The future of social automation

Social Media Strategies

Automation is an evolving part of our daily lives. From direct deposit to robotic vacuums to thermostat control via smartphone, automation helps make our lives easier and more efficient. The same concept applies to social media. Social automation at its simplest includes scheduling posts to go out at a certain time. But, there’s so much more to it than that. The future of social automation embraces the rise of a type of artificial intelligence that can have a conversation with someone, also known as chat bots.

Facebook rolled out chat bots for its Messenger platform in April 2016 and it’s time for brands to jump on board. Facebook bots were introduced as an automated subscription that can provide content like weather and traffic updates, customized communication like receipts and shipping notifications, and live automated messages, all through Facebook Messenger.

Consumers are communicating with businesses directly via Messenger more than a billion times each month. As this is becoming a standard form of communication, automated messages and chat bots can be a great resource for businesses.

Chat bots can enhance a company’s customer service. One-third of people prefer social media over a phone call for customer service. Facebook Messenger provides another avenue for people to ask questions and get answers quickly on their mobile device, on a more personal level.

Additionally, businesses can send out news updates, alerts, new blog posts and important information to the people who already like or subscribe to their page. Taking it a step further, chat bots can be designed to send new updates to people who engage with a company’s Facebook page by commenting on or liking a post or ad, as a way to garner new fans and potentially new business. Setting up a basic Facebook chat bot is free and simple with a chat bot creation tool. 

As with any form of marketing, social automation needs to make sense for your business. Throwing a standard ad into Facebook Messenger will not yield the same results as having a well thought-out automation campaign. So take note: the future of social automation is upon us and it’s time to determine if your business can benefit.

-Amanda Wambold is social media strategist at Milwaukee-based Hoffman York.

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