Marketing with Hashtags: The How-to

sms3Social media has forever changed the way we market to customers. Twenty years ago, words like hashtag, trending, tweeting, or even chatting meant totally different things. But now, social media is an extremely powerful form of marketing. It is the place you go to communicate with current customers, which a machine learning company can help you get set up, so you don’t have to have customer service reps on 24/7 to answer questions. And it is also a really great place to get new customers.

One of the things we see on social media is the hashtag. Many people use it wrong and aren’t even sure how to appropriately tag things. Yet, it can still be used as an extremely powerful marketing tool, especially when used appropriately. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is the pound symbol followed by a word or phrase without any spaces. The hashtag can then be searched on the internet by that specific tag to bring up anything related to it. It was born at Twitter when customers wanted to be able to reference a specific incident or movement with a quick hashtag but has since spread through all social media platforms. You have likely seen people using them incorrectly by using tags such as #iatetoomuchpizza. These tags, while funny, don’t serve the original purpose of being able to find all posts related to the same topic or event. It is amazing how powerful they can really be when used properly.

#Metoo campaign

One example of how powerful a hashtag can be when done properly is the #metoo campaign. Actress Alyssa Milano wanted to bring awareness to and start conversations about men’s behavior towards women after the allegations came out against Harry Weinstein came out. She called on women to either silently use #metoo on their social media accounts or, if they felt comfortable, to post their stories with it. This became a phenomenon, and within a few short days, millions of women and even a few men had posted it to their social media accounts. It was able to do exactly as intended by starting a great conversation and creating more awareness.

While it would be nice to be able to get that kind of traction from a social media campaign, your business likely won’t have something to share that is so relatable, and unless you are a political company, it’s better to stay away from the hot topics, so you don’t lose customers. So what can you do?

What to do with hashtags

You’ll need to decide what kind of hashtag you can use and how your business can present it. Pick something related to your company or the product you are pushing and try to get clever. One really great way to push a hashtag campaign is through a sweepstakes. Have people take a picture of some sort, such as using your product, and make sure they use your hashtag and tag your business in it. It will give you great advertising. Your current customers will use it to try and win the prize and potential future customers will join in when they realize they could win something for free. Make sure one of the requirements is for the customer to follow your business, and you’ll have an instant influx of customers.

Another way to push a hashtag is through an issue of some sort. You could donate money for every person who uses your hashtag or find a cause that is worth pushing and create a hashtag for it. Customers like seeing that your business is actively involved in helping others, and people are much more likely to get on board if it is doing good for others.

The key is to find something people will care about and start pushing that hashtag to create a campaign. If successful, you might start seeing your hashtag on many different social media platforms and will gain many new customers.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/20/women-worldwide-use-hashtag-metoo-against-sexual-harassment

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4 Things to Expect with Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing has become a hot topic trend among marketers because it is extremely effective. In fact, 94% of marketers who use influencer marketing says that it has helped boost their business, which is a pretty amazing statistic.

 

The basic idea is that you find people on social media who fit your sales demographic and who have an influence over their group of followers. You then work out an arrangement to have them promote your product in some way. A machine learning company can set you up to get all the information you need about who your audience is and what influencers will work the best for your business. The people you choose should be influencers who would naturally be using your product or service in their everyday life, so it doesn’t seem as much of an ad as a real part of their lives. In turn, their followers become interested in your product. You can expect the following 4 things to happen when you engage in influencer marketing.

 

1. Exposure

 

The more a customer is exposed to your brand and product, the more likely they are to try it. When doing influence marketing, it is important that the person you pick fits your brand and is something they might actually use. The influencer should then promote that product multiple times as a part of their regular posting. The more a customer sees the product being used by a person they like, the more likely they are to use that product themselves.

 

It’s also important to consider that customers are more likely to buy stuff advertised through an influencer if they are getting a special discount at the time of purchase. An influencer who offers a special discount for being a follower will make people more interested and will increase brand exposure.

 

2. Engagement

 

Engaging your customers is a really great way to get them involved and get your product stuck in their brains. Using influencer marketing can really up engagement. People are much more likely to engage with people they follow on social media platforms than a business. Businesses often feel cold and like they are always just trying to sell you something. Influencers, on the other hand, feel like your friend and someone you might hang out with. That’s why it is much easier for influencers to engage customers and get them involved in a post. An influencer is already engaging with their followers on a regular basis asking them questions and getting them involved in everyday life. It makes sense that they’d be able to easily engage with your product as well.

 

3. #ad controversy

 

One of the biggest debates in the marketing world is whether or not influencers should tag their ads with the #ad. It is legally required for an influencer to disclose a relationship per the FTC guidelines, but they can do that in any way they like. They can simply mention they’ve partnered with your business or they can do something like tag with #ad. Many influencers choose to tag #ad their posts to keep the level of trust they have going with their followers. Instead of letting followers feel deceived with advertising, they want to make it clear that it is a partnership with a business.

 

The real question is what customers will prefer. Honestly, most customers prefer to know it’s an ad as well. That’s why one time worth of advertising doesn’t work super well. An influencer who is using your product in their everyday life, even if they tag it as an ad when they post for your business, will still get you new customers. The real key is that influencers need to show how the product or service works and why it would be beneficial to their followers. For example, they might do a hair tutorial showing exactly how to use a curling wand instead of just saying they use it and telling followers to try it.

 

4. Word of mouth advertising

 

The best advertising you have is through word of mouth. The more people you have talking about your product, the more likely you are to sell it. And if you can get influencers advertising a product, their followers may start advertising for you too. It’s an interesting trickle effect that we’ve seen with influencers where many of their followers are trying to become influencers on social media as well, so they promote products to their followers that they find and try, even if they aren’t actually in a relationship with the business or being asked to promote the product.

 

 

All of these things will happen when influencer marketing is working properly. Just remember to let your influencers advertise your company however they see fit, and make sure to focus more on their story instead of how great your product is. If they are trying to sell fitness clothes, have them share their story of how the clothes are working great for them instead of focusing on how the clothes are great for everyone in general. Remember influencers are successful because they are followed by people who like them and who are similar to them. What they are willing to advertise, followers are willing to give a try.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: forbes.com/sites/davidschwab/2017/11/30/influencer-marketing-redefined/#58152a5a124d

 

 

How chatbots can boost social media ROI

 

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According to a survey of social media marketers, 61% say measuring ROI is the hardest challenge facing them making it the number one complaint about social media marketing. What makes measuring ROI so difficult for social media is that there isn’t always a correlation between the metrics most people pay attention to and actual sales. Social media has forced marketers to begin embracing new metrics but most are still having trouble correlating those new metrics with sales.

 

What is social media marketing success?

 

To understand the problem a little better, here is an example. Say that social media marketing success is determined by content engagement (56% of marketers in the survey mentioned above reported engagement as their most important metric). Engagement is simply the number of “likes,” shares, and comments on a given post. For most marketers, high engagement rates is a sign that the content is good and their community of followers is active. But it might be a lie.

 

A video uploaded to Facebook might have a 30% engagement ratio which is quite high, but only return about $1 for every marketing dollar spent to produce and promote the video on Facebook. Another video, or meme, or text-only post might have an engagement ratio of only 1 or 2% but an ROI of $4 for every marketing dollar spent. In short, engagement doesn’t necessarily correlate with ROI, and marketers are often stuck pursuing a metric that doesn’t matter in the long run.

 

Click rates vs. online behavior

 

Another metric that marketers often pay too much attention to is click rates. The thinking is that the more people that click on a link, the more people will buy the product of sign up for the service on the landing page. On the surface it sounds logical, but like engagement rates, click rates can be deceiving. Time and time again we see that click rates and ROI have virtually no correlation. Ultimately it doesn’t matter how many people click on the link, it matters what they do once they get to the landing page. A better metric for correlation with ROI is the bounce rate (a higher bounce rate negatively correlates with ROI) and the average time on page (a longer average time on page positively correlates with ROI).

 

Better indicators

 

There is no single metric that will adequately predict the ROI for a given post. Instead, marketers need to invest in tools that allow them to look at several different metrics regarding the delivery of the content, the behavior of the consumer, and the attitude of the target audience.

  • Delivery. In marketing lingo, an impression is the total number of times an ad is fetched from its source and is a way to count the total number of times your social media ad was displayed on a person’s screen. It’s a good indicator for the reach of any given post.
  • Action. Engagement ratio can be a useful metric but only when paired with metrics like average time on page.
  • Attitudes. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) will tell you the likelihood that a person would recommend your brand to their friends or family and Brand Lift polling will give you an idea about how well people remember ads you’ve promoted and their general attitude towards your brand.

Taken all together, you’ll have a better idea of whether your social media marketing efforts are leading to a higher ROI.

 

Chatbots and ROI

 

A big trend in social media marketing currently is chatbots. Chatbots can improve your social media ROI in a couple of important ways. First, it can increase ROI by decreasing labor costs by automating much of your customer service interactions in social media chat platforms. Second, it can increase ROI by helping consumers navigate your online store and complete purchases right from the social media chat platform helping turn social media followers into actual customers.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: marketing-interactive.com/why-marketers-are-disillusioned-with-social-media-marketing/

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How to Revitalize Email Marketing

 

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Email marketing may not be your top marketing priority, but it should definitely be one that you focus on. Recent data suggests that email marketing is starting to be more effective and rise in popularity once again. Smartphones have made it easier than ever to check your email, and it is almost as easy as texting these days. Most people have notifications that let them know every time they even receive an email. Here are some email marketing stats:

  • 2.6 billion people are on an email platform compared to 1.7 billion on Facebook and 313 million on Twitter
  • 91% of users said they use email daily compared to 57% on Facebook and 14% on Twitter
  • 66% of users said they will make a purchase because of email advertising, as opposed to 20% on Facebook and 6% on Twitter
  • 58% of users said they checked email first every day compared to 11% at Facebook and 2% on Twitter

 

With email getting a much better rep, it’s important to focus on it more heavily.

Here are a few ways you can revitalize your email marketing campaign.

 

  1. Machine Learning Technology

 

Machine learning (MI) gives your computer the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. It can help provide your business with the stats to determine what is and is not working and can communicate with your customers. This type of programming can read and respond to emails from customers as well as be setup to send specific emails to specific customers based on their personal information. It gives you a higher success rate because customers are only seeing what applies to their personal situation and things they are interested in seeing. You can talk to a machine learning company to get set up.

 

  1. Send valuable information

 

Customers do not want to get emails that feel like spam. If a business is going to send emails to customers, make sure they have value. Don’t just send an email to remind them you are there. Make sure you have something in it they want to see. Here are a few types of valuable emails you can send to customers.

  1. Coupons or sales: Of all email users, 44% said they were most likely to check their email first for promotional savings. Sometimes, a promotion can be the difference between a customer choosing whether or not to make the purchase. An email with monetary value is going to be very valuable to your customer.
  2. Informational: Is your business changing regular store hours? Are you going through a Chapter 11 and need to let customers know you are just restructuring, not closing? Are you donating proceeds to a charity during a specific day of sales? Do you have new product that needs to be highlighted? These type of informational emails are still valuable to customers, and they like having this information given to them.
  3. Reminders: Another type of valuable email customers like to get is reminders. Remind them of an event they have coming up and remind them of an appointment they have scheduled. Some people are great at putting stuff on their calendar, so they don’t need a reminder. Others, however, need regular reminders and appreciate the email a lot.

 

  1. Timing of emails

 

Since over half of all users check their email first during the day, it is important that most promotional emails get sent during the early morning hours. You want your email to be there when they first get up and check it. Since some people only check their promotional email box once a day, your sale might be missed if the email isn’t sent early enough.

 

Another strategy is to send emails in the middle of the day when the customer may get a notification for the email and open it right away. Still, if your goal is to get the customer to open your message immediately, you’d be better off with text than email since many people will dismiss emails to read later while most people open their text within the first few minutes.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter. com

 

Source: yourstory.com/2017/10/top-email-marketing-tools-in-2018/

 

How to create a more effective social media marketing strategy

ultimate-social-media-strategy

 

Most businesses new to social media marketing make one of two critical mistakes. They either give up on it too early because they don’t see immediate results or else they keep wasting resources on it even though it’s not producing results because they just know they’re supposed to do social media marketing. Both of these mistakes stem from the same problem: not having a social media marketing strategy. If this sounds a lot like your business’s experience with social media marketing, follow these five steps to create a social media marketing strategy that will take your social campaign to the next level.

 

Know where you stand

 

Before you start putting together a social media marketing strategy, you need to take stock of the current state of your social media marketing efforts. Which platforms are you already using? Which platforms seem to be producing the best results? Where are your efforts falling short? How do you measure up to your competition?

 

Know where you want to get to

 

In connection with the first step, you now have to decide on where you’re trying to get. Start with big picture goals. What do you hope to gain from your social marketing strategy? What’s the primary objective? From there you can get more narrow. Which platforms do you need to get into or which ones do you need to improve. Which specific, smaller objectives do you need to achieve to help you get closer to achieving those bigger picture goals?

 

Create a social media mission statement

 

Once you have a good understanding of where you are and where you hope to get, you’re ready to create a social media mission statement. Think of this as your guiding star throughout the process of creating and implementing your social media strategy. Your mission statement should be unique to your brand. Think beyond the obvious. Of course you want to increase profitability, but so does everyone else. You need to identify the overarching theme or brand-specific message that sets you apart from everyone else and put that into an easy-to-remember declaration. Lastly, you need to make sure every employee that will have anything to do with the social media marketing side of things has it committed to memory. You never want to deviate from your brand’s social media mission statement.

 

Integrate your social media strategy into your broader marketing strategy

 

Though social media is of course a separate and distinct channels from the rest and you’ll certainly be doing different things with it that you will be doing with others, your social media strategy still needs to fit into your larger marketing strategy. At the very least, you should be using social media to bolster other channels and vice versa. For example, you can use your social media platforms to promote content you’ve published on your company’s blog or YouTube channel. You can use SMS and email to encourage loyal customers to follow you on your various social media pages. When text message marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing are working in tandem, you’re going to get the best results.

 

Obtain and act on good data

 

Your social media strategy is never finished. If you want it to keep working for you, you’ll have to constantly make adjustments. In order to do that, you’ll need to invest in tools that get you the metrics you need to base your decision making on.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: techwireasia.com/2017/10/5-steps-planning-companys-social-media-marketing-strategy/

Five keys to success with social media marketing

Social networking apps on Apple iPhone 5S

In the last few years, having a social media strategy has gone from a nice-to-have to an absolute-must-have. Consequently, just about every business no matter how big or small can be found on at least one social media platform. And no matter how niche your small business is, chances are there are other brands who offer similar things that you have to compete with on social media. The following tips can help you differentiate your brand from others and really succeed with social media marketing.

 

Communicate your brand’s mission

 

Every brand has to have it’s own unique message–a statement of vision or mission that sets it apart from every other brand. Often this takes the form of a carefully worded mission statement or slogan. Sometimes it’s never stated explicitly, but customers know what that thing is that sets the brand apart from everyone else. If you want your brand to be differentiated from the rest on social media, you have to first know what your brand’s mission and vision are and you have to have a plan for communicating that to your target audience on social media. Of course you can craft a carefully worded statement for your about page. But in addition to that, every post you share and every interaction with customers and every comment on every post must communicate that brand message as well. Anyone with access to your social media platforms needs to share that vision and fully understand that brand message to ensure you never go off-message.

 

Automate where possible

 

Many smaller businesses treat social media marketing as something to do only when there’s time and it ends up on the back burner when things are busy. If a business is sometimes very active on social media, posting frequently, engaging with other content, responding to comments and answering private messages and other times all but invisible for days or weeks at a time, that business won’t be able to maintain a strong social media presence. That’s where automation comes in. Even smaller businesses that can’t afford to hire a team of social media people can pay for tools that help automate social media activity. You can write several posts in advance and then use an automation to tool to set the day and time for each to be posted so there’s some consistency in social media activity. Another way to automate is through chatbots. Chatbots can automatically respond to customer queries immediately and can even resolve many of them unassisted.

 

Monitor social media channels closely

 

Brands that are effective on social media are ones who are very aware of the numbers. They look beyond the number of likes and shares which anybody can see. They invest in more advanced analysis tools that can give them a better picture of what’s working and what isn’t. Paying attention to key performance indicators and actively working to adapt accordingly is a huge key to success.

 

Keep an eye on the competition

 

While you never want to copy a competitor’s strategy (remember the first key to success and staying true to your own brand message and vision), it’s a good idea to occasionally check in on your competitors and what they’re doing with social media. This can serve two functions: it can help you discover things about your target audience since your competition is most likely targeting the same people as your brand and it can reveal to gaps in their social media strategy that you can fill to further differentiate your brand across social media channels.

 

Merge social media and content strategies

 

So many brands treat content marketing and having a company blog as synonymous. But social media can and should be an equally important if not more important outlet for your content as well. You can use your social media profiles to extend the reach of blog posts by sharing an excerpt and including a link to the full article in social media posts. You can also use social media to post unique content in formats that don’t work on a traditional blog. Some formats to include might be video, livestream, or microcontent.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: entrepreneur.com/article/298216

 

How to tell if influencer marketing is right for your small business

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Marketing has changed a lot over the last few decades. A major reason is that customers are a lot more savvy and aren’t as trusting as they used to be. People are inherently less trusting of advertisements put out by the brands who stand to profit from them. After all, they’re obviously biased and they can’t be objective. This is where the value of influencers come in. Influencers are people who customers view as peers. They aren’t sponsored by any company so they can be trusted to share accurate and objective information about various products. People considering a purchase often turn to influencers to see what they think. When influencers give their approval, customers are more likely to buy. If you have yet to look into influencer marketing, here are a few signs that can tell you it’s time to.

 

Five signs

  1. Your audience has stagnated. If your audience has dwindled to just a small loyal customer base who keep coming back for more, your business isn’t going to thrive. You need to be constantly adding to your customer base and influencers are a great way to help you accomplish this since they can generate interest among people who’ve maybe never even heard of your brand before.
  2. Sales are down. This one’s pretty self explanatory. If you’re not moving merchandise off of shelves or out of warehouses, your business won’t be around much longer. A good review by the right influencer can reignite sales. And once you’re moving merchandise again, you can keep investing in improving your product or adding to the products you offer.
  3. Your social media presence is lacking. If you’re not on social media channels, you aren’t operating anywhere near your potential. The younger generations spend so much time on social media that it’s pretty much essential that your brand be visible there. Whis is where influencers excel since influencers, by definition, already have a strong following on various social media platforms. Finding influencers can be a great way to jumpstart a new social media marketing campaign or revive one that is pretty much dead.
  4. You’re relying too much on paid content. If all of your advertising is in the form of paid content, you need influencers. You don’t pay influencers to review your products or share your content with their audience the same way you have to pay Facebook or Google to sponsor your post or website. Influencers in your niche are already interested in what you’re selling, they want a to get their hands on your products and they’ll most likely be happy to offer a free review of anything you send them.
  5. Digital offers aren’t being redeemed. If you’re using email, SMS, or other channels to send special offers to customers but they’re not redeeming these offers at the rate you’d like to see, an influencer can help you by sharing that same offer, or an exclusive one, to their already considerable audience.

 
Finding the right influencers

 

The right influencer probably isn’t a world-famous actor, athlete, or singer. Only the national brands can afford to hire them anyways. The right influencers are people that your target audience look up too. Often they’re bloggers or YouTube video creators or minor social media celebrities who are passionate about a subject relating to your business. By simply searching out content relating to your industry, you’ll start to get a sense of which people have influence. Don’t start by asking for favors. Comment on their blog posts or videos. Share their posts on your social media pages. Once you’ve established a relationship, you can reach out to offer a product in exchange for their honest opinion. Finally, make sure you’re sharing their write-up of your product with all your available channels whether it’s a company blog, an email newsletter, or SMS. A relationship with the right influencers will be mutually beneficial as you drive traffic their way, and they influence their audience to become your customers.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/08/14/seven-signs-you-should-invest-in-influencer-marketing/#5f668093176f

Four things a chatbot can do for your business (and one thing it can’t)

Analyzing business growth

 

Just within the last couple of years, the popularity of chatbots have exploded. There are already thousands of chatbots spread across dozens of messaging platforms. Chatbots are different from the AI assistants that we interact with on our mobile devices. While digital assistants are programmed to work more broadly across a wide range of mobile applications, chatbots are narrower programs that typically work within a single application. In short, it can do one thing very well rather than many things not as well. But what really sets chatbots apart from virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa is that they can more realistically simulate conversation with a human. Though chatbots are still in their infancy, businesses have already found many different ways to put them to good use. Here are four things a chatbot could do for your business, and one thing it can’t.

It can…

  • Aid with customer support. The most common use for chatbots in the world of business is customer support. Instead of going online or calling a customer service line, customers can shoot a quick text to open a support ticket. A chatbot can attempt to resolve the customer’s issue unassisted by using natural language processing to understand the nature of the issue or question. Chatbots lighten the load for live customer service agents by answering simple questions and resolving issues and only transferring people to live agents when necessary.
  • Help analyze conversational analytics. Another great use for chatbots is conversational analytics. While calls with live agents are recorded and can be reviewed for the purpose of finding and correcting inefficiencies, chats between customers and chatbots can all be saved already in text form. These archived conversations can then be used to improve the effectiveness of future chatbot-customer interactions so that chatbots are actually learning and adapting to be more effective over time.
  • Assist with accounting tasks. Accounting is one of the most boring and time-consuming side-tasks that a small business owner has to manage if he/she can’t afford to hire an accountant or secretary. There are chatbots can can do accounting tasks for the business owner whether that’s pulling up invoices, creating and sending invoices, or compiling financial information.
  • Provide automation for ecommerce. Businesses are also finding that they can use chatbots to boost their ecommerce. Since many prefer to shop online from the comfort of their homes, chatbots that can act as in-store associates in offering suggestions, narrowing down choices based on the shopper’s preferences, and completing the transaction.

It can’t…

  • Replicate the human touch (yet). One thing that chatbots can’t do is pass the Turing Test. In other words, humans can still tell they’re talking to a bot and there are many people, especially among older generations, that don’t like it. As the artificial intelligence that goes into programming chatbots improves, chatbots may be able to reach a point where they can perfectly simulate human conversation but for the time-being they still have a lot to offer even with their limited conversational abilities.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: pcmag.com/article/355518/how-chatbots-can-transform-your-business

You don’t need to be a coding guru to develop a chatbot

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Thanks to chatbots, people now have the convenience of interacting with brands or websites without having to contact a live person. Chatbots are set to revolutionize the customer service industry. If you’re like thousands of other business owners who are following the advancement of chatbots and considering whether to use one for your own business, you’ll be happy to hear that developing a chatbot isn’t as hard as it seems. But first, here are some reasons to invest the time in creating one.

 

Chatbots speed up customer service

 

Nobody likes the experience of reaching out to customer service, either through a hotline or through a chat service only to be placed in a queue waiting for a live agent to be available. Businesses can try to arrange to have a sufficient number of customer service representatives at all times but there will undoubtedly be times when there is a higher-than normal call or chat volume and customers will have to wait, and by waiting, they’ll feel unimportant and unappreciated as customers. When they do get a live agent, the conversation is more likely to start out hostile and lead nowhere. This is where chatbots come in.

 

Unlike live agents, chatbots can assist an unlimited number of customers simultaneously. A chatbot can lessen the strain during an especially busy time period by answering simple questions and resolving easier issues. For more difficult matters that the chatbot can’t resolve, there is still a benefit. The chatbot can obtain account info, ask security questions, or pull up an order before routing them to the person who can help that customer with all of the preliminary steps out of the way.

 

The problem

 

If chatbots are so incredible, why isn’t everyone jumping at the chance to have one? Because in order to be reliable and accurate, a lot of artificial intelligence and a solid understanding of coding is required and the average person simply doesn’t know the language of computer programming required to develop a chatbot. The biggest companies with all the resources buy up all the engineering talent leaving small companies with few options. Fortunately, there are affordable alternatives.

 

Chatbot development platforms

 

A number of companies have done the artificial intelligence and coding work for you, so you don’t have to. These chatbot development platforms work in a way that’s similar to website building platforms. The platform does the heavy lifting and the user can drop and drop features and work from templates to develop their own chatbots with minimal understanding of coding. These platforms range from the more simple (and limited) and the more complex (with more features but at a higher price and a steeper learning curve). If you are interested in chatbots but fear you don’t know enough, you can get started by familiarizing yourself with the most basic aspects of chatbot programming. Then you can use that limited understanding and with the help of a chatbot development platform, create your first bot. It might not be very good but you’ll get better if you keep fine-tuning and learning about chatbot programming.

 

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

 

Source: thenextweb.com/contributors/2017/08/04/chatbots-without-code-5-paths-easy-business-bot-development/#.tnw_65rayMZB

Five ways that Chatbots and AI are changing the workplace

Snowbot on a phone in an office-1

 

When chatbots were first introduced, the business world knew they had potential. There were implications early on for improved customer service and increased productivity but few could have predicted just how much chatbots would change the business world over time. Here are just five of the ways.

 

1. A personal assistant for everyone

 

Most businesses don’t have the resources to give every employee a personal assistant. But thanks to chatbots, every employee, not just the higher ups can have a personal assistant that can manage their calendar, schedule, edit, or cancel meetings, book travel, handle any other secretarial work that they might need.

 

2. Better customer service

 

While chatbots may not be as effective at resolving customers’ problems as humans, they can work 24/7 with zero breaks and can assist limitless customers simultaneously. Businesses can use chatbots to provide limited customer service during hours when there might not be a human customer service representative to help and even during the day, a customer service chatbot can help by pulling customer information, asking a few questions to get a sense of their problem, resolving simpler issues without needing to involve a human agent, and directly more complex issues to the appropriate person that can best help.

 

3. Shopping assistance

 

One reason people still prefer to shop for certain items in-store instead of online is because of the experience of asking questions of a salesperson as they decide to buy. But salespeople can’t be everywhere at once and they can’t know everything about every product. Chatbots can. Businesses can design a chatbot designed for customers to use in-store in order to ask information about products that may not be printed on the label. That same chatbot would even be able to ask questions of shoppers to narrow in on products that are most likely to appeal to them.

 

4. Empowered IT departments

 

When it comes to IT problems, some are harder than others. A chatbot can serve as a kind of automated IT service to help diagnose and resolve the more common tech-related issues that might arise from day-to-day. Not only can chatbots resolve simpler issues without any help, they can also access vast amounts of data on a per-user basis much faster than a human would be able to in order to find the source of an IT problem.

 

5. Increased productivity all around

 

All of these and other ways that chatbots can and will be used by businesses have one thing in common: they increase productivity. Personal assistants for every employee allows them to focus on more important things; customer service chatbots mean that customer service representatives can spend more time on the more difficult problems and customers get faster service; shopping assistant chatbots free up salespeople to close sales and ring up customers without being sidetracked answering simple questions; finally, IT chatbots free up IT professionals to devote more time to resolving more challenging problems.

 

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Source: forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2017/07/20/10-ways-enterprise-chatbot-solutions-and-ai-are-changing-the-workplace/#555282fa374d