All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.

We know a cash cow when we see one, and we’re going to bleed this subject dry. That’s a promise.

Yes — that’s right. In this episode of VB Engage, we continue the discussion around chatbots, as news comes in that Facebook Messenger now has 11,000 chatbots available for artificial conversations.

There’s just one problem. How on earth do you know what bots are available, what they do, and how people rate them? Travis and Stewart discuss this very real issue in the news segment before digging in to the sometimes murky world of influencer marketing with Andrew Grill, former CEO of Kred and current head of social consulting at IBM.


We also discuss the “Do Not Pay” bot, which has beaten over 160,000 traffic tickets in London and is now coming to a city near you. It challenged 250,000 tickets in total and overturned 160,000 of them. That’s a 64 percent success rate, and the bot has saved Londoners around £4 million. If this is the future, sign us up.

There’s only one issue with the current bot crop — humor. Stewart thinks there is a great market for brands and chatbot creators to employ real comedians, because right now, chatbots are full of “dad jokes” and bad puns.

Finally, we get into Twitter’s apps: Dashboard and Engage. And no — they didn’t ask us if they could use the name “Engage” for their app. Travis wonders if Twitter has app envy, since Facebook and LinkedIn have multiple apps, too. And Stewart is concerned about ease-of-use, something Twitter needs to get a grip on.

Speaking of social, we talk at length with Andrew Grill about social media engagement, influence, big issues with disclosure, and how mobile devices are changing everything in that space. After all, smartphones are the most personal of all devices, so we ask Andrew how they affect employees’ willingness to share company content.

In fact, we discuss everything from employee advocacy to how brands use social media in broadcast mode to how to become an influencer.

You need to be consistent in your messages. If you talk about a bunch of different topics, no one will know what you’re known for. – Andrew Grill

According to Andrew, you need to have a clear point of view. And you need to have exclusive content too — not the same old advice that everyone else touts. Have that, and people will be drawn to you.

Big thanks to Andrew Grill for joining us. And if you missed last week, make sure to listen to Talia Wolf share wisdom around conversion optimization. Next week, tune in for a great interview with Scott Brinker, the godfather of marketing technology.

Enjoying VB Engage? Please make sure you subscribe/follow (via iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever your favorite flavor of podcast player is) so that you don’t miss a single episode. And if you really like the show, feel free to rate or review it. If you don’t like it, email Stewart, because it’s clearly his fault.


Thanks to our launch sponsor Braintree for helping to make VB Engage possible.


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