If you’ve recently been checking out other businesses on Facebook or chatting with friends through Facebook Messenger, you may have noticed the upswing of automated conversations from brands with whom you are connected. Often, these messages are a means of reaching out to customers or potential customers to find out if they have any questions. Other times, a complimentary gift or free download may be offered. Welcome to the world of Facebook chatbots – one of the many ways in which AI is taking over the customer service scene to help brands better reach and connect with their audience.

First, let’s talk about what a chatbot is. Mostly, it’s a chat program that can answer questions, provide information and even make product recommendations. In 2018, there were more than 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook Messenger, which shows just how popular this form of communication is becoming. Much like live chat features on a website, Facebook chatbots are becoming the preferred way for millennials and Gen Xers to get information and shop with their favorite brands.

Examples of well-known brands using chatbots

Whole Foods: They’ve developed a chatbot that offers recipe ideas, like a personal chef at your fingertips!

Spotify: The Spotify bot provides information to customers on how to create playlists from Facebook and can make music recommendations based on the user’s preferences.

Fandango: Their bots let you buy movie tickets, find local theaters and even watch the trailers for upcoming movies.

A customer service solution

Perhaps the most well-known use of chatbots is the ability to answer the most common questions that come through your customer service department. Facebook has claimed that over 90% of queries are covered by the same 10 questions. This creates a tremendous opportunity to make use of a chatbot, giving your customer service team a rest from answering the same questions over and over while increasing efficiency. The end result is that your customer service team will be more available to answer the more technical or uncommon questions, giving focus to the interactions that really do require a human and creating a higher level of personalized service.

Other benefits of chatbots include:

  • Lead generation for your sales team
  • Handling e-commerce sales
  • Having a 24/7 presence even when the office is closed
  • Ability to connect with more customers than an employee can at one time

If your business has not yet taken advantage of Facebook chatbots, here a few tips to get the most of your bot experience:

1. Determine the role of your chatbot

Depending on the nature of your company, you’re going to need to define a clear role for your chatbot. For example, do you want your chatbot to offer information to potential customers, generate leads for your business, or to be more of an entertainment feature with your audience?

2. Find the best chatbot program for your brand

You don’t always have to build a chatbot program from scratch. While that might be the route that your brand chooses to take, there are also many third-party programs that are already created and ready for you to implement. A few that integrate with Facebook Messenger include Conversable and Chatfuel.

3. Craft great language for your chatbot

The most successful brands have spent a good deal of time crafting the language for their chatbot. You want to make sure the language that your chatbot uses sounds like a human, is engaging and aligned with your overall brand message and tone. While your customers are going to know it’s a chatbot, it’s still important to keep the copy friendly and engaging for an exceptional customer service experience.

One brand we found to be exceptional with branded messaging is Lego’s chatbot or “Gift Bot,” Ralph the Robot. Ralph was created to engage fans and help consumers make purchase decisions, especially around the holidays. Lego has produced a personality for their chatbot, which includes the use of gif’s to break up the conversation and bring in the elements of play and imagination that Lego promotes.

With 1.3 billion monthly active Facebook Messenger users across the globe, it’s certainly worth a try to see how a chatbot could benefit your marketing and sales strategy. As always, be sure to reach out to our team of marketing strategists and developers to bring your Facebook chatbot strategy to life!