Social media has been around for almost two decades now. It has had a huge impact on connectivity, engagement and free sharing of expression. The 21st century woke up to a boom in online networking with LinkedIn, Flickr, MySpace and Photobucket followed by Facebook, Twitter and more recently Instagram & Snapchat, that have become the zeitgeist of the present tech age. Monetization for social media platforms came via marketing, and the idea of connectedness soon took a back seat with brands and marketers making a beeline for selling on social media, especially Facebook. Facebook provides the highest target audience reach, based on the sizeable data available around the preferences and demographics of its diverse users. Even as social media platforms continue to flourish, much thought goes into the value and far-reaching effects of social media on a daily basis.
New media is a two-way street
Media was a one-way street before the internet carried it upon its shoulders. Offline still exists and holds prevalence as print advertisements, hoardings, collateral and even as the ubiquitous visiting card. But gone is the fire behind viral print campaigns and TVCs that would excite the audiences and leave strong imprints behind. This was one-way communication, the content of which would be the stuff of conversation amongst consumers, apart from news. That is not the case today. Today’s consumer is extremely hands-on with social media for information, discussion, opinion, and news. As of 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes in the previous year. Social media content is churned out by the millisecond, with a staggering 6000 tweets sent every second, 4 million Facebook likes generated every minute and 3.2 billion images shared each day. With the top 3 content marketing tactics being social media content (83%), blogs (80%), and email newsletters (77%), present-day customers have the advantage of instant engagement with brands on their side.
Social Media Communication, a boon or bane?
Social media engagement is an important value addition for customer experience. But engagement does not mean one isolated interaction. Engagement is built on continuous and pertinent interaction with customers. Unleashing brand presence on social media channels for the purpose of building customer relationships has served both pros and cons to brands. Today’s customer is restless and looking for instant gratification. Customers on social media want to be heard and be taken care of immediately in case of dissatisfaction. The fast-paced landscape of social media invites immediacy of resolution. Brands failing to maintain such high speeds of effective communication have attracted loss of reputation because, on social media, referrals travel instantly as well. Many brands using fake automated bots for replies and scripted interaction have gone horribly wrong in their strategy, leading to disgruntled customers and loss of loyalty.
However, not all usage of bots has been unsuccessful. Using the right AI integration for your brand can make all the difference. Erstwhile bots are being replaced by intelligent chatbots and digital assistants, which are using more sophisticated forms of AI and deep learning to hold personalized engagement with a customer. One-on-one engagement with chatbots lays out a customer expectation map which can set the tone for future interaction. Research indicates that chatbots will help businesses reduce costs by more than $8 billion per year by 2022.
Armed with the AI superpower, social media marketing is setting the pace for revolutionizing customer experience. With smart technology taking over human activity slowly, consumers will expect to see the transformation in social media journeys as well. Digital assistants activated with voice technology will be taking over the human agent function of not just FCR (first contact resolution), but also supporting and influencing users during the entire experience, as they will be customizing journeys within the ongoing engagement. AI augments data as experiences deepen and hence is able to bring higher accuracy to each interaction.
The days of repetitive and stereotypical chatbot responses on social media will be left far behind by agile businesses who want to build customer loyalty first. They will bravely pass on the conversational baton in the customer’s hand as they understand the demand for responsiveness that has grown multifold due to the advent of social media. 2018 is being seen as the year when social media chatbots will relinquish their FAQ tone to emerge as AI-powered agents that individualize customer experience 24x7x365 across all digital platforms. TeleApps is dedicated to redefining customer experience for contact centers and businesses. TeleApps creates relevant and engaging customer journeys with their products and solutions. Find out more about TeleApps here.