Understanding Which Social Platforms to Choose When [infographic]

Right messaging on social media is as important as using the right channel to spread it. Actually, it is wise to say that they are interdependent. Selecting the right communication channel for the right business and saying the right things on it, is something that we have been emphasizing during a long time. Right channel, right message coupled with the right timing is the core of any social media strategy.

In this social media universe where different tools and platforms are available, it is also a good idea to design different messaging on each of these channels to make the best use of the dynamics of each of them. With Twitter, Facebook, now Google+ and more, it is easy to confuse one with another and forget about the specific social strategy.

It would also work in your favour if your content distribution is in sync with the nature of business. We have also written about how to select the right social media platform earlier on our blog, meaning if the communication needs to be one to many audiences or you need to facilitate a conversation.

Mark Zuckerberg’s view of increase in social sharing
In order to communicate effectively on each platform and see that your content gets adequately distributed on Internet, it is good to understand the sharing habits of people. As clearly pointed out by Mark Zuckerberg in a recent press conference, it is interesting to notice the number of active users and the content they share. The amount of sharing per person is growing faster than the number of users. In 2004, users were sharing 1% of content (on Facebook). An aggregate of 4 billion things get shared every day, which is approximately twice as much as a year ago. And it is expected to increase in the coming years.

From this we can conclude that in the future, apps and content need to be designed to match and to make the best of this social sharing.

AOL and Nielsen Online content sharing report 2011
In their April 2011 report, “Content is the Fuel of the Social Web,” AOL and Nielsen Online gathered data from over 10,000 social media messages to analyze how people share content online.

A look at the findings:

From this, it’s clear to notice that most people share a URL to published content, in such cases a blog and Facebook combination works well. Also, Twitter can be used for sending out corporate news flash. When we look at the high sharability of embedded content, corporate blogs work to one’s advantage.

Infographic
I found an infographic by SocialCast.com which highlights the use of different platforms to communicate different forms of messaging followed by top form of communication for businesses. The infographic ends with the names of a new companies who have got it right and are adequately communicating through different social media channels.

Take a look here:

hierarchy-final2

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.