Chatbots – The Future of Social Media – Episode 89

Chatbots

Are you prepared for the future of social media? I’ve invited an amazing human being with us today, Aoife Marie O’Connell, the Founder and Chief Chatbot Builder of Yarnly AI. Aoife’s knowledge on the future of social media, especially around messenger marketing or also known as chatbots is next level! And I’m super excited to bring her in to talk about the impact of and preparing for the future of social media; the benefits of chatbots; and so much more.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Yarnly AI Website

Yarnly AI Instagram

Aoife O’Connell LinkedIn

Profit Pillars

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Women in Business Retreat 2020

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Consulting Instagram

Prefer to read Chatbots – The Future of Social Media? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 89.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both, by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business. 

Well, hey there and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host, Ange, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I am a Business Consultant and Coach who has helped hundreds of amazing women business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent five-figure months and then on to six-figure years without burning out in the process.

Now, once in a while, you connect with a completely random stranger on Instagram. And over time, you might get to know them just a little bit, you might mini stalk them, like their stuff, and basically, next thing you know, you’re BFFs. Who out there is shaking their heads with a, “Hell, yes.” 

But in addition to finding out this person is just an amazing human being, you also find out that their knowledge on the future of social media, especially around messenger marketing A.K.A. chatbots is next level. And you know you have to have them on the podcast because businesses need to know about where social media is going.

So today, the amazing Aoife is joining us to chat about so much goodness such as, but not limited to, how does the future of social media impact on, that’s right, you guys listening out there, what are the benefits of messenger marketing A.K.A. chatbots, and what can businesses start doing now to prepare for the future of social media? And as always, we’re going to be talking about so much more awesomeness. 

But before we hop straight into this amazing episode, I’d like to remind you that if you enjoy this episode, I would love for you to share your key takeaway, a fun fact, or anything that you would love to share about the podcast over on your Instagram stories and then tagging me @angelahendersonconsulting. As I said it before on all my other podcasts, it absolutely makes my day when you guys do this.

Also, this episode is sponsored by 12-month group coaching program, Profit Pillars, which helps women in business create consistent 5,000 plus months and on to those lovely juicy 5-figure months also. My 12-month group coaching program is for women business owners who are absolutely ready to take action to grow a sustainable and profitable business.

The program includes the complete Profit Pillar training systems guide, with videos, PDFs and more; monthly live coaching strategy sessions, monthly hot seat sessions, monthly mastermind classes with my guest experts, 24-hour access to a private Facebook community, world-class member support, and so many other amazing bonuses and secret surprises along the way.

To learn more about my 12-month group coaching program, you can head to angelahenderson.com.au and simply click on, ‘I Want Help Creating 5K Months.’ Now, let’s get ready for an amazing show with Aoife. Welcome to the show, Aoife. 

AOIFE:

Thank you for having me, Ange.

ANGELA:

Gosh. Now listen, I’m not going to lie about it. I think we may; you might not be, but I consider us kind of Instagram BFFs. We’ve kind of been this way for a while now; we DM each other, we comment on each other’s stuff, and I just like that naturally, we just support each other. But the one common truth about this is we actually never met in person. 

AOIFE:

Bloody amazing on that. 

ANGELA:

So amazing, that again, there’s women supporting women who have never seen each other, but yet, we don’t do it every day, or you might have something on your Instagram feed, or I’ll have something on mine, or whatever. And we don’t necessarily agree on everything, too, sometimes; we have a little bit of healthy debate, you know?

AOIFE:

I love that.

ANGELA:

And there’s a mutual respect though, right? Is that, we have this respect, but there’s also, for me, is I knew I had to have you on the show because there’s this warmth about you and this knowledge that just flows from you. And this is what my listeners I feel need to hear, and so, I’m super thrilled to have you on the show today. 

AOIFE:

Oh, thank you. I’m tearing up here, the emotion; what’s happening?

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness. You did tell me that, “I was going to need tissues today, Ange.” 

AOIFE:

I know and I’m not that emotional. But I think I’m just so proud. I’m really proud of those females and certainly, I think you touched about the respect element. You don’t necessarily have to agree on a position of any business or any human that has in the world, but if someone’s running their own business and they’re putting themselves out there in the ring, doing it in the most respectful, honest way, regardless of what they’re saying, I just commend it every day and I support those women like consistently.

It’s been a pleasure to have met you at the start of the year and it’s an absolute pleasure to have seen you today. 

ANGELA:

Yeah. And then I know as we do is we stalk each other on Instagram, that it was so funny that my copywriter that I’ve used for the last six months; eight months, maybe? Somewhere around there. I saw you guys were having a Christmas party down in Sydney, and I was like, “What are those two little rugrats up to?” And I didn’t get an invite. I was like, “What’s going on here?”

And it’s just a small; it genuinely is such a small world. And that’s what I say is embrace women in business, embrace just humans naturally because the world is so small; everyone is connected in some way and somehow. 

AOIFE:

Oh, 100%. And I think it’s just, I think the new decade; we’re coming into 2020 and it’s certainly females’ time to shine and there’s nothing holding us back. And I feel that even more so than now, we need to unite, support and encourage all women, and all girls, and all boys, and all kids coming up to the world to be able to do what they want to do and not fear; free themselves for doing that.

ANGELA:

And I’m also very excited to have Ally, who is the founder of Girls Who Code; I’m going to mess it up and I think I just did; Girls Who Code down in Melbourne and she runs this amazing opportunity for girls, young girls to be able to start coding because she was one of the only females in her school to be able to learn all this stuff. And so, she’s got this beautiful empowerment behind everything and I can’t wait; that will be a future episode that we’ll be having Ally on. So, yes. 

Obviously, I equally support men, so for those men listeners out there, please know that I am equally supportive, but in a time where we still don’t have equal rights, etc. it is great to see women coming together.

And before we get started, I always like to ask a fun question to my guest so that my audience gets to know you a little bit better. So my question to you is I love your name; before we actually hit record, I was like, “I do like the spelling of this name, but I don’t know actually how the hell I’m pronouncing this.” And even though we’ve been friends, like I said, for a while. So it’s Aoife, but it’s spelled very; it messes with my head a lot. 

So I want to know; I love it, but I’m like, “Oh, man.” Like, it’s unique; it’s part of your unique point of difference. So tell me, I love your name. Curious; where is your name from? What does it mean? And tell us a little bit more about it.

AOIFE:

I’m Irish obviously, and my name is a Gaelic name, and it actually means female warrior in Gaelic.

ANGELA:

Wow. How interesting is that?

AOIFE:

Yeah. She was an old, traditional; from a fable, actually. And that’s the evolution of the names. So it’s funny; I’m the youngest of five and all my siblings have very straightforward and normal names.

ANGELA:

But interesting again, that you are, you are in the space of educating, and we’re going to get into this about messenger marketing shortly and about just uplifting women etc. So what a perfect fit for who you are. It’s quite powerful, really.

AOIFE:

Well, yeah. Thank you. When I was single in my early life, it was a very good dating line because I used to be able to say every vowel by u. That’s been made redundant now, unfortunately. But, you’re welcome.

ANGELA:

Oh my gosh. That is so funny. So now that we have the funness out of the way, I’d love for you to tell us a little bit about your background. Where have you started? What are you currently doing now?

AOIFE:

Yup. So I started my career about, oh God, 15 years ago. I immigrated to Australia when I was about 24. And they usually sentence you to GFC, predominantly at this stage, the Global Financial Crisis. I was an auctioneer, would you believe at that stage, so working in property probably wasn’t going to fulfil me for the next. [Crosstalk 00:08:32]

So I immigrated and I actually ended up in a closed-door because as every backpacker would, I wasn’t the fruit-picking type of girl. So I went into a closed-door and they were looking at getting in a new point of sales; so the e-commerce, the marketing; and ended up basically putting that whole strategy together. And then the evolution of social came and that’s where my career started. 

I progressed into the education system, which helped back the approved healthcare, well, it was beauty care at the time. And I put together their command centre for social media. And then, I transitioned into the insurance sector, which was; I worked as a Social Media Manager for Australia’s largest general insurance; so very big brands.

And then in the last 24 months, I had my daughter and I went out on my own and created Yarnly AI, which is my artificial intelligence agency driven by human connection. And basically, that means is we develop and create strategies for chat marketing and help brands and businesses have their voice in an automated one-to-one personalized conversation, but do not forget the human approach.

ANGELA:

Right. And I do love that, the human approach because as we’ll talk about later, I’m all about that human connection and that is one thing that again, I’ve seen that you do well compared to so many other messaging marketing platforms I’ve seen, which we’ll talk a little bit in a minute.

So today’s topic though, the future of social media. Listen, social media could be the death of us some days, collectively, but this is a fairly big topic – the future of social media. There’s a lot of people talking about it. But for the purposes of this episode, I’d love for you just to define what do you mean when we’re saying the words future of social media?

AOIFE:

For me personally, I think it’s the future of social media is really brought back to the tools that we have on our pockets; so the evolution of our phones or our Androids and connect to this; we’ve never been more connected ever in just human behaviour.

So the future of social media for me is really about that communication and enabling that, your brand and your businesses’ voice and your vision and your mission to be able to be elevated and reach people that you wouldn’t necessarily been able to reach previously. And I think that’s power, in general, for the future of social media is to be able to have those conversations and to be able to bring more human personalized undercurrent to your brand. 

I think that’s predominantly what happens to a conversation and that’s where we’re specializing in chat marketing and obviously, chatbots, which is the automation element of it, but it’s also about encouraging a brand to be more comfortable and confident in leading from the front with the people that are already creating the brand. And I think that’s very important. So yeah, that’s my take on the future…

ANGELA

On the future of social media. And do you think with that definition and just where we’re going with the future of social media, what impact does this have on businesses, big and small?

AOIFE:

Huge. I mean, really, look, from an environment state; everything’s been disrupted, right, currently. And that’s really just trend to the technology that is available, and for small to medium businesses, right now, the entry barrier is basically been removed. Large enterprises, which I’ve worked through have had multiple options within automation platforms and data, analytics and be able to help support that customer journey. 

The small to medium businesses have the ability to have the tools to have the same strategy, but also, the value of the small to medium businesses, they don’t have to deal with the internal landscape of the political side of things that have to get things over the line. They have a small team that add job and they can push things through. 

So right now, it’s massive destruction and small businesses and startups can really take on these big guys and get a share of that GDP and get a share of the value or the money in the marketplace. And that’s where Yarnly is basically positioned itself to be able to help support, enable those small to medium businesses and make a real difference for them as well. You know, it’s real money. Small franchises that have not been aware or I guess have a strategy previously now can actually be able to obtain that with a very small barrier. 

ANGELA:

And like said, for you, it’s really why is it important for you to be able to help support those small to medium businesses? 

AOIFE:

I think there’s two moral as well, I think startups and people that are evolving a brand, now where or large legacy brand that is a small business is they do things with purpose and I think people buy into that and they buy into who they are and the change they’re making in the world, not necessarily the product or the service that they’re selling.

And I think personally are more attracted to those brands rather than the large enterprise where they’re trying to put their culture and elements within the businesses, but not looking after their people. And I think that’s incredibly important. So it kind of comes back, it’s ironic that where technology and an artificial and an automated chat company, but actually it’s about the human behind background, which is the most important thing for us.

And I think, certainly, with kids going off with the internet now, I was, I didn’t [Crosstalk 00:14:15], and they have the ability to touch or get involved with communities that are like-minded. And touching on our point as we never met, and likewise, for children. So the consumer of the future and the people that are going to be purchasing and needing their service and products are going to be very different humans and they’re very aware of what they align with and they do have the media that’s always in their back pocket, which is their iPhone.

So they do, I guess, not necessarily get influenced by community, but to do the right thing and be a good person I think is encouraged by majority of good humans. So yeah, it all goes back to the brand.

ANGELA:

Absolutely. Because without the brand and without those human connections, a lot of times, people won’t make it through that first five years in business, right? So it is super important. Now, your main kind of guru, you could say, that’s you in a word, is the messenger marketing, right? And that’s where again; this AI stuff comes into play.

And so, those of you that are out there that are going, “This is all kind of sounds great. I’m still a little bit probably mind blown. I don’t really; like I’m still trying to follow along. How does this look for my business?” Can you equally define just like you did with the future of social media, can you define what messenger marketing is because a large percentage of my listeners are from Australia and I feel that we’re still a little bit behind when it comes to messenger marketing? So can you tell us a little bit about that?

AOIFE:

Yeah, absolutely. I suppose chatbots aren’t anything new or messenger marketing isn’t anything new. And the reason why we’re kind of hearing more and more about it is that again the barrier is lower now for both you as a small to medium business, but also the target audience. 

So people are using social media, and Facebook, and Instagram, and they’re communicating with their friends and families on the apps. I think in 2020, it’s estimated that messaging apps is going to surpass the growth of social media platforms in a whole. So strategically, people are actually having more and more conversations. And certainly, with Messenger, there’s three billion people on that. Right now, for people to get involved in it, like it’s a fraction of the price and to be able to reach that is incredibly important for businesses.

And the other really important thing about this is their attention right now on this particular channel, for instance, is wide open. There’s not enough a lot of noise on there. There’s about 300,000 chatbots when you look at it in a couple of six million advertisers on social. And so, if you are having a chat marketing strategy and you’re also getting increase in, I guess open rates, if you kind of use that comparison to what we’re familiar with email; email marketing is like 20% now on average.

ANGELA:

On average, if you’re lucky sometimes, I think.

AOIFE:

Yeah. Right. There we go. And chatbots would really bypass that inbox competition and provide open rates; like we’re looking at 80% when done well. And again, the value of that as well, when someone has this conversation within a bot on Facebook Messenger, for example, we’re also growing that subscription list. So when to use from social, from Facebook or Instagram for instance, and into your messenger bot, then we are going into subscriptions list.

So again, comparable with an email list, it’s very similar, you can reach that audience. So from a strategy and people that are doing Facebook ads a lot, you will get a lot more tailored appropriately targeted audience that you can now [Inaudible 00:18:03] going off further.

ANGELA:

And with messenger marketing, you talk about Facebook and Instagram.

AOIFE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

Is it specifically more for the pages or can people also be using messenger marketing in groups, or where does it begin and where does it end?

AOIFE:

Great question. Because right now, we’re still kind of waiting for the evolution of where Zuckerberg is going to take this. So basically, the news about 8 months ago and intractability, which is the project to combine Instagram Direct, which is your DM, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp into one utility. 

So for instance, if I message you on Instagram Direct or in Messenger, that would go into one place and we can have that conversation. And so, the change is coming from a platform perspective and they’re just kind of hurling the audience into this new environment. Messenger’s going to really get and bulked up with the kind of tools available like multi-screening with groups and being able to present through that type of application, which will be interesting. So obviously, the more on it, the more people will engage with it. 

So, yeah, that’s pretty much the value in using Messenger because of the amount of people on it and the people that you can communicate with. So yeah, that’s where kind of the world is going. We’re waiting for them to basically pull that out and we’re waiting for that for the last six months. 

ANGELA:

And then it’s done, done, done. So yeah, I would suspect that this will be released in 2020 at some particular stage if they’ve already been talking about it for like the last six to eight months mark. And like you said, it’s going to be a lot of new opportunities for businesses to be able to jump in on.

AOIFE:

Yeah. And I mean, the people that are already having their plan strategy outlined are the ones that are going to win, right? So it’s back when Facebook ads got introduced, just the same deal. If you’re in it now, you’re going to actually benefit from the market share and that audience and being able to recapture that. 

So yeah, that’s the important thing with Australia. So I suppose when we’re looking at the States, I’d say, realistically, they’re about 12 months ahead of us from execution. And this chat marketing has only been around three years, so a lot of this, there’s been a lot of learning within the industry itself to actually developing the skillset that actually can provide this service; that’s number one, and people to learn more what the value is. 

So when we’re looking at the States, it’s a really good indicator for our market here. So that’s a benefit for small to medium businesses here. So you can take advantage of it now and really leverage that audience. When people are having that conversation about reach and engagement and they’re saying that they can’t reach the people that they need to, this is actually the strategic solution.

This is where you need to go now and adhere to the rules and the policies that are around it because that’s where there is and you can’t just mask them people and you will get your page banned. So it’s very imperative and that’s something I will stress is to be able to know the parameters you’re playing in and to play it right.

ANGELA:

And I think that would go with anything. If I see one more freaking Instagram giveaway where people are doing that shit wrong, like I’m going to gauge my eyes out, right? Or it’s like, “Like my page. Tag this person,” I’m like, actually, legitimately, go and look at the rules. And I’m just like, it has nothing to do with jealousy or anything like that. I’ve just seen, I actually know of people who have lost everything that they have had with their business and I’ve heard of others who thought that they were doing the right thing by having these giveaways, weren’t following the rules, kept pushing it and they lost everything, right?

AOIFE:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

So I can’t emphasize whether or not it’s messenger marketing, specifically around the bots, or whether or not it is giveaways, etc. Like please, it is not worth losing everything you’ve worked so hard. Because like Instagram, they really don’t care. Once it’s shut down, it’s shut down. Like, the likelihood of you getting it back is like negative zero. So every time you risk it, just do things right. 

AOIFE:

Yes, exactly. And I mean, on that, I mean the thing is when you need to understand what’s available to offer on these platforms first, such things as what your open rate is. So you want to grow your list, you want to grow the people that you communicate with. They have given you tools to be able to do that. So entry points into bots and messenger marketing, it’s just a swipe up in a story; you literally go straight into that ecosystem, we have that and user subscriber immediately. 

That’s an entry to barrier that it’s less, no friction of the value of this kind of ecosystem and it’s promote a better experience rather than that kind of fragmented, “Here, like this and do this,” and kind of that click rate, right? 

ANGELA:

Yes, totally. And people don’t want that. Now, people then might go, “Okay, this sounds great. You talked about being an early adopter in getting on the board because obviously, we’re about 12 months behind execution from the US.” But can you give the listeners an example of an e-commerce messenger marketing chatbot that you’ve done and that works really well? What does that look like?

AOIFE:

Multiple e-comm, actually, it really comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. So as you can imagine, e-commerce is a lot of communication, going back and forth from customers. So having a smart bot, which we basically can plug into Messenger and then plug into your CRM, so we can give information to someone who purchase the product to then get follow-up information. So we’re tracking returns, for instance, any type of automated information, we can have that in Messenger itself as meting the purchaser in a platform that they already use so they don’t have to send an email, they don’t have to come on to your website, they don’t have to download your app or whatever that looks like.

So yeah, e-commerce has multiple different benefits to it, it just depends on what you want to achieve. When we’re dealing with them, large e-comm, such in the retail space, it’s usually to mitigate that influx of comms, so they want to reduce that front line and basically automate the predictable so the brand can have an exceptional human experience so it frees up those human agents to do better things and they want memorable impression, which I love actually helping them do that.

And I think that’s a misconception even touching on when people think of chatbots or automation and, “Oh, you’re not willing to have a conversation with your consumer.” It’s perceived just kind of dirty and nasty and like that comments’ bot situation.

ANGELA:

Right. Yeah.

AOIFE:

We’re not them and where the automation, it’s really just automating the predictable who wants to tell them when their delivery is going to come. 

ANGELA:

Right.

AOIFE:

Like, we really call human agents to actually surprise once you get to know our customers rather than just having normal back and forth information. So yeah. So for e-comm, that’s one element. But also, touching on the marketing thing, again, how do we get eyeballs on your products? 

So when we have an e-commerce store that has paid media from social for instance, they bought into that, they’re getting great results from it, especially for brands born and raised on Instagram as well, which I’ll touch on in a moment, but off the back of that, we can actually push through in clicking into a messenger bot, which is (a) will lower your CPC or will increase engagement and you’ll also grow your list with it and give a user experience better than the messenger experience itself. 

So that’s really valuable because, from a strategic approach, you’re reducing the investment and making it go further and creating a better experience because you’re not clicking offsite to a landing page or a different asset, which Zuckerberg does penalize.

ANGELA

Yes, he doesn’t want you doing that. And for a service-based business, what would that look like when you’re utilizing this into your marketing?

AOIFE:

Service-based business is again, it’s about your brand and marketing message. So I like to describe my service business like a tour guide for your brand. So when someone wants to have a conversation or find out what service that you are providing, that they can just actually come to you, ask a question, and then they’ll just piece out that information. Rather than trying to sift through multiple lands or pages to find out the information that they require.

And we work a lot with small bricks and mortar, and stores, which has been great to be able to take the pressure off that kind of influx of again, kind of predictable questions so that they can do work that matters and ensure that they’re actually providing a better service for the customer in case. 

ANGELA:

Yup.

AOIFE:

And again, a very exciting thing for our service-based and bricks and mortar stores, which we’ve just started to go into is iBeacon. So we’ve been able to apply a strategy, and an iBeacon is a signal that can actually get sent out to a mobile device. And with a bot basically, if we have a subscription list to your bricks and mortar stores; so your email list, for instance.

ANGELA:

Yup.

AOIFE:

Your customer list; and they have downloaded a loyalty card on your phone, then when that potential client or that customer is in about 70 meters of your store, we can send out a notification that’ll be attached to a bot and an experience. 

ANGELA:

That’s awesome. That’s very cool.

AOIFE:

Really cool. So moment marketing, you are it and it’s basically taking them in the moment that they’re in your area to be able to give them an exclusive offer and give them whatever; a discount, or just come in and have a chat or this is what’s available this week. 

So yes, it’s been pretty impressive; we’re testing that at the moment and that’s what I’m really passionate about because it’ll actually help people [Inaudible 00:27:43] digital platforms and that e-comm world and they do have a storefront that can still get people in that online-offline event. 

ANGELA:

That’s fantastic. And I know when I was at Social Media Marketing World, a few of the examples that they gave, which was just like mind-blowing to me was there was a lipstick company. Now, again, for those of you that have followed me for a while, I do not own lipstick, I own 1-2 of mascaras, so I’m not the ideal client. But I did think the experience was really cool, is again, and I don’t even know the name of the lipstick.

But you could say like every month, a new colour comes out. And if you were part of the bot, you would get a, “Would you like to see the latest colour release?” Let’s just say, and you will click, “Yes.” And then, they could take an image of you, and somehow, they were able to choose the colour of the shade and put it on you. So then, you could kind of get a guide to see whether or not that was what you wanted; if you wanted that or not. And then right from there, they were able to purchase, which I thought was really interesting.

And the other guy, Andrew, is it Andrew Warner, who I think kind of heads up a lot of the bot stuff over in the US? He was talking about, he was getting on an airplane and he was looking at a bike from one of like the mountain bike stores, and he had clicked on it, but he hadn’t done anything.

And so, when he shut his phone off to go into the plane, he then landed, turned his phone back on, and there was a reminder from the bot going, “Did you forget something, Andrew?” And he was like, “What?” And then he clicked on it and there was a reminder about the bike that he had just looked at, right?

So it was really interesting to hear some of those kind of e-comm product-based examples, because I was like, “Well, that’s super interesting.” And who wouldn’t want to see, if you’re into lipstick, what the newest shade potentially looks like and being able to buy it right then and there versus having to go, www dot and then, etc. etc. 

So yeah, so it’s definitely interesting, and again, if you’re an early adopter to this, you’re going to be able to kind of shape and mould what the future looks like.

AOIFE:

Yeah, that’s right. It’s in our hands right now. I mean, what we’re missing probably in this space is not just the creative element of it and the idea. So anything can really be achieved; (a) because we’re playing on a platform with attention, so you can get a notification straight into your phone, like for instance that gentleman that got on a plane; and that’s really valuable. 

And then obviously, when we’re looking at Facebook as a whole identity and that experience from a lipstick on a visual is their new Facebook Spark, which is Spark AR. Basically, that their whole platform is really allowing us to now to put that filter elements, take a picture, put on that product, put on that scar and all those technology is basically able to navigate. And now, it’s available for small businesses like e-comm.

ANGELA:

It’s like, it is crazy. Now, here’s one of the things when we had a nice, little, healthy debate. You know I’m all about the good, old human to human connection. It is human to human marketing is one of my biggest passions about being in business because I do think it’s typically B2B, B2C; people come in, they do the thing, they kind of go, right? 

So human to human is important and I still stand behind that the old will become the new again. But while you and I had our healthy debate is you’re about the AI’s; so artificial intelligence coming in. I’d love to know how do you encompass the human to human marketing into messenger marketing to still keep with that really human element.

AOIFE:

I think it just comes back to actually the key behind creating the conversation. And that’s really, the tech and the AI, it’s just the same as; was it Andrew Bell who created the phone? Is it? I don’t know.

ANGELA:

I don’t know. Good question. I have to look that one up. 

AOIFE:

And a 10-year old; but it’s the same thing, this is just tools, right? It’s the same with anything. It’s like actually sending email. Back in the day, I remember when I started sending out emails, I was using and pasting in 20 emails into BCC so you can send them out in bulk, right?

ANGELA:

Yes. 

AOIFE:

But now, there’s multiple different tech and platforms that help support and send an amount at scale. So we don’t discredit back from the communication element. So when people are talking about the bots, really, the only difference is that it can actually be more tailored and personalized to that specific conversation, which is phenomenal because the back end data and how we’ve evolved in computers and technology has just enabled that.

The whole purpose is still the same. It’s about real conversations and I think where there’s a misconception is probably at the majority of the space is that we haven’t created or designed or we’re still in a very limited space to have really good experiences like human brand, human elements to our conversations. 

And I suppose that’s our point of difference from Yarnly; we really want to break down Brahm’s personality, and it’s very important for us for them to be a forefront of who they are and speak on that, use that dialogue within the bot experience itself, enabling the user to know that it is automated and then they can hand it over to an agent.

But I don’t think we’re certainly not removing humans and I think with the AI coming off as well, the visual element of how we’re going to engage with humans across the world. I mean, I can’t wait to be with my family and watch TV with them, or have them in the living room with me because they’re in Ireland and I’m in Australia. And that’s happening, you know?

ANGELA:

Yes. 

AOIFE:

It’s just a matter of when that we can actually have. And it’s there to the technologies, it’s there to Apple, it’s there to Android, and I don’t think we’ll ever remove the human. It’s more about what you stand for and I think it’s only using it as a voice element. 

And coming back to my point earlier because kids are growing up with these devices now, they expect more from then, they expect more from people selling services and products. They want to know who you are, what you stand for and what good you are doing in the world. 

Because you know, our earth is in a little bit of a pickle. We’ve done really bad things to it in the last 20/30 years to jeopardize its future. So even now, I think it’s more important than ever to be able to elevate that voice using the technology we have but do not remove what you stand for as a human.

ANGELA:

Yup. Fantastic answer. I’ll let it go. I’ll let it go. I support it. I support it 100%. And I also think if you look at the elements of outsourcing, right? Is there’s a time and place to outsource certain elements of it, and there’s a time and place for those human elements, right? 

Like, if having a messenger marketing strategy around bots to be able to then free up your time to do those other really juicy human things that might be being neglected in your business at the moment, well then, that is a positive, too. 

So, yeah. So I think there’s several positive elements to it; it comes down to like each individual business. That’s why what works for one, might not work for the other, but I know, I have full confidence that you would then work with each of those individual businesses to again, align with what they need and tailor that specifically for their business.

AOIFE:

Yeah. 100%. And it’s kind of coming back to automating the predictable. Someone can tell you what time they open up in their storefront, 9 to 5. But if we can eliminate that time suck and actually give that frontline human to actually ask them or you know, how their daughter’s birthday was at the weekend, isn’t that a better experience? So a lot more of the human ones.

ANGELA:

Yeah. Exactly right. 

AOIFE:

Yeah. 

ANGELA:

And do you think; so businesses that are out there like going, “Oh, I probably need to get a little bit on board with this,” or etc. What can businesses start doing now to prepare for the future of social media collectively, but also with messenger bots?

AOIFE:

Yeah. Collectively, I think, I mean obviously, pay to play is here, so your paid strategy on social is incredibly important. And the organic is, too, I think, probably coming back to organic is about actually creating the community around your brand, which is more important. 

I think you have to look more, even personally for my own experience with Yarnly over the last year, I think we were talking before this, Ange, it’s incredibly important to reach out and make those real-life connections at a very granular level for any business and I think then grow that using strategy off the back of that. So yeah, that’s kind of like the approach that we would take. I’m missing my train of thought now.

ANGELA:

No, no, no. So we’re just talking in regards to what can businesses start doing now for the future of social media?

AOIFE:

So what they can do is obviously cultivate that community, actually take time out to get to know your customer and make that information to be able to help mould that product and service. And then, the other is coming back to the paid strategy is looking at the options to best elevate that strategy. 

Zuckerberg is [Inaudible 00:36:24] your bots, use them within those strategy and literally both lead the formats out of the gate. But it’s all about the strategic approach. Make sure you utilize your skillset there in the humans that are executing it.

ANGELA:

Yes.

AOIFE:

And so, that’s number two; what you can do now. So if you already invested in that, let’s get your money to go a little bit further by bringing in a bot. And then the next is really be just to wear off the communications from brands to customers. We need to meet our customers where they already having conversations and that is individually in Instagram DM, it’s in Facebook Messenger, and you need to come out and be reactive or proactive to have those conversations with a customer. 

And chatbots and bots can help scale that, kind of coming back to marketing; it’s the same element that can scale your presence. And another element, I don’t think people realize already that you know if you are active on social, you already have a chat strategy whether you know it or not. You’re going out having a conversation and under the content that you’re; I hope you’re having conversations under the content that you’re publishing, but also, you’re having conversations in the DM.

So there is a chat strategy there and that’s the foundation of what you can bring and put on automation of scale for the general growth when you go into it. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And as many people have heard me say this over and over and over again, conversations equal conversions. When you have the ability to have conversations, you open up doors for trust, credibility, authority, and so much more. And when that is there, the conversions will happen. If you lead with value and you lead by treating them like human beings, and you’re kind and you’re just a good human, profitability will follow. And so, conversations equal conversions. 

Now, my last question; the kind of question is I know you are very big into AI – artificial intelligence, and I’m curious to know, what are you most looking forward to in the future of technology?

AOIFE:

Oh, God. I think bridging the gap of connection, really, to be honest. So probably come and touching back I know from distance, it’s very hard to be able to communicate with my family and friends back home. So I think the enablement of tech is going to help even just more of a connection. Probably for me, which has been a slow burn, or well probably something that’s been identified and I haven’t thought about it, which is slow burn is Apple Airpods.

So actually, the ability to use that within, similar to Siri, right? It’s similar to Google home and actually asking that voice assist element is going to become increasingly more popular just in how we behave, and that’s something that we’re really interested and going to explore for 2020 is that voice element. 

So probably now for brands and businesses, again, if you have SEO and you’re in that, start going in and getting that voice words. So it’s like anything when Google started, people were paying probably a cent or a dollar for that keyword, right? And right now, we’re at that starting phase with voice, so we can go in and start actually having the fact that you might, you won’t see results at this point, but you’re going to be increasing your foundation on that platform for later activity and that element is increasing. 

ANGELA:

Yeah. 100%. I mean, we’re changing every single day. Now for those individuals who are out there, like going, “2020. I probably need to collectively look at my marketing strategy.” Not a lot of people take it seriously, but for those of them that are out there that are going, “Not only do I need to do that, but I probably need to be thinking about messenger marketing and how I’ll incorporate this into the overall business strategy, too.” Where can people find you to learn a little bit more about what you do and how you can help them?

AOIFE:

Yeah. Of course. We’re very active on Instagram, @yarnly.ai. Myself, you connect with me on LinkedIn, it’s Aoife, A-o-i-f-e Marie O’Connell. Of course, our website, which is yarnly.ai. By all means, I love connecting, I love meeting new people, just DM me. 

ANGELA:

Fantastic. Now, my final question is what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out in business?

AOIFE:

You know the phrase that’s coined, “Oh, just start.” That’s all well and good. I think actually even before you start, start connecting and growing your community and finding out potential people you can partner with and waking them up, right? I came from corporate, so I never really have to kind of leverage in external network, but I had a really great internal network. Now, the realization, that doesn’t go with you. 

ANGELA:

Right.

AOIFE:

And so, if I had my time again, certainly, if you’re thinking going into business is ensure that your network is healthy. Go out, make time, have coffees and provide value. Ask them how you can help them before they can help you.

ANGELA:

Yes. I couldn’t agree more. I mean the saying I say is like relationships are like a bank account. You can’t take out if you don’t put in, right? And you can’t just do it from a cheesy like, “Oh, I’ll have coffee with you. Now, I’m going to ask you.” No. It’s like, you still have to do it with a genuine heart and willingness to add value first, but there’s many times I don’t ask many favours of the people that I have relationships with. 

But when I do, people know that that’s like, “Ange is serious. Like, it’s really important to her.” Because I don’t take advantage of that. But it’s like, I give, give, give; add value to both paying and un-paying clients and the return has been always amazing, right? Because again, I’m leading with heart and leading with value.

AOIFE:

Yeah. And I mean, I think once you come in that place, we’re probably very similar in a business model and you can’t do business wrong. 

ANGELA:

Exactly right. Yup. Exactly. And it’s like, there’s just this vibrance that people know what you stand for. You either like it or you don’t and that’s also I think the beauty about being able to stand in for what you do believe in and what those core values are because you’re going to repel those who won’t or be there for the right and those that don’t. And it is a beautiful thing, really, to see how that happens and eventuates.

AOIFE:

Yeah. And you attract the right people and that’s the most important thing. You get rid of the ones that you don’t need.

ANGELA:

Totally. Now listen, before we sign off today, I just want to say thank you so much, Aoife, for being here. And for the rest of you, I just want to remind you that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au.

And as I mentioned earlier, if you enjoy this episode, I would love for you to share it, especially on Instagram stories and tagging me @angelahendersonconsulting. Also, Aoife, they can tag you at; do you want to give them your @ symbol?

AOIFE:

@yarnly.ai. Yup.

ANGELA:

Yes, you can tag the both of us, because again, we love this shit, right? We love seeing you people sharing it, so you can share a thought, a comment, or take a screenshot, do whatever; it does make our day. 

I’d also like if you do love the podcast, please remember to subscribe to the podcast. And if you have two minutes, I would equally love for you to leave a review because it not only is going to help you, but it equally helps other women business owners to be able to get the tools and resources they need to grow sustainable and profitable businesses.

Again, thanks so much today for being on the show, Aoife. And for the rest of you, have a fabulous day no matter where you are in the world and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Have an awesome day everyone.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Chatbots. www.angelahenderson.com.au 

Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.