Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will dominate social media marketing in 2018 and transform the way companies do business. Big brands are starting to dabble in AI allowing their customers to engage with chatbots. This year we will see more companies experimenting with AI chatbots on their social media platforms.
We already see many big names in retail like 1-800-Flowers, news portals like CNN, etc., releasing chatbots for Facebook Messenger. The bots help consumers to purchase, read the news and more such things from within FB.
Are the bots going to replace human-to-human communication on social media? Will they add new capabilities to these platforms? In this article, we will discuss these questions and talk about how chatbots will engage consumers online in 2018.
What Are AI Chatbots?
A bot is a software (a piece of code) that can perform a task on its own. A chatbot is one that can carry out such a job for conversations. It can communicate like a human and engage in “artificial” conversations that mimic humans. There are three types of Chatbots:
- Scripted chatbots
- AI chatbots
- Agent-Assisted AI chatbots
The difference lies in the extent of the intelligence built into the bot. A scripted bot works based on a pre-programmed script, and it’s easy to tell when you are talking to such a bot. An AI chatbot handles conversations close enough to a human and can be hard to tell.
An agent-assisted AI bot attempts to handle user requests using Artificial Intelligence, to the maximum extent possible before handing over to a real human (agent). This is the approach most companies are adopting now and finding success!
Social Media For B2C Communication
Should companies worry about social media communication? Yes, because research shows that more than 25% of service requests start on social media channels. More than 30% of customers surveyed prefer using social media rather than phone or email to contact a brand.
Businesses who refuse to adapt to this change in consumer engagement techniques will face the wrath of their customers, similar to those who once lost their market because they didn’t respond to phone calls.
Your customers will return to you if you value their time. Social media enables you to do this and fulfil user requests in the least time possible using just a smartphone! B2C communication through social channels will significantly reduce the churn rate of existing customers.
Do You Need A Chatbot In 2018 For Your Social Channels?
Bot-driven social media marketing will dominate 2018. Customers are getting increasingly impatient! They want instant answers and contextually correct responses instead of being put through a system that forces them to go through a selection menu. Chatbots are the perfect alternative to automated voice response systems.
Social Media helps businesses reach specific audiences on a personal platform. When integrated with Facebook, the bots have a rich source of data about user habits and their interests. Using this information and also being programmed with intelligence for contextual understanding, bots can offer a truly personalized experience.
Although 2018 may not see chatbots replacing humans entirely in social media, it will definitely be the year that will gravitate toward AI handling your social media requests. Within few years, it will become mainstream, and the ones who adopt early will be happy!
Social Media Bots: A Gateway To Consumers
Instead of using your social channels just to market your services or products, use bots that turn them into a gateway to consumers. Allow your bots to share information, answer questions about your service or even help your customers make a purchase.
As AI matures, we will see bots getting more efficient in human interaction. Bots don’t sleep, or get frustrated! They don’t make your customers wait, and they are going to get smarter too!