Messenger apps and integrated chatbots are increasingly appearing on our web faces and places.

Why?

To help answer questions, fulfill requests, and have other useful conversations with users in real time.

Yet to talk to a robot, why dial a number and select an option on the keypad and then another… and another… Frustrating.

It is much easier for the user or customer to do this quickly online.

Brands understand this.

1-800-Like flowers. They used online chat tools to generate 70 percent of their new customers.

Users understand too. About a quarter of the planet is expected to use messaging apps in 2019.

We follow our guide to using messaging bots for business with some real examples.

I hope these inspire you to navigate the messaging app wave.

Surf Up. Same with sales.

1. Keep in mind

By sharing relevant content.

BuzzFeed does this well.

BuzzFeed, a leader in viral content, uses WeChat to deliver personalized content to its subscribers.

As a BuzzFeed subscriber on WeChat, you will receive new content every day.

You can also type keywords like “fail”, “win” and “cute” over chat and a bot will respond with relevant content accordingly.

take away: Show and share regularly directly to your followers. It shows you care. Lovely. And good for business.

2. Respond instantly to customers

It’s hard to do with a human. It’s easy to do with software.

Because… when a customer asks, you want to answer right away. Even within an hour.

That’s what Messenger apps are designed to do: Provide instant, one-on-one customer service.

The ski search engine does that.

Kayak uses Facebook Messenger as its customer support tool. To search for flights, find travel deals, update itineraries and get travel advice.

KAYAK Messenger App

Just ask: “Would you recommend a hotel in Manhattan for New Year’s Eve?” Or, “Can you find me a romantic getaway for under $600?”

Kayak’s chatbot will filter thousands of search results to instantly answer your question. Then choose the one that works best for you.

take away: Your customers expect immediate service at all hours of the day and night. Give it to them with a chatbot.

3. Personalize

Ask the right questions. Give the correct answers.

H&M Makes Clothing.

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They introduced their own Kik chatbot that doubles as a personal stylist.

H&M chatbot

Do you want a new dress for the Royal Ball? Or a Mani suit to look more flashy than 007?

Talk to chatbots. They will question you first, with questions that will reset your style.

This bot will show you a catalog of styles for the new you.

Move items or tap “share” or “save”. Better still, tap ‘shop’ to get a link to buy online from your mobile app.

Sephora also asks questions.

As the first beauty retailer to use a messaging app for shoppers via the Kik chatbot.

Kik offers makeup tips, product recommendations, product reviews, video tutorials and allows consumers to shop directly from the app.

Sephora loves millennials. Millennials are like Kik. Kik has 300 million registered users, of which 70 percent are between the ages of 13 and 25.

Nice game, huh?

Sephora chatbot

Kik bot also asks questions. Like age, favorite brands and what your best makeup item is. It’s a pretty cool way to get user-specific insights while creating a great experience.

take away: Use your bot to ask questions, gain insight, and help your customers make a purchase. Be as friendly online as in-store, while serving shoppers anytime, anywhere.

4. Make shopping more fun

By entertaining users.

Whole Foods does this by making everyday chores fun.

With Facebook Messenger, the grocery chain helps users find recipes for their next shopping trip.

Chat with a robot chef, choose an ingredient emoji, then view the recipes.

Imagine if shoppers could mix and match emojis along with keywords like “mediterranean,” “gluten-free,” or “vegetarian.” Users can wildly express flavors, cuisine, ingredients and spices to make shopping fun, fast and delicious.

take away: Solve problems while entertaining shoppers for their weekly trip to your real store. It may seem experimental now – but later on it won’t.

5. Know what customers want

By learning from your influencers like Adidas.

They use the private messaging apps Whatsapp, Line and Facebook Messenger to share content, news and products with ‘teams’ of local influencers.

But it’s not automatic. Adidas in-house teams use apps to talk directly with their influencers.

Teams consist of 100 to 250 obsessed fans. Each of them has a sizable following on social media – just below celebrity status.

This allows Adidas to capture more thoughtful information and sentiments from people who represent a wider customer base and are at the top of fashion trends. Otherwise, disclosing such information to the general public feels impersonal.

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take away: Use messaging apps internally to talk one-on-one with influencers in your field. They will feel more connected to your brand and better represent you on their social channels. This way of communication is more personal than a blog or social network.

6. Make it easy to buy

By doing some preliminary work.

Burger King does.

They use the Facebook Messenger app to enable customers to order food before it shows up at the door or window. They can also use it to find a place nearby and find out when their food will be ready.

Same with Taco Bell and Domino’s.

take away: Let customers work on their own terms. When you do the heavy lifting before they arrive, customers can simply show up, leave and enjoy the goods.

7. Promote your product in real time

Because sometimes a single picture or 280 characters is not enough.

Taco Bell noticed this.

That’s why they launched their Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos via Snapchat.

60 percent of Snapchat users are Gen Z.

Taco Bell timed its snaps with the MTV Movie Awards. He then sent them throughout the day, creating a six-minute long movie for users to watch.

The product launch follows a movie script where a hardworking employee at Snapchat is requested to find out what the new Doritos Locos Taco will be and bring it to his boss.

There’s romance, drama, comedy and cliffhanger.

take away: For your next product launch… make it visual and create drama with an exciting twist and plot. Maybe you’ll get more than double your base of 74 million impressions and followers.

8. Improve how people see your group

The Washington Post does.

Yes, a traditional news broadcast has been using chatbots since 2016.

See how they used Facebook Messenger when they hit 87 million monthly users in the last presidential election.

The purpose of the bot was to provide information to readers, similar to their typical posts.

Washington Post on Facebook Messenger

American users shared their zip codes to retrieve election results for their location via Associated Press survey data.

A quick way to learn about a wide range of topics for journalists and subscribers.

take away: Sharpen your brand perception among readers. Experiment with an automated bot to share valuable content.

Start building your own messaging implementation strategy today.

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