Consumers engaging with brands, seeking customer services and making purchases through social media is fast becoming the norm. Businesses need to constantly adjust their approach to reach out and respond to consumers with relevant and personalized messages.
Take advantage of these four technologies that will help your online engagement with your customers reach a whole new level.
Chatbots: Manage the Volume of Online Messages, and Speed up Customer Service
Chatbots are seeing a surge in uptake and are helping marketers connect with their audience in new ways. According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 percent of customer service operations will use chatbots across engagement channels, and Facebook reports that its Messenger has more than 300,000 active bots.
Brands are increasingly using chatbots to manage the large volume of customer messages generated across social media, and respond to them in a human-like fashion. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), bots become smarter over multiple interactions, and can be used to personalize marketers’ messages over time. They also help streamline and speed up customer service, allowing businesses to focus on bigger issues likes complaint resolution by taking care of routine customer queries.
AI-powered Prediction Engines: Access Granular Insights to Better Target Consumers and Boost Conversion
The use of AI in online engagement goes beyond just chatbots. Businesses are turning to AI to make sense of the huge volume of online data, access granular insights, predict audience behavior and boost user engagement. LinkedIn’s sophisticated machine learning algorithms, for instance, score candidates on the basis of location, work experience and other information, and use this to improve job-candidate matches.
On the marketing side of things, data-driven insights allow businesses to identify audiences more likely to convert and target them with relevant and customized messaging. For example, marketers can use Appier’s Aixon, a data intelligence platform, to discover new consumers, predict their behavior, and increase conversions by delivering targeted advertising.
Aixon’s recent integration with messaging app LINE extends these capabilities by allowing businesses to access powerful AI-driven insights into consumer behavior on LINE and push out highly targeted messages to them. For instance, a user visited an ecommerce site and added a dress to the shopping cart. A few seconds later, she would receive a push notification for an ad related this dress on her LINE app.
Augmented Reality: Offer Consumers Useful and Relevant Experiences that Increase Sales
In 2017, augmented reality (AR) moved beyond gaming and entertainment into business, with brands increasingly offering their customers useful AR experiences across social media channels. By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in AR, and Apple’s launch of iPhone X, which offers users new AR capabilities and facial recognition, will only push more social platforms to integrate AR technology.
The use of AR can be a win-win for both customers and businesses. For example, when Ikea’s Place allows users to preview how an armchair will look in their homes before buying it, not only is the customer making a better-informed decision, but the brand is also demonstrating how it fits into the customer’s home and life, boosting conversion and sales.
L’Oréal, which has bought the ModiFace AR beauty app, believes that this will boost online sales. Using facial recognition and AR technology, users can try out make-up on the app to see how it looks on their faces before actually buying the products. Even simple face filters like those that Snapchat offers are fast becoming a hot new way to advertise.
Social Listening Tools: Listen to Consumer Conversations and Better Customize your Content
The popularity of social listening tools is growing as more businesses realize the importance of tapping into customer and peer-to-peer conversations online. Social listening tools will allow you to keep an ear to the ground and be involved in consumer conversations across different social channels. The zillions of gigabytes of data generated from these are a goldmine of insights into consumer needs and preferences.
Marketers can then leverage AI’s capabilities to identify keywords and phrases, and generate insights around demographics, trending topics of interest and sentiment, which will help them better understand customer intent throughout the journey. Marketers can use these insights to be relevant in consumers’ lives, by creating content that resonates with their consumers and offering them solutions that they need.
Technologies such as those mentioned above are helping businesses make informed decisions, reach consumers more effectively, and target them better. Adopt and embrace those technologies to stay visible and relevant in the age of customized marketing.