Growing a business online can be very challenging, and the same can be said for social media marketing. There is a higher demand for messaging apps for consumers to ensure they have their queries answered. A smart option to meet this demand is chatbots. It is highly possible that as you read this, chatbots are already  an essential part of your marketing strategy. If not, you could be potentially losing out on a significant number of leads through your social media marketing.

What are Chatbots?

A chatbot is simply a computer system program that you can create to automate tasks and create answers to questions that your audience may commonly ask. They can range from simple to advanced in terms of how they operate, with some providing responses to complex requests and providing personalized answers for each user. All maintain the same conversational interface. They run on a system created by their owner. Almost like a set of traffic lights, red means stop, green means go. They have the answers to questions you have anticipated your audience will ask provided for them. Anything outside of this list is beyond the bot’s control.
Social Media Chatbots
Social Media Chatbots (Image Source: Daniel Korpai)

How do Chatbots Work?

As technology has developed, the feeling that a chatbot will create the most crucial engagement between brands and customers has created a shift in the marketing industry. Comparing chatbots to traditional online advertising, they aren’t creating engagement through clicking on an ad but having a real conversation with the consumer. Many big brands currently successfully use this technology to engage with their customers and collect leads. The main social networks and messaging platforms, for example,  Facebook Messenger and others like Amazon Echo can carry chatbot software that allows them to automatically interact with users, answering questions, providing solutions to problems and guide them toward specific objectives. This technology links back to the traditional roots of marketing of customers talking with a clerk in a shop about what they want. A chatbot will remove the limitation of time and location by being available all the time to create these business leads.

But are they successful in creating leads for your business?

Chatbots create a number of benefits for businesses in their social marketing strategies. The biggest of these benefits is that they are extremely cost effective. When adding a chatbot to your social channels, there is an initial investment but from there, it’s a matter of maintenance and updating to ensure your chatbot stays relevant with your audience’s needs. They are also cost-effective when you take into consideration the comparison between chatbots and live chat sessions. Chatbots can be programmed to run for twenty-four hours engaging with your audience, contrasted against paying a member of staff to operate your business live chat for twenty-four hours on the platform or on your website.  

Other benefits from chatbots include:

  • Creating a more human buying experience for your following.
  • Providing an insight into what your customers want.
  • Shorten your sales cycle.
  • Eliminate waiting times for customers – encourage a positive experience.
As more and more users choose to use messaging apps over traditional social platforms, using chatbots could be potentially very powerful in generating leads without the user being fully aware it’s happening. Before adding a chatbot to your marketing strategy, you need to have a clear design, goal and implementation for your chatbot. Without a firm plan, it will make you vulnerable to chatbot issues, make it harder to track it’s a success and not achieve set goals for engagement.  

There are a number of guidelines you should consider when building a chatbot for your business. Here are some of the main to consider:

  • What is your main goal for your chatbot?
  • What are the essential elements needed to create it?
  • Personality type and flow of conversation?
  • Testing and optimising your chatbot.
If this is collectively implemented correctly, seamlessly and effortlessly, it provides the opportunity to collect leads. 24/7, 365 days a year, chatting and engaging with business prospects anywhere in the world. Plus, when chatbots handle your visitors’ simpler inquiries, they free up your support team to focus on more complex issues. Finally, once a visitor is ready to convert, a chatbot can replace static forms on your site altogether, collecting the information your company needs to move them through the final stages of the buying process. Do you need to increase your social leads? Should you consider investing in a Chatbot now or later? That perfect time to commit is before you are forced to invest by customer demand. The number of potential leads you are missing out on and handing to your competitors as according to Google, 61% of people expect brands to deliver them personalized experiences. If you are looking for a way to boost your lead generation, a chatbot could be the perfect solution.   Need our advice? Contact us today!

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