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Who's Engaging With Bots? Facebook Provides Answers

Posted on 11.14.2016

Marketers have notoriously struggled to measure return on investment (ROI) for their social media efforts and for a long time, that was because of limited access to valuable metrics. The industry has come a long way though, and businesses on the bots bandwagon are getting some early help in the analytics department. 

Starting Nov. 14, Facebook extended Facebook Analytics for Apps functionality to businesses building bots on the Messenger platform. With this new free tool, according to Facebook's announcement, businesses will be able to view reports on messages sent, messages received and people who block or unblock their app — without having to add additional code. With these metrics, companies can begin to make educated estimates of the time and money they are saving by "employing" bots for customer service initiatives, giving those actions a price if human intervention would have been needed.

In addition, businesses will have access to aggregated and anonymized demographic reports such as age, gender, education, interests, country, language and more to help them better understand who's engaging with their bots. This information can, of course, be used to improve other campaigns as well (content, advertising, search marketing, etc.). 

For the uninitiated, Facebook bots have been created at break-neck pace since the network launched the Messenger platform at F8 in April - with businesses and developers creating more than 33,000 bots to engage with people. Part of the popularity is pure consumer demand. For starters, people are turning to social media as a customer service channel, yet brands have been slow to respond to this expectation (brands send 23 promotional messages for every one response given to a consumer). Further, a new study from customer engagement software and services provider [24]7 even shows that chat has surpassed phone as the top customer service channel. 

The report, titled "A Retailer's Guide to Chat," finds that 28.9 percent of consumers prefer to interact with retailers through online chat (25.8 percent) or messaging apps (3.1 percent) while making a purchase. Together, these chat tools are now more popular than phone (28.7 percent) and email (27 percent) as the preferred method of interaction with retailers.

"Messaging apps are incredibly valuable for retailers looking to enhance relationships with consumers, particularly millennials," said Scott Horn, chief marketing officer for [24]7. "With chat technology rapidly evolving, it's becoming a much more efficient and engaging customer-service channel."

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