Advancements in technology have paved way for the use of digital assistants in online marketing efforts. Many people are increasingly getting connected to chatbots as the first point-of-interaction with various businesses. While chatbots have traditionally supported customer service departments, there is a new kind of hype floating around about them. The attention has especially been on Facebook bots that many businesses in Kenya are now using to automate marketing and sales strategies.
The Facebook bots – whose use is especially prevalent on the Facebook messenger platform, are basically automated software’s pre-programmed to control Facebook accounts when interacting with customers or powered by A.I. The Facebook messenger bots are now so common among Kenyan online businesses that most people interact with one without even realizing it. This can be attributed to the fact that amongst all mobile chat apps, Facebook Messenger ranks second with about 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide.
By creating a Facebook account, businesses get to have a free and an automatic access to Facebook messenger along with the ability to build Facebook bots which can scale and automate marketing strategies. The low barrier to entry for both the business and the target audience make Facebook marketing a goldmine for social media marketing teams. As of the 2018 F8 conference, the social media giant had 300,000 active messenger bots.
The increasing numbers of businesses profiles on Facebook prompted the Facebook developers to come up with the Facebook workplace community tool. Workplace is a tool designed to help social media marketing teams and organizations communicate and collaborate efficiently while working via the Facebook platform by using features such as chats, groups and video calls.
Facebook Workplace is available to businesses in two options. The Workplace standard and the Workplace premium. The standard option allows businesses to create simple Facebook bots with pre-programmed responses that can easily tackle basic customer queries. The premium workplace option on the other hand, features an integration accessory which users can use to create and install custom integrations. The custom integrations make it possible to build powerful chatbots that can autonomously interact with people in groups and chat.
The Facebook workplace premium features advanced options that enable one to build customized Facebook bots for business which can automatically post content into groups, respond to queries with detailed information and even take action when mentioned in comments on a post. The bots can also disseminate information in real-time among the workplace members or handle requests with structured conversation elements like quick replies.
How Facebook bots can be used in Workplace
To be able to create a business customized Facebook bot for your Workplace community, you must first make sure you have a system administrator (admin) access to the account or can work with the admin.
Bots as a page
Like in the messenger App, the bots in Workplace are also represented as pages. When one creates a custom integration app, a Facebook page is automatically created where People in your Workplace community can discover and interact with your bot. Bot pages are company-public, meaning any member of a Workplace community can see, tag, and message the bot. However, depending on the permission level you choose when creating your bot, it may not be able to see and interact with all of the content on Workplace. You have to personally grant permission to the various actions available.
Chatbots in Groups
In groups, Facebook bots can do many of the things that people can do. You can build bots that post new content, comment on related content with new information and like posts to indicate acknowledgement or approvals. They can also @ (mention) people to get their attention, and be @ (mentioned) to start a specific workflow, ask a question and even share data with Webhooks which enables Workplace to monitor data and interact with users in flexible ways.
Bots in Chat
Facebook bots in chat are best method for direct real-time interaction with a single person or a defined group of people. The ChatBot uses the same interaction model as used in the messenger platform to send important reminders or notifications to people based on an upcoming event like an interview or a meeting. Workplace chat bots can also be used to engage users in conversations and even take follow up action through persistent menus, templates and quick replies based on a customer’s feedback.
Despite all the hype surrounding Facebook bots, they are still a long way from perfect. The Human- bot interaction could still use some more research and modification. They however have great potential in transforming small businesses by enhancing their marketing strategies which in turn translate to an increase in the ROI. In fact, marketing experts estimate that ChatBot conversations are likely to save businesses nearly $8 billion in productivity by 2022.