Since the early 2000s, brands have experimented with platforms and social media networks to communicate with customers and prospects – first by weblogs and possibly through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Although the capacity and sophistication have continued to evolve, at its core, social media has remained a platform to facilitate communication man to man.
But the robots moved.
Robots, but especially virtual robots or chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI), transforming the way brands do business with their clients. Domino was one of the first companies to soak in AI, which allows customers to order pizza by tweeting emoji pizza @Dominos. On the backend, a bot scans to confirm the tweet was not a hoax and processes the order.
More recently, Taco Bell has unveiled its TacoBot within the platform Slack messaging that allows workers engaged in discussing with a bot to order a taco. And F8, 1-800-Flowers, CNN, Facebook Spring – a retail start purchases – and other chatbots released for Facebook Messenger. These robots offer new ways to shop, shop, read news and more within the Facebook platform.
While all this sounds exciting, what it really means to consumers, and what is to become “human” on social media?
chatbots the factotum for all business needs
The first thing to understand about chatbots is that most will not introduce new capabilities ; instead, brand chatbots centralize where and how customers engage, using social media as an operating system.
Consumers engage with bots in three ways: content consumption, customer service and productivity or transactional commitments. Social media is already part of many of these activities between brands and consumers, but social media acts as a gateway to direct consumers to the brand’s website, blog or separate channels. Instead of using social media as a portal, consumers can read and receive information, ask technical questions and even make purchases of a chatbot.
Take for example the customer support. More than a third of the customers prefer to already use social media rather than the phone for customer support, and most consumers expect a response within an hour – if not faster. It is a tax burden for brands, but the AI chatbot improved by making it possible to host.
This is not the automated voice response painful for most customer phone services – which is good news as consumers are increasingly impatient with the customer service. Chatbot will be able to quickly understand the contextual application or client of the problem rather than forcing them through a series of selection menus to understand the problem.
personalized context of your life
The second way consumers benefit from chatbots is through personalization – and this is where social media plays a big role . Unlike SmarterChild bot hosted on AOL Instant Messenger, the potential for robots are not just completing the tasks you assign to it, but understanding the context of the life of the user. With Facebook integration, chatbots already have a rich source of data to understand user habits around when they check their devices, interest, the most precious relationships, and future plans and schedule, so the robots can provide updates, information and relevant recommendations that are both location- and context -Aware.
Many brands are already targeting the content on social media to public and specific locations, but there is no miracle solution now to fully customize what, when and how the messages are delivered to customers . Even chatbots current available on Facebook have room for improvement in this department. Try using one if you have not yet, you will receive an avalanche of notifications and updates push the bot to continue to share news and updates. But there is hope: Bots should become more intelligent with more human interaction, and learn that people really want information, and when they prefer to receive
The future is. now almost …
Although there is no doubt that this system leads social media bot to the future, there still needs improvement before robots are officially over. Even beyond the need to improve the understanding of the context of the time to share updates, there is also no common language or intuitive to initiate or end Chatbot conversations.
Kinks side, the good news is that artificial intelligence learns, and we all experience – both brands and consumers – these tools will become better. Although a public relations disaster, Microsoft Tay was in some respects a success in demonstrating the incredible speed that AI can learn and adapt. (And also raised the need for brands to find ways to code against AI or prevent learning unsavory and offensive language.)
Although the robots move in and likely to become widespread in three to five years, humans always have a place in social media. However, this too will change. As robots become equipped to handle the text content, the human side of brands and consumers will look to new ways to engage the richest, including virtual and augmented reality. Thus, despite the horrors of Hollywood around robots against humans, are social media – at least for now -. A double arena where the two can coexist
This post originally published in Techcruch.com. To see the original post here.