Chabots, the robotic customer service solution we've all been looking for, can revolutionize how quickly and accurately you respond to prospective clients. Especially on Facebook, Facebook Messenger Chatbots can answer an infinite amount of questions for you - all while you focus on more important things.
Virtual Reality (VR) is all the rage today. Engineers are gearing up for what is going to undoubtedly be the next hottest thing for a decade or so, and Facebook wants to, of course, be part of the hype. As the home to over 25 million 360-degree photos and close to 1 million immersive videos, Facebook has decided they want users to be able to experience this content from a VR perspective.
To make it possible, Facebook got fancy and released an app last week, Facebook 360, that is compatible with strictly Samsung Gear VR and other Gear VR-related goggles. Though it doesn’t resemble the normal Facebook app, Facebook 360 still provides users with the ability to “react” to the content, as well as share it to their Facebook 360 timelines.
Facebook 360 has four separate feeds at users fingertips: content from followed friends, saved content, an explore feed for finding new content, and a timeline option that strictly displays your own personal 360 content.
Facebook, this week, stated that they hope to bring Facebook 360 to additional headsets in the future. They plan to add more social features and improve upon the app experience every week until it wields the same power the main platform has today.
Are you interested in VR developments and industry announcements? Stay tuned right here with us. We’ll keep you updated.
It seemed like a fantasy of the future not too long ago when cartoons and TV shows poked fun at using robots for daily human support. There was Karen, Plankton’s computer wife on Spongebob, the Jetsons, My Life As A Teenage Robot, and so many others throughout the last 30 years. Though we don’t quite have teenager robots floating around our streets yet, we do have the creation of chatbots for human-to-robot conversational interaction on a business or brand’s behalf.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence system that interacts with humans over an Internet-based text chat. The interactions can be straightforward, like placing a pizza delivery order, or they can be complex, like troubleshooting a problem with Internet service. The one-on-one business-to-consumer interaction potential just got a whole lot bigger with the implementation of these conversational bots.
Here are 3 reasons why your business needs a chatbot NOW:
Up until now, humans were tasked with answering business questions and inquiries. That means only a certain volume of questions could be answered every single hour. With a robot, an infinite amount of questions can be fielded and answered in a single second, with perfect, preprogrammed accuracy. Wow.
Social media may be to blame for this one. Consumers are spoiled today. They’re used to a steady stream of optimized content, persuading them to make purchases. They’re used to direct contact with businesses through social media profiles. Therefore, they expect this kind of engagement on apps and websites. Chatbots are the perfect way to provide them with personalized, instant engagement as often as they want it.
Whether this word makes you laugh or cringe, millennials are the most powerful consumer group in the world today. How they go about acquiring their purchases is kind of important. It’s no secret that millennials prefer text chats to any other kind of consumer support (we’re looking at you, smartphones). By having a chatbot, you’ll be catering to the most active consumers in the game today.
Still not totally clear on what a chatbot is? Fear not, we do offer comprehensive informational classes in which we teach you about chatbots, how to create them, and how to anticipate questions for your bot to answer. Check out our new teaching branch: http://socialmeuniversity.com/.
Last week, I visited RedSneakers, an upscale SEO and website marketing firm in Fort Myers, Florida. I sat down to chat with the boss, Ed Moore. I asked him what he thinks about apps. He replies quickly "We have a website, we don't think we need one." I tried to hide my horrified expression behind my coffee cup.
This is from an SEO guy.
The functions of an app haven't been made clear to the public yet. Why not? That's what I'm trying to figure out.
The App Story
Apps have been around prior to 2008 – but that was the year that we, the plebes, were introduced to that very short and ominous sounding word: app. GooglePlay and Apple's App Store opened for business that year. I even attempted to make my own in 2010. It wasn't very successful, but I did the best I could with what I had. Don't judge.
Apps have come a long way since then. TUNE's "Global Mobile 2016" report  estimated there was 180 billion app downloads in 2015. Furthermore, the App Store just enjoyed its busiest day ever on New Years Day 2017.
Obviously many folks know these juicy little widgets exist, but what about the mainstream? Nope, not yet.
Let's get back to Ed at RedSneakers. He is still believing that an app is a mini, mobile website. I laid my phone on his desk and tapped on our company's app: SocialMe (we're a boutique social media management and training company). I continued tapping. I showed him the Entrepreneur.com newsfeed that displays real-time social media articles and blogs (and entertains me in the wee hours of the morning).
Then I tapped on our Calendar (Google Calendar link) so he could see the meeting I had scheduled with him. I mentioned that his clients could see his scheduled MeetUps, events, and even the slots he had free for them to book an appointment.
Next, I tapped on our SocialClub, where our clients can add themselves to our map. Here is where it gets fun, I get their name, email, or phone number and location. Data collecting, baby! I tapped the SocialMe Poll button. Our fans can choose what features of apps they like the most with a fun, interactive chart showing where they fit in. We all like to fit in, don't we?
Push notifications are the cherries on top of the marketing sundae, though. I have never seen a website (yet) that shoots alerts of sales, messages and updates into my hands, by text, on my phone. We can alert our entire fan base of a special LinkedIn seminar that we are holding tomorrow!
Next, I showed him our SocialMe team superimposed over a grand NYC skyline. We look like hipster, high-fashion models. Hey, it's all about the image.
Then I feigned boredom while I showed him the normal Insta, FB and Twitter icons and easy GPS directions to our place.
Interaction & Engagement
When I looked up I instantly realized that I showed him something that he did not know existed: INTERACTION and ENGAGEMENT. People today are spending over 5 hours per day looking at their phones, making it harder and harder to slow down their speeding on the information highway. If there isn't an element that makes your clients feel connected to you and your brand, they aren't going to care about you. As Mary Kay, the Grand-Dame of make-up and uber successful entrepreneur said, "people won't care about you if you don't care about them." It's no surprise that the Mary Kay brand has multiple, sophisticated apps currently on the market.
Engagement is the biggest difference in mobile websites vs. mobile apps. Today, people have a ridiculously low attention span – if interaction isn't immediate, your customer has likely moved on in search of the next CandyCrush. Experts say that people are even sick of typing website addresses in search bars. Tapping on the app icon is going to be de-riguer in the future.
It matters how millennials use social media. Millennials make up the biggest consumer bloc in our country currently, and rely on social media for consumerism far more than any other living generation.
Even more eye opening, millennials trust social media reviews and recommendations more than any other demographic.
Simply put, if you want your service to be relevant in 2017, you may want to pay attention to these changing millennial social media habits.
1. The Year of Reviews
Ever see a millennial at a restaurant pounding away at their Yelp app after their meal is delivered? Millennials LOVE to rate and review things for other millennials to read. What does that mean for 2017? The rating and reviewing is expected to skyrocket with more platforms incorporating a review-based component – especially with the rise of mobile apps.
2. Step Away From the Echo Chambers
The mainstream media took a serious hit this election cycle. Americans are the most skeptical of media and social media-sourced news than ever before. Social media’s content-curated algorithms place users in an “echo chamber” of consistent articles/opinions that align only with their interests.
Many millennials are fed up with this, and may turn their backs on social media as a credible news source. What does that mean for businesses? We could see a spike in using social media strictly for communication and brand association.
3. Nonverbal Communication
Just in case the millennial generation couldn’t be anymore stunted in the communication department, we are likely going to see a jump in nonverbal communication using pictures, gifs, and of course, emojis. Millennials are all about brief, concise communication that relays the point in the least amount of words as possible. The best way to do that? A sentence completely comprised of one or two emojis.
As such, expect to see the incorporation of emojis in way more communication channels, even working their way into professional emailing.
You Should Care
If you’re a business that cares about staying current and forming solid sales leads, you may want to consider these three upcoming habit shifts, and adjust your business plan accordingly.
And if you’re not sure exactly how to do that, we are! Hit us up if you’re looking for affordable app development, SEO services, and social media management that aligns with 2017 ideals.
If you think mobile marketing apps are just reserved for big name brands and platforms like Spotify, Facebook, Yelp, and the Wall Street Journal, you are sadly mistaken. Over the last few years, apps have become the number one way mobile users navigate their phones.
A staggering 90% of mobile user’s time is spent inside an app when on their phones.
Even more profound (or alarming depending on how you look at it), nearly 75% of Americans check their phones every single hour they’re awake. The discussion has shifted from, “what is an app and why would I ever need one?” to “how quickly and efficiently can I have a fully-functioning app in the app stores?”
Apps are for everyone, every brand, and every business. Many small businesses are already ahead of the game, and see the marketing value for directly connecting with mobile users. But, not everyone is sold yet, so we’re here to provide you with 3 eye-opening reasons why your business needs it own mobile app now.
1. Be visible at all times
How many times per day do you sit down at a laptop and peruse the Internet? Not many. How many times do you have a quick second or two to glance at an app on your phone and catch up on social media notifications and sport’s scores? A lot. Apps can be checked in between meetings, on subways, while eating out, and the list goes on. Apps are all about convenience for consumers, and developing an app for your company will give it permanent mobile visibility.
2. Develop a direct marketing channel
Apps can serve many functions – from games, information, news feeds, reviews, to discounts and seasonal deal downloads. One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you want customers to know is right there in their pockets. Set up push notifications, showcase your coupons and discounts, and reward app users for following your brand.
3. Build brand name recognition
The more consumers are faced (whether its willing or not) with your brand, logo, and platform, the harder it’s going to be for them to forget it. A mobile app will greatly contribute to your platform’s mobile awareness, and make it easier for individuals to invest in your brand and follow its every update (people WANT to know you and your brand).
And the list goes on. You’re probably thinking – ok, that sounds great and all, but where on earth do I get started making an app? App development is on the rise, and we’re proud to have added it to our SocialMe services!