It’s been about nine months since Facebook offered access to their Messenger Bot system to all business pages, not just to the select few big corporations who were its beta testers. And in that time for some retail businesses it has given their bottom line a genuine boost. But would it be right for your business, and just how does Messenger Bot work anyway?
What is Facebook Messenger Bot?
In a nutshell, the Facebook Messenger Bot is an AI enabled software that allows you to curate automated replies based on specific keywords or buttons that users click or enter into your Facebook Page’s Messenger. If you need a deeper explanation (which you probably do) it’s best to ask the man himself, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose F8 address from last year explains it all rather succinctly:
Should You Try Out a Messenger Chat Bot?
There are those who feel that bots that can be created for Facebook Messenger are a flash in the pan, much in the way that QR codes were. This remains to be seen, but there are definite advantages to be gained by making use of them right now:
Your bot responds to potential buyers 24/7 – Because of this responsiveness, expect your Facebook Response Rate to be listed as 100%. That’s basically saying to your followers –
and maybe followers who might be just browsing – that your business is more customer-friendly compared to other pages and in addition your page’s post should gain some additional organic prominence. Both of these things can help tremendously, especially if you are in a very competitive niche.
It’s almost set it and forget it – Once you program your chatbot properly and run a few tests, it can help users to get specific information that they are likely to ask, such as the answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Just that this time, you don’t need a human to manually type the information into a message response and you can spend less time worrying about monitoring social media queries every few hours.
Create conversation – Messenger bots are a great way to initiate and create a conversation with your users, including your potential buyers, something that really is the whole idea behind social media marketing in general.
Improve Customer Satisfaction – One use that many small retailers are putting chat bots to is to provide basic customer service, such as shipment tracking, returns information and to promote basic sales
How to Get a Messenger Chat Bot
If you – or someone in your company – has a decent level of programming skill you can build your own chat bot making use of the tools provided in the Facebook Developers Toolbox. For most of us though that is not the case and it’s easier, and not too expensive, to make use of a semi prebuilt bot.
One of the most popular services offering such things is Chat Fuel. It is used by ‘big players’ like Tech Crunch, Nike, Buzzfeed, the New York Times and more. Surprisingly though, the basic bot for up to 500,000 monthly active users (as in followers) is offered free.
If you have a large Facebook following that is relatively engaged, don’t put off thinking about how to get into the chat bot space. We understand that it can be daunting, but as more and more companies enter the space, failing to provide the same level – or better -of social service as your competitors may put you behind them and leave consumers with a poor impression of your business in general.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.