Chatbots for businesses with Miguel Bravo

Podcast: The Hive Is Alive / by Miguel Bravo

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The Hive Is Alive
Chatbots for businesses with Miguel Bravo

Interested in using a chatbot, but not sure where to get started? Listen to our conversation with Apiary consultant and social content expert Miguel Bravo. Miguel shares his personal experiences creating and using chatbots, starting back in the days of AIM up to Facebook Messenger chatbots today. Hear Miguel’s thoughts on best practices, things to consider when developing a chatbot marketing strategy, guidelines for branded chatbots on Facebook, as well as how to get your own chatbot up and running.

Chatbots transcript

Full transcript (from transcription service)

Tess Barry: 00:00:01 – 00:00:30

Hello today we are joined by Miguel Bravo, an Apiary consultant who specializes in working with clients on social media campaigns and content, research and creation. You started a company to teach content, marketing skills called the new content collective and now you are also a producer for the Hive Is Alive. So welcome to the episode. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:00:31 – 00:00:34

Yeah I’m super excited to talk, chat, bots and. 

Tess Barry: 00:00:35 – 00:01:25

Yes, Sir, we spoke with Alyssa Allen about Facebook messenger, ads and ad units within Facebook messenger, and today we’re going to do a follow up, getting a bit more detail about how chatbots work and how chatbots can work within messenger as an ad unit to get us started Miguel: could you give us a bit of a background on what are chatbots in general? Yes, so the chap on is an online robot or bot that automates conversations so they’re really popular these days. It but they’ve actually been around for half a century. Actually, while the first chatbot that people recognize was about I think in the sixties, it was called the lives and it was built to chat like a therapist. My first memory with bots was with AOL instant messenger. Oh boy,. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:01:26 – 00:01:40

Yeah so back then I actually built the bot and I can’t even remember why I built it or what it actually did. I do remember that it was a lot of fun building it. Why did we do a lot of things back in those days? Yeah I really wish I could go back in interactives bought. 

Tess Barry: 00:01:41 – 00:01:43

Really likes Green Day yeah. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:01:44 – 00:02:23

There was another bot that was actually built for team I got really popular, at least in my household was really popular and it was called smarter child I’m. A smarter child was built to be a resource. Those like what time is out of the movie playing or you know, what’s the weather outside you know that kind of stuff. A couple years ago on Facebook just started to allow businesses to make their own chat bots for messenger. If you just look at the numbers, you know there’s over a billion people using messenger every month, there’s over two billion. So just sent between you know: users and businesses every month, wow. So like markers now we’re able to tap into this highly engaged user base, and hopefully we don’t. We don’t ruin the space. 

Tess Barry: 00:02:26 – 00:03:45

Yeah you’re right you’re, talking about we’ve, talked about in previous episodes where, with this new technology, where you can really contact customers on a one to one basis, you have to be a little bit careful about how often and what your tone is when you’re reaching out to people as a brand yeah, absolutely where in the consumer journey should we be reaching customers, but the chat bot well because you have to opt in Chatbots are typically a middle, funnel tactic and I say with bottom funnel capabilities, so some exceptions that I wouldn’t target or expect a cold audience top into your chatbot means a lot of the same strategy that you would use to entice. Someone to like you know to opt into your email list, are gonna work on messenger, so think white papers, checklists exclusive content, promos, created unix alerts. Reminders. Those kind of things are all going to be compelling ways to drive options. The bottom funnel capabilities gets a little bit more complicated if you’re gonna try to use it for bottom funnel, but you can actually use it for bottom funnel. You know, because you can actually facilitate a purchase within messenger. You can actually take on payment info and take all the information required to facilitate a purchase so for that reasons also can be used as a bottom. Funnel. A lot of big brands are using it as a bottom funnel to use a chatbot. You really have to have the content that people wonder if you have to be offering something that they’re interested in for them to opt in. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:03:47 – 00:03:57

Right exactly or offer them some help or service. In some way, yeah I mean it’s good content. You know you just have a good content. Marketing strategy just apply a lot of the same things are going to apply to a chaplain. 

Tess Barry: 00:03:58 – 00:05:42

How how should marketers think, when creating a chat bot in terms of frequency and tone to make sure that we’re we’re not being spammy? Yes, so finding that magic frequency is is really key. If you’re sitting too many messages, you’re gonna start knowing the users, you might even get the dreaded mu, mu conversation, but well. Chatbots are most closely aligned to email marketing. When you’re thinking about frequency, you got to start thinking about like text message or SMS marketing, because users are gonna, be getting notifications on your phone on the phone every time you message on I, say initially, like sort of like a blanket statement. Err on the side of conservative frequency, okay, that being said, your frequency is really gonna depend on your business. The purpose of the chat bot, the level of interest. You know the expectations from the user, so a friend sent that the users opting in you know to get a daily quote or to get a daily tip or something like that. You know they’re expecting daily messages verses. You know some some resulting in for like an Amazon marketing services, white paper. You know they might not be expecting the daily message or if they opt in to get updates on any blog posts. For instance, you know it might require a little bit more testing to see what that magic frequency is things that you would want to look out for when you’re trying to figure out this frequency when your son is, he drops in gauge mint people are clicking on your buttons anymore, people are messaging, you back obvious things to look out for when, when you see that it has been running too long, you know this is a sign. Probably they’ve gone numb to your notifications. You know you’re you’re, probably sending them too many messages. Are there other similarities between Facebook, messenger and email like what? What are the differences that we should consider say if I take my email marketing strategy and try applying it to Facebook, since there are. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:05:42 – 00:05:52

Winds of people there there’s the audiences there. What are some differences lessons that I can’t take when I try and implement this on Facebook messenger, I think the key differences between. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:05:53 – 00:07:52

Facebook chat, bots and email marketing, number one messengers, conversational, you know versus you know, being sort of like a one way. Conversation, a chatbot is automated in a lot of ways, but actually, if you set it up correctly, it can actually be handed off in certain points and certain triggers to a live person. Mmhm I think that the common thing that you usually will see when you’re reading about are researching chatbots is the open rates for messenger and C. T. ours, they’re they’re super sky high You know you can see open rates as high as like. Ninety percent. Wow or C. T. ours is three. You know three times higher than email, yeah I was a messenger, is triggering a notification on messenger, the apps and also Facebook. You know those are two of the most popular apps messengers. Obviously you must you: don’t have to leave whatever platform you’re on so messenger you’re staying on messenger, if you’re on a website, that’s has the messenger overlay, you don’t have to leave the website. So it’s it’s a very a seamless payment experience. The opting in is a heck of a lot easier. All they have to do send your message. You don’t have to ask for email. Any information on Facebook already has all that information. A really cool feature that owning a lot of people realize that you can actually link comments like Facebook comments on a specific post to Facebook messenger. So, for instance, if you have a really cool white paper, you can have a place that says you know comment tonight. You want this white paper and then immediately if someone comments that you can deliver them the white paper via messenger instantly and then last but not least, if you don’t really care where people consume the content, you just want people to consume. You can actually deliver the content within Facebook messenger. They can actually consume it without again without having to leave the platform without having to take an extra step wow. So it seems that it’s pretty similar to email marketing in terms of some of the basic best practices and theory and strategy. But it’s just faster and much more connected to the places where consumers are. 

Tess Barry

00:07:53 – 00:08:05

And the technology is just more seamless and integrated yeah I mean I. Think it’s important to mention, because I don’t want to sound like a Have a recency bias causes like kind of like a new hot topic. 

 Miguel Bravo: 00:08:06 – 00:08:45

You know import dimension, I think one is not better than the other I. Don’t do that because of the tactics can help each other, so you can actually start a conversation like on messenger and then move it to email to number I. Think it’s more likely that these two tactics actually gonna run parallel to each other. So some users are going to prefer to engage with you via chat and then some coracle old school users, like myself, are going to prefer the more traditional, medium, email and I. Think in a perfect world, if you had unlimited resources. You’re gonna want to do both, but if you can only do one, you really have to take a hard look at. You know where your target audience likes to hang out online. 

Tess Barry: 00:08:46 – 00:09:28

Wow, that’s really interesting, I love that you looked at it in a way where it’s just more options for customers and choosing how they want to interact with brands traditionally with Facebook ad placements. There are ways that we can target users based on how often they like or comment or engage with brands. Now that there’s this chatbot functionality, do you think we’re eventually going to be seeing response to chat bots as a targeting metric for audiences I? Think so, in a lot of ways, the targeting is already there so, for instance, message that are optimized to show users are likely to message, and they work really well and doing just that. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:09:28 – 00:11:06

There’s already some round about behavior targeting options like users, who’ve used Facebook payments, the last ninety days and I. Think adding you know. Users who interact with chatbots is gonna is a logical behavior tracking option that that I would be totally shocked if it doesn’t pop up. In the you know the next year, so so thinking about this functionality and how we can target audiences and the idea of privacy are tags stored with third party tools or Facebook when it comes to chatbots. So right now tags are features that are exclusive to the third party tools. Obviously, Facebook knows a lot about its users already but anything that’s learned through the chat bot is stored only on the platform hosting the chat bot and to add to that the stat. These tags come in handy when the conversation gets moved to live chat or like a real person like a real person. A customer rep can actually be armed with a ton of info about the user. Before even saying a word to the to the user and as a live chat is happening, the rep can actually manually start adding things that they’re learning about the user. Do you have there, you know, live conversation, hello and, what’s really cool? Is all these tags? The same like I, said the same as email like a really cool email tool. These times are gonna help determine the the chatbot flows. So, for instance, if your bot ask you, are you interested in learning more about vegan options? Click, yes or no! You know anyone who clicks now is going to be removed from the campaign and possibly moving to another one and everyone who clicks? Yes, it’s going to be tagged as being vegan and now they’re gonna start getting updates about new vegan menu options. You can get really mind you with with how you tagging users and they can really take them down different paths, almost kind of like those that use your venture books back in the day. 

Tess Barry: 00:11:06 – 00:11:59

What are some examples start to finish as a brand, using a trap in a particular way and executing a campaign talking very generally, no there’s three types of chatbots right customer service, so things like weather, updates, answering like common questions, maybe even helping facilitate a purchase and there’s like an email, marketing style chat bot so anything that you would probably run email marketing campaigns, for you can create a chat box with that sort of like reminders delivering content. Hey, you remind you, know like if they were taxes up like lighting a certain type of product. You know Hey, you you mentioned, you were interested in this type of product. Those kind of emails would also work as an attack on and then there’s a brand awareness. You know VS are like a treat again next type of chat. Bot I mean these are actually the most fun to sort of build, I. Think so right you can chat with like Albert Einstein. You can chat with Justin Bieber. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:12:00 – 00:13:37

The character from a movie or a new translations- trivia choose your own. Adventure are just really aiming dad. Jokes is a really popular on Netflix recommendations. There’s actually a I’ve seen a couple. People actually build virtual versions of themselves and to act as like a compliment to their resume, so it actually would answer really common questions are like an interviewer, would ask them and then the top I would actually do that’s right. So people get you can get really creative, there’s really no limitation on the type of chap and those are the kind of classified as the brand awareness type of chapel. So that’s really interesting. Could you give one example of one brand in particular? Who did a chat bot campaign account content delivery type of chatbot is, is probably a good place for a lot of businesses start it’s one of the easiest one to set up. You know people opt in, and then you don’t have your content to them. via the chap on techcrunch is, it is a good example. They produce a lot of articles, a lot of content, that’s categorized by topic. So immediately when you message, TechCrunch’s chat, bot. You get a menu of all the topics on their on their website. You click on the topics that are interesting to you and you get opted in to a specific list. I will send you would say, all the new articles on tech or all the new articles on social media or whatever topic you clicked on it. Seen as a very similar one, too no categories like politics, world news, tech money as the new continents produces say about world news, your it’s being delivered to you via messenger. What a relevant ad placement for techcrunch they’re, sending their updates about new tax through a chatbot. That’s awesome. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:13:38 – 00:14:53

Yeah and Justin, and just in general, not just throw one more quick example: you know seen in techcrunch, make a lot of sense, but there’s like a new there’s, a new app on a big horror, movie fan and there’s a company called crypt TV, and it’s basically an apt that actually is hosting a unique short horror films that are living exclusively on this app think of like a Netflix for short or movies, basically living on this app. So now, I’m updating every time. Every two weeks when a new movie comes out, they’re gonna, let me know via messenger super call- have to check that one out. So how would one go about building a chat bot? It’s actually pretty easy, generally speaking, come, but there’s there’s really two ways that you can go about: building a Facebook messenger chatbot the hard ways you can develop your own, which obviously requires a set of resources and most cases are, are going to have or you can use a third party service or a third party tool to build one? Some of the ones you might have heard of before are the big ones are many chat, chat fuel supply, hello, I, prefer many Jack to play around many chap I know a lot of people use that use, chat, fuels well and, what’s really cool. Is that these third party tools make it relatively easy to build a bot and their price for all budgets? Pricing, similar to like email, CRM pricing thing? Last time, I checked. 

Miguel Bravo: 00:14:54 – 00:15:34

A plan on many chat was ten Bucks for up to five hundred subscribers and actually a free version that has a lot of functionality like a lot of people may not even need to upgrade to the pro plan, so it’s just really affordable and- and it’s really really easy I think people look at a chap on anything. It’s it’s really daunting task to create one, and it’s really not almost any type of business can create one. That’s really incredible. I didn’t realize that chatbots had been around that long now. It feels that it’s becoming a lot more mainstream people are interacting with chatbots and maybe don’t realize it just to get that kind of a sense of the world were working in what are some of the rules for Facebook chat, bots. 

Tess Barry: 00:15:34 – 00:17:17

So there actually aren’t a ton of rules yet I’m sure there’s a slew of them coming but there are two really big important rules: mainly to combat marketers, trying to spam users right so rule number. One is, you know in order to battle spam or basic bait and switching you can’t message: a user with a promotional message unless they message you within twenty four hours. So you know things like twenty percent off for this new special price on shoes. That kind of stuff would be considered promotional messaging and could get your your bot flag and Facebook takes it really seriously. In fact, if you go into your Facebook page settings, you can request access to subscription messaging I, never seen it before but go check. I had no idea so they’re they’re trying to incorporate it into the settings of your Facebook page already, but when you try to request access to subscription messaging, you get this pop up. That makes you upload a video telling Facebook about how you’re going to be using subscription. That’s basically, you know you’re gonna be using it for non promotional messaging on a recurring basis. Rule number two: you can’t run an ad within messenger conversations unless that users messages in the past. So again, this is Facebook’s effort to combat spam and and to avoid totally destroying the user experience on messenger. Important to note the type of ad placement within conversation is the one where you can actually get around that twenty four hour rule number one I just mentioned. So if you have actually not users whose message you in the past and you can create a custom audience from that, you should absolutely run that ad placement, because if you think about it, you know anyone messages. Your page is probably pretty interested in some. You know at least interested in some degree into what you’re selling like a lesson, was saying in the previous episode of Facebook messenger. It’s just a really highly valuable ad placement to utilize these days. 

Tess Barry: 00:17:17 – 00:17:48

This is really interesting. I feel, like I, know a lot more about chatbots and actually knew a lot that I didn’t really realize, because it’s such a seamless unit and technology I, don’t think I realize just how much chat bots were already a part of my life. So, thank you for coming on. I feel like I could actually go and talk to a client about this now yeah, no, absolutely it’s something that I’m actually trying to have these conversations with clients. Thank you so much Miguel for coming on and sharing your knowledge with us. Thanks for having me.