Let’s say you’re one of the 1.23 billion daily users on Facebook. As you’re scrolling through your feed, you’re drawn to your favorite brand’s page. You keep scrolling, minding your own business when suddenly you hear the ever so friendly Facebook messenger ding. You pause, wondering why someone is interrupting your mindless scrolling time. From what it looks like the page you’re on is trying to…talk to you?
Weird, I know.
Now, I know some of you think that this isn’t a real thing. There is actually no way that these Facebook pages are trying to talk to you. This is not some modern day version of the sixth sense.
*buzzer noise* Wrong!
Brands ranging from food to hospitality have integrated these chat functions into their social media pages. These chat bubbles, properly known as bots, are slowing integrating their way into our everyday lives, popping up when we least expect them (literally).
Bots come in more forms than just pesky chat boxes at the bottom of our screens. These bots can pop up as in-site ads, pop-ups at the top of our screens letting us know of a special deal going on, and everything in between. The dangerous part of all of this, is sometimes these bots can be misleading as to their content. According to the Association of National Advertisers, advertisers lost around 7 billion dollars in revenue globally in 2016. And businesses, if you’re trying to check on how many clicks your ad is getting, according to Adweek, up to 50 percent of publisher traffic is bot activity. This means they’re pretty much just a bunch of fake clicks from automated computing programs.
My question is why? Why are these bots popping up on these social platforms? What purpose do these bots serve in our everyday lives? And if we know they can be fraudulent, why do we use them? Like many of you reading this, I am a consumer. It’s been one of my main jobs in society since I came into this world. And as a consumer, I find these bots a bit…unsettling to say the least. I’m barely on your page for 30 seconds and I’m already getting bombarded with questions? Not cool. I’d like to deem myself a pretty independent person. If I have a problem, chances are I will already reach out to you. Other than that, please let me shop in peace. I get that some brands are trying to find new and exciting ways to reach out to their customers, but this is just not it.
Besides, who am I even talking to behind the chat window? Is it a real person or am I just going to get the same set of copy and paste answers that everyone and their mother will also receive if they take they take the time to start a conversation?
Whatever happened to actual real-world communication. Talking to a real person who just wants you to know and love the same products they do. You can continue to push ads through with the same automated messages, but what lasting brand impression does that leave? With the rise of social media, it’s easy to create those real connections with your audience other than a robot.
Now, I can’t completely put all of the blame on bots. They do serve a purpose in the advertising world, they wouldn’t still be around if they didn’t. All I’m saying is there is a better way. Have you heard of influencer marketing? With the rise of social media stars that people are growing to trust their opinions too, it’s so easy to find the person to spread your message over some robot pushed out over every social media platform.
With influencer marketing, you are putting real people in real time all over the world. These influencers have already established a following and trust in your target consumer base and if they put their seal of approval on your product, it will sell.
Not only is influencer marketing a great way to reach out to your target consumer base, you can also reach more platforms. Sure, you can barely get away with bots on Facebook but what about Snapchat? If a random app tried to chat you on Snapchat, you’d be pretty freaked out. With influencer marketing, you can have real social media users targeting their fan base with your message. Pretty cool right? (Side note: If you want to learn more about how you can use influencer marketing on Snapchat, check out our other blog post here)
Brands, if you have a new product you want to share or a message you’re trying to push, don’t turn to bots. Turn to the technique that will keep it personal with your followers. If you need help getting started, you can find more info at our website, Fourstarzz.com. There you can learn all about what we offer and how we make influencer marketing easy for you to integrate into your various marketing campaigns with our Campaign Designer tool, the easy step-by-step process of creating your very own influencer marketing campaign.