It wasn’t too long ago that businesses came around to accept that digital marketing > social media management including community management was probably not part of their core competency and that they should probably employ someone to do it or outsource the role to an agency.
“The role of a community manager is to act as the bridge between a brand and the community it is aiming to create (i.e. a loyal audience or group of core consumers connected by a similar interest). They should be the brand’s ambassador, engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones.” (Ecoconsultancy)
“Social Media Managers are responsible for planning, implementing, managing and monitoring company’s Social Media strategy in order to increase brand awareness, improve marketing efforts and increase sales.”(TalentLyft)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that a Messenger automation (ChatBot if you wish) is somehow a part of that role. An automation stands in as an extension of the Community Manager to some degree with its own identity, engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones AUTOMATICALLY.
Building a string of messages based on yes or no answers is pretty basic and there are many tools and platforms out there to help you do this today. Where it starts to get a little more complicated is when the automation needs to change its behaviour based on a set of conditions, make calculations based on variable values, trigger actions with third-party applications, interrogate a database, and so on to produce results. At this point the role of a community manager becomes a bit fuzzier for the role has morphed into one with a slightly more technical nature.
At the same time, developers are technical in nature, producing website and apps and all the wizardry we have come to learn about. They often have no marketing background and prefer not to venture into the domain.
In the world of digital marketing (email marketing, search marketing, social media paid marketing, etc) you find a new role is being defined, that of a Messaging Marketer. The job description includes being responsible for the journey a customer takes in a chat automation from the moment they start the discussion to the moment they have reached their desired result and then to follow up for feedback and further engagement.
It would also include a healthy knowledge of working with AI platforms to train the automation to pick up on intents and to reply accordingly.
The Messaging Marketer is making an entirely new way to engage with your brand a reality for consumers and their ultimate objectives can be quite different from the traditional objectives of Community Managers.
To illustrate this, I am working with a digital agency who have a team of back end developers and a team of Community Managers. They recently completed a lovely website for an estate agent and now animate their client’s Facebook page to ultimately drive traffic from Facebook back to the website using a url.
In some ways, this is non-sensical. If a user is already on the Facebook platform, why not keep them there and engage with them there. Also, over 50% of the clients traffic visits the website from a mobile. So what is better, looking at a website on a phone or using an app such as Messenger to access the information required?
From our role as a Messaging Marketer, we deployed our ChatImmo solution for the same client which runs in Facebook Messenger. ChatImmo is a PropertyBot we developed which runs in Messenger and draws in properties from the agency website using an xml feed.
Our objective is to drive the most amount of traffic into the automation so that they become:
→ Subscribers – with a simple click on a button they can subscribe to your brand in Messenger
→ Engaged – ask some simple questions to lead them to the information they require quickly; sign them up to a newsletter and send a message or sms when it has been sent to ensure it gets read
→ Segmented – divide your list into different groups to ensure that they only receive messages which are relevant to them
→ Contacts – a simple push of a button and your team will be sent their contact details
And so there it is. A conflict of interest. The agency wants more traffic on the website to drive more contacts. We want more subscribers, to engage with and to facilitate their conversion into contacts effortlessly.
Of course, the answer is to give the customer a choice of which medium they prefer to visit for more information. But if they do choose Messenger, the agency stands to lose website traffic and the website will lose value as a means to deliver leads.
Martin Swanson is the owner of PeppaWeb Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency in France. PeppaWeb creates a range of Marketing Automations including digital loyalty cards and ChatImmo a PropertyBot for estate agents. www.peppawebmarketing.com