The rise and rise of Facebook Bots

27 November 2017

One of the biggest movements Facebook underwent was its launch of Facebook’s Messenger Platform in April 2016. Mark Zuckerberg created the possibility for any business to build a custom bot in the Facebook Messenger Platform.

With over 900 million active monthly users worldwide, Facebook Messenger is an entirely new marketplace on its own. We’re not talking about individuals who were forced into downloading an application they weren’t so keen on getting. We’re not talking about people who are just registered to Facebook. What we’re talking about is active users who, by choice, downloaded the Facebook Messenger app as their primary form of communication with friends and family alike.

Due to the digital nature the world has evolved to become, this marketplace of 900 million active monthly users comprise of the working class citizen willing to fork out cash for a good and relevant product. Imagine the business potential in that.

First Thing is First … What is a Facebook Bot?

The general term “bot” refers to a software that is programmed to automate any task assigned to it. For example, Facebook’s Chatbots automate conversations in Facebook’s Messenger Platform.

What makes Facebook bots unique is the building process which is mustered using Facebook’s Bot Engine. Unlike other bot development software, the has the special ability to convert simple and natural language into structured technical data. In a sense, for as far as your imagination can run, the bots can follow. The bots can parse and to an extent understand the conversational language (similar to that of Apple’s Siri’s capabilities) with a remarkably smart ability to learn from the correspondences made. The more interactions your bot engages in, the smarter it becomes.

Through the simple act of opening up the Facebook Messenger Platform easy accessibility to smart technology in tool development such as the bot engine, Facebook has reinvented intelligent bot creation making it easier and more achievable for all businesses no matter the size.

How You Can Utilise Chatbots for Your Business

Intelligent chatbots have always been the envy of a small business seeing as only the Fortune 500 companies seem to be able to afford that kind of technology. With Facebook’s introduction of Facebook Messenger and it’s bot engine, incorporating chatbots into businesses of all sizes is now a reality.

After all, if a massive conglomerate like Dominos is using Chatbots, it probably means that it’s a good idea for you to start doing it too. When it comes to business, the best way to succeed quickly is to follow in the footsteps of an already successful company. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a company that is in the same niche as you since business tactics are quite versatile and has across the board applications that can be used in all different niches.

Chatbots have created a new concept of conversational commerce whereby sales pitches are immersed within a conversational dialogue between store and consumer. Imagine being able to sell products and services to customers through an automated bot that engages in conversations with consumers. The possibilities are limitless and the opening up of a new sales channel is created. Other methods to incorporate this conversational commerce includes advertising in conversations as well as establishing a line of marketing commands.

Not only do Chatbots create a chance to increase earning potential, it also creates a platform to boost customer service and support that will benefit your company’s trust and reputation. A customer service Chatbot can be created to interact with customers, answer frequently asked questions, and even go so far as to assist customers to process payments. This takes away the need to employ virtual assistants to help do the manual labour normally associated with these tasks thus cutting business costs and removing room for human error.

Should You Build a Facebook Bot?

This is a question that is difficult to answer on a general basis. Without a doubt, every individual case is different as one company’s needs may not be the same as another. Nevertheless, there are a few questions to ask yourself when considering whether you should build a Facebook bot for your business.

  1. What Would be Your Purpose?

The most important thing to clarify with yourself is whether you have a clear purpose for the bot as part of your business.

Several companies who initially started out building mobile applications for their business eventually went astray as they viewed it as a smaller version of their website accessible through a mobile device. Many of these companies did not spend the time or effort to study the interactional changes a mobile device would create and the impacts it would bear on their company.

Similarly, before you decide on building a Facebook Bot, it is important to identify whether the task is suitable for a mobile device. Obtain some advice from professional consultants if you’re on the fence on this one as they may be able to help draw up the pros and cons in a neutral perspective that will give you a fresh evaluation of your business integrating a Facebook Bot.

  1. Do you have a Facebook Audience?

Next, you’ll have to identify whether your target market is in fact on Facebook. For example, if you’re in the old folks home industry, marketing a product or service on Facebook would not be a smart thing to do considering the majority of the demographics on Facebook do not comprise of your target audience.

In other instances, even if your target audience currently does not use Facebook, you may want to think ahead into the future and try to identify any instances where they may start using Facebook in the future. Try to determine if there is any potential in your business engaging in Facebook marketing in order to accommodate a future audience.

  1. Are you able to Support Inquiries from Facebook Messenger?

Customer support is the backbone of every successful business and building a Facebook Bot is no different. If you aren’t able to support inquiries you may receive from the Facebook Messenger Platform via your bot, you have a long way to go in operational preparations before considering building a Facebook Bot.

Despite the automation a Facebook bot boasts about, you will still be required to promote it, monitor and respond to any outstanding questions that your bot is unable to answer, and keep track of how your customers are responding to your bot.

Once you have considered the three questions above and believe you have a good business foundation that is ready to integrate a Facebook bot, diving in early can prove to be extremely beneficial with a chance of your company becoming one of the shapers of the Facebook Messenger Platform.The development of Facebook bots is only at its beginning stages with potential that is increasing at an exponential rate. This development of more and more features being added to different types of bots can bring in huge potential for you as a business owner.

If you’d like to find out more about how Facebook Bots can change your business in the right direction, drop us a line and we’ll be more than happy to help you out with a concept, strategy, and better understanding.