How To Align Social Media With Marketing Activities

When talking about aligning social media with your marketing activities, what is important to bear in mind is that overall, throughout all the channels your business is using, the face and values being reflected to your customers should be the same.

This blog post does not address the conversation or strategy for approach, but suggests a head’s up towards allowing your business to build a more integrated presence for customers. So here’s a short checklist of how you can use social media to compliment your marketing activities.

On a last note, when working on social media and marketing, it cannot be emphasized enough that tagging and linking is crucial to the number of results for your search.

Research
Search for words and terms your company is paying for and associated with online and integrate them into descriptions and biographies on social profiles.

Tagging
Pictures are a valuable asset: upload them on Flickr and tag the pictures with the search words done in step 1, that compliment and are identified with your company. Upload pictures to your blog posts and on Facebook updates and current and upcoming promotions. Remember to take still shots of your TV commercial and upload and tag the pictures to Flickr with keywords.

Visual identity
Ensure that all your social profiles have the same corporate visual identity and that they are in congruence with one another. There is nothing worse than a company having or using one set of colours, fonts and pictures on their website, and another on their Twitter or Facebook profile. Make sure customers can mentally link from one to another by simply seeing the visual layout.

Links, links, links
Your company’s social profile should contain links to your social profiles in display ads whenever possible. This will allow customers to always know that your links are up to date, and will bring them to the company’s most ongoing projects/promotions. This will also allow your business to be seen as having their online advertising aligned with the latest news.

Blogs
Your blog posts should reflect what is currently happening in your company and should show up to date promotions or ongoing projects. By simply giving the facts and linking about the promotions or projects that are currently running will allow you to add a link to the pre-sell, a landing page for the promotion/projects and allow customers to find their way to exactly what you want them to see. Use your blog to promote your company, the cool projects you are working on, or have just finalized. Remember to ask for customer feedback about your new commercial/product or project and allow customers to see how all that your company does, reflects on what your business is doing/trying to achieve.

Online advertising
Use YouTube. A lot of companies have their commercials on YouTube, and use a YouTube channel to keep track and to allow their advertising to be aired through a company account.

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Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.