Facebook Messenger Chatbots 101

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Introduction

These days, the term “bot” gets thrown around quite a lot, and a lot of us are left wondering, “What is a bot, and why do I need it?”

First of all – 90% of the time that you hear the word “bot”, it is a “chatbot”, or a “messenger bot” being referred to.

There are other times where it might mean something different and quite unrelated – you probably won’t hear that so much, one example is the bots that crawl your website to check the content you have on there.

In this article, I’m going to explain to you exactly what a Facebook Messenger Chatbot is, where it lives, who it’s for, why you need it in your business, and how to get started.

Let’s not waste any more time 😁

What is a messenger bot?

According to Forbes, “a messenger bot is a piece of software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to communicate with customers”.

How I would describe it, is, it is a robot that replies to messages for you.

Think of him or her as a VA, who has been skilled in exactly what you have taught him or her, and nothing more.

If you can pre-determine what your audience might ask, you can set up the replies ready to send when they ask them.

But it doesn’t have to be that complex or time-consuming either.

Rather than trying to pre-empt a million different conversations with your clients, you can use things like buttons to guide the user to make a choice and have an answer ready for each option you provide.

Where does it live?

Generally speaking, a messenger bot, or chatbot, lives within the world of Facebook.

This includes Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger and Whatsapp.

However, you normally do not control it from within Facebook.

Facebook does have a free built-in version that you can use straight from your Facebook Page Settings, but it is quite limited.

If you are serious about having a messenger bot, then most of the time you will manage it from a 3rd party software.

The most popular platform, especially for newbies, is ManyChat

You simply sign in using Facebook login, and you can choose which accounts to connect.

From there you can build it, test it, create links to share it, and respond directly to your users within their platform.

Who can benefit from a messenger bot?

If you have a product or service, you will benefit from a bot.

From physical products like clothes and toys to intangible services, it will have a good purpose for you.

I explain this a bit better in the next section…

Why do you need a messenger bot?

Better customer support

A chatbot, unlike a VA, doesn’t sleep. This means that no matter where someone is in the world if they message you at 3 am, they can get an answer immediately!

It means that people will be more inclined to reach out to you at any time because they know that you will be there for them.

FAQ’s & Mundane Tasks

There are so many small manual jobs that could be cut out with some simple automation.

You’ve probably seen that most sales pages, and customer support pages, have an FAQ section. This is simply to reduce the workload, and counter any potential objections, with minimal time and effort.

If you have a product you can hold all the information such as delivery and returns, payment methods, colours, sizes and more, without having to type another word when it’s done!
If you provide a service, imagine you have a discovery call with someone, and you direct them to your sales page at the end.

Would you manually check to see if they bought every day and manually follow up with them after if they haven’t?

You can set your bot to automatically send them a follow-up message if they haven’t purchased within a set amount of time of your choice (normally up to 24 hours if we are being technical). 

Make yourself stand out

If you have a bot, and it’s built well with a good customer experience in mind, then people will love interacting with it! As well as being able to get what they want at any time, a lot of people prefer not to speak to humans (who could try to sell to them or pressure them), and, above all, it’s fun!

Stay connected

You need to be careful here because of Privacy Rules and regulations but if you follow the rules properly, you can re-engage past users with something in the future.
Maybe you let them slip a bit and they forgot about you, you can get back in touch with something nice for them, maybe a new product, offer, or piece of value that they would appreciate! 

Sales

I probably could have put this as number 1, as we all know, ultimately this is what people care about.

You can set up your bot to handle transactions for you – they can purchase/register without ever leaving your bot! How’s that for a great customer experience? 😉

Segmentation

The way a messenger bot works is you can track every step that they take, and add tags (labels), to your users depending on their actions.

What this means, is you don’t need to have generic messages going out to everyone, you can choose to only send messages to people depending on what they have already done (or not done as the case may be).

For example, if someone has downloaded something you sent them, you can ask them if they enjoyed it, whereas you can see that they haven’t, then you can give them a nudge to download it, or give them more time, or however you feel works best for you. 

Personalisation

In addition to being able to segment your users based on what they have done, you also have an amount of information available to you in the bot – things like their name, gender, locale. Plus you can request whatever additional information you want.

Unlike something like email, the moment they engage with you you can address them by their first name. This adds a layer of warmth to the conversation and catches your user’s attention.

High Open Rates

When using a messenger bot, according to Chatbot News Daily, you can expect about 80-90% of your users to open your message, compared to a much lower open rate with emails.
Think about it – what happens when your phone beeps or vibrates? You reach over and you read it. 

Quick receipt

Similar to the last point, but this time think about the speed. Where are you reaching people when you contact them on Messenger?

In their pocket.

Now, I know, I know – people have their email accounts on their phones too, but did you ever hear someone cry “wahooo, I have an email!”? 😂

With Messenger messages, we expect it to be from a friend, whereas with email, 95% of the time we expect it to be from a business.

So if you are sending out a 10-minute reminder for a live event and you had to choose, which method would you go with? I know which one I would do 😉

When do I need a bot?

The short answer? Now 😁

The longer answer: as soon as you fit any of the following conditions:

  • You are clear on your mission and have a journey that you want someone to take
  • You regularly get asked the same questions from customers
  • You are regularly following a manual process like collecting emails or sending payment links
  • You are running an event and want people to show up live
  • You don’t have a website and need a way to generate leads
  • You know that a large proportion of your audience is active on Facebook
  • Just about anything else!

I want to add one note here though – it does depend on your current circumstances.

Setting up a chatbot can be time-consuming and/or expensive, so depending on where you are now in your journey, you may not currently have the resources to do it.

If that’s the case, don’t fret, just wait until you do. It will still be waiting for you.

How do I get started?

Great question!

If you want to start super basic and test the waters, and think about things like FAQ’s then I would start by going to your Facebook Page settings, to Message settings and having a look there.

Once you’re ready to get a bit more creative, you can then set up a free ManyChat account, and have a play around. There are lots of training videos in there if you need them, and you don’t have to publish anything until you are ready and you’ve tested it all out on your devices 🥰.

If you are running an online event like a 5 Day Challenge/Bootcamp/Workshop/Masterclass etc, then it gets a little bit more complicated but I can still guide you!

I can help with both DIY templates, and Done For You Services. To find out more click here and check out my “Messenger ChatBot Magic” collection.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Everything you need to know about Facebook Messenger Chatbots, to allow you to get started!

I hope it helped, please feel free to comment below, and if you’d like to check out my bot for some inspiration, click here!

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