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Will using Facebook Messenger’s feature piss off your clients?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Will Facebook Messenger’s chatbot capabilities drive away your customers? Some are already cringing.

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In this advertising-saturated age, companies are always looking for better ways to engage customers. Personalization is becoming increasingly important, as is reaching customers via mobile.

So it seems like advertising through Facebook Messenger would be the perfect solution.

Messenger is already a wildly popular communication app for smartphone users worldwide. Companies are frequently using Facebook’s AI chatbots introduced to Messenger earlier this year to handle customer service questions.

The chatbots help streamline communications with customers, who can stay in the Messenger app and don’t have to visit the company’s site, download their app, or call them to get help or information. David Marcus, Vice President of messaging products, announced at the 2016 Web Summit in Dublin that Facebook would expand options for companies to communicate with customers via Messenger.

For nearly two years now, companies have been able to link their ads on News Feed to Messenger. In other words, if a user clicks on ad in the News Feed, it can redirect them into a conversation via Messenger with the company (or rather, the company’s chatbot).

What’s more, if you’ve already communicated with a customer via Messenger in the past, Facebook will now allow you to pay for the opportunity to send ads via messenger to that customer in the future.

For example, the video game Call of Duty sent its customers codes for a new trailer. Absolut Vodka sent customers vouchers for a free cocktail. Once the voucher was cashed in, customers also received a coupon for a free Lyft ride home.

Ongoing conversations are a great way to engage customers and give them all of the information they need to make purchasing decisions.

However, sending ads via Messenger may backfire, as
Facebook users might find it obnoxious and intrusive to see ads alongside personal messages from friends and family.
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To protect their privacy, users will be able to block all further communications from a company with one click. So if your ad rubs someone the wrong way, you might lose contact with that customer forever.

Marcus worried about user backlash at first, but after testing the feature earlier this year, he says he’s “not concerned.” A company can’t “cold call” new customers, and can only contact users they’ve already talked to. Marcus believes this will “preserve the integrity of the platform.”

Nonetheless, your customers might not be happy to see your ad popping up among personal messages. If you intend on using the feature, test it on a small number of customers as a temp test before going all in.

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Real Estate Marketing

How to avoid the trainwreck of hiring social media influencers

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Watching The Profit’s season six episode nine, Feat Socks, is almost like watching a real live train wreck. Two millennial entrepreneurs and social media influencers, Taylor and Parker, are picked up by angel investor Marcus Lemonis for help with their struggling small business, Feat Socks.

They are also included in a business group called Community, created by known faces in the Lemonis empire. In almost no time at all, Taylor and Parker manage to completely alienate all the other business owners.

After having experienced a little (but short) taste of success with Feat Socks, Taylor and Parker suddenly think they are invincible and can do anything after selling some overpriced socks. Not only does their attitude make them annoying, but it makes me want to see them knocked down to their knees and forced to swallow a humble sandwich. Whole.

There are some real lessons to be learned here when hiring social media influencers.

1. A positive, encouraging attitude is everything.

If your attitude is bad, you will fail in business. Period. Parker and Taylor prove that with their struggles when dealing with others. Their arrogance isn’t doing them any favors either. Keeping a positive and encouraging attitude will attract far more opportunities and the right people.

2. They need to know your product.

You need to know your product inside and out, but so do your social media influencers. They should be able to explain it to others in a way that makes sense and makes them excited. This is more rare than you’ll ever know.

3. Don’t be awful to others.

It doesn’t matter what your role is or how successful you are or think you are, being a douchebag to others will burn you every time and cost you opportunities. It may even cost you friends and potential partners. Being a know-it-all is sure to hurt your prospects as well.

4. Be humble.

Being humble is something that will always serve you well in business. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made $10 or $10 million, if you’re an arrogant jerk, no one will want to be around you, making it very lonely at the top. Or at the perceived top.

5. Be a team player.

If you’re a business owner, then you’re part of a team, even if it’s a small one. If you’re a social media influencer, you’re also an important part of a team. Act like it and show courtesy to your team members.

6. A business is more than just numbers.

A profit and loss statement only tell one part of the story. A business is run by people, supported by people, and successful because of people. Without people to direct it, a product doesn’t sell itself. So be good to people in your business, whether it’s staff, customers, vendors, or anyone else you meet.

Watch the full trainwreck here:

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Real Estate Marketing

Open Design – rarely used in real estate, but boosts earnings

(OPERATIONS) Innovation is what keeps the industry alive, and Open Design improves the process, boosting the bottom line.

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As you begin executing your business goals set at the beginning of this year, it isn’t too late to considering embracing an emerging trend to help accelerate your innovations – Open Design. This refers to the practice of being transparent about the process of building products and services (without giving way too much of the final product).

It’s similar to the practice of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in higher education—sharing information and problems about your expertise, for free, with an interested community.

In many ways, Open Design aims to break down siloed industries and workers. By sharing information about how and why your business does what it does, Open Design actually reduces the amount of work your employees may have to re-do. The open access of the design system allows them to work beyond the traditional confines of their roles.

As creative and often specialized fields like design become increasingly open, the amount of “tedious” work that used to require attention is lessening.

Some of these mechanical tasks are becoming automated as a result of collaborative efforts in Open Design across industries and other times it is the result of interdepartmental collaboration within individual corporations.

open design

This evolution makes sense: if your web team gets feedback from your sales team that a certain process isn’t intuitive and that difficulty creates a bottleneck—they’d act on that feedback and eliminate the blockage.

Abstract reports that companies that focus on the streamlining of their design systems have revenues 32 percent higher than those that adhere to conventional methods.

Taking advantage of Open Design systems would allow your entire team to focus efforts on higher level problems rather than recreating the wheel with mechanical (and often easily programmable tasks) each time they need to begin a project. These cumulative, increasingly efficient efforts, can help your business scale.

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Real Estate Marketing

This app keeps people on your website and engaged

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If you’ve dealt with user onboarding, activation, or retention for your website, odds are you may have heard of or used the software Appcues. Typically Appcues specializes in user welcome tours, new feature announcements, or those oh-so-annoying yet oh-so-useful NPS surveys. (If you don’t know what a Net Promoter Score is yet, here you go. You’re welcome.)

Instead of the typical onboarding tours, Appcues is taking it a step further with the new Onboarding Checklists feature that has us impressed. As a veteran UX designer in SaaS, I’m usually leery of any new product that claims to do wonders for user onboarding/retention.

As we’ve looked through the inner workings of the onboarding checklists, our skepticism has turned into delight. And we’re not alone — this was recently the #3 “Product of the Day” on Product Hunt.

Rather than obnoxious pop-ups on your website, this gives the user the responsibility to complete the onboarding tasks at hand. Even though there are varying onboarding checklist tools out there, this is currently our favorite.

Here’s why:

1. The steps are backed by behavioral science.

This is the best part. The tool is built to encourage positive behaviors (activation) through a bias to completion, reward, and consistency.

2. It’s unobtrusive and unannoying.

Users don’t like to think they’re being manipulated into a new feature. (Looking at you, Facebook stories.) By allowing users to complete the onboarding process on their own time through a simple, unobtrusive UX, user loyalty is maximized while user frustration is minimized. Win-win.

3. You can segment checklists with different user bases.

By allowing to segment different types onboarding checklists, you’re allowed to make informed, data-driven decisions on the demographics of users more likely to complete certain portions of the checklist and alter as needed *swoon*.

Even though the new onboarding checklist feature is legit, you still need to do your homework in applying best practices to ensure it’s effective.

Make sure to know your user personas to segment properly, conduct user research, understand the most important steps, and make the checklist clear, concise, and rewarding. Need help with some UX best practices? This blog might help.

To test the user onboarding checklist, go to this site to register for a trial Appcues account. Starter accounts begin at $159/mo and up. #notanad

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