Changing Trends in Social Media Can Influence Your Business Model (part II)

Changing Trends in Social Media Can Influence Your Business ModelWritten by Nabanita Roy, who is a web enthusiast and blogger currently working as a Community Development Executive at forums.com. She is trying to help people connect – and you can connect with her on Twitter @nabanita_roy.

In my previous post, I have given an overview of the changing trends in social media. This post explains the process of changing trends and how it actually influences business model. Take a look:

Social networking: Connect, Share, Engage

It’s time to make your connections stronger by ‘engaging’ than trying to sell your product/service. Companies all over the world are now looking forward to improving their relationship with their customers  with the help of social networking sites. Twitter, Facebook are a must for business sites. Most often the company professionals maintain accounts for interacting with their customers.

Twitter is one of the most popular when it comes to pure business. Popular brands maintain their profiles to post about their activites on Twitter. However, it’s not about just promotions. They maintain personal connections with their customers by answering their direct messages, tweeting about personal liking, dislikings, quotes and social interests. This helps their customers to know their company services better.

Facebook profiles with ‘like’ on post and pages can get you to cloud nine in no time. You can have your business page where you can share all updates about the company. Facebook group applications can be used to invite like minded people to share their thoughts on a subject. Personalized statements can help you to connect in a better way than official press releases following the social networking trends.

 

Communication outshines campaining

 

Communication gaining much more transparency and reachability, companies now look for more direct means of advertising.  Campaigning or spending millions of dollars is no more a necessity. Not even a requirement for many companies who have strong platforms for communication like facebook, twitter or other web 2.0 sites. With social media the advantage is, followers can share their experiences and problems with the company  experts directly. And here with good public relationship building via personalized networking you can strengthen your business.

How to go about it:

– Get feedback from your followers on the recent upgradation, company news, product/service.
– Reach out to them through direct messages.
– Clear out misconceptions by providing information, statistics and graphical data.
– Pay attention to one-to-one interaction process. Interact directly by addressing in a personalized way.
– Solve the problems faced and get it noticed.
– Improve your relationship your your consumers through tweets, posts, likes and updates. Do not set yourself away from the group.
– Be a part of it.

Community building- The impact of group communication

 

Any business in order to grow needs the united platform of your followers, contributers and friends. In order to make it big you need to understand the requirement of your consumers, their likings and their problems with the exiting products/services. The views should get a platform where this conversation can take place and the related relief can be provided. Social groups or group communication is the answer to this. You can start a forum on the arena you think requires special attention and share the problem with a likeminded group. Group communication can help you to share, discuss and spread your thoughts to a community as a whole. Interactions on a personal level, meet ups, events, seminars and shows as a part of the process can help in boosting the image of the organization.

 

The fact that corporate social responsibility is an important part of any business today proves that the humane factor is still the basic element. Social media trends are an easy way to track down the happenings in the outer world and form a link. When such human factors are connected with the business model the results are worth noticing. Now business is not just mere business. It is more of being in love with what you are doing and make others love it too!

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.