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    facebook subscription messaging and 2019 updates
    2019 Facebook Messenger Updates You Need to Know

    It’s no secret that Facebook has been taking strides to improve their business features and to continue to position the Messenger app as a “serious channel for business communication”. In fact, at the F8 2019, Zuckerberg notably kicked off his keynote speech saying, “If we would rebuild the Facebook platform today, we would focus it on messaging.” Fast-forward to September 2019 and we find that Zuckerberg has held true to his promise with various updates having been rolled out recently for the Messenger app. Perhaps the most notable of these is subscription messaging.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the subscription messaging update, how you can apply for the service and remain compliant if accepted, as well as other various updates recently announced, then look no further than these next few lines.

    Subscription Messaging

    Facebook is now offering what is considered to be an advanced messaging feature which allows business pages “to send non-promotional content on a recurring basis” via the Messenger application. This service essentially allows you to keep in contact with your customers on a recurring basis as long as the content you are sending is not considered to be promotional in nature. This means that as of July 31st, Facebook business pages which aren’t approved for subscription messaging are no longer able to send chat blasts to their customers unless they do so via the sponsored messages feature.

    So, what exactly are sponsored messages?

    They’re essentially ads.

    That’s right – if you’re not approved for subscription messaging, your chat blasts are going to start costing you a pretty penny. How much, exactly? Sponsored messages will cost around $20.00 – $40.00 per 1,000 impressions. However, the platform recommends that businesses set their bids at $30.00 per 1,000 impressions.

    The 24+1 Rule

    Bear in mind that the 24+1 Rule for Facebook Messenger is still in full effect. For those of you who are unaware, the rule essentially allows businesses to send unlimited updates and messages to users who have opted in for messaging for the first 24 hours. These forms of communication may be either promotional or non-promotional in nature. However, after 24 hours, companies are no longer able to send unlimited promotional updates. Instead, they can only send unlimited non-promotional messages and just one single promotional follow up message.

    Any promotional message must now be initiated through the sponsored messages feature for a fee and if you’re looking to send non-promotional subscription messages, you must receive approval first.

    How do you initiate a request to be considered for subscription messaging?

    Fortunately, there’s no fee associated with applying for the subscription messaging feature. In order to do this, companies must have a page administrator initiate a request for review. The downside is that while the application process is indeed short, the review process is tricky and many times it takes businesses several applications in order to obtain approval.

    In order to initiate the process, you can start by clicking on the Settings tab on the top right corner of your Facebook page next to the “Help” icon. From there you will go to your Messenger Platform.

    Image result for advanced messaging features facebook

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    You then go to Advanced Messaging Features and click on Request within the Subscription Messaging box.

    Once this is completed, you will be directed to the application.  You will then be asked to describe how your page intends to use the subscription messaging feature. You have three options:

    1) News

    2) Productivity

    3) Personal Tracking

    You also have the ability to provide them with additional details. An actual person will be reviewing your application, so it helps to personalize what you’re writing and to add as much detail as you can about the information, updates and services that your bot provides.

    PRO TIP: We’ve found through our research that it’s rather difficult to get approved for productivity and personal tracking. As a result, if you choose the “News” option, be sure to provide examples in your application which are actually newsworthy in nature. That means if it sounds like a news site would pick up the story, then you’re good. If not, then don’t include it.

    You will then be asked to provide examples of the blasts that you plan on sending to your customers via your chatbot.

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    PRO TIP: The most common cause for denials is for inappropriate descriptions and examples. Accounts are also often denied based on the 24-hour standard messaging window. The platform may find that based on the examples you’ve provided, your Messenger experience simply doesn’t need subscription.

    Once you complete the application, the platform is then supposed to respond to your request within five business days. However, the truth of the matter is that according to various reports, this is not always the case. In fact, the five business day review period is turning out to be more of a rough estimate than anything else. Users interested in submitting requests should instead realistically expect a response time of a few weeks to a month.

    It’s also worth mentioning that responses to requests are not made via email. Instead, users must head to the Page Settings > Messenger Platform > Advanced Messaging Features page and look for a green check mark next to the Subscription Messaging option in order to identify whether or not they’ve been approved.

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    How to remain compliant with the subscription messaging feature when approved

    If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who gain approval for the subscription messaging feature, it’s important to keep in mind that there are usage guidelines with which you must comply. Failure to do so will result in your account being flagged.

    First and foremost – the recipient of your message must have already opted in to subscription messaging. You absolutely cannot take advantage of this feature by using it to send content to individuals who have not opted in to subscription messaging from you.

    Second – never send any promotional content to your users through the subscription messaging feature. The platform is pretty much giving you a hard “no” when it comes to this. Keep in mind Facebook uses machine learning to analyze content and as a result, even words such as “free” or including a link  to your website can be considered promotional in nature and cause your account to be flagged.

    Third – subscription messaging is only allowed for three very specific use cases. Any use outside of these three is considered a violation. They are as follows:

    1) News

    2) Productivity

    3) Personal Tracking

    According to platform, news is considered content which  informs individuals about “recent or important events” or provides them with “information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment”.

    Productivity on the other hand includes “integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.”

    Personal tracking is de fined as integrations which “enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness and finance”.

    Fourth – If you find that a user responds to one of your subscription messages, the conversation is then considered standard messaging and as a result, it must “comply with standard messaging policies”.

    What happens if you get denied for the subscription messaging feature?

    If you submit your application and find that you’ve been denied, rest assured that you’re far from alone. As we mentioned earlier, the approval process can be quite tricky. There are pretty much two options you can take from this point:

    1) Modify and resubmit your application for approval.

    2) Try to obtain permission from your customers to contact them on a different channel such as SMS, email or phone.

    If you plan on taking the first option and resubmitting your application, chances are there was an issue with the descriptions or examples you provided. Take a look at our PRO TIPs mentioned in the article to ensure that you’ve done your due diligence in providing the best descriptions and examples possible to ensure approval.

    7 Additional Facebook Messenger Updates

    While this article has primarily focused on the very newsworthy subscription messaging update, that’s not the only feature that’s been making waves in the Facebook community. Take a look at these seven updates which are rolling out this year as well so you can get one step ahead of the game when it comes to crafting your best Facebook Messenger strategy.

    1. Messenger Desktop App
    On the consumer end, Facebook is continuing to seek out ways in which they can further improve their user experience. One of the updates they noted they will be introducing to the public is a standalone desktop application for Messenger.

    2. End-to-end Encryption
    At F8 2019, Zuckerberg announced that the team will be prioritizing the transformation of Facebook into a “privacy-focused social platform”. To achieve this goal, Zuckerberg stated that the platform will be focusing on “six main principles” in order to make the platform more secure. Of the six principles mentioned, encryption was included as one of their priorities with the team seeking to expand end-to-end encryption across their apps including Messenger.

    3. 24-Hour Response Window
    Among the updates includes the implementation of a 24-hour response window for businesses on Facebook. This means that business accounts will now have one full day to respond to incoming messages from users. This change is being implemented as a way to “ensure fast responses and better service”.

    4. Message Tags
    The platform will also be implementing what are called “message tags” for business accounts. These tags enable businesses on Facebook to send personalized tags for “specific use cases”. These tags are se up to help enhance the customer experience even further by including features such as event reminders, post-purchase updates and more.

    5. Automatic Lead Qualification
    The platform is also taking steps to make lead generation more organized, simple and efficient for business users. Their automatic lead qualification process in messenger includes templates which are available in the Ads Manager and the ability to sync these with your company’s CRM tools.

    6. Appointment Booking
    There’s also a new interface within the Messenger app for booking appointments. These can now be done directly in chats and include real-time confirmation as well as the ability to integrate appointments with calendar software.

    7. Conversion Tracking
    Facebook will also be updating their conversion tracking features so that businesses are able to track certain events in Messenger which happen during a conversation.

    Conclusion

    Facebook Messenger is quickly being transformed into a serious channel for businesses and marketers alike to leverage in their efforts to attract more customers and engage with them in more effective and efficient ways than ever before. According to recent reports, Messenger alone has over 1.3 billion users who are sending a whopping 8 billion messages “between businesses and people” every month. Furthermore, one experiment by HubSpot found that content sent through Facebook Messenger had an astounding open rate of 80% as well as a click-through-rate of 13%. These rates are more than twice as high as those for email. So, the question begs to be asked – are you currently taking advantage of the opportunity?

     

    What’s your opinion on the new updates rolling out this year? Do you plan on taking advantage of any of them? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

     

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    Hawley SMART Act
    How Hawley’s SMART Act May Impact Social Media Companies

    There’s no denying that social media has become a strong presence in the lives of hundreds of millions of individuals across the globe. However, these channels which were originally created as avenues to bring individuals together, have also morphed into giants plagued by controversy and criticism. From privacy concerns, to inappropriate uses of personal information as well as social media addiction, it seems as though these platforms could potentially become more monstrous than beneficial to the public. As a result, they have often become the target of concerned politicians and groups wary of the amount of power and information these companies are quickly amassing.

    One such opponent is Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley. Hawley, a known critic of social media, recently came into the spotlight when he introduced a piece of legislation called the SMART Act this past July. If you’re interested in learning more about this piece of legislation, it’s purpose and the potential ramifications it will have on individuals and social media companies if passed, then look no further than these next few lines.

    SMART Act Senator Hawley

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    The SMART Act At a Glance

    This past July, Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill seeking to crack down on social media companies and users. The proposed SMART Act stands for Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act and was developed to “change the way social media operates”. The purpose of the bill is as follows:

    “To prohibit social media companies from using practices that exploit human psychology or brain physiology to substantially impede freedom of choice, to require social media companies to take measures to mitigate the risks of internet addiction and psychological exploitation, and for other purposes.”

    In layman’s terms, its goal is to tackle what has been often viewed as a widespread epidemic of social media addiction in the United States.

    Some have described Hawley as an “anti-tech” crusader, so this comes as no surprise that the bill was initiated by him. Hawley in fact wrote an op-ed for USA Today in May of this year where he postulated that social media may be doing our country “more harm than good”. In the article he also described it as a “parasite” on everything from productive investments to meaningful relationships and a healthy society.

    Among many things, the piece of legislation seeks to ban infinite scroll and autoplay as well as impose a 30-minute time limit on social media use across user devices. Its also said to target “certain gamification features”.

    The key difference in this piece of legislation as compared to other proposed bills in the past is that the bill seeks to also impose limits on the users themselves as opposed to the actual platforms, which are notoriously hard to pressure into change.

    Regardless, the bill is looking to not only prohibit numerous features but also classify any platform operating with them as doing so unlawfully.

    Among the restrictions include a ban on infinite scroll as well as a ban on the elimination of natural stopping points as lawmakers feel that these features take advantage of vulnerabilities in our psychology and thus unfairly persuade us to spend more time on the platform than we may innately desire. The proposed legislation also seeks to ban badges and other awards linked to engagement with the platform.

    The proposed bill additionally seeks to impose further requirements on social media companies to comply with. Among these requirements include a willingness to create a user-friendly interface which allows for users to set time limits which block their own access if the amount of time they spend on such platforms exceeds the time limit set by the user.

    It is specifically seeking to require companies to automatically place limits on the amount of time a user spends on such platforms to 30-minutes per day with the option to override this.

    It furthermore seeks to require social media companies to provide users with regular and immediate disclosures of the amount of time they have spent on platforms across all devices as well as to display a “conspicuous popup…not less than once every 30 minutes”. This popup is meant to alert the user of the amount of time they have spent on the platform across their various devices.

    Failure to comply with these requirements could result in enforcement by the state attorneys general.

    But that’s not all folks. The piece of legislation is also looking to crack down on operators of any “website, online service, online application or mobile application”. The bill seeks to require individuals and companies as such to obtain consent of users through a handful of specific methods and seeks to also ban preselected options for consent as well.

    So what does this mean for social media companies?

    Since news of the proposed piece of legislation broke, it seems that every media outlet in the country has made it their prerogative to highlight the 30-minute time limit thus instilling what can only be described as sheer horror into the general public.

    However, many of the impositions are targeted towards social media companies themselves as opposed to the users. The truth of the matter is that the restrictions which are indeed targeted towards individual users, such as the proposed social media daily time limit, are much more innocuous than they seem once the piece of legislation is reviewed. This is because these limits are to be created by the users themselves who also have the power to override them should they prefer.

    Social media companies on the other hand do rightly have a reason to be concerned. The various restrictions and bans set forth in the piece of legislation will require them to make significant changes to their platforms which will undoubtedly come at a significant cost for them – and not just financially. Features such as infinite scroll and autoplay could easily be seen as features which seek to enhance the user experience. As a result, they could face quite a backlash from the public in the event these potentially valuable features are no longer available.

    This is perhaps especially the case with regards to the ban on badges and other awards which are linked to engagement on platforms. These features have become immensely popular since their implementation and are particularly valuable to influential figures, who use them also in part to establish verified accounts so that the public can differentiate between fake profiles and authentic ones. Influencers who earn rewards on platforms often build their social media empires (and lives) on such features and many times put in countless hours of hard work and hard-earned money for advertising and promotions in order to obtain them.

    The looming blanket of worry seems almost reminiscent of the earlier days when the GDPR was first introduced. And unfortunately, you can’t exactly blame them. The truth of the matter is that if this bill is indeed actually passed, social media companies will have very little time to enact the changes required in order to be compliant.

    In fact, according to the bill itself, companies will have to make drastic changes within a span of just three months upon its enactment in order to ensure they are not performing any of the prohibited practices which are listed. They will furthermore have just 6 months after the date of the enactment in order to comply with the various list of requirements.

    Keep in mind that if they are found to be non-compliant, they’re getting much more than a slap on the wrist as the bill seeks to classify non-compliance as unlawful. This means that if they don’t comply with the SMART Act in a timely manner, they could potentially face repercussions from the commission as well as legal repercussions such as civil suits from the state attorneys general office. While the public is concerned about a potential self-imposed time limit which they can override themselves should they want to, these companies are concerned about the potentially disastrous effects that this piece of legislation could have on their glorious empires. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

    Conclusion

    Social media — you either love it or hate it. While these platforms have provided countless of individuals with a way to connect to their friends and loved ones across the globe, they have also come under fire for the ways in which they approach user privacy and leverage personal information to their benefit. The SMART Act as proposed by Missouri Senator Hawley was created as a way to keep these companies and users in check and also to help combat what is largely considered a growing epidemic of social media addiction. Will it be passed? Is it as the Federalist put it the “beginning of the revolt against big tech”?  Only time will tell. For now, we can only postulate as to what could be the potential ramifications if it does.

     

    What is your opinion on Senator Hawley’s proposed SMART Act? What do you feel are some ramifications that could be had should it be passed? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to discuss!

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    social media reputation management
    Social Media Reputation Management: How VisioneerIT Can Empower Your Brand

    Pretty much everyone understands the importance of reputation on an individual level. Your reputation is a reflection of your character and thus, a good reputation reflects positively on you as a person, how you are perceived by others and how others interact with you. The same exact principles apply to businesses.

    A solid reputation instills trust in the eyes of consumers and trust is the foundation upon which a customer relationship is built. This is especially the case when it comes to your reputation on social media. Now more than ever consumers are looking towards platforms as such to research the brands they are potentially interested in doing business with. Social media is a tool which can be used to help build buzz about your company but the key is ensuring that you’re building the right kind of buzz.

    Did you know that the average consumer mentions brands 90 times per week? What are they seeing and saying about yours? Do you have a social media reputation management strategy in place? If you do, are you leveraging the right tools to ensure you are successful in your efforts?

    If you’re interested in learning more about how you can manage your social media reputation, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain the importance of reputation management for brands on social media as well as introduce you to a new service offered by VisioneerIT which can help in your efforts to manage how your brand is perceived on these platforms.

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    Why is social media reputation management important?

    Believe it or not, your reputation on social media is crucial to your overall brand reputation both on and offline. Why? Because your customers are the key stakeholders when it comes to reputation management. They hold the true power and what they see about your brand ultimately impacts not only how they feel about your brand but what they say about your brand.

    Social media has essentially become its own ecosystem and in order to remain impactful in it, you’ll need to keep your eyes and ears opened to how your brand is being perceived. When it comes down to it – everyone talks. Public perception will be formed about your brand whether you decide to have a hand in it or not. By making the decision to manage your company’s online reputation you are effectively empowering your brand by giving yourself the ability to help mold how it is perceived in the eyes of consumers.

    It’s not just about your page, how professional it looks, how many followers you have and how many likes your most recent post received. It’s about engagement. It’s about being actively involved. It’s about what is being said about your company and the interactions you foster with your audience. It’s about tackling social media reputation management at a granular level.

    This includes everything from monitoring social media for brand mentions to moderating ad campaign comments and coming up with effective and timely responses to your audience when they’re looking for engagement.

    But how does a company juggle all of these responsibilities?

    There are countless tools and platforms on the market which can assist you in managing your social media – everything from post scheduling to automation. However, if you’re looking to truly be effective a managing your reputation online, you’ll have to approach social media management from the perspective of reputation management as well.

    This means taking the steps to set up social listening so that you can effectively monitor brand mentions and feedback in general, as well as activity on all of the ad campaigns that you’re currently running. How your customers respond to your campaigns, what they say about your brand and how they interact with it are of paramount importance. Furthermore, how effectively you respond to negative posts and how timely your responses are in general are crucial to your success.

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    Things to consider when choosing a platform to assist with social media reputation management

    Let’s face it, the task of managing your social media reputation isn’t for the faint at heart. It takes the consistent application of time and energy in order to remain effective and even then, one small misstep and all of your hard work can easily go down the drain.  Something as simple as failing to respond in a timely manner to your audiences can be the difference between success and failure. This is why it’s so important to find a robust service which can provide you with the tools you need to succeed at monitoring your reputation on social media.

    When searching for a platform, the most important consideration perhaps is cost. Second to this are the features that the platform offers. You’ll want to ensure that the company you move forward with provides you with the ability to listen to and monitor social media for brand mentions, including unofficial mentions that do not use the “@” symbol or hashtags. These mentions all too often get ignored with many services, however the truth of the matter is that they too provide a treasure trove of information and insight into the minds of your audience and are just as important as official mentions.

    You’ll furthermore want to find a platform that can assist you with inbox management. Once all of those mentions and campaign comments get corralled and thrown your way, most of the time you’re left on your own to manually sort through each one and respond accordingly. This is perhaps the most time-consuming process when it comes to managing your reputation online. It’s also very tricky in the sense that it is a difficult task to automate because each response requires a personalized touch in order to be effective.

    Finally, you’ll want to identify a service that will be able to additionally help you moderate the feedback that you’re receiving. You’ll want a company that can assist with responding to audience feedback, as well as one that can help you manage inappropriate or harassing feedback effectively. Sometimes, the best answer is a diplomatic response. Other times — it’s a diplomatic delete. Be sure that the platform you choose gives you the ability to effectively handle harassing or inappropriate comments that can distract others from your brand’s value and campaign message.

    Ad Comment Management Services

    Let’s face it, managing and monitoring social media feedback can quickly become overwhelming to say the least. Often times it requires a full-time team working around the clock in order to effectively keep up with the task.

    Fortunately, VisioneerIT can help with this. Our company offers a Social Media Ads Comment Management service that can help you gain control of your social media presence, your brand’s reputation and public perception of your company.

    Our Social Media Ads Comment Management service can help empower you during your campaign efforts by offering various features to help automate and optimize the feedback management process.

    1. Facebook and Instagram Ad Comment Moderation

    Nothing is more important than staying true to your brand’s voice. Perhaps the only thing worse than not responding to your audiences is responding in a generic and robotic manner. At VisioneerIT, we realize this and make it our utmost priority. This is why we work together with you to understand your personal approach and build out various responses that are not only effective at addressing your audience’s questions, but also stay in tune with your company’s values and voice. With our services, we can moderate, comment, and hide or delete posts made by other commenters on all of your ads.

    2. Inbox Management

    If you have prior experience with managing social media ads, then you’re most likely already well aware of the fact that managing comments in your inbox can be an extremely time-consuming endeavor. This is where we can help. We can help moderate the comments being received with approved replies. If there is ever a situation where  a question is posed that requires your input, we will notify you directly and work together with you to further build out your portfolio of responses.

    3. User Bans

    If you’ve ever experienced brand attacks or harassment on social media then you fully understand how detrimental these can potentially be to your brand’s message, reputation or public perception of it. VisioneerIT takes harassment on social media very seriously and this is why we work together with you to manage negative, unpleasant or harassing commentary. In the event a user continues to post commentary as such on any of your ads or social media pages, we have the tools available to ban these individuals so that they are no longer able to distract your audiences from what’s truly important – your message.

    4. Social Listening

    In addition to social media ad comment management, moderation and inbox management, our services also provide you with social listening features so that you can remain proactive and aware of how your brand is being perceived through social media. We collect all public mentions of your brand on both Facebook and Instagram business profiles as well as unofficial mentions on Twitter. Our highly customizable tools also allow for us to set up alerts for certain phrases or keywords which are unique to your brand and mute alerts for those which are irrelevant in order to cut through the clutter. In addition, you’ll gain access to in-depth reports based on the information we have collected.

    Conclusion

    Did you know that according to 2019 research, 58% of executives believe that online reputation management is important and should be addressed, but only 15% actually make the decision to do so? This is quite an interesting statistic given the fact that 41% of companies who have experienced a “negative reputation event” have reported loss of both brand value and revenue. Don’t make the mistake of dragging your feet when it comes to managing your reputation on social media. Stay proactive, stay informed and you’ll find yourself a step ahead of the competition in 2019.

     

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    10 social media monitoring tools to drive engagement
    10 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Drive Engagement

    Virtually everyone understands the importance of a strong social media presence. Everyone wants to be heard, to be seen, to talk, to make an impact — but the truth of the matter is that establishing your presence is only a part of the game.

    If you’re looking to truly succeed on social media, then you’re going to have to become adept at listening. Social listening (also referred to as social media monitoring) can be used to keep track of everything from your brand’s presence, to your competition’s presence, your customers, and even industry trends. It’s essential because not only does it help drive engagement, but it can also provide you with a wealth of information and insights which can be gleaned in order to influence important business decisions.

    Fortunately, there are numerous tools on the market which can assist you in your efforts at social media monitoring. If you’re interested in learning more about the various monitoring tools you can leverage in order to drive engagement, expand your reach, get more in tune with your customers and scope out the competition, then look no further than these next few lines.

     

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    1. Mention

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Free ($0/month)
    • Solo ($25/month)
    • Startup ($83/month)
    • Enterprise ($600+/month)

    Mention is an extremely popular social media monitoring tool that is used by numerous companies including Comcast, Microsoft and Alibaba. Their basic plan is free and allows you to monitor keyword-based alerts, boolean alerts and up to 250 brand mentions. It also allows you to publish content directly to your Twitter or Facebook, schedule your posts and integrate the service with Slack. Upgraded plans allow users to track additional mentions (up to 5,000 for non-enterprise clients) and provide users with detailed analytics, insights, reports and more.

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    2. Hootsuite

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Professional ($29/month)
    • Team ($129/month)
    • Business ($599/month)
    • Enterprise (Contact for pricing)

    Hootsuite is one of the more notable names on the list due to its sheer popularity. Hootsuite allows you to conveniently manage all of your social media channels in one simple, easy-to-use interface. In addition to monitoring and analytics, the platform also provides you with the ability to schedule, automate and promote your posts via advertising.

    Upgraded plans offer the ability to add additional users and integrate additional social media profiles (up to 35 for the business plan). They also provide you access to everything from custom analytics to exportable reports, social media certifications, increased ad spend limits and 1-on-1 onboarding.

    Image result for brandwatch analyticsSource

    3. Brandwatch Analytics

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Pro ($800/month)
    • Enterprise M (Contact for pricing)
    • Enterprise Q (Contact for pricing)

    Brandwatch Analytics is another massively popular tool used by thousands of brands which provides companies with access to live and historical data from social media. Users can search the web for various information such as reviews, comments, articles or conversations. They can then use various rules to segment the data they find into categories that are relevant to business. This data can then be analyzed so users can leverage the insights to influence decision making. The platform also allows you to interact in real-time with your audience thanks to their nifty email alerts. While the price tag is quite hefty, their vast array of features and AI-driven tools make it well worth the while.

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    4. Agorapulse

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Medium ($89/month)
    • Large ($179/month)
    • X-Large ($269/month)
    • Enterprise ($459/month)

    Agorapulse is another extremely popular tool that can be used to help monitor your social media presence.  While it is primarily regarded as a social media management tool, it offers a variety of features for social listening as well. For instance, their Facebook Page Barometer tool gives you a snapshot of how well fans are engaging on your Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Report card tool that’s great for conducting competitor research.

    Their listening feature collects public mentions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On Twitter, the platform additionally collects unofficial mentions, so even brand mentions used without hashtags or the “@” symbol can be collected and analyzed. They furthermore allow you to assign members of your team to various conversations.

    Upgrades allow for the integration of as many as 60 social media profiles and 20 different users. Users additionally gain access to a myriad of publishing, social CRM and reporting features and tools.

     

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    5. Awario

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Starter ($29/month)
    • Pro ($89/month)
    • Enterprise ($299/month)

    Awario is another social media monitoring tool which provides real-time social insights, non-stop monitoring and powerful analytics for businesses. Their keyword tracking feature can notably search and track keywords in any language at any location all across the web. They also have a nifty little social selling feature that businesses can use to help with lead generation. This tool finds posts which ask for recommendations of products similar to yours and also those in which individuals complain about your competitors and then boils them all down in one convenient feed of sales opportunities.

    The platform also prioritizes important conversations based on the number of individuals involved in the discussion, offers the ability to conduct boolean searches, provides white-label reports and helps keep your workspace organized with handy folders. Upgrades offer additional topics that can be monitored, additional mentions and stored mentions as well as the ability to add multiple users and more.

     

    Image result for ifttt

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    6. IFTTT

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • FREE ($0/month)

    IFTT, which stands for “If this, then that”, is an extremely popular free tool that is used to create chains of basic conditional statements, also known as applets. However, did you know that this tool can also be used for social media monitoring? The key to this lies in its versatility and ability to integrate numerous platforms and services. Users can create a “trigger” action that sends an email every time their brand name or competitor’s brand name is mentioned on a social media platform. This tool is highly customizable and most importantly — completely free. As a result, the possibilities are practically endless.

     

    Related image

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    7. Boardreader

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Free ($0/month)

    It’s easy to forget that social media doesn’t just encompass the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. It’s important to remember that forums and messaging boards are also vitally important segments in this space that need your attention. This is where Boardreader can help. The tool is extremely straightforward and simple to use and mirrors that of your average search engine. All you do is type in a keyword that you’re interested in monitoring (i.e. your brand name), and the platform will auto-populate all of the instances where this word has been mentioned within the last two years. Users can browse through search results to conduct research or engage with conversations as well. The platform additionally creates charts in various formats so users can see trends and compare terms against one another.

     

    8. VisioneerIT

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Contact for pricing

    VisioneerIT’s social media management tool provides businesses with a way to manage multiple social media profiles all in one convenient location. Users can use their Social Marketing tool to generate leads, schedule posts, monitor social media and communicate with their followers in real-time. The tool integrates with Facebook, Instagram Google My Business, Twitter and LinkedIn. Engaging with your followers on platforms such as Twitter is as simple as the click of a button. Furthermore, it’s mobile-friendly. You can use it on any device at any time meaning that you never miss out on a valuable moment to engage with your audience again.

     

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    9. Google Alerts

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Free ($0/month)

    Google Alerts is a “content change detection and notification service” that is offered by none other than Google itself. The platform is extremely straightforward and easy to use. All you have to do is type in a keyword that you’re interested in monitoring and Google will send you an email alert for it based on your preferences. Users can customize how often they receive the emails, the sources from which mentions are being pulled, the language, region as well as how many results to include. The service will send an email whenever it identifies a new result that matches the selected search term. It’s a simple, efficient and free way to manage and research everything from your brand’s presence to your competitor’s presence and various trends all over the web.

     

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    10. Buzzsumo

    PLAN OPTIONS:

    • Pro ($99/month)
    • Plus ($179/month)
    • Large ($299/month)
    • Enterprise ($499+/month)

    Buzzsumo is another wildly popular heavy hitter on the list that is used by a multitude of companies of all sizes. Users can enter a keyword or topic such as “content marketing” and gain access to numerous search results paired with engagement data about each. Queries can also be customized and filtered based on date (i.e. Past 24hrs, Past 2 years), country, language, domain, content type and even word count and publisher size and type (i.e. Only B2B publishers). Their Content Analyzer can help you analyze your domain and the domains of your competitors for insights. They also have a Facebook Analyzer tool, a Question Analyzer tool, a Trending Now feature, a Topic Explorer and a Backlinks tool that can help you identify who is linking to your competitors, as well as backlink opportunities for your own site.

    Their monitoring tool allows you to track mentions, the impact of your content and your competition’s content, as well as who is linking to you. Users gain access to real-time alerts, numerous filtering options to cut through the noise, exportable reports and more.

    Conclusion

    Practically everyone is obsessed with the idea of establishing a presence and being heard on social media platforms. However, the true key to success lies in your ability to listen to social media. Social media monitoring is an effective way to drive engagement, spread awareness, scope out your competition, understand industry trends and get more in-tune with your customer base. Use this article as a nifty guide when it comes to choosing the best social media monitoring tool for your business. In virtually no time at all you’ll be able to start leveraging the insights gained to get you on the path to better engagement, a wider reach and a new level of competitiveness for 2019.

    Have you used any of the social media monitoring tools on our list? Have any recommendations for our readers that aren’t included? Let us know in the comments below!

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    sequential advertising: leveraging ad sequencing on facebook
    Sequential Advertising: Leveraging Ad Sequencing on Facebook

    Did you know that according to Facebook,  conversion rates for individuals exposed to sequential advertising were 14x – 17x higher than conversion rates for individuals not exposed to sequenced ads? This data was derived from instances where a sequence of two to three ads was used to convey a message to an audience.

    Needless to say, sequencing your ads is a powerful tactic that can help companies increase their impact on their target audiences and boost conversions. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage sequential advertising on Facebook, then look no further than these next few lines.

    This article will explain to you exactly what sequential advertising is, why you should use it and how you can implement it on Facebook to generate greater leads and acquire more customers.

    What is sequential advertising?

    Sequential advertising is a method used where  a set of ads is presented in a pre-defined order or sequence (hence the term “sequential”). For example, if you were selling a product, you could create an initial ad that focuses on telling people about your brand,  then follow up with another ad which addresses a customer pain point. These ads could then be further followed up with third ad which focuses on showing how the audience can benefit from using your product. This granular approach results in greater audience impact and as a result, is an extremely effective strategy for advertising.

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    Benefits of sequential advertising

    There are numerous benefits to be had from using sequential advertising. Perhaps the most notable of these is that it is an effective method for storytelling. A recent study found that ads which focused on telling a brand story in addition to including a CTA were more effective than ads which focused entirely on their CTA. Presenting ads in a story format is not only more interesting, but also creates a more immersive and personalized experience. Other benefits of using sequential advertising include:

    • Versatility. Sequential advertising is a highly versatile strategy which can be implemented on just about every platform and channel (including Facebook).
    • Reduces ad fatigue. Presenting the same old ad over and over again can quickly create ad fatigue in your audiences. It is also a less effective strategy because it doesn’t give you the ability to diversify your content so that you are able to target various segments of your audience.
    • Focused targeting. With sequential advertising, you’re able to effectively target your content to individuals who match different buyer personas or those who are located in specific stages of the buyer’s journey.
    • Maximizes ROAS. With increased focus and targeting, you’re able to make a greater impact on your audience and thus maximize your return on ad spend.
    • Increased viewer rates. Since sequential advertising entails creating different types of ads to show sequentially, ad fatigue is decreased. Your content becomes more interesting and relevant to your audience which in turn correlates to increased viewer rates.
    • Higher  conversions. Using sequential advertising is statistically proven to give you 14x-17x higher conversions when you use two or more ads. This is due to the fact that you have greater control over who sees which creatives. This targeted focus increases engagement and thus also leads to a boost in conversions and the collection of quality leads which can be nurtured into paying customers.

    Using sequential advertising on Facebook

    Users can take advantage of sequential advertising on Facebook through their reach and frequency buying feature, which is currently being offered to a number of qualified accounts and is slowly getting rolled out to the general public. As of now, it currently allows users to create up to 50 different ads which can be displayed in various orders to audiences.

    So, what exactly is reach and frequency?

    Reach and frequency is a buying type that allows users to select a fixed CPM. This effectively enables you to figure out exactly what you’ll be spending in order to reach your audience prior to creating your campaign. When you set up a reach and frequency campaign in Facebook, you are able to reach your audience in a predictable manner. It allows you to select specific days and times of the day that your audience can see your ads, as well as the order in which your ads are seen and the number of times your audience is exposed to them. As you can imagine, this is an awesome tool for people who have a preference for planning ahead.

    When you use the sequencing tool, Facebook is able to determine which ad your audience has seen and then moves forward with serving them up the next creative in line. At this point, users are unable to control whether or not an individual has to engage with their content in order to see the next ad, but we’re happy to know that this is something that is at the forefront of Facebook’s mind.  Perhaps in the future this may be an additional feature.

    Image result for facebook reach frequency campaign

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    Steps to setting up a reach and frequency campaign

    If you’re interested in sequencing your reach and frequency ads, you can simply head towards your Ads Manager in order to begin the process of creating your campaign.

    At the Campaign level, you’ll then want to reserve your reach and frequency campaign. To do this, you simply select Reach and Frequency as your buying type. Keep in mind again that this feature is currently only available to qualified accounts and so if you don’t happen to see the Reach and Frequency option, then chances are it’s because you don’t currently have access to the feature at this point in time.

    Once you’ve selected reach and frequency, you’ll need to determine your objective. Are you looking to spread awareness about your brand, increase traffic, conversions or video views? This is the time to determine this.

    After this is completed, you’ll need to set your lifetime budget. Your lifetime budget is the maximum amount that you want to pay for your ads over the entire course of your campaign. As you adjust this budget, Facebook’s predicted results will auto-populate in order to reflect the amounts entered.

    Now, you will move on to selecting the maximum amount you’d like to spend over the course of your campaign in the Budget field at the Ad Set level. This feature also gives you the ability to adjust your budget manually on the graph provided on the right according to the number of people you are interested in reaching.

    From here you will select the Facebook Page and Instagram account you would like the ads to run for.

    Once this is completed, you can then move on to setting your ad schedule. In order to enable sequencing, you will first have to book and purchase your reach and frequency campaign.

    The next step is where you define your audience.

    Once you’ve finished choosing your audience parameters you will then need to move on to choose your placements. Your placements are the places where people are going to be exposed to your ads. Many times people just select Automatic Placements. This gives Facebook the authority yto run your ads where they believe they will achieve the greatest impact for the best value. However, you can also choose to Edit Placements and check/uncheck boxes based on your preferences. Keep in mind however that by choosing fewer placements can be a more costly method.

    After you choose your placements you will need to select your optimization and delivery settings. This is where you set your reach and frequency balance. This balance influences how frequently your audience will be exposed to your ads during your campaign. As you can imagine, choosing the right frequency is going to be a large factor determining your success.  The platform recommends choosing Balanced frequency. According to the platform, this option defaults to the “optimal balance between reach and frequency for your campaign”.

    From here you can click Continue to move on to the process of designing and crafting your creative. Once you are finished, you simply click Review to look over your selections and Confirm to reserve (purchase and book) your campaign.

    Tips for using sequential advertising

    If you’re looking to truly be effective with your sequential advertising efforts, then you should know that patience and experimentation are going to be the key determinants of success.

    Visualize

    So, take the time to make sure you get it right. Print and lay out your creatives so that you’re able to see them, feel them and experience them yourself. Do they tell a story about your brand? Is it unique and/or engaging enough to draw your audience in? Does it feel personalized on an individual level as well as on a holistic level and not too sales-y? Would these creatives convert you if you were your audience? These are all questions to consider when finalizing your decision.

    Experiment with different formats

    It’s also important to experiment with different ad formats. Static images are extremely popular and straight to the point, however their conversion rates tend to be lower when compared with other formats.

    For example, carousel ads are extremely effective and efficient ways to drive clicks. According to Convince and Convert,  they can drive conversions for 30%-50% less than single-image ads.

    Video on the other hand is extremely effective for generating engagements as well and has quickly become an industry favorite. It’s easy to understand why — according to Hubspot, 72% of individuals would rather watch a video to learn about a brand’s product or services. Furthermore, marketers who use video grow their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.

    Experiment with pacing

    However, experimentation with different formats isn’t enough. You should also consider experimenting with the pacing of your creatives. If your ads are paced too quickly, you’ll make your audience feel rushed. This is especially the case when ti comes to making significant purchasing decisions. On the other hand, if you happen to sell products and/or services with low price points that don’t require much consideration, moving too slow can be detrimental to your efforts.

     

    Conclusion

    Sequential advertising is a highly effective strategy that is becoming increasingly popular to use due to the numerous benefits that it offers. With sequential advertising, you’re able to tell a story and create immersive experience with your audience as you gracefully guide them through the buyer’s journey.

    Sequential advertising is not only a highly versatile and targeted approach to take to advertising, it also can help companies prevent ad fatigue, increase their viewer rates, maximize their return on ad spend and boost conversions.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage sequential advertising for your company, VisioneerIT can help. Our diverse set of services can assist your company with everything from display advertising to content marketing and social media management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started off on the right foot.

    Have you implemented sequential advertising in any of your latest campaigns? Have you been thinking about it? Let us know your experience in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

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    facebook ad campaign
    Building a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign with Just $5 Per Day

    If you haven’t started implementing ad campaigns on Facebook then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to generate leads and increase traffic to your website. Whether you’re completely new to the realm of social media advertising or you’ve created ads in the past, this article can help show you how to get your campaigns on track and take back control of your marketing efforts.

    Many people hold the misconception that you need a ton of money to advertise on social media. The truth of the matter is that anyone can build a successful Facebook ad campaign with just $5 per day. If you run the ad continuously throughout the month, you’re looking at an advertising budget of between $150 and $155 per month.

    Now, that may not seem  like a lot to you and the truth of the matter it isn’t – but that doesn’t mean that it’s too small to achieve results. The good news is that it’s smart to start out slow.  Jumping into the world of Facebook advertising and chucking hundreds of dollars at your first ad without knowing what you’re doing is pretty much the equivalent of setting your money on fire.

    The key is to start out slow with a small budget and then gradually build your campaign up once you’ve experimented with different ad sets, parameters, audiences and extrapolated solid insights from your data.  This not only minimizes your risk but increases your potential to find new or ideal demographics to market to.

    This article is going to show you how you can increase your website traffic and boost your conversions by spending just $5 per day on Facebook Ads.

     

    Before you get started

    Setup

    The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you have installed the Facebook pixel on all of the pages of your website. A Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that you can put into your website that allows Facebook to monitor activities on your pages. You also want to set up custom conversions so that Facebook understands which actions taken on your page constitute a conversion for your company. For instance, a conversion could be anything from signing up for an email list to adding a product to a cart or purchasing an item. You can set up your Facebook pixel and custom conversions through your Ads Manager.

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    Benchmarks

    Before you get started it’s essential that you understand how Facebook ads generally perform so that you have a benchmark in order to measure your results against. The average conversion rate for Facebook ads across all industries is .90%. This is the minimum percentage you are shooting for. If you over-perform, great. If you under-perform, then it’s time to start making some changes.

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    It’s also important to get a feel for the average cost per click (CPC) per industry. If your company’s industry isn’t included on this list then you should know that the average cost per click across all industries is $1.72. You may find that in your case this number is substantially lower, or you may find that it is a bit higher. The only way to find out is to roll up your sleeves and get started.

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    Creating Your Ad

    The Basics

    When you click on the “Create Ad” button in your Facebook Ad Manager, a box will pop essentially asking you what your goal is for your promotion. For all intents and purposes, we will focus today on the “Get More Website Visitors” feature as it is best optimized for directing traffic to your website.

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    When you click on the “Get More Website Visitors” button, another window will pop up giving you various options to create your ad.

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    This pop-up gives you a box to type in your website’s URL and also provides the option to choose the format of your ad. There are currently four formats offered:

    1) Single image

    2) Carousel (scrolling images)

    3) Slideshow ( a feature which creates a short slideshow out of a handful of images)

    4) Video

    Generally speaking, video is statistically proven to have the highest conversion rates, but that doesn’t necessarily negate the other options. While I know many people who use videos in their ads, I also know a number of people who have used single image ads and found success with them as well.

    Once you choose the format of your ad, you can proceed with uploading the relevant images/video content via the “Browse Library” button (to upload content from your computer) or “Free Stock Images” button (to select a stock image from Facebook’s selection).

    It’s also worth noting that you have the option to preview your ad as it would appear in your Facebook’s newsfeed via your desktop, via your mobile device as well as how it would appear as a Messenger ad or an Instagram ad.

    After you finish uploading and previewing your content you can scroll down to create the Headline and Text elements. Your headline can have a maximum of 25 characters and your text can include up to 90 characters. Make sure your content is engaging and action-oriented in order to achieve the best results.

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    Audience Targeting

    After this section you will scroll down to the section where you can define your audience parameters. Facebook gives you the following options:

    1) People you choose through targeting

    2) People who like your page

    3) People who like your page and their friends

    4) Custom audiences

    For option #1, you have the opportunity to custom build your audience based on numerous factors such as gender, age, location, interests, behaviors and demographics. Option #2 targets individuals who have liked your page and option #3 targets both them and their friends on Facebook. Option #4 gives you the ability to create a custom audience that you can save and use for future ads.

     

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    Automatic Placements

    Automatic placements essentially gives Facebook permission to spread your ad across multiple placements based on their likelihood to perform.

     

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    Duration and Budget

    The next section you will scroll down to covers your budget and the duration of the ad. Facebook gives you two options when it comes to duration:

    1) Run this ad continuously

    2) Choose when this ad will end

    The option you choose depends on your specific preference. If you choose to run the ad continuously, Facebook will simply continue to run the ad at the specified daily budget until you decide to manually stop it.

    If you decide to choose when the ad will end, you have the option to run the ad for 3 days, 7 days, 14 days or choose a specific date that works best for you.

    Now, we move on to the budget section.

    Facebook gives you the ability to type in a numerical value for your budget and also auto populates the amount of clicks you are estimated to get based on the budget input.

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    As you can see based on the image above, a daily budget of $5 will return between 14 and 40 website clicks per day. You’ll need to have a lead magnet such as an email subscription pop-up in place in order to ensure you make the most of the traffic that is being directed to your site. It’s also worth double checking that your landing page is up-to-par and set up to convert.

    So, let’s say that you type in a daily budget of $5 and you decide to run your ad for 30 days so that in total, your ad budget for the month would be $150.  This means that you can reasonably expect to receive between 420-1,200 website link clicks for the month.

    Keep in mind that your conversions are highly dependent on the quality of traffic that is being driven to your page and as a result, knowing your audience and targeting your advertisements to the right demographic are going to be absolutely indispensable factors to your success. So, the hard truth of the matter is that if you aren’t converting, either your proposition isn’t good enough, or you just don’t know your audience well enough.

    It’s also worth noting that experimenting with ads is also crucial to success. If your first ad doesn’t perform well, don’t get too discouraged (especially if you’re new at this). It takes a while to figure out which content performs best with your audiences.

    For example, maybe you find that certain images perform better than others or that video ads drive more traffic than static image ads. There are numerous factors that contribute to the success of your ads and something as simple as the CTA you include can make all of the difference.

    This is why it’s important to start out slow and think long-term. Patience is key – especially when you’re limited by your budget. Start by running your ads for a short period of time such as a day, two days or a week and then compare performance based on the different types of ads you’ve chosen.

    Remember that a large sample is going to be key to extracting accurate insights on information. It’s going to be difficult to get solid insights from an ad campaign that only received 100 impressions. However, an ad campaign that receives 1,000 impressions is one that you can use to effectively extrapolate insight from.

    Also keep in mind that time of day and day of week can influence your results. Try to keep your experimenting as controlled as possible in order to receive the most accurate insights from your data. If you find something works, keep doing it and if something isn’t working well, mix it up. Constant experimentation will put you on the road to success. It just takes time.


    Conclusion

    Facebook ads are an extremely effective way to boost traffic to your website and increase conversions. Many people hold on to the misconception that you need to have a large budget for advertising on social media, but the truth of the matter is that anyone can build a successful Facebook ad campaign from the ground up with just $5 per day. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, start experimenting and get on the road to your best year yet!

     

     

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    Sources:

    https://www.facebook.com/business/help/434245993430255

    https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/02/28/facebook-advertising-benchmarks

    https://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2015/05/31/what-5-per-day-will-buy-you-on-facebook-ads/

    https://www.godelta.com/blog/how-to-run-facebook-advertising-on-a-small-budget

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    chatbot company
    Chatbot Technology: Chatbot Creation Platforms vs. Custom Development Solutions

    Did you know that according to recent research by Business Insider, chat apps are officially dominating the mobile journey? In fact, a whopping 46% of smartphone sessions were found to have either a social media or messaging app as one of the first apps launched. Consumers are so active on chat apps that a 2016 study by the same company also found that messenger app use actually surpassed social media platform use in recent years.

    Now more than ever consumers are active on chat apps, but their actual activity may surprise you. While many individuals look to messenger apps to connect with friends, research has shown that they are increasingly using these same apps to also connect with brands and browse merchandise.

    So, what does this mean for your company?

    It means that if you still don’t have  a presence on these apps, then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your business and stay competitive.

    So, how do you do it? Chatbot technology.

    Chatbot technology is primarily used to enhance the consumer experience and scale customer service capabilities. However, in today’s world, they’re essential for establishing your presence as a brand on messenger platforms. There are literally hundreds of millions of consumers that are using messenger apps every day and as a result, your business can’t afford to not maintain a presence.

    If you’re interested in learning more about chatbot technology and how it can impact your business, then look no further than these next few lines. This article will detail several benefits of chatbot technology, as well as help guide you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best solution for your company.

     

    chatbot company potential benefits chatbots

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    Benefits of Chatbots

    If you’re like most people, then you were probably a bit skeptical about the rollout of the chatbot and its adoption into mainstream businesses. However, a little bit of research will show you that not only are chatbots being adopted by virtually every business of every size, but that they are indeed an excellent solution to a number of issues.

    Enhancing the consumer experience

    First and foremost, chatbot use enhances the consumer experience. A 2018 research project by SurveyMonkey Audience found that 64% of individuals felt that “24-hour service” was the single most important benefit of chatbots. With a chatbot, your company is available 24/7 regardless of whether or not your staff is. Furthermore, chatbots can provide your company with a significantly increased handling capacity. Humans are only capable of handling so many interactions at once, however a chatbot is able to  manage thousands of interactions at a time, thus not only improving your customer service abilities, but also enabling your business to scale.


    Increased customer retention rates

    The quality of your customer service directly impacts your customer retention rates. When your business makes things easy for your customer by being consistently available and providing service at all hours of the day, every day of the week, on numerous platforms (i.e. messenger apps), your customer is more likely to view your business in a positive manner than if this weren’t the case. Happy customers stay with companies they like and this directly impacts your ROI and bottom line.


    Increased conversions

    Chatbots increase the convenience of your business offerings by giving customers immediate access to information when they need it most. Without a chatbot service, your company can easily miss out on potential conversions due to the fact that customers will not be able to get timely access to information they need in order to make a purchasing decision. These decisions are often made quickly and as a result, time is always of the essence.

     

    Reductions in the workload of frontline staff

    Let’s face it, your frontline staff probably already have their hands full. By implementing chatbot technology you are able to effectively reduce the workload of your frontline staff by automating an essential part of their workload. This enables them to focus on other pressing matters and gives them the ability to handle the duties of their position more effectively.

    Additional sales channel opportunity

    One major benefit of chatbot technology is that it provides your business with an additional sales channel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is because chatbots are often integrated on websites, social media platforms and messenger apps and configured to recommend products and business offerings to consumers through conversation based on their particular needs. As a result, your company can essentially sell in its sleep.

     

    Increased business intelligence

    Another huge benefit of chatbot technology has to do with the analytics that come along with the interactions that your chatbot has with your consumers. These interactions are a treasure trove of information on consumer behaviors and experiences and as a result, provide a wealth of insight to help inform and drive essential business decisions and open you up to more revenue opportunities.

     

    Finding the perfect chatbot solution for your business

    So, you’re thinking about implementing chatbots for your business. If this is the case, then you’re  essentially going to find yourself at a crossroads of sorts: Should you develop a custom chatbot from the ground up or should you move forward with a chatbot creation platform?

    The truth of the matter is that this all depends on exactly what you’re looking for in your chatbot solution.

     

    Related image
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    Using a chatbot creation platform

    A chatbot creation platform, much as its name implies is a platform that is designed for the purpose of creating chatbots for individuals who aren’t exactly well-versed in the technical aspects of the process such as coding. These platforms tend to offer a drag and drop interface that allows you to easily add features, pre-built templates, analytics and a handful of integrations.

    Some of these platforms offer free plans. For example, on Chatfuel you can create a custom bot for free until it reaches a certain number of conversions, at which point you will need to upgrade to a premium subscriber account. Other platforms price based on factors such as the number of conversations that will be had or the number of bots you need.

    There are several creation platforms on the market and the one you choose will vary depending on your technical savviness, specific needs or preferences.

    The benefits to these are that they tend to be a more cost-effective solution initially than outsourcing for custom chatbot development services. However, this is due to the fact that you’re not receiving the level of customization, features and integrations that you can get with a custom chatbot development solution.

    Also, many of these platforms vary in complexity and as a result, manually creating your chatbot can quickly become an arduous process (i.e. you still may have to set up code) depending on which platform you use and your technical prowess.

    It’s important to keep in mind that everything is done manually on these platforms. You will have to set up the chatbot yourself and make sure that you have  a team in place in order to  mange all future updates in a timely manner. This also includes potential technical issues which could result in your chatbot incorrectly answering a question or not functioning in some proper manner. These especially need to be addressed immediately, regardless of the time or day.

    Furthermore, when choosing a chatbot creation platform, it’s important to understand that you are always going to be subject to a certain degree of platform limitations. For example, you may find that you need one feature or integration that the platform doesn’t offer (i.e. integration with Shopify). If this is the case, your only option is to switch to another platform entirely or to simply settle with the fact that you’re not going to be able to get a valuable feature that you desire.

    As a result, doing your research and making sure you have all of your ducks in a row, as well as a dedicated team to manage the technology prior to getting started is going to be essential to your success when choosing a chatbot creation platform.

     

    chatbot company

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    Outsourcing for custom chatbot development services

    If your company is looking for a customized solution that fits the specific needs of your business, then a custom approach may be your best bet.

    There are several benefits to choosing a chatbot company such as VisioneerIT as your custom chatbot development solution.  Most importantly perhaps is the fact that  you are not subject to the same constraints that you are with a standard chatbot creation platform.

    As we discussed earlier, if the platform doesn’t have a feature or integration you need, you will either need to move to a different platform entirely or settle for not having the feature. However, when choosing a custom chatbot development solution with a company such as Visioneer IT, the sky is pretty much the limit as the saying goes. You can get just about any feature or integration with enough time and money.

    Furthermore, when choosing a company to handle chatbot development, you can rest assured that  no coding skills or technical knowledge will be necessary in any capacity. Deciding on features and integrations can be handled via a phone call and as a result, require no technical expertise or manual setup on your end. This is a particularly great option for companies who aren’t especially familiar with the chatbot industry or are first-time users and perhaps need a little bit more hand holding than others.

    Another benefit to choosing a company to manage chatbot development is the fact that you are not only outsourcing the setup, but future updates and any potential technical issues as well. As a result, you save valuable resources such as time, manpower and energy that otherwise would be spent managing your chatbot solution.

    Overall, the decision really boils down to what exactly you need your chatbot to do and your company’s resources. If you’re looking for a relatively straightforward and simple solution and you have the resources to develop and manage your updates and any technical issues on an ongoing basis, then moving forward with a chatbot creation platform may be your best bet.

    However, if you’re looking for a customized solution perfectly tailored to your business needs and you have the budget to outsource to a company in order to handle the setup, management and technical aspects, then moving forward in that direction will be the best option for you.

     

    Conclusion

    Businesses of all sizes and industries are using chatbots now more than ever – especially in the United States. In fact, according to recent research, the U.S. ranks number one on the list of countries who are engaging customers through chatbot interfaces.

    If you haven’t made the decision to implement chatbot technology then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to enhance your consumer experiences at scale, increase conversions and drive down the operating costs of your business. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on implementing chatbot technology today and get on the road to a new and improved, competitive business model in 2019.

    References:

    https://chrismakara.com/digital-marketing/how-to-build-a-chatbot/

    Have you thought about using chatbot technology to improve your business operations? Did you follow through with it? Tell us about your experience! We’d love to hear from you!

     

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    10 Cognitive Biases and How They’re Impacting Your Social Media Campaigns
    Source

    Let’s face it – everyone likes to believe they are a completely rational and logical being by nature. However, the truth of the matter is that both our subconscious and conscious minds are immeasurably complex and as a result, we are often subject to biases that we aren’t even aware we have. Have you ever gotten into a situation where you realized your thinking was a bit biased? Don’t worry if you have – you’re definitely not alone.

    The truth of the matter is that we all have a number of cognitive biases, many of which we are often unaware of.

    So, what exactly are cognitive biases in the first place, you ask?

    Cognitive biases are essentially fallacies or errors that we all tend to make with regards to rationalization, memory and reasoning. These biases often lead us into making irrational decisions or judgments due to the fact that we are all too often undeniably influenced by a multitude of subconscious factors that we have built up as a result of our life experiences, preferences and beliefs.

    The bad news is that as a marketer, cognitive biases are always going to be an impediment for you. However, the good news is that through educating yourself and becoming more aware of the various cognitive biases we all often possess, you can effectively craft smarter, savvier marketing campaigns.

    This article will give you the breakdown on 10 cognitive biases and also provide you with various tips, tricks and tactics you can use to overcome them in your audience.

    Source

    1. Attentional Bias

    What it is: Attentional bias, much as its name implies, deals with our attention and how our perceptions on a subject are often profoundly impacted by our recurring thoughts.

    What this means for you: Generally speaking, when it comes to attentional bias, familiarity breeds…content. That’s right. The more often a customer is exposed to your brand, products or messages, the more likely they are to convert. When it comes to marketing – don’t just stop with social media. An omni-channel approach is not only beneficial, it’s quickly becoming the standard.

    Source

    1. The Availability Cascade

    What it is: The availability cascade deals with the availability of information to an individual. This is a “self-reinforcing process” where belief tends to be increased through “repetition in public discourse”.

    What this means for you: This means that your target demographic is more likely to trust your brand when they have repeatedly been exposed to other individuals who have had experiences positive experiences with it. The thought process here is that if someone says it – it must be so. The bottom line is that it’s all about generating a buzz. Use smart tactics such as affiliate marketing or influencer marketing to leverage the influence of others and get them talking about your brand.

    Source

    3. Post-Purchase Rationalization

    What it is: Post-purchase rationalization is the tendency that humans have to justify a decision such as a purchase once it is completed.

    What this means for you:This rationalization is done in an attempt to counteract feelings of buyer’s remorse – something that everyone experiences in some way, shape or form after a purchase. You as a business can help overcome buyer’s remorse by making your customers feel good about their purchases and interactions with your business after the fact. Automated email campaigns are the best way to do this. Send your customers a message thanking them for their purchase, or better yet, offer them a discount on their next one.

    Source

    4. The Cheerleader Effect

    What it is: The cheerleader effect is the tendency we have to view subjects as “more attractive” when in a collective group as opposed to alone.

    What this means for you:This is particularly pertinent when it comes to customer testimonials. While you may be extremely excited about the first positive feedback that you receive, don’t jump the gun on posting it on your website, social media or blog. The truth of the matter is that one single vote of confidence may actually work against you. Wait instead until you’ve cultivated a group and then post several testimonials together instead.

    Source

    1. The Peltzman Effect

    What it is: This particular effect deals with our tendencies to take risks when we feel that the environment in which we are taking action is safe.

    What this means for you: Your audience is going to be much more likely to convert into consumers if they feel that you are a safe choice. There are numerous ways you can build up trust in your target demographic’s mind. For instance, make sure that you’re using an SSL encrypted website (https). You can also take the time to research and identify which trust badges are most effective and take steps to install them on your website to give your consumers the peace of mind that their private information and data are secure.

     

    Source

    1. The Decoy Effect

    What it is:This is another bias that deals with our tendencies to misjudge matters in an environment of comparison. Specifically, it deals with the prospect of us having options. For the purpose of this article, we’ll call them Option A and Option B. What happens is that when we are introduced with a third option that is similar to our second option (Option C), we tend to automatically show a preference towards the second, middle option (Option B). This tendency is so strong that we often make this choice regardless of whether or not Option C is truly a better option in the first place.

    What this means for you: This is a great cognitive bias to leverage when it comes to exhibiting your pricing structures. Let’s say for instance that you currently offer one plan or price for a specific product or service. By offering a less costly option and then an upgraded option, you can essentially influence your audience to show preference for your current price point. This makes them feel as if they are in more control of the buying process than if you were to simply present one single price and as a result, positively influences their experience with your brand.

     

     

    1. The Focusing Effect

    What it is:The focusing effect deals with tendency to place a great deal of importance on one specific aspect of a subject. While we have the ability to focus on multiple things at a time, the truth is that we also tend to prioritize these things and assess a greater deal of value on a single component.

    What this means for you:This means that when it comes to marketing your products, brands or services, keep in mind that you don’t want to give your audience a major case of information overload. All this does is negatively impact their experience. Instead, focus on one unique quality or aspect that will substantially benefit your customers in some way, shape or form and drive that quality home.

    Source

    1. The Distinction Bias

    What it is: This particular cognitive bias deals with our tendency to view things as more dissimilar when compared side-by-side than when compared or evaluated on an individual basis.

    What this means for you:If you really want to take advantage of this cognitive bias in your social media marketing strategy, then doing a side-by-side comparison of your competitor’s brand, products or services is the way to go. The truth of the matter is that you don’t necessarily have to be mountains ahead of your competitor in every way in order for this to be effective. You could simply excel in one particular area and highlight this for maximum effect.

     

    Source

    1. The Hot-Hand Fallacy

    What it is:This bias deals with our tendencies to overestimate subjects who have previously demonstrated or experienced some form of success in the past. We then incorrectly assume that because this is the case, the subject at hand has greater odds at achieving further success in the future.

    What this means for you:You know what they say: Fake it ‘til you make it. Whether your successes are big or small, shout them from the rooftop so that your audience can see the achievement. They in turn will begin to associate you with achievement and subsequently begin to perceive you as a “winning” brand. This in turn gives you their vote of confidence, instills trust and makes them more likely to convert into actual customers.

    Source

    1. Information Bias

    What it is: Information bias deals with our tendency to want to stay “in-the-know”. As human beings, we naturally seek out information. We often tend to do this even when the information we are interested in has no impact on the action we are taking.

    What this means for you:Overcommunication is key. People like to feel as if they’re making the right decision and we often have numerous biases that prevent us from establishing trust with a brand in the beginning. The best way to overcome this is by giving your audience and potential customers as much information as you can when the time is right. This means detailed product descriptions and lots of information on your shipping policies and the buying process. Tell your customers about your company. Give them an inside, behind-the-scenes look. Include contact information in your content. Give your customers access to everything they could want to know and more in order to build trust and assure them they’re making the right decision by engaging with your company.

     

    Conclusion

    While we may all want to believe that we’re logical and rational individuals by nature, the truth of the matter is that there are a multitude of cognitive biases that all too often influence our decision making process. Use this article and the information you’ve gained as a guide to help you on your path to enhancing your social media campaign strategy today. Remember — when it comes to conversions, every single percentage point, every little fraction of a percentage point counts. By intuitively understanding your audience, you’ll be able to effectively craft smarter, savvier campaigns and get a leg up on your competition in no time.

     

    What are some cognitive biases you’ve come across during your path into entrepreneurship? What strategies have you used to help overcome them?

     

    Sources:

    https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/marketing/cognitive-biases/

    https://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/cognitive-biases-cro.htm#

     

    Social Media Blurb

    Let’s face it – everyone likes to believe they are a completely rational and logical being by nature. However, the truth of the matter is that both our subconscious and conscious minds are immeasurably complex and as a result, we are often subject to biases that we aren’t even aware we have. Have you ever gotten into a situation where you realized your thinking was a bit biased? Don’t worry if you have – you’re definitely not alone.

    The truth of the matter is that we all have a number of cognitive biases, many of which we are often unaware of.

    So, what exactly are cognitive biases in the first place, you ask?

    Cognitive biases are essentially fallacies or errors that we all tend to make with regards to rationalization, memory and reasoning. These biases often lead us into making irrational decisions or judgments due to the fact that we are all too often undeniably influenced by a multitude of subconscious factors that we have built up as a result of our life experiences, preferences and beliefs.

    The bad news is that as a marketer, cognitive biases are always going to be an impediment for you. However, the good news is that through educating yourself and becoming more aware of the various cognitive biases we all often possess, you can effectively craft smarter, savvier marketing campaigns.

    This article will give you the breakdown on 10 cognitive biases and also provide you with various tips, tricks and tactics you can use to overcome them in your audience.

    Share and Enjoy !

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    Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Investors

    Source

    Regardless of what type of real estate investment you’re in, the truth of the matter is that you’re never going to be successful without a solid marketing strategy. Fortunately, now more than ever there are numerous avenues, tools and platforms available to real estate investors looking to establish a presence and expand their business with their marketing efforts.

    A recent report by the National Association of Realtors found that as much as 51% of buyers find their properties on the internet. As a result, it creates a valuable opportunity for you to spread the word about your business and generate leads.

    However, with that being said, there’s nothing that substitutes for good old fashioned, traditional face-to-face encounters or interactions within the physical world. While the internet is a treasure trove of information and opportunity, it is always recommended that real estate investors use a combination of online and offline strategies in order to ensure their efforts are most effective.

    If you’re interested in learning about the various strategies you can use to improve and expand your business operations as a real estate investor, then look no further than these next few lines.

    Source

    1. Leverage Your Access to Public Records

    Regardless of your approach to real estate investment, you should know that you automatically have a huge advantage simply due to nothing more than the fact that you’re in the real estate industry. As a result, you automatically have the opportunity to access public records which give you all kinds of valuable information on your target demographic such as names, income and more that can help you maximize your marketing efforts.

    Use this wealth of information available to you and create detailed databases based on your research findings. This gives you the opportunity to fine-tune and focus your marketing efforts so that you can successfully reach, attract and make an impact on your ideal target demographic.

    Source

    2. Email marketing

    Did you know that according to HubSpot, 59% of marketers say that email marketing gives them the biggest ROI when compared with other channels they use? In fact, email generates an astounding $38 for every $$1 spent.

    That’s a 3,800% ROI.

    There’s no denying that email marketing is one of the most effective options you have available to you. If you still have yet to start building your email list, don’t fret – just know that it’s never too late and it’s super simple to get started. All you need is some kind of lead bait (such as an offer) in order to entice individuals to sign up to your list and an email marketing tool such as MailChimp to get started on creating awesome automated email campaigns to help you generate leads and grow your business.

     

    Source


    3. Direct mail

    Source

    4. Owned media

    Have you taken the time to invest in owned media for your business? If you’re looking to make an impact online then you’re going to have to establish yourself in some way,  shape or form. This could be through a company website, a blog or a Facebook page. Ideally, you should have all three. These valuable forms of media are used to help attract customers to your business and as a result, should be carefully crafted specifically for the purpose of generating conversions.

    Source

    5. Earned Media

    Earned media is another form of media that every entrepreneur, regardless of industry should be investing in. Earned media encompasses things such as press releases, guest posting, business reviews and customer testimonials.

    Earned media can also come in the form of SEO. Having a search-engine optimized website is the best way to generate organic traffic from search engines such as Googleyou’re your goal is to get your name out, then you’re going to have a hard time doing so when you’re on the 4th page of a Google search result. SEO, press releases, guest posting and reviews all help contribute to your online presence and as a result, should be considered seriously by any real estate investor.

                                  Source

     

    6. Paid Media

    Did you know that according to recent research individuals who visit your site through a paid ad are 50%

    more likely to convert than those who do so organically?

    Let’s say you already know the basics of online marketing. You have a website; you update your blog on a regular basis and you’ve established your presence on social media. Have you considered paid media?

    Unless you’ve established your presence online for the latter part of a decade, it’s going to be hard for you to get any traction without advertising. Whether your focus is on social media ads or you prefer Google’s Adwords platform, advertising provides a valuable opportunity for you to get your business in front of those that need to see it most.

     

    Source

     

    7. Video Marketing

    Video marketing is pretty much the hottest thing since sliced bread right about now. Gone are the days when a simple text advertisement or static picture served as sufficient for your marketing efforts. Video is now officially the standard – and it’s east yo see why. Did you know that according to recent research video marketers get on average  66% more qualified leads per year than those who don’t use video in their marketing strategies? Further food for thought – did you know that YouTube is officially becoming the go-to platform for video research? If you’ve already established yourself on a platform such as Facebook, you may want to consider establishing yourself or at least marketing on this insanely popular channel.

     

    Source


    8. Off-Market Properties

    Focusing your efforts on off-market properties gives you a solid advantage financially speaking. Off-market properties, often referred to as “pocket listings”, are real estate listings that aren’t listed on multiple listing services such as MRIS. The great thing about these listings is that they are a niche of sorts and often ideal for investors focusing on flipping because the properties are often listed far below market value. So, how do you find them if they’re not on the MLS? Good old-fashioned networking. Which leads us to our next tactic.

     

    Source

    9. Networking

    Good old-fashioned traditional networking is by far one of the most effective strategies that a real investor can have in their marketing arsenal. However, when it comes to networking, making sure you choose the right people is crucial to success.

    Estate attorneys are valuable resources for real estate investors as they often have lots of properties on hand with title issues and/or tax liens that will soon be on the market.

    Wholesalers make the process simple as they act as the middlemen in the real estate transaction due to the fact that they sell you the contracts to properties.

    Local builders are also valuable resources because these individuals tend to be “in the know” about local, unfinished properties, giving you a great opportunity to take advantage of.

    In an interview with Forbes.com, Chuck Hattemer with Onerent suggests that real estate investors contact the HR teams of local companies and offer a deal for their employees to rent their properties. You can offer to bring lunch and treat the company while getting valuable leads and contacts.

     

    Source

     

    10. Targeting Motivated Sellers

    Motivated sellers are individuals who for whatever reasons may be, find themselves in a predicament where they have to sell their property as soon as possible. Motivated sellers are a great resource and target demographic for real estate investors because they often are willing to take offers below market value due to their situation.

    The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to identify sellers as such is to check your county’s delinquent tax list. These records give you access to individuals who are behind on their property taxes from as little as two weeks to as long as 2 years. This essentially gives you a database of potential contacts as well as insight into future foreclosure listings.

    Conclusion

    If you’re looking to establish awareness and grow your business, then there’s no better way to do it than by implementing these tried and true marketing strategies for real estate investors. While you may want to dive in head-first and try out every single item on the list, the truth of the matter is that it’s much better to focus your attention on just 1-3 of these strategies in order to ensure your efforts aren’t diluted. So, what are you waiting for? Step up your game in 2019 and set yourself up for your best year yet!

     

    What are some marketing strategies you’ve found successful as a real estate investor? Have you used any of the tactics on our list? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

    Sources:

    https://medium.com/@leadpropeller/top-5-digital-marketing-strategies-for-real-estate-investors-ad493ebb5111

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/03/05/13-marketing-strategies-real-estate-investors-can-use-to-improve-their-business/#68f4f9fd2172

    https://www.fortunebuilders.com/the-top-3-real-estate-marketing-strategies-for-new-investors/

     

    Regardless of what type of real estate investment you’re in, the truth of the matter is that you’re never going to be successful without a marketing strategy. Fortunately, now more than ever there are numerous avenues, tools and platforms available to real estate investors looking to establish a presence and expand their business with their marketing efforts.

    A recent report by the National Association of Realtors found that as much as 51% of buyers find their properties on the internet. As a result, it creates a valuable opportunity for you to spread the word about your business and generate leads.

    However, with that being said, there’s nothing that substitutes for good old fashioned, traditional face-to-face encounters or interactions within the physical world. While the internet is a treasure trove of information and opportunity, it is always recommended that real estate investors use a combination of online and offline strategies in order to ensure their efforts are most effective.

    If you’re interested in learning about the various strategies you can use to improve and expand your business operations as a real estate investor, then look no further than these next few lines.

    Share and Enjoy !

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