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Marketers can now use Facebook for real-time chats

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Marketers can now use Facebook for real-time chats

A new tool has been launched to facilitate instant marketing conversations on a social media site.

For online marketers, Twitter has built a reputation as the number one choice for real-time engagement. For instance, many famous brands have used the social media platform for live question and answer (Q&A) sessions with celebs, sports stars and actors.

However, now Facebook has introduced a real-time chat tool that will allow marketers to host Q&A sessions on the site.

The Discovery Channel, Sony, and music channel VH1 are some of the high-profile brands piloting the new Q&A application, which is being driven by Bumebox. The platform’s marketing tool had, until this change, only offered Internet marketing execs web analytics that allowed them to manage real-time chats on Twitter. The new tool, however, opens up the chat to Facebook, which gives professionals access to a far larger number of fans.

Sony jumped in and tried the new tool with a hugely popular singer, a star of America’s Got Talent, Jackie Evancho. Despite the already massive popularity of the singer, the 60-minute Q&A session on Facebook saw an increase in comments on Evancho’s page of over 700%.

According to Melissa Goldberg, manager of Total Assault, trying the new chat platform with the talent star was an obvious choice, due to her existing fan base on the social media site.

The Discovery Channel used Facebook for a live chat with the crew of its popular car show: Fast N’ Loud. The channel has a large Facebook following and the Q&A allowed fans of the programme to chat live to the Gas Monkey office manager Christie Brimberry.

Despite the introduction of the real-time conversation option for marketers, Facebook’s comments are not chronological and instead will come up based on how popular they are. This makes the chats more difficult to follow. As such, it seems marketers will need to continue to combine Facebook and Twitter when running this kind of campaign.

Alan Littler

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