If you're thinking about investing in a new Facebook business strategy perhaps building an opt-in list to sell products or even an existing business in the space, one of the hottest trends in tech is the development of Facebook Messenger Bot applications. What exactly are these things? Can they really be used to dramatically increase business performance?

A Facebook Messenger Bot is basically a piece of applications that utilize artificial intelligence (UI) to chat with users. Simply put, these bot emcees what's being asked by a user and then can subsequently formulate a human response in a similarly human manner. As you may well know, chat bots have the ability to completely revolutionize the field of online sales, customer service, and support as understand it and this is for the better, largely because they have the potential to do so. But how can we best approach the development of these chatbot/UI applications?

For starters, let's think about how these bot/UI applications enable users to connect and interact with one another via a semi-automated interface. As it turns out, the recent acquisition of social networking giant Facebook by media giant Yahoo has, in fact, led to the development of Facebook Messenger Bot Applications. What this bot does is leverages the strength of Facebook's established friendship system and uses it as a means to allow its users to chat with one another. Now imagine the opportunity that such functionality offers to businesses looking to give their customers more options when engaging them such as, for example, having one user to enter information into the wall street journal's contact box and then another clicking that person's link to send them to another person; or, having the Wall Street Journal sends them a message to another person, with the intent that such a communication takes place.

By automating all of that, you're able to save time for yourself and your customer – especially since this functionality takes the "face-to-face" interactions out of the equation. This alone can help create greater consumer loyalty and trust in the brand or product, as well as boost loyalty and return business from repeat customers, which can lead to better profits in the long run. In this regard, it can be said that Facebook Messenger Bot actually leverages the value of automated customer relations, thereby providing an additional advantage to the brand. It is, essentially, Facebook's automated customer relations department.

But there's more! The Facebook Messenger Bot also offers marketers the opportunity to use it for email marketing. With the ability to send instant messages, these Bots can provide businesses with a way to expand their base of contacts. By monitoring open rates on the pages of Facebook and Twitter – as well as the overall activity on the networks – these programs can ensure that only the most effective messages are sent, thus maximizing conversion rates. And while this feature is not available in all Messenger Bot versions, it makes email marketing through Facebook and Twitter easier than ever before.

In addition, the Facebook Messenger Bot allows for more detailed customer matching, which allows users to tailor-made responses for conversations with specific demographics. This is accomplished by the use of information provided by the likes of Facebook itself, as well as data provided by third parties. The customer matching process begins by selecting relevant keywords for each conversation and then using automation to create and maintain contacts based on those keywords. Conversations are then handled using prompts are sent automatically each time a new message is created – saving businesses time and labor.

The final, and perhaps most important feature of the Facebook Messenger Bot is its integration with third-party services. Through the chatbot, companies can take advantage of the various services like Facebook's Fan Pages, as well as the viral capabilities provided by the MySpace networking site. Through the Bot, customers can also take advantage of a number of other services offered by Facebook, such as the messaging system, the news feed, and the "Like" feature. Businesses will be able to encourage their contacts to use Facebook or to follow company updates through the Bot's wall posts. Bots will also be able to help businesses increase Facebook activity by sending out promotional messages and posting links to upcoming events. It's easy to see how useful the Facebook Messenger Bot could be for businesses especially considering the overall level of user interaction and connectivity it provides.

It's clear that bots can do much more than simply reply to messages. Businesses that have yet to take advantage of chat Bots can make sure their customers always have a positive experience when interacting with the company via its Messenger Bot. In turn, chat bots can give businesses greater levels of customer service by providing personalized support, while augmenting the experience with automation and reducing the overall cost of customer interactions. While chat bots may not be able to solve every problem in the way that a real person can chat bots can certainly make customer interactions with businesses more efficient and easier.