Social Media Gone Mobile

 

Yesterday, Facebook reinforced their analytics module, Insights, to encompass reach data on users interacting via a mobile device:

What’s the big deal?
So, what is the big deal about this upgraded version of Insights? Well, obviously it’s going to make life a little easier for the social media people wanting to analyse the Big Data produced in the Big Data Application that is Facebook. More importantly, the upgrade is a clear indication that mobile is to be takien seriously in social media. According to a study made by Lightspeed Research, a staggering 73% of Facebook’s mobile users access the platform on a daily basis from their smartphone app. An additional 19% of the mobile users access Facebook at least once a week on their smartphone. A point that Marlene covered in yesterday’s post.

Crunching the numbers
Astounding numbers, but to fully understand the impact of mobile in social media, you need to know just how big a share of the total amount of Facebook’s users is actually using the mobile app. Socialbakers.com made an infographic back in May 2012, so the numbers can only be assumed to have risen:

More than half of the users are mobile. These numbers put together means that nearly 360M Facebook users check the app on their mobile device on a daily basis.

The social media market it gearing up
It is not only BDAs that are gearing up for the mobile platform. This year’s Cannes Lions included a new category specifically targeted mobile campaigns, Mobile Lions, once again indicating the growing demand and attention to mobile devices’ influence on how we interact on social media platforms. See the Grand Prix winning mobile campaign from Coca-Cola here.

Where do you start?
Not sure about this talk of mobile yet? It doesn’t have to be too complicated or time consuming to incorporate mobile into your existing social networks. As Marlene advised yesterday, you can simply start by making sure that your blog and landing pages are compatible with mobile devices.

If you are planning on setting up an app for your brand, Lightspeed Research’s statistics further revealed that tablet users have a tendency of using business apps (63%) or banking/finance apps (56%) on a daily basis and “only” 32% connect daily to social networks on their tablet. This seems to indicate that the mobile users make use of different mobile devices to different apps, which is worth considering when optimising you apps for mobile.

Has your brand integrated the mobile platform into your strategies yet?

 

Photo sources:

www.clearoute.com/blog

www.socialbakers.com


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.