Response Management: Socially Devoted [Infographic]

Super Bowl XLVII has finished. The lights of the New Orleans Superdome have been turned off and it is time to go through the many analyses of both game plans and advertising money spent. A loss for the 49’ers, but a great win for social media – with an emphasis on Twitter.

Last year, Facebook and Twitter shared a social media first place in terms of brand usage during the Super Bowl. This year, Twitter outran Facebook by miles in terms of brands mentioning the network in their campaigns.


Understanding the social media ground rules

Announcing social media the big winner of Super Bowl is not only a matter of brands now being aware of the opportunities social media offer, making them hunt followers and likes. It is a matter of brands understanding the true values and dynamics of a community. Values you can only benefit from if you understand your target group and fulfil their demands and expectations – despite the social network.


Measuring responsiveness

It is a question of actively engaging with your fans and followers, preaching transparency and interaction on the premise that both serve your brand and your target group. Socialbakers have made an analysis of how brands are performing in their social media outreach on Facebook by measuring their responsiveness. Divided into Q1-Q4 2012, you can see the global brands that are performing the best and the worst – on either Twitter or Facebook.

When directing our attention to Facebook, SocialBakers’ “Socially Devoted” infographic of brands’ 2012 responsiveness shows the amazing development that has taken place during the past year. Looking at the statistics, brands are starting to take their social media presence seriously:

–       From an average time of response of 20.9hrs in Q1 to just 13.7hrs in Q4

–       From an average of 30% of questions answered in Q1 to no less than 55% in Q4

–       From an average response rate of 46.4% in the financial industry in Q2 to 72.3% in Q4

–       A +506.5% improvement of response rate within the alcohol industry from Q2 to Q4


Photo credit: FindYourSearch via photopin cc

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 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.