions and their respective answers to the chatbot is one of the first steps in optimizing it to provide useful information to your clients.

Consider what other vital information and marketing material you wish for your clients to see. If you’re offering a limited-time discount, include this information in your chatbot material to entice cold clients into booking your services. Decide which keywords will direct users to the right chatbot answers and optimize this information to make interactions more fruitful.

Chatbot Voice and Character

Much like customer service agents, you can instruct chatbots to maintain a voice or persona when communicating. This strategy is an important part of creating rapport with customers and getting them to engage with your company on a deeper level. Use real, high-quality headshots of your team to add a personal touch to the experience. The goal here is to insert human elements into the chatbot communication process.

For example, companies with a more casual and down-to-earth attitude program their chatbots with a more playful personality to make users feel as if they’re conversing with a friend. Instructing chatbots to send goofy GIFs and use emojis in texts or giving it a fun name is a great way to give your chatbot a unique personality that users will have fun interacting with.

Craft an Enticing Opening Text

The likelihood of customers communicating with your chatbot greatly depends on how good the opening line is. There are time-tested options that work quite well for many social media accounts, but there’s always room to get a little more creative. This creativity depends on the aforementioned chatbot’s voice and personality.

Try opening lines such as “Hi there! I’m ___, the company chatbot, here to help you with anything you need.” Or “Hey, looks like you’re hungry. Wanna try our limited-time deal on maki rolls?”

You can even take the opening text to the next level by instructing the chatbot to greet users depending on the time of day or congratulate their holiday, such as “Good evening, looks like you’re into late-night shopping. Might I interest you in…” or “Happy Valentine’s Day! How about some gift ideas for your special someone?”

Guiding Users to Other Pages

Chatbots should not be static methods of relaying information. Ideally, a social media chatbot should direct users to other pages. For example, after providing basic information, chatbots can send links to users to take them to the company’s official website, which contains more in-depth information and additional marketing material. Users can even request a follow-up email for additional information, further improving the way they interact with your brand’s digital presence.

Chatbots are a great way to guide user traffic through your online assets. Use it to improve the metrics of your website and digital content you’ve published on other platforms.

To Conclude

Chatbots are a very versatile tool for social media marketing. If you’re thinking about using one or have recently integrated one into your social media pages, take advantage of its many benefits to improve the way your customers interact with you and your brand.

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