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Facebook Bots Making Business Life a Little Easier
Everyone knows that social media has changed the way many companies, businesses and entrepreneurs interact with their customers.
Platforms like Facebook allow brands to talk directly to fans who follow their pages through posts, images and videos. Customers can leave comments, send messages and interact with these global brands simply by using their mobile phones, laptops and tablets. It’s simple, it’s brilliant, and it’s cost effective.
For over ten years now, this has been the preferred way that customers and businesses have used social media, but, things are about to change.
A recent post released by the team at Facebook outlined their plans to promote a new service, one that gets even more personal with fans and followers and more importantly can also help drive sales as well.
It’s called Facebook bots, and no, these aren’t ‘fake bots’ or algorithm changes. Facebook bots are a new service that will take place within the Facebook Messenger platform and allows your page to talk directly to your followers one on one (If you’re not familiar with Facebook Messenger think of it as a free texting and calling service that allows you to chat with any of your friends on Facebook).
Why are Facebook bots good for business? And why should I care?
Now the reason this is exciting news is not the fact that you have a new tool within Facebook but that this tool can actually be automated. You can use Facebook bots to save you time while interacting with your customers and driving more revenue. The best thing is, this happens automatically, meaning you don’t have to do a thing.
Let me paint you a picture of how Facebook bots could benefit your business:
- Say your own a hair salon, and you have 300 people on your Facebook page. You want to let your followers know that you have a special this month on hair colour. Well with a Facebook bot you can message all 300 customers at the same time and tell them about your special. You can then get them to pre-book directly from your Facebook page – all via a quick, instant messaging process that’s now entirely automated.
- Say you own a shoe brand, and you want to push your latest specials working with one of your favourite retail partners to directly drive traffic in-store. You have around 30,000 people on your Facebook page. By using a Facebook bot, you can let every single person know what the special is and also send them the exact location details of the store that’s holding the sale in their area.
- Say you want to reduce call volumes into your call centre and you’re a large global business with millions of customers on Facebook. Well with a Facebook bot you can set up an instant customer service tool that answers all of the “Frequently Asked Questions” in an instant. The customer simply goes into messenger, is greeted by your Facebook bot and directly asks a question which the bot then replies to instantly, on your behalf.
We all know how tedious setting up social posts can be and how much time it takes to make this work, I mean the ultimate goal with social is to grow your brand and potentially drive more sales conversations … So now with a Facebook bot, you could start doing both at the same time, without you having to lift a finger.
How much does it cost? And what do you get for your money?
This is where it gets interesting. Facebook bots aren’t cheap, with some providers set up fees starting between $2000 to $8500 depending on complexity and function. Cost really comes down to how much you want your Facebook bot to do. So, keep that in mind when you’re thinking of implementing one for your business.
On top of the set-up fees, there’s also going to be an ongoing management fee or monthly fee. This ranges between $150 to $350 per month. It allows you to deal with any issues via your provider and will also enable you to receive ongoing Data or Analytics from the service each and every month. Data is key with regards to a Facebook bot, it will help you plan better, service better and ultimately give your customers a much better experience, so make sure this is part of your plan. It could make or break the success of your Facebook bot service.
3 tips to using Facebook bots in your business:
1. Start small and work your way up.
With any new social media tool, there are always teething problems. Instead of taking the full plunge with your new Facebook bot, look at a service, or customer query that takes up a lot of your time which can be implemented. This could include FAQs or Signup forms or even a small promotion.
2. Use a reputable service supplier.
There are quite a few ‘free Facebook bot’ services out there, but be wary, just because they are free doesn’t mean they are good. Make sure to look for a reputable supplier that has experience in Facebook, is a Facebook approved partner and has case studies of their product working for both large and small corporate brands. That way you know your money is going to be well invested.
3. Review the data.
Each month your supplier should supply you with a report on the performance of your Facebook bot. This is where you get value for money, and you can analyse just how effective the bot is and how it’s going. If the data shows you it’s a dud, re-evaluate and change the service, don’t just leave it there wasting money. Look to improve and use your data to help you.
It’s an exciting time in the Social Media World and one to one personal connections are becoming more and more important. Facebook bots allow you to make a personal connection and make it automated, which can truly make your life a little easier, more productive and stress-free. I mean, what good is technology if you can’t help you – right?
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