Tag Archives: facebook

Our Take: Facebook Expands Messenger Platform

At last year’s F8 Facebook Developer Conference, Facebook opened its API to developers for building bots on its Messenger Platform. Since we’ve been building chatbots since 2011, we were quite excited at the time by the potential this news provided, believing that the familiar interface of social media messaging is the right channel for real-time human language chatbots. Both trusted by — and comfortable to — users, social media messaging offers incredible upside to brands wishing to engage deeper with their customers while providing personalization and utility.

Fast forward to this year’s F8 conference and Facebook has again made news with its Messenger Platform. This time around, Facebook has announced bot discovery through the addition of a Discovery tab and Messenger codes. While we argued last year that discovery is undoubtedly a large challenge to conversational conversion, such as that facilitated by chatbots, the Facebook additions are a helpful half-step forward. However, to reap the benefits of chatbots and encourage customer engagement, brands need three things.

More Discovery

Facebook’s yellow pages will be helpful for reactive discovery of bots. For example, if I am looking for pizza delivery, I might search for a bot to help me with that. However, for proactive bot discovery, yellow pages aren’t ideal. (How many times have you proactively let your fingers do the walking? I’m guessing not often.) Similarly, brands who want to proactively promote their Messenger-based chat bots need to find a way to proactively drive engagement. At Chirpify, we’ve been fueling this very kind of discovery and engagement through the use of social triggers that can be used in any medium – from TV advertising to billboards; megatrons to email – that causes an immediate conversion opportunity from offline marketing to brand chatbots.

And while Facebook has launched Messenger codes which reflects this notion, they are limited to images that can be snapped with a cell phone camera. Another limitation is that they do not connect the dots as to which customer activated the code, which brings me to my second point.

Recognize your Customers

In addition to driving discovery, it is important that brands use the chatbot opportunity for greater recognition, acknowledgement and personalization. Simultaneously, it is increasingly important for brands to show the ROI of their social media efforts. To achieve both, you need to integrate your Messenger chatbot with the corporate CRM or customer database. Doing so allows you to recognize your customers when they engage with your chatbot. And, you can create offers tailored to them; reward them for taking certain actions; or personally acknowledge them for their participation. In addition, when you tie these systems together, you are able to provide closed-loop analytics, learning for example which customers engage with your chatbot, and how, when and why they use it. This deeper data set on your social media customers allows you to further hone your marketing efforts for greater efficacy.

Utility

When brought all together, these strategies allow you to create and drive utility for customers. More than convenience, utility means making it truly easy to do business with you by making your customer known to you across your customer touch points and simplifying the interaction process. Said another way, customers want a bot to be tied to their overall brand experience and provide utility by already knowing who they are and making it incredibly easy to take the next step in participating or interacting with you. Of course, this data can be easily obtained through the customer database and when linked to your customer’s Facebook ID, provides a closed-loop look at your customer.

For brands to be successful engaging consumers with chatbots, they will need to connect the interface to meaningful experiences, back end business processes, and consumer programs that already exist within the organization. Loyalty programs are an ideal example as they are designed for utility, are supported by a deep customer database, and are home to your most loyal customers. With a Messenger-based chatbot, your program members can engage more deeply as it provides a platform for your most loyal customers to interact with the brand in ways that are meaningful to them and encourages a symbiotic relationship with points and/or other rewards in exchange for participation.

Chat With Us

To learn more about driving discovery, personalization and utility for your Messenger-based chatbot, just chat with our chatbot: The ChirpBot

Facebook Messenger Bots and Your Marketing Roadmap

5 Key Considerations for Marketing Bot Success

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According to stats shared by Facebook at its annual F8 conference, more than 60 billion messages are sent per day through its two chat products, WhatsApp and Messenger. That’s three times the number of traditional SMS text messages sent per day. Couple that with the facts that Messenger has 900 million monthly users and over 50 million companies are on Facebook itself, and the idea of facilitating real-time communication between people and brands via Messenger crystallizes quickly.

Hence Facebook’s announcement of the Messenger Platform which now provides brands with APIs to create their own natural language bots that can communicate with people for sales, service, and more via Messenger. Having helped grow this market space for years now, I can tell you that we are fans of this announcement as the marriage makes great sense or marketers.

As illustrated by the figures above, Facebook Messenger is a natural platform for chatbots because it is trusted by both consumers and brands for conversation and conversion. As consumer attention moves from social networks to private 1:1 communications, it’s becoming imminently important for brands to have a presence in the new dark social paradigm.

However, simply having a presence is not enough. Marketing organizations really need to think through and build several key considerations into their chatbot roadmaps. Specifically:

1. Utility & User Experience: While enabling consumers to engage with your natural language bot is a step forward in user experience, organizations should challenge themselves to create a better experience driven by the utility that modern consumers demand, and by which they measure today’s brands.

For brands to be successful engaging consumers with chatbots, they will need to connect the interface to meaningful experiences, back end business processes, and consumer programs that already exist within the organization.

2. Loyalty: Loyalty programs are an ideal example of an existing program designed for utility as program members can engage deeply inside messaging apps. Providing this level of utility allows your most loyal customers to interact with the brand in ways that are meaningful to them and encourages a symbiotic relationship with points and/or other rewards in exchange for participation.

3. Conversion: One of the commonly cited hurdles of chatbots is that they are reactive in nature and attempts to be proactive can come off as pushy or trying too hard at best. Chirpify helps brands with this issue by allowing marketers to activate offline media like television, events and in-store calls-to-action to conversion using chat, thus increasing the effectiveness of all channels involved.

4. The Right Mix of Automation and Moderation: Automating 1:1 consumer marketing communications and conversion inside messaging apps like Messenger can be a boon to your marketing efforts. However, as I shared earlier, it is important that brands determine their strategy for balancing personalization empowered by a smart rules-engine with human moderation backed by automation.

For example, a brand may choose to let a bot interact with a consumer if they are activating a campaign call-to-action to enter a contest. While brands may elect to moderate conversations that require greater knowledge (e.g. past transaction history with the brand) and personalization, such as a request for a hotel upgrade.

5. Data: I mentioned backend systems above, but it’s worth its own callout as it is really important to tie chat identity, demographics, and other first party data to email and other information in your CRM and/or marketing database. Being able to connect the dots on this information not only gives your team more extensive knowledge of your customers but also serves to provide a significant competitive advantage.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new interface – especially one that is as disruptive as this. Yet, I encourage marketers to think about Messenger Platform bots (and chatbots more generally) as an opportunity to build a customer experience focused on utility that can convert. Brands across industries and client types can benefit by thinking about existing, internal programs such as loyalty that are a natural fit for extending customer relationships to maximize customer lifetime value.

Social Commerce & the Twitter Buy Button

Today Twitter announced a ‘Buy Button’ as a new feature to its service. As Bloomberg News put it, “For Twitter, a tweet will soon be more than a form of communication or an ad — it will be an invitation to buy.”  The new buy button is enabled by Twitter Cards which have up to now been used to enhance tweets with features like media, photos and media experiences.

While the ultimate purpose of Twitter Cards is to drive traffic to your website, Twitter offers eight different card types, three of which are specifically designed to drive action from tweets. After enabling Twitter Cards, users are able to track analytics such as impressions and URL clicks. These analytics are used to provide insight on how your content is being shared.

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Comparing Chirpify and Twitter Cards is similar to comparing a whole pie to its ingredients. With Twitter Cards, marketers are presented with a variety of options to optimize conversion, but are left to mix and match them on their own. And it’s still a ‘silent click.’ Analytics provide some insight into the success of campaigns but they stop at engagement— with no real insight into ROI. 

At Chirpify, we enabled true social commerce (purchase and payment with a single comment) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over 2 years ago. What we found is that brands think of social commerce as a small subset of a much larger opportunity: Marketing Conversion.

Today Chirpify’s Marketing Conversion Platform enables brands to…

  1. Convert marketing from any channel (TV, In-store/venues, mobile, digital, billboards) from consumers using any device
  2. Attach social identity for attribution to every conversion
  3. Determine advertising performance and ROI across each of these channels

Twitter’s move into commerce doesn’t compete, but rather helps Chirpify.  Any time one of the major social platforms enables a Chirpify feature, we get a lot of interest from brands looking for a solution that works across all social platforms, all advertising channels and for any marketing messages.

In 2014 alone, over 100 brands and more than 500,000 consumers have used Chirpify Actiontags to respond via social (Twitter, Facebook & Instagram) to advertising and content on TV, at concerts & events, and in digital/social channels.

4 Ways to Benefit from Combining Facebook Brand & Direct Marketing

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Many marketers think of Facebook marketing as a brand activity – not one that can drive conversion directly. However, it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. By combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers can drive both amplification and conversion.

Companies are growing their social media budgets and with more money comes increased expectations (and scrutiny). The need to prove ROI of efforts and social media’s role to the bottom line is becoming essential. This still isn’t down to a science, however. As Social Media Examiner points out in its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 88 percent of marketers still want to know how best to measure social media ROI.

This makes Facebook ripe for a convergence of brand marketing and direct marketing. Why? Because by combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers contribute to specific data and revenue objectives, allowing them to show ROI and measurable business impact. In the process, they prove the value of the social media investment and the social marketer’s value as well.

This is already starting to happen, and there are several things we can learn from early adopters. They are combining brand and direct response marketing by:

1)   Using Facebook as a ‘point of conversion’ for their other marketing activities. That is, they give customers a way to respond via social channels to what they see on TV, billboards or even email.

2)   Creating conversation opportunities linked to premium brand content.  Engaged customers appreciate “VIP access” and are often willing to share their data and insight in return for exclusive content.

3)   Creating programs that incorporate Facebook actions and behaviors into a brand’s broader, cross-channel “Customer Journey” – in measurable way.

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Early adopters who have successfully blended brand and direct response marketing in this way consistently see added benefits from their existing social media strategies. It’s also worth noting that these benefits play off of one another, creating a positive ROI cycle. Specifically, early adopters are:

1)   Identifying more qualified consumers and in the processgetting products directly in the hands of their best customers.

2)   Achieving higher amplification, allowing consumers to amplify a brand’s message, boosting their organic Facebook reach.

3)   Gaining greater efficiency.  New, automated social response solutions allow brands to convert consumers at scale.

4)  Increasing campaign effectiveness with new insights analytics that go beyond engagement and tap into social conversation rates, sales and consumer profile data.

It should come as no shock that Gartner Research found that “42 percent of respondents see analytics as a top future investment for Social Marketing.”  With greater budget comes greater responsibility to drive concrete outcomes.  And while many marketers are focused today on how best to measure social marketing efforts, they should also explore new opportunities to combine brand marketing and direct marketing activities within social to drive additional ROI.

Direct Dialogue on Social Media: Celebrities & Fans

Many years ago, the closest connection fans could get to a celebrity or sports star was by simply watching them on TV or going to a venue to see them in person. Social media introduced a new connectivity to these influencers by allowing fans to follow them and receive, for the most part, original content from these individuals. This form of connectedness has its own roadblocks as well. With thousands, even millions of fans following each influencers, the continuation of the issue of one way communication continues. As with watching on TV or going to a venue, the artist is just projecting outwards to their audience of thousands or millions followers in a digital setting. Only a few individuals are lucky enough to engage in a two way interaction with these influencers. Facebook is working towards generating more two way engagements with a new app.

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Facebook Mentions

Described as “a new Facebook Creative Labs app that makes it easy for public figures to talk with their fans and each other on the go” and clearly with the goal of generating more two way engagements. Techcrunch dives even further into the app by discussing how it will eliminate the clutter of advertisements, unrelated articles, game invites and many other distractions that occur on a traditional Facebook feed. This will allow the app to create more intimate relationships between fans & influencers by placing emphasis on engagement.

The Problem

One hurdle the app faces is the exclusivity of the app. A user must request access and be approved to participate. This may leave a significant population of fans feeling isolated from being able to further connect with celebrities. The overarching themes of this app is connectivity and establishing valuable,  two way connections.

The Solution

Chirpify has recognized the value in both of themes and has partnered with major entertainers to help further establish them. In an earlier blog post, we discussed how Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts have engaged fans during their concerts. These fans receive personal messages from the musician’s Twitter account when they tweet the customized hashtag for their concert, they establish connectivity. These connections are valuable because the fans are able engage with the artist and earn a free seat upgrade. For the entertainer, they gain valuable consumer information and positively enhance their relationships with fans. Above all, anyone at the venue with a Twitter account can participate thus working to eliminating the feeling of isolation.

If you are interested in learning more about how innovative brands are engaging consumers, register for our upcoming webinar here.

Why Facebook & Twitter are Entering the World of Online Commerce

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Consumers today value simplicity and convenience. Social media has significantly contributed to this by simplifying information to as little as 140 characters and allowing users to filter what information they receive, whenever they want. Social has also created a more interactive platform for consumers. It is norm for users to share, retweet, comment, like, as well as various others activities on a daily basis. Twitter and Facebook are trying to take simplicity and convenience to the next level by enabling their platforms to be centralized locations for online commerce. These two social media giants are working towards making the word “buy” a social media norm along with the rest of the standard activities – something that is very meaningful to us here at Chirpify.

AdvertisingAge recently published an article which highlights the moves that both Facebook and Twitter are making to enter the online commerce space. Facebook released the “buy” button, which allows consumers to purchase products by simply clicking a button on an advertisement or original post. Techcrunch further explains that the entire purchase flow will occur completely on Facebook. Personal and credit card information can be stored on Facebook to eliminate even further online purchase time. However Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg emphasized the aim is to streamline the transaction process for sellers, and not for Facebook to become a seller itself.

In a counter move, Twitter acquired CardSpring, a payment startup that allows developers to write application systems for payment systems. 

image With these two major moves, one has to wonder the motivation behind these investments. It brings us back to the idea of simplicity and convenience. Consumers seek frictionless commerce. To further expand on this idea, lets map out a traditional online purchase. You may see an advertisement online for a new line of product, click that advertisement, search the website for the correct product, add it to your basket, input multiple pages of personal information and finally you have made your purchase. With these new solutions, it significantly cuts down that friction. You simply click one button, potentially enter in some personal information (if you are a first time user that is) and the purchase is complete.

Chirpify has been enabling that simplicity and convenience for major brands across multiple industries. We understand that consumers want activities completed as quickly as possible and our Actiontags have worked to accomplish this. We have been able to harness this understanding and expand across multiple marketing channels such as billboards, TV and in-venue. We have already been able to see huge successes for both commerce and attribution for our clients using Actiontags and we are happy the rest of the industry is making moves to allow consumers to engage seamlessly. If you are interested in learning more about how we are using social media for cross channel promotion, join us for our upcoming webinar by registering here

 

In-Stream Facebook Commerce Is Here

Twitter, Instagram, and now In-stream Facebook Commerce

Along with Twitter & Instagram, our brands, merchants, record labels and individual members have asked us for Facebook integration. The Chirp abides. We we’ve added Facebook commerce to our in-stream transaction capabilities.

New Members Selling In-Stream

We’re not the only ones excited about this. We’d like to welcome the following new members to the Chirpify nest. Some of these new members have already launched with us on Facebook, and now we’re opening Facebook Commerce up to everyone.

In-stream = In News Feed

Along with Twitter and Instagram, Chirpify now enables anyone to sell, fundraise and pay directly within the Facebook News Feed simply by commenting with the words “buy” or “donate”. This means that sellers can now list once on Chirpify, and distribute their listings across the three top social media platforms, where consumers can purchase or donate without ever leaving the conversation. We’re the only platform that enables in-stream payments and commerce across the social web.

Brand Pages

In-stream commerce not only works directly in a consumer’s news feed, but also directly within a brand page. So, both businesses and individual members can take advantage of selling in-stream.

“By expanding Chirpify to the top three major social media sites, we’ve created the only social commerce platform that enables businesses to list and distribute products to each social media platform, and consumers to purchase in-stream on each without ever leaving,” said Chirpify CEO Chris Teso. “We are excited that businesses like Adidas sought us out to develop frictionless commerce for Facebook.”

Transaction Types

We’ve enabled Facebook in-stream transactions for giveaways, physical and digital commerce, and fundraising for non-profits.

Transactional Processing

Similar to Instagram and Twitter, if a member of Chirpify comments on your listing with the words “buy”, “donate”, or “gimme”, the transaction will process instantly without any other steps. Both buyer and seller will receive receipts and fulfillment data. If someone comments to your Chirpify listing and they aren’t a Chirpify member, we’ll automatically reply to them on Facebook with a link to complete their transaction.

Get Started

If you’re already a member, you can connect your Facebook profile or page in the Social Streams tab of your Dashboard. If you’re not a member, you can sign up using Facebook.
 Connect your Facebook

121212-The Concert For Sandy Relief

 We’re very excited to be a part of a huge fundraiser for such a great cause. The 121212 Concert benefits the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This event features amazing musical artists such as Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West, The Who, and Paul McCartney. Not to mention, the 121212 Concert can be viewed by over 2 billion people worldwide. You can watch or listen to the 121212 concert starting at 7:30pm ET on several tv stations, radio channels, and streaming on the web. To find out where/how you can watch the concert, go here. Where we come into play is as a component of the fundraising efforts of this concert. You can donate to the disaster relief via Chirpify by simply replying “donate” to @RobinhoodNYC’s Tweet which you can see below.


If you’d like to fundraise on Twitter or Instagram, all you have to do is sign up, create your listing!