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How to use Tentpole Marketing tactics to grow social buzz around events big and small

Think of a movie that hasn’t come out yet. A big movie, that’s making a lot of noise at the moment. This is a movie that’s probably already cost a lot of money to make and it’s a good bet that the studio is expecting to turn a pretty healthy profit on. In fact, this is exactly why they want you to know about it weeks, or even months, before it goes on general release.

Chances are that after it’s finished showing in cinemas, the studio would love you to continue to show an interest in the film, perhaps even buying the video game, t-shirt, poster or any other number of related merchandise. Perhaps by now you’re already talking to your friends about the possibility of a sequel.

As time goes on though, the buzz around the movie will inevitably dissipate and you’ll move onto the next big blockbuster along with everyone else.

Welcome to the art of tentpole marketing.

What is Tentpole Marketing?

For those of you still wondering what any of this has to do with tents, the tentpole in tentpole marketing actually refers to the pinnacle of buzz generated before and after an event as highlighted by a curve on a graph which looks similar in shape to a circus tent.

The marketing drive around the event, whether it’s a wildly popular event like Halloween or an event very specific to your company like a trade show or new product launch, is then plotted to correspond to this curve to gain maximum exposure and relevancy.

Pitching your Tent

It’s extremely important to properly plan your content activities when employing this kind of marketing strategy so an editorial calendar and an event diary are both essential. Whilst the editorial calendar can evolve over the course of the year to take into account specific details about the event itself as it gets nearer, the event diary will allow you to keep tabs on everything that’s relevant throughout the whole year. How you choose to allocate your marketing resources around each event can then be worked out closer to the event (but not too close).

When it comes to planning your strategy, there are broadly speaking two categories of tentpole marketing you can look at:

Industry irrelevant: This is any widely recognised event that is not connected to your industry that generates a buzz, including national holidays like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, as well as large sporting events like the Olympics, Football World Cup. The release of big movies and television shows also falls under this umbrella.

Industry relevant: This is anything that can be seen as relevant to your industry such as product launches, recruitment drives, appointments and trade fairs. These are events you’re more likely your business will be directly involved in or planning.

As a rule, the more control over the planning of an event you have, the harder you should be promoting it and the longer the pre buzz curve of your marketing drive should be. For example, if your company launches a new product then you have a lot of control over that event not just in terms of its date, but also of location and attendance if it’s a live event. The more control you have over an event the more responsibility falls on you to generate that pre-buzz curve.

With industry irrelevant events, the trick is to think in terms of theming and trending topics and keywords. Holiday seasons like Christmas may see every vaguely festive-related keyword shoot up in the competition stakes with Google, but with slightly lesser known events and a bit of imaginative content marketing, the opportunity is three to get your content high up in the SERPs.

Let’s now look at each aspect of the tentpole marketing curve in more detail, focusing in specifically on industry relevant events.

Pre-Event Buzz

This is arguably the most important aspect of any tentpole marketing drive as it will ultimately determine the height of the curve itself, as well as the duration of any post event buzz. Before you even put finger to keyboard to generate any content, you should ask yourself the following:

Who is my target audience (eg B2B, B2C, potential customers, existing customers) 

What is my key distribution strategy (eg SEO, social media, email marketing, industry press)

What key metrics will I use to measure success (social engagement, search engine rankings, website traffic)

In 2011 global recycling company CPME put together a stereoscopic 3D promotional film, which was to be aired for the first time at their exhibition stand at a major engineering trade fair. By tying in the film’s production with the development and marketing of a 3D preview film on DVD, which was then mailed out before the event, along with free 3D glasses, CPME managed to create enough pre-event buzz to generate considerably more interest in the film than there would have been had no one known about it beforehand.

This is the perfect example of how to generate buzz before a trade fair or exhibition. If you’ve got a new product or an innovative showcase of a new product then you need to be shouting about it from the rooftops before the event to get people excited.

The Main Event

The event itself should really mark the highpoint of buzz in the tentpole curve and so it’s important you chronicle the actual day. If you’re not streaming live video from your event then you need to ask yourself why not. It’s important to record video and take plenty of pictures as well, so you can archive these and release them in the ensuing days and weeks.

The Time Horizon

The time horizon is the time it takes from the event ending to the conversation about it dying away to nothing. Any good tentpole marketing strategy should aim to keep this conversation going on for as long as possible without actually milking it. This can be a fine line to tread but as a rule, if the enthusiasm has all but died away and you’re not reaching new people, then it’s probably time to move on and focus your energies elsewhere.

Here are four powerful ways to keep the buzz around an event:

Analysis: The ‘post-match’ analysis is essential and for at least 48 hours you should be talking about the event and what you and other attendees got out of it. This is a good time to start debates or even get involved in those that other people have started.

Repurposing content: The ability to take ideas and repurpose them into new content formats is a huge driver of social conversation. Think about turning a whitepapers into a series of blog posts, or a keynote speech into a slideshare or infographic for example.

Re-sharing content: Just because you’ve shared an image or video once doesn’t mean you can’t share it again. After a month or two, this can be a brilliant way of reviving a discussion on social media and even engaging with new people who missed the event entirely. Be discerning with this tactic though as it can look a bit hackneyed.

The success of these tactics operates on the premise of what is known as Accessibility. This is the ability for people to gain exposure to the event through content that continues to be created around it. Of course the scale and nature of the event itself will have a huge bearing on any post event buzz, but the more content you can create around it, the longer the social conversation will go on for.

One way to approach the time horizon, and the pre-event buzz, is to think of your marketing as a series of mini tentpole events, whereby the content you release will generate new peaks in the buzz curve around the main event.

You're reading A Marketers Guide To Tentpole Marketing

Psychographic Marketing For Ppc: A Beginner’s Guide

Simple, bid-based algorithms where the highest bidder took all fell behind.

Algorithms were forced to get smarter, so the platforms could better-handle the brands appearing on them.

One notable way PPC and paid social have evolved is with targeting personas, interests, and behaviors.

Appealing on the personal level to potential customers by aligning messaging and targeting culminates in what is called psychographic marketing.

What Is Psychographic Marketing?

Psychographic marketing goes beyond just pointing an ad at a person who searched for something.

It takes into account factors such as the user’s mindset, emotions, needs, wants, and desires.

In other words, you’re aligning your messages to a human.

While it might seem that’s just marketing 101, psychographic marketing looks more at the psychology of buyer types versus surface-level insights such as a person’s age or where they live.

Here’s an example: you’re selling eco-friendly cosmetics. Your target demographic is women 25-34, living in big cities.

Psychographic marketing goes deeper than this. It examines things like:

What’s important to these buyers?

What other brands do they love?

Why do they choose eco-friendly products? Is it a lifestyle choice, or just a nice-to-have?

Where do they hang out? How do they like to spend their free time?

What are their hobbies?

The answers to these questions help inform different ways to target, and the messaging shown to each target.

This method of going deeper into the human side and aligning marketing is the psychographic model.

How to Uncover Psychographic Make-Ups

Once upon a time, Facebook was the dominant player in options for psychographic targeting.

It was the most powerful engine for targeting based on persona types and connecting with users at that mindset level.

While that was happening, Google started getting in on the game more heavily, and additional platforms like Snapchat and TikTok started leveraging their user bases, as well.

Psychographic Targets in Google Ads

Google provides oodles of ways to incorporate psychographic aspects to your campaigns.

While they have many different campaign types (Search, Shopping, YouTube, and so on), they all operate off the same database of user types to choose from.

Most users think of psychographic marketing in terms of their channels that target personas versus keywords, but the same audiences are actually very useful for search.

Audience options can be found in Google Ads in the Audiences section.

Audiences are added at either the Campaign level or the Ad Group level. You also have the option of specifying that they are for Observation, or for Targeting.

The data you get can help you make marketing-based decisions on your ad buy, versus solely relying on keywords.

For example, you could raise or lower bid adjustments for the Audience types you added (note: whether it has an effect will depend on your bidding setting).

In those cases, you can change from having those Audiences as Observation to Targeting.

Similar Audience Demographics

While not a direct makeup of a targeted persona, a feature worth thinking through is Similar Audiences.

These days, all the major ad platforms offer something like this, though the names are slightly different.

You’re giving the platform a list of users, and having them find users like those.

This can feel a little harder to target personas for because it’s a little “black box.”

If many types of people buy your product, creating a similar audience will mean you probably need to be more general in your messaging.

However, if you have products that appeal to very specific user types, psychographic messaging can play a huge role.

If you sell something specifically for tent campers, then a lookalike audience is probably going to reach those people.

This can be a great way to extend your reach beyond just the pre-defined buckets available.

Psychographic Options in Facebook

In many ways, brands see Facebook as the harbinger of persona marketing.

Prior to it, the closest was really display and programmatic targeting.

Programmatic became a nice-to-have, with a lot of budgets funneling towards direct response mediums.

Then came Facebook. Finally! A direct response environment that could targets personas and psychographics!

Aside from remarketing, Facebook’s options lean very psychographic-focused.

This ranges from not only the targeting types (which includes thousands of interests and habits) but also ad units, and how you can leverage them best.

Interest-Based Targets

As they’re famous for, Facebook has tens of thousands of interest groups you can target.

Many targets are closely related; they are not separate and distinct from one another.

So if, for example, you target runners, a separate target for Runners World probably contains a good amount of people that belong to both.

This is important to keep in mind when you make ad set targets so you don’t wind up with a ton of ad sets that are actually mostly targeting the same people.

You are generally better off thinking of a psychographic bucket as a large theme made up of many related interests, instead of separate and distinct entities.

Lookalike Audiences

Much like Similar Audiences in Google, Facebook can look at a specified group of users to find customers who behave like them.

These can be based on the Custom Audiences you create on Facebook:

Snapchat’s Psychographic Targeting

Despite its largely younger user makeup, Snapchat has a lot of targeting options.

They are divided into two main camps: third-party fueled audiences, and Snapchat’s own user buckets.

(For those who have done Facebook Ads for awhile now, you’ll remember the days where they had third-party data sets you could use. Snapchat still has some of those!)

Audience Analysis

Many Facebook Ads users still lament the loss of Audience Insights.

This was a handy tool that would tell you a lot of information about whatever audience you specified, but nowadays it will only do it for people who like your page.

However, Google Ads and Snapchat still have this information.

This can be a great way to find affinities you might not have realized about your audience.

This can be found in the Audience Manager within Google Ads, with a selector at the top for the audience you want to analyze:

In Snapchat, this is found in the main menu at the top in its own section:

Creative Considerations in Psychographic Targeting

While the ad formats on each platform can vary, one thing is a for-sure when you’re targeting this way: the right message.

Unlike the old days where you had to settle on one or two messages that would hopefully snare the right buyer, you obviously have many people you could be reaching simultaneously.

Thinking through each target and tailoring your creative accordingly is more important than ever.

Beyond just maximizing your sales, it also is important to what the platform looks at:

What is your CTR like in Google?

What is the video watch time on YouTube?

These factors all contribute to the cost of the media. The platforms want user engagement.

While your goal is ultimately sales, remember: you are on rented land.

The platform is the landlord, so the more you can maximize the things they care about and still meet your own goals, the better off you’ll be.

Timing is everything, so what you say and how you say it also depends on where that user is.

Are you remarketing to someone who was just on your site a few days ago, or are you talking to someone for the first time?

Think through what your target does and does not know:

Are they likely already aware of your brand?

Do they know of your product, but maybe don’t realize how many users have bought it?

Is there social proof they should know, like appearances on TV shows or reviews in national publications?

Does your product seem complicated and hard to use?

These all get you into the mindset of who you’re speaking to. With only a few seconds to deliver a message, you need to be laser-focused on what you’re addressing for each user.

Bring It All Together for Successful Psychographic Marketing Strategy

In many ways, psychographic marketing has come full circle. In the dawn of the internet, what we really had were keywords.

While these let us know what users were looking for, they often didn’t tell us a lot about who they were.

Many different people search the exact same way.

Psychographic targeting harkened back to older school media buys, where Nielsen ratings were what helped determine TV commercial placement.

Now, psychographic options are commonplace.

If anything, they are starting to become the dominant way to reach people, as we’re seeing even keyword-fueled Google is gently moving brands away from keyword-focus to focusing more on themes and buyers.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, February 2023

Influencer Marketing Guide: How To Work With Influencers

To pull off a great influencer marketing campaign you need to work with experienced social media influencers who share your brand values.

Influencer marketing, also known as branded content or working with creators, is a surefire way to expand the reach of your brand on social media.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making this strategy work, but with the right planning and research, just about every business can benefit. Let’s look at how to make a social media influencer program work for you.

Bonus: Get the influencer campaign template for brands to easily plan your next campaign and choose the best social media influencer to work with.

What is influencer marketing?

At its simplest, an influencer is someone who can influence others. In influencer marketing, a form of social media marketing, brands pay that person to promote their product or service to their followers.

Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing. But in today’s digital world, social content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to brands. These smaller accounts often have very engaged followers on social media.

So, a social media influencer is someone who wields their influence through social media. When you hire an influencer to promote your products or services, that’s influencer marketing.

Almost three-quarters (72.5%) of U.S marketers will use some form of influencer marketing this year — and that number is only going up over time.

For now, Instagram remains the platform of choice for social influencers. According to eMarketer’s estimates, 76.6% of U.S. marketers will use Instagram for their influencer campaigns in 2023. But keep an eye on TikTok.

Source: eMarketer

While only 36% of U.S. marketers used TikTok for influencer campaigns in 2023, almost 50% will do so in 2023. That would make TikTok the third-most popular influencer marketing platform in 2023.

For example, with over 192,000 followers, creator Viviane Audi works with brands like Walmart and DSW on TikTok:

Types of social media influencers

When you think “influencer,” does the Kardashian-Jenner family pop immediately to mind?

Source: @kyliejenner on Instagram

While these famous sisters are certainly some of the top social media marketing influencers, not all influencers are celebrities.

In fact, for many brands, influencers with a smaller but dedicated or niche follower base might be more effective. Influencers with 15,000 followers have some of the highest engagement rates on all platforms*. The cost, of course, can also be much lower.

Let’s look at the different types of Instagram influencers based on audience size. There’s no strict cut-off for audience size, but generally the types of influencers are broken down as:


Nano-influencers have 10,000 followers or fewer, like mommy blogger Lindsay Gallimore (8.3K followers)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lindsay Gallimore/Maman Loup (@mamanloupsden)


Micro-influencers have 10,000 to 100,000 followers, like lifestyle blogger Sharon Mendelaoui (13.5K followers)


Macro-influencers have 100,000 to 1 million followers, like food and travel creator Jean Lee (115K followers)


Mega-influencers have 1 million+ followers, like TikTok star Savannah LaBrant (28.3M followers)

How much does social influencer marketing cost?

Influencers with extensive reach rightly expect to be paid for their work. Free product might work with nano-influencers, but a larger influencer campaign requires a budget.

For large brands working with celebrity influencers, that budget may be quite large. U.S. spending on influencer marketing, for example, is set to top $4 billion in 2023.

Source: eMarketer

Think about what kind of payment structure makes the most sense for your goals. But be willing to consider the influencer’s needs, too. For example, an affiliate or commission structure might be an option instead of a flat fee, or to reduce the flat fee.

In fact, 9.3% of U.S. influencers said affiliate marketing (through affiliate links and promo codes) was their top source of income.

That said, the most common baseline pricing formula for influencers’ Instagram posts is:

$100 x 10,000 followers + extras = total rate

What are the extras? Check out our post on influencer pricing for all the details.

Remember that micro-influencers and nano-influencers will have more flexible payment terms.

How to create an influencer marketing strategy

1. Determine your goals

The number-one goal for brands using influencer marketing is to reach new target customers. This makes sense, since an influencer campaign extends your reach to that person’s followers.

Notice that the goal is simply to reach new customers, not necessarily to make a sale right off the top. Driving sales is actually the third most common goal of influencer marketing campaigns, after increasing brand awareness and product consideration.

Source: Advertiser Perceptions

Think about how your influencer marketing plan will fit into your broader social media marketing strategy and create measurable goals you can report on and track.

We’ve got a whole blog post on goal-setting strategies to get you started.

2. Know who you’re trying to influence

An effective influencer marketing strategy requires you to speak to the right people using the right tools—and the right influencers.

The first step is to define who your audience will be for this specific campaign.

Developing audience personas is a great way to make sure you understand who you’re trying to reach. Maybe you’re trying to reach more of your current audience—or an entirely new audience.

Once you’ve decided, create a matching set of influencer personas. This will help you understand the qualities you’re looking for in your influencers.

3. Understand the rules

Before you dive into influencer marketing, it’s important to understand the rules. In the United States, those rules come from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC takes disclosure very seriously. Make sure you build disclosure guidelines into your agreements with influencers.

Influencers must identify sponsored posts. However, they do not always do so. Or they might do so in such a subtle way that the disclosure is effectively hidden or incomprehensible.

The specific rules vary slightly by country, so be sure to check the most current requirements in your jurisdiction. For the most part, you just need to be clear and upfront so viewers understand when a post is sponsored in any way.

Here are some key points from the FTC:

Video reviews must include both written and verbal disclosure of the partnership. It must be within the video itself (not just the description).

The built-in tools on social media platforms alone are not enough. However, you should still use them. Instagram itself now specifies that any branded content (aka influencer marketing) on the platform must use the Branded Content tag to identify the relationship. This adds the text “Paid partnership with [your brand name]” in the post header.

#ad and #sponsored are great hashtags to use for disclosure. But make sure they’re highly visible and not just tacked on to the need of a long string of tags.

That last point is an important one. Some influencers may be wary about putting the #ad or #sponsored hashtag right up front. But that’s where it needs to be.

— FTC (@FTC) November 23, 2023

4. Consider the three Rs of influence

Influence is made up of three components:





A relevant influencer shares content relevant to your business and industry. They need to have an audience that aligns with your target audience.

For example, to showcase their inclusive swimsuit sizing, Adore Me partnered with body positive creator Remi Bader.

With 3.2 million views on Bader’s TikTok and more than 8,800 likes on her Instagram Reels, the video exposed the line to an impressive organic audience of dedicated followers.

Adore Me also used Bader’s content to create an Instagram ad combined with an Instant Experience. That influencer ad campaign drove a 25% increase in subscription opt-in with a 16% lower cost per customer than their usual Instagram ad campaigns.


Reach is the number of people you could potentially reach through the influencer’s follower base. Remember: a small audience can be effective, but you need to make sure there’s enough of a following to align with your goals.


This is the potential level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience relevant to your brand.

Not to belabour the point, but bigger isn’t always better. As we said above, a huge follower count is meaningless if those followers aren’t interested in your offer. Niche influencers, on the other hand, can have very dedicated and engaged followers.

5. Compile a short list of influencers

When thinking about who you want to work with, the key is trust. Your audience must trust and respect the opinions of the influencers you partner with. Without the trust component, any results will be superficial. You’ll struggle to see a tangible business impact from your efforts.

A good engagement rate also means a loyal following, rather than an inflated follower count bolstered by bots and fraud accounts. You need to find someone who’s producing content with a look and feel that complements your own.

The tone must also be appropriate for the way you want to present your brand to potential customers. This will ensure things don’t feel disjointed in either party’s social media posts.

6. Do your research

Take a look at what your potential influencers are posting. How often are they sharing sponsored content?

If they’re already hitting followers with tons of paid posts, their engagement rate may not last. Look for plenty of organic, non-paid content to keep followers interested, enthusiastic, and engaged.

Keep this in mind when thinking about what you’ll ask the influencer to post, as well. Asking for too many posts in a short timeframe will make your offer hard for the influencer to accept, even if it comes with a large paycheck.

In-demand influencers get lots of offers. When you first approach an influencer, you’ll need to show that you’ve put in the time to learn what they do.

Make sure you know exactly what their channels are about and who their audience is.

7. Reach out privately, and personally

Start your communication with a new potential partner slowly by interacting organically with their posts. Like their content. Comment when appropriate. Be appreciative, not salesly.

When you’re ready to suggest a partnership, a direct message is a great place to start. If you can find an email address, try that too. But don’t send a mass email or generic DM.

It may take a little longer to write a personal message to each influencer. But, it will show you’re serious about the potential partnership. This will in turn increase your chances of striking a deal.

Provide as much information as you can about your brand. Tell them what you hope to accomplish with your Instagram campaign. Make it clear how the influencer will benefit, beyond the paycheck.

One key thing to keep in mind during this process: You may not actually want to use the word “influencer” when reaching out to potential partners. Content creators prefer to be called just that—creators—and may view “influencer” as a bit of an insult that belittles their work.

8. Collaborate with your influencer to develop effective content

A social media influencer who has worked hard to build a following will not accept a deal that makes their own personal brand seem inconsistent.

After all, influencers are content creation experts. This is why they prefer to be called creators. You’ll get the best value from their work by allowing them to showcase those skills.

It’s a good idea to provide some guidelines about what you’re looking for, of course. But don’t expect to stage-manage the entire campaign.

9. Measure your results

But to measure the effectiveness of a campaign, you have to understand its value in terms of return on investment. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to measure your campaign’s success.

UTM parameters are one way to track the visitors an influencer sends to your website. They can also help measure how much engagement the campaign receives.

When you assign each influencer their own unique links with UTM codes, you’ll get a clear picture of the results. That allows you to calculate the impact on your bottom line.

The “coupon” link referred to in the above influencer’s post likely had a UTM attached to it so that Royale could track how many sales came from it.

Giving influencers their own discount code is another easy way to track the sales they send your way.

If you use the branded content tools on Facebook and Instagram for your influencer campaigns, you’ll get access to insights for both feed and Stories posts. You can access these through Facebook Business Manager.

You could also request that the influencer send you detailed reports on the reach and engagement levels of their posts.

Influencer marketing tools

Now that you’re ready to get started with influencer marketing, here are some tools to make it easier.

Hootsuite search streams can help you discover influencers by monitoring conversations relevant to your industry across multiple channels.

Once you have an initial set of influencers in mind, add them to a stream to track what they share and who they engage with. This will help you understand their relevance to your audience while highlighting other potential influencers to work with.

Try Hootsuite for free. You can cancel anytime.

Collabstr is a free marketplace where brands can search for influencers based on platform, niche, location, and more. From there, you can place orders with influencers and communicate with them directly through the platform until the deliverables have been submitted.

This app can search out top content shared by influencers based on topic and location. Use it to identify thought leaders and discover potential influencer partnerships based on the quality of the content they share.

This app provides custom influencer recommendations. It helps predict estimated reach, engagements, and other campaign results and guides you in creating influencer campaign proposals.

This free tool from Facebook allows brands to connect with pre-screened content creators on Facebook and Instagram.

Influencer marketing platforms

Want to use an influencer marketing platform to connect directly with influencers? Some of the best include:

Make influencer marketing easier with Hootsuite. Schedule posts, research and engage with influencers in your industry, and measure the success of your campaigns. Try it free today. 

Get Started

*Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

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Small Business Guide To Chatbots & Facebook Messenger Marketing

Chatbots are all the business buzz – and for good reason.

They give customers of any-size business critical answers to pressing questions quickly.

They can:

Boost your average order value.

Accelerate the buyers’ journey.

Reduce your customer service costs.

Pretty awesome, right?

But chatbots are built on complex tech that requires a developer to code and maintain, putting them out of reach of most small business owner-slash-marketer-slash-entrepreneurs, right?


This article is the do-it-all entrepreneur’s (a.k.a. small business) guide to using bots as your business’s automated assistant and marketing aid.

What you’ll learn:

Let’s jump in!

What’s a Facebook Messenger Bot?

A chatbot is a computer program that interacts with users through a conversational interface. How many small businesses use chatbots today? Twenty-seven percent of SMBs put chatbots to work for their business.

Facebook Messenger chatbots are chatbots on Facebook’s messaging platform, Messenger. (You know, the chat app you probably have on your phone. And if not you, then 1.3 billion users around the world.)

Facebook Messenger is probably the most popular platform for chatbots for two key reasons:

Facebook Messenger has over a billion users (second in the world only to Facebook-owned WhatsApp).

Facebook Messenger has a developer API that enables businesses to do automated messaging.

Boom, that’s the audience and the means.

Automated chat technologies let you engage with your customers 24/7, ensuring the information they seek is always at their fingertips.

What Can a Small Business Use Facebook Messenger Bots For?

Two big things to list here under why Facebook bots for my business:

When surveyed, 21 percent of consumers see chatbots as the easiest way to contact a business.

In fact, 15 percent of consumers have already engaged with a company’s chatbot, and 95 percent believe bots will play a critical role in customer service moving forward.

To make it even better, 40 percent don’t even care that a person might not be behind the chat. As long as they get the help they need, they’re happy.

2. Customer Service: Helping Customers Solve Issues

One key and obvious use case for bots is providing quick answers to common questions. Think of it as an interactive FAQ website page.

Instead of having to scroll to find the answer or head to a website and do a search, the customer can instantly retrieve an answer, using a mobile-friendly conversation that’s familiar.

Ultimately, chatbots aren’t just convenient for small businesses; customers prefer them, too.

Are you ready to get started with bots? Keep reading.

Who Will Build Your Bots?

One of the most daunting parts about chatbots is figuring out who is going to build it.

After all, you need quality content in your bot if you want it to be effective, so getting the right mind behind the design is essential.

Luckily, you may already have the right person in place. And maybe it’s you.

Building chatbots that answer Q&As and send broadcasts to your list requires no coding if using a visual content builder.

Today’s chatbot tools are incredibly user-friendly. You don’t need a degree in programming or even how to write code to get started.

Because no one is limited technically, the most critical skill is writing conversion-focused content for the bot.

Designing and developing chatbots and chat marketing funnels is really all about the messages and the offers.

You need engaging, useful, and concise content, ensuring people can get quick answers that are presented in a way that draws them into the conversation.

With the right tools, your chatbot building and maintenance processes become a breeze. MobileMonkey is a free option (Disclosure: I work for the company).

In order to execute the chatbot marketing campaigns described below, you can use a 100 percent free MobileMonkey account.

Importantly, you don’t need to be a tech whiz to use a visual content chatbot builder.

You never have to write a single line of code. Instead, you can use friendly drag-and-drop, toggle choices, checkboxes, and similar approaches to design your perfect chatbot.

What Do Awesome Facebook Messenger Bots for Small Business Look Like?

Here we’ll walk through building and deploying Facebook Messenger chatbots to increase engagement and the customer service experience.

Do the Maintenance by Programming Answers to FAQs

Once people start engaging with your chatbot, you are likely going to discover that they ask some questions that aren’t part of your bot.

If you do, don’t be discouraged. This is actually an opportunity to build a better, more comprehensive chatbot.

Take a look at the unanswered questions and write up the answers.

Then, head into your chatbot’s programming and add them to the list. Essentially, you are expanding your FAQs based on what people want to know, making your chatbot more functional.

Ideally, you want to review your unanswered questions weekly. That way, you can update your bot frequently, making it the best it can be on a regular schedule.

Send Chat Blasts

When it comes to engagement, chat blasts are a great option. Plus, they drive traffic, focusing on people who have already made contact and expressed an interest.

The nature of chatbots is highly interactive and conversational, making it more interesting for your customers. Plus, you can target the messages based on the audience.

This allows you to use different approaches for those who have asked specific questions, engaged with you in a particular fashion, or fall into certain demographics.

Read 5 Ways You Can Drive More Organic (Yes, FREE!) Traffic with Chatbots to learn more about chatbots.

Pro Tip: Be Uber Engaging — Even Entertaining

While chatbots are meant to be informational, that doesn’t mean they can’t be exciting and fun.

Giving your bot some personality, sharing helpful tips and tricks that can help your contact excel, or asking questions and encouraging conversation all enhance engagement.

Ultimately, you want to make the experience enjoyable and valuable, so have a little fun when creating your chatbot.

As a small business, expanding your contacts list is often crucial for your success. Luckily, chatbots can make that easy.

Here are three examples of amazing lead magnets that can help you grow your Messenger contacts list.

Website Chat

With the Messenger chat widget, you can add the chat feature to your website.

Pictured above:

You can customize the welcome message on your website chat, as well as the pages on your website where the chat is available.

Since it is Facebook Messenger chat, when a customer reaches out, they are using their Facebook account.

Bonus: When people message you on your website, they’re automatically added to your Messenger contact database. Then, you can keep the conversation going, even if they leave your site.

Plus, the Messenger chat widget is by default mobile-friendly. As more people turn to their smartphones to run around online, this can separate you from competitors who aren’t embracing the power of Messenger.

When you use Facebook Messenger chat on your website, you expand your contact list automatically. Since the customer has to be logged in to use the chatbot, you collect their information as soon as they engage.

Comment Guard

They send the user a private message automatically, allowing you to reach out to people who’ve already interacted with you and add them to your contacts list.

Facebook Ads The Final Take

Ultimately, Facebook Messenger chatbots are powerful marketing and customer service tools.

By embracing chatbots, you are using a communication channel that customers prefer and enjoy.

Chatbots let you be where your customers are, on the chat app they know, love, and rely on every day, letting you grow your business with today’s trending tech.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, April 2023

A Beginners Guide To Multi

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon

In the era of Big Data, Python has become the most sought-after language. In this article, let us concentrate on one particular aspect of Python that makes it one of the most powerful Programming languages- Multi-Processing.

Now before we dive into the nitty-gritty of Multi-Processing, I suggest you read my previous article on Threading in Python, since it can provide a better context for the current article.

Let us say you are an elementary school student who is given the mind-numbing task of multiplying 1200 pairs of numbers as your homework. Let us say you are capable of multiplying a pair of numbers within 3 seconds. Then on a total, it takes 1200*3 = 3600 seconds, which is 1 hour to solve the entire assignment.  But you have to catch up on your favorite TV show in 20 minutes.

What would you do? An intelligent student, though dishonest, will call up three more friends who have similar capacity and divide the assignment. So you’ll get 250 multiplications tasks on your plate, which you’ll complete in 250*3 = 750 seconds, that is 15 minutes. Thus, you along with your 3 other friends, will finish the task in 15 minutes, giving you 5 minutes time to grab a snack and sit for your TV show. The task just took 15 minutes when 4 of you work together, which otherwise would have taken 1 hour.

This is the basic ideology of Multi-Processing. If you have an algorithm that can be divided into different workers(processors), then you can speed up the program. Machines nowadays come with 4,8 and 16 cores, which then can be deployed in parallel.

Multi-Processing in Data Science-

Multi-Processing has two crucial applications in Data Science.

1. Input-Output processes-

Any data-intensive pipeline has input, output processes where millions of bytes of data flow throughout the system. Generally, the data reading(input) process won’t take much time but the process of writing data to Data Warehouses takes significant time. The writing process can be made in parallel, saving a huge amount of time.

2. Training models

Though not all models can be trained in parallel, few models have inherent characteristics that allow them to get trained using parallel processing. For example, the Random Forest algorithm deploys multiple Decision trees to take a cumulative decision. These trees can be constructed in parallel. In fact, the sklearn API comes with a parameter called n_jobs, which provides an option to use multiple workers.

Multi-Processing in Python using Process class-

Now let us get our hands on the multiprocessing library in Python.

Take a look at the following code

Python Code:

The above code is simple. The function sleepy_man sleeps for a second and we call the function two times. We record the time taken for the two function calls and print the results. The output is as shown below.

Starting to sleep Done sleeping Starting to sleep Done sleeping Done in 2.0037 seconds

This is expected as we call the function twice and record the time. The flow is shown in the diagram below.

Now let us incorporate Multi-Processing into the code.

import multiprocessing import time def sleepy_man(): print('Starting to sleep') time.sleep(1) print('Done sleeping') tic = time.time() p1 = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) p2 = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) p1.start() p2.start() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

Here multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) defines a multi-process instance. We pass the required function to be executed, sleepy_man, as an argument. We trigger the two instances by p1.start().

The output is as follows-

Done in 0.0023 seconds Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Done sleeping Done sleeping

Now notice one thing. The time log print statement got executed first. This is because along with the multi-process instances triggered for the sleepy_man function, the main code of the function got executed separately in parallel. The flow diagram given below will make things clear.

In order to execute the rest of the program after the multi-process functions are executed, we need to execute the function join().

import multiprocessing import time def sleepy_man(): print('Starting to sleep') time.sleep(1) print('Done sleeping') tic = time.time() p1 = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) p2 = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) p1.start() p2.start() p1.join() p2.join() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

Now the rest of the code block will only get executed after the multiprocessing tasks are done. The output is shown below.

Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Done sleeping Done sleeping Done in 1.0090 seconds

The flow diagram is shown below.

Since the two sleep functions are executed in parallel, the function together takes around 1 second.

We can define any number of multi-processing instances. Look at the code below. It defines 10 different multi-processing instances using a for a loop.

import multiprocessing import time def sleepy_man(): print('Starting to sleep') time.sleep(1) print('Done sleeping') tic = time.time() process_list = [] for i in range(10): p = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man) p.start() process_list.append(p) for process in process_list: process.join() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

The output for the above code is as shown below.

Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done in 1.0117 seconds

Here the ten function executions are processed in parallel and thus the entire program takes just one second. Now my machine doesn’t have 10 processors. When we define more processes than our machine, the multiprocessing library has a logic to schedule the jobs. So you don’t have to worry about it.

We can also pass arguments to the Process function using args.

import multiprocessing import time def sleepy_man(sec): print('Starting to sleep') time.sleep(sec) print('Done sleeping') tic = time.time() process_list = [] for i in range(10): p = multiprocessing.Process(target= sleepy_man, args = [2]) p.start() process_list.append(p) for process in process_list: process.join() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

The output for the above code is as shown below.

Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Starting to sleep Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done sleeping Done in 2.0161 seconds

Since we passed an argument, the sleepy_man function slept for 2 seconds instead of 1 second.

Multi-Processing in Python using Pool class-

In the last code snippet, we executed 10 different processes using a for a loop. Instead of that we can use the Pool method to do the same.

import multiprocessing import time def sleepy_man(sec): print('Starting to sleep for {} seconds'.format(sec)) time.sleep(sec) print('Done sleeping for {} seconds'.format(sec)) tic = time.time() pool = multiprocessing.Pool(5), range(1,11)) pool.close() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

multiprocessing.Pool(5) defines the number of workers. Here we define the number to be 5. is the method that triggers the function execution. We call, range(1,11)). Here, sleepy_man  is the function that will be called with the parameters for the functions executions defined by range(1,11)  (generally a list is passed). The output is as follows-

Starting to sleep for 1 seconds Starting to sleep for 2 seconds Starting to sleep for 3 seconds Starting to sleep for 4 seconds Starting to sleep for 5 seconds Done sleeping for 1 seconds Starting to sleep for 6 seconds Done sleeping for 2 seconds Starting to sleep for 7 seconds Done sleeping for 3 seconds Starting to sleep for 8 seconds Done sleeping for 4 seconds Starting to sleep for 9 seconds Done sleeping for 5 seconds Starting to sleep for 10 seconds Done sleeping for 6 seconds Done sleeping for 7 seconds Done sleeping for 8 seconds Done sleeping for 9 seconds Done sleeping for 10 seconds Done in 15.0210 seconds

Pool class is a  better way to deploy Multi-Processing because it distributes the tasks to available processors using the First In First Out schedule. It is almost similar to the map-reduce architecture- in essence, it maps the input to different processors and collects the output from all processors as a list. The processes in execution are stored in memory and other non-executing processes are stored out of memory.

Whereas in Process class, all the processes are executed in memory and scheduled execution using FIFO policy.

Comparing the time performance for calculating perfect numbers-


Using a regular for a loop- import time def is_perfect(n): sum_factors = 0 for i in range(1, n): if (n % i == 0): sum_factors = sum_factors + i if (sum_factors == n): print('{} is a Perfect number'.format(n)) tic = time.time() for n in range(1,100000): is_perfect(n) toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

The output for the above program is shown below.

6 is a Perfect number 28 is a Perfect number 496 is a Perfect number 8128 is a Perfect number Done in 258.8744 seconds Using a Process class- import time import multiprocessing def is_perfect(n): sum_factors = 0 for i in range(1, n): if(n % i == 0): sum_factors = sum_factors + i if (sum_factors == n): print('{} is a Perfect number'.format(n)) tic = time.time() processes = [] for i in range(1,100000): p = multiprocessing.Process(target=is_perfect, args=(i,)) processes.append(p) p.start() for process in processes: process.join() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

The output for the above program is shown below.

6 is a Perfect number 28 is a Perfect number 496 is a Perfect number 8128 is a Perfect number Done in 143.5928 seconds

As you could see, we achieved a 44.4% reduction in time when we deployed Multi-Processing using Process class, instead of a regular for loop.

Using a Pool class- import time import multiprocessing def is_perfect(n): sum_factors = 0 for i in range(1, n): if(n % i == 0): sum_factors = sum_factors + i if (sum_factors == n): print('{} is a Perfect number'.format(n)) tic = time.time() pool = multiprocessing.Pool(), range(1,100000)) pool.close() toc = time.time() print('Done in {:.4f} seconds'.format(toc-tic))

The output for the above program is shown below.

6 is a Perfect number 28 is a Perfect number 496 is a Perfect number 8128 is a Perfect number Done in 74.2217 seconds

As you could see, compared to a regular for loop we achieved a 71.3% reduction in computation time, and compared to the Process class, we achieve a 48.4% reduction in computation time.

Thus, it is very well evident that by deploying a suitable method from the multiprocessing library, we can achieve a significant reduction in computation time.

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A Field Guide To Free Software Supporters

Hearing the terms “free software” or “open source,” you might imagine that they referred to a single school of thought. Even “free and open source software” (FOSS) suggests only two different outlooks: Free software, which values political and philosophical freedom, and open source, whose main interest is enhanced software quality.

Yet all these impressions would be misleading. When you look, there are at least seven different types of FOSS supporters.

To outsiders, these schools of thought are more similar than different. In the same way that many Europeans see few real differences between a New Englander and a Californian, outsiders may see little to distinguish a Softcore Advocate from an Activist.

However, to those inside the FOSS community, the differences are enough to spark endless flame wars. As Richard Stallman told me last March, “When people are free to choose their own views, they’re not all going to agree. It’s normal in a community that you have people with different views and values”

(To say nothing of different language; in many parts of the community, whether you use “free software” or “open source” can mean the difference between cooperation and hostility.)

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To help you navigate through the community, here is a no-holds-barred summary of the most basic schools of thought within the community:

Unlike other types of FOSS supporters, Microsoft Haters are not concerned with ideals, but with opposition to Microsoft. If those I’ve observed on the Fedora list in recent months are typical, some dislike other types of free software supporters almost as much as they do Microsoft.

Some Microsoft Haters object to Microsoft as a monopoly, or as the epitome of proprietary software companies. Increasingly, too, some object from a consumer activist position to Microsoft’s support of lockdown technologies.

However, given that very few of them voice objections to near-monopolists like Adobe or other large proprietary companies like Apple, most Microsoft Haters apparently assume their stance largely as a rebellion. They seem to take their identity from their opposition. And, in extreme cases, could be described as conspiracy theorists, seeing Microsoft cabals in everything.

Many, too, are young and seem to be seeking acceptance from their peers, taking great delight in using terms like “Microsloth” and “Windoze.” A noisy group, they probably receive more attention than their actual numbers would justify.

Just as importantly, a sub-group of Bargain Hunters is more idealistically oriented. They are the ones who have realized that cash-strapped developing countries, charities, or academic institutions will have to turn to FOSS if they want to build a technical infrastructure. In their own way, members of this sub-group are as idealistic as the FOSS activists.

Open Source idealists are sometimes denounced as caring little about the rights of other users. However, they would argue that this view is a false dichotomy, and that they operate out of a sense of enlightened self-interest, and ultimately help everyone.

Softcore Advocates are those who express a preference for free software, but are not willing to face much inconvenience to use it. While they will seriously consider using free software, they will only do so if it is as good as or, preferably, better than proprietary equivalents. If the proprietary equivalent is superior, they will happily use it instead.

This attitude is common in business, because software purchasers in commercial ventures generally have to justify their decisions in economic and practical terms — and rarely in philosophical ones. Yet it is just as likely to be found in users of stand-alone home systems who insist on nothing but the best. Either way, they represent one of the two largest FOSS camps — which are also the two camps most likely to be reviled for inconsistency and undermining the community.

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Supporters of this position argue that they are simply trying to find a balance between their beliefs and everyday demands. And, for those who are not in business for themselves, perhaps it is a reasonable position to take, since they are unlikely to have control over what software or file formats they are required to use. However, Hardcore Advocates sometimes denounce them as hypocrites, or at best lukewarm supporters. Their own uneasiness over their position suggests that, deep down, members of this group often accuse themselves of the same failings.

The Hardcore Advocates are the purists. Unlike the Softcore or the Moderates, they strongly oppose the use of proprietary software under any circumstances whatsoever. They are equally opposed to using software that, while free in itself, requires proprietary software to run, such as Java projects before the Java code was released in November 2006. At times, this stance means doing without support for such software as the latest version of Flash, or limping along with low level optical character recognition of the type supported by Kooka or Tesseract.

The Hardcore are willing to put up with such inconveniences because they believe that, in the Internet Age, the availability of free software is a corollary of free speech. After all, if access to computerized information systems requires the purchase of software, then free speech can only be enjoyed by those who can afford to purchase it.

The traditional bastion of the Hardcore has always been the Free Software Foundation. However, it is far from the only one. Some Hardcore groups have been known to adopt an even more radical position than the Free Software Foundation. Debian, for instance, considers some uses of the GNU Free Documentation License non-free, while the Free Software Foundation considers these same uses perfectly free.

The Hardcore position is getting easier to maintain with every passing month, as more and more functionality becomes available under free software. All the same, it can be hard to follow Hardcore principles unless you are a student or a freelancer, or an undemanding user.

In the last few years, largely because of the increased involvement in social issues by the Free Software Foundation, another FOSS group has begun to emerge. This group is the Activists, who, almost alone among the types described here, try to take their principles outside the community by forging alliances with mainstream environmentalists and other social activists.

This is the position taken by Peter Brown, executive director of the Free Software Foundation, when he says, “Free software should be an obvious civil-society issue. It should be as obvious as recycling cans. It should be something that every parent should be asking when they go into a parent-teacher meeting: is the school using free software? Is my child being taught to use free software? Having control over your computer and knowing that your devices aren’t spying on you, that you have an ethical computer, [these] are all issues for civil society.”

Besides venturing outside the world of developers and free software, activists also differ from Hardcore Advocates in their generally greater tolerance for those who fail to adhere to strict free software principles. They are no less dedicated to those principles, but their dedication seems tempered by the real world realization that hectoring people is a poor way to make them become supporters. They see their role as educators, rather than evangelists.

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In practice, too, human behavior is not nearly consistent enough for pigeon-holing. While many people fall fairly definitely into one of these camps most of the time, many can probably be classified under different types at different times.

For instance, Linus Torvalds, although described here as an Open Source Programmer, could be said to be acting like a Softcore Advocate a few years ago when he insisted on using the proprietary BitKeeper for version control on the Linux kernel (he has since moved to free software). Probably most members of the community have acted like members of all these types from time to time, even though most favor one type of behavior over the others.

Nor are these types necessarily the only ones in FOSS. Rather, they are simply the ones that I’ve encountered.

Still, despite these qualifications, this field guide does show that there is more variety of opinion and behavior in the FOSS community than is often credited. If you are an outsider being introduced to the community, or a FOSS supporter moving outside your usual circles, you could do far worse for yourself than to identify beforehand the approximate positions of those with whom you are mingling. Otherwise, your interactions could quickly become far more complicated and unpleasant than they need to be.

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