Social Media Strategy, Social Media Chatbots: How Companies Are Using Them in 2021December 22, 2021ZlatiReading time: Social media chatbots have the ability to make engaging with users as seamless as possible.As they streamline the interactions between consumers and services, chatbot applications can enhance the customer experience and help you discover new opportunities to improve engagement.Let’s deep dive into how to get started with social media chatbots and explore some great examples from leading companies.What Is a Chatbot?Chatbots are programs specially built to automatically engage with messages sent by users and simulate a conversation in a natural language.Chatbot solutions can be programmed to send the same response each time or send a specific response based on certain keywords. They can also leverage AI and machine learning to adapt the responses to best fit the specific situation.These programs can utilize a number of different mediums, such as website chat windows and social messaging across networks like Facebook and Twitter.Although a chatbot should be able to perform tasks effectively on its own, human support still plays a crucial role. No matter what type of approach you take or the platform that you choose, human intervention is important to configure, train, and continuously optimize the chatbot system.Benefits of Social Media ChatbotsSales and marketing teams are under a lot of pressure. Not only do they have to show good results, but they also need to continually improve the customer experience.With the ever-increasing expectations of today’s consumers for quick and accurate answers, many forward-thinking brands have adopted chatbots to help their teams:Save time and moneyAutomate conversations throughout the organizationStreamline the customer service experienceUse direct messaging to gather the information needed to provide excellent customer supportGuide people to the best place for them to find the information they’re looking forProvide round the clock customer supportChatbots and Social Media: How Do They Work Together?Given the increase in messenger platforms, it only makes sense that social is one of the most important channels for businesses. With 54% of social browsers using social media to research products, leveraging these networks is an excellent option for automating the customer service part of your business.While chatbots are not a new tool, utilizing them on social media has gained momentum in the last few years. After all, a chatbot on your social platforms is a great way to drive valuable traffic to your website and help turn interested visitors into loyal buyers.Adding a chatbot solution to your social media provides a simple, non-intrusive way to help customers through the buying cycle by providing relevant answers on a preferred medium.AI chatbots on social media further present great potential for scaling personalized experiences. Effectively, the more machine learning algorithms get to know the customers, the better the personalization.In turn, a balanced combination of personalization and automation will enable you to reach leads across your audience at the right time and with the right content. This only means that chatbots that respond to simple questions and have nuanced features that can enable human interaction will play a key role in the future of marketing personalization.How to Get Started With ChatbotsBefore you rush off to build a chatbot, it’s important to define the experience you want to create for people. Knowing what you want to accomplish, as well as what your customers expect, is crucial for successful interactions between users and your bot and, by extension, your brand.Here’s where to start.Define Your GoalsJust like any other strategy or project, getting started with implementing a chatbot begins with defining your goals and objectives.When it comes to social media chatbots, your social team is the key to defining your goals.Based on their expertise and experience, you can better outline your objectives and goals. For instance, you may find out that it’s best to leverage bots to resolve specific customer service issues, generate higher quality leads, or promote a new product.While your goals are an important piece of the puzzle, be sure to align your chatbot strategy with your customers’ needs, too. By solving their problems, you’ll be more likely to enrich the relations between those users and your brand, as well as discover new business opportunities.Choose the Appropriate PlatformsYour first step to choosing which platforms to leverage should be considering the social media demographics of your target audience and finding out where your audience is.By far, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger are among the most popular platforms that support chatbots.Whichever one you choose, remember to program your bots accordingly. Keep in mind that the users who go to your Instagram page, for instance, are likely not going to ask the same questions as those that visit your Twitter page.Create a Content StrategyOnce you’ve defined your goals and selected the right platforms, you need to start thinking about what content you’d like your (potential) customers to engage with during their interaction with your chatbot.To guide the process, gather as much information on your target audience as possible.FAQs are a great place to start. This will give you an idea of what questions people might ask your chatbot and help you build an appropriate flow to route them to the right answers.Another excellent way to gain more insights is through the teams that interact the most with your customers. Consider talking to your marketing team, sales reps, and customer services reps.Before you start sketching your chatbot’s flow of questions and answers, remember that you’ll also need to write a killer opening message.This is a crucial piece of content that should be engaging, set the right expectations, and – once it hooks the user – ask them questions to keep the conversation going. Just as you would when planning out your ad creatives, remember that you need to test and refresh your chatbot creative on a regular basis, too.Chatbot ExamplesIf you are just getting started, adding chatbots to your social media marketing strategy can feel intimidating.To guide you on the right path, here are a handful of examples to help you create a chatbot experience that adds value and improves user experience.SpotifySocial media chatbots can be utilized to keep the conversation going and, eventually, guide users to the next steps.Spotify’s chatbot, for instance, knows that the engagement doesn’t have to end when the action is complete. By asking another, closely related question, the chatbot is looking to keep the interaction going. Here’s an example:The Wall Street JournalChatbots can be leveraged to create automated experiences, especially for repetitive tasks, that result in faster resolutions. This is a wonderful way to save human agents time and enable them to focus on resolving more complex issues. Here’s an example of the Wall Street Journal:The chatbot allows users to stay on top of news and, by typing basic commands, get information such as stock quotes and key financial metrics.Pizza HutPizza Hut’s chatbot is another good example.The company’s bot is providing a friendly welcoming message together with quick replies that deliver clear instructions on how to get started. Customers can easily order a pizza, reorder their favorite pizza, discover deals, and ask questions.This is a great strategy to proactively drive users into specific experiences and prevent situations where people get frustrated from attempting something unsupported by the bot.Start Creating the Ultimate Customer ExperienceAllowing your (potential) customers to start a conversation with a chatbot at any time is a great way to maximize engagement.With each social interaction, social media chatbots help you build a more informed support team and reduce customer effort, effectively leading to a superior customer experience.Ready to streamline and automate your marketing objectives? Check out how to implement conversational marketing in our blog.