Social media is the quintessential place for brands to interact with their customers. Though if you think it’s a public relations goldmine now, wait until you read about chatbots.
The natural conversation bots are changing the consumer to brand social media interaction for the better.
Social media’s potential for e commerce is on the rise, and chatbots are the driving force behind the change.
Chatbots is the term given to different kinds of Natural Language User Interfaces (NLIs). These “bots” help people accomplish tasks ranging from entertainment to purchasing products. The kicker being, it’s all accomplished using natural conversational text.
The bots function under two main systems. The first is the simple phrase dependent response bot. “If ___, then respond____,” is the basic idea. The other system relies on more sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI).
We’re seeing both of these “bot types” implemented into many different platforms. That “sales rep” chat windows that offers to help on your favorite website; that’s a chatbot. Ever heard of Watson? Another chatbot.
Though today our focus is on chatbot implementation for social media messaging platforms. From Facebook to Kik, chatbots are changing the way people interact with brands on social media.
Users can send brands a message and receive information from product recommendations to store hours; all without talking to another person. This instant access to information in conversational form is revolutionizing social media.
Social Media, Brand Interaction, and E-commerce
Social media exists to connect with people and brands that you’ve deemed worth “following.” It’s also a platform for personal expression.
However, we’re seeing social media move away from its exibihistionist roots and towards messaging platforms. In fact, social messaging apps recently exceeded social media apps in monthly active users.
Chatbots are part of the driving force behind this move, and will continue to capitalize on people’s desire for more information. They’re turning social media into a marketplace to sell your brand.
Superior Customer Support
In today’s always connected world people are demanding instant access to information. Our attention spans are decreasing while our desire for gratification increases.
Chatbots are helping to bridge this gap between impatience and fulfillment. They’re turning social media into a platform where brands can conduct on demand customer support.
It’s no surprise that chatbots are taking social media in this direction. More than 33 percent of consumers prefer using social media for support rather than the telephone.
We expect brands to continue adopting chatbots for their social media customer support. As bots develop they’re only gaining more context awareness, which makes them even better at solving problems.
Chatbots are still in relative infancy, but we’re already seeing brands recognize their power for social media interaction.
For example, Kayak’s Facebook messenger bot can provide travel details and book flights or hotel rooms. Someone absently browsing Facebook could see a cool destination and message Kayak’s chatbot, all in just minutes.
The same goes for other types of brand interaction. See your favorite brand advertised somewhere around town? Get out your phone and Facebook message their chatbot.
The potential for personal brand interaction is only growing as chatbots become more and more prevalent across social media. More interaction means more potential for sales.
Chatbots are bringing social media ever closer to the ultimate consumer to brand experience. Instead of just liking a brand page, you can carry on natural conversation with a brand “representative.”
Improved customer support and brand interaction is shifting social media towards a brand centric ecommerce marketplace.
Chatbots and their impact on social media by Megan Ritter