At the F8 conference in April, Facebook launched their Messenger Platform for Facebook Messenger. The Messenger Platform will allow brands to develop chatbots and conversational apps, giving them a new way to engage with the more than 900 million monthly users. This is an exciting opportunity for brands looking to create more intimate relationships with customers and prospects.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a program that leverages artificial intelligence to perform tasks or hold conversations. Apple’s Siri is a great example of a chatbot. You ask Siri a question and “she” responds with the information you are looking for.
According to analysis by Opus Research and Nuance Communications, 89% of consumers want to engage in conversation with virtual assistants to quickly find information instead of searching through web pages or a mobile app on their own.
The opportunity to create chatbot apps for Facebook Messenger, in particular, is significant because it is the fastest growing application in the US. Instead of offering a new mobile app, why not take advantage of the one your customers are already using.
How Can Brands Benefit from Chatbots?
Here are a few ways that brands can leverage Chatbots as a PR tactic:
Content Distribution – Because you can use chatbots to ask users questions about their preferences and interests, you can deliver hyper-targeted content that will generate engagement.
Personalized Content – Research by the marketing automation giant, Hubspot, indicates that personalized calls to action generate a 49% higher response rate than generic ones. Chatbots make personalization possible.
Fun and Games – Today’s buyers appreciate brands that help them inject a little fun into their day. Chatbot games are a great way to develop your brand’s personality.
Customer Service – Messenger chatbots make self-service easier than ever. You may find that many issues can be resolved without any human interaction at all. This increases customer satisfaction while lowering support costs.
Lead Generation – Users who engage with your content via a chatbot can be guided through the buying cycle. You can present them with exactly the content they need at a certain point in time.
Audience Profiling – How much do you really know about your buyers? Unlike other types of market research that can be expensive and take a lot of time, chatbots can be developed to ask the questions that will help you understand your audience better. You can even ask about topics that are relevant based on current events or news. This could be one of the most powerful audience segmentation tools ever invented.
In short, Messenger Chatbots give PR teams the ability to engage with their audience one on one at scale. You can have thousands of active conversations at once. If you haven’t given it a try yet, check out what these brands have already accomplished.
CNN – me/cnn
The Wall Street Journal – me/wsj
Poncho Weather – me/HiPoncho
Spring – me/SpringNYC (women’s & men’s clothing, shoes and accessories)
Assist – me/Assist (connect to multiple services)