The way we connect and interact with our customers and clients, both potential and existing, continues to undergo radical changes as social media platforms shape consumer habits on many levels. Brand trust and integrity has extended beyond the ‘four wall’ experience, and now our ability to build ongoing relationships with our customers requires a deeper understanding of their interaction with the online world than ever before.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn now offer businesses the ability to curate their customer’s impressions and experience with their brand and product in an online capacity. Many businesses desire for this level of customer engagement to become a subconscious behaviour, by inserting themselves into social feeds alongside images and words shared by friends and family. When harnessed correctly, social media platforms bring huge opportunities to ground and further customer relationships – but when they’re not handled with care and an attention to detail, it’s all too easy for a customer to have a negative experience instead.
Although automation can alleviate some of the manual manpower required to keep social media presences running smoothly, not all platforms like to play ball. Automation isn’t a one-size-fits all when it comes to the range of platforms, but here’s a look into some of the automation tools available.
‘Our ability to build ongoing relationships with our customers requires a deeper understanding of their interaction with the online world than ever before.
Facebook now offers businesses the ability to install a Facebook Messenger Chatbot. These chatbots bring with them the ability to offer automated conversations with your customers, triggered when a customer clicks the ‘message’ option via your Facebook presence.
Messenger Chatbots are guided by menus or keywords, which enables simple interactions for customer requests that don’t require a human presence at the keyboard. Functionality such as setting appointments, accessing FAQs, buying tickets or learning more about services offered can all be programmed into the chatbot environment.
ManyChat is a great service that allows you to create bots without any coding – a drag and drop builder enables use by even the least tech-savvy of operators. ManyChat connects into your Facebook presence and carries much of the same functionality as Facebook Messenger Chatbots, with some additional bonuses, such as the ability to grow subscriber bases and send messages directly to this subscriber base.
ManyChat has powerful abilities from a marketing perspective, as its automated Sequences functionality can be set to send messages based on parameters such as user actions.
Social Media Automation Considerations
In the same way that email marketing automation can deliver on strategic business directions, social media automation must be considered from a strategic perspective. By identifying the tools available on the market that can reduce the manpower hours required from your team, it’s important not to sacrifice that personal touch that sets your brand apart from its competitors. Social media automation can achieve the following outcomes…
- The delivery of responses to enquiring customers in a real-time environment
- The collection of data from individual customers/consumers
- The creation of custom user experiences, carefully crafted and delivered with the assistance of automated processes
Automation isn’t a tool to replace crucial business function, but instead, it’s a powerful way to let you focus on the areas that only you can deliver on. By automating a large percentage of your social media communications, you’ve gained valuable time to pour into your next project, product, user experience or perhaps, a truly relaxed day off!