How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

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How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Does your business want to do more with Facebook Messenger?

Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing?

Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot for your business.

How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot by Sally Hendrick on Social Media Examiner.
How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot by Sally Hendrick on Social Media Examiner.

Why a Chatbot for Facebook Messenger?

Facebook now lets you install Messenger chatbots on your business page. Chatbots allow you to have an automated conversation with people who click on your Facebook Messenger to start a dialogue.

A series of menus or keywords guides customers to the next steps, saving time and eliminating frivolous requests that don’t lead to sales. It’s an easy way to allow people to interact with your business to buy tickets for an event, get directions, see a menu, set up an appointment, or ask a common question.

An automated responder lets you reply immediately to users with instructions on what to do next or with information about your business.
An automated responder lets you reply immediately to users with instructions on what to do next or with information about your business.
The chatbot uses keywords that users type in the chat line and guesses what they may be looking for. For example, if you own a restaurant that has vegan options on the menu, you might program the word “vegan” into the bot. Then when users type in that word, the return message will include vegan options from the menu or point out the menu section that features these dishes.

You can create an artifical intelligence bot with triggers that you define. Your bot can respond with blocks of text that help whittle down the pathways for users to take to get answers.

How It Works on a Page

The Denver Broncos Facebook page uses a combination of a simple menu-based bot and an artificial intelligence component. When you click the Message button on their page, a Facebook Messenger window opens. Click Get Started from inside Messenger.

Click Get Started to begin an automated conversion in Facebook Messenger.
Click Get Started to begin an automated conversion in Facebook Messenger.
The page responds with several options to choose from. If you want to sign up for the daily digest, click on “Yep. That’s true.” If not, click “No, thanks.” You’ll then see a second menu, depending on which answer you chose. From here, you can manage your subscriptions or get a list of AI bot commands to interact further.

The Denver Broncos chatbot prompts users to sign up for their daily digest.
The Denver Broncos chatbot prompts users to sign up for their daily digest.
If you start typing a message in the text box instead of selecting a menu item, the artificial intelligence bot responds with a list of keywords you can try.

Direct users to subjects covered by your Messenger auto-responder.
Direct users to subjects covered by your Messenger auto-responder.
For example, typing “news” takes you to a Quick Reply message (“Just a sec, I’m looking that up…”) followed by a gallery of images to view Broncos news content on the web.

This Messenger chatbot conversation shows an example of a quick reply and gallery response.
This Messenger chatbot conversation shows an example of a quick reply and gallery response.
Benefits to Your Business

As more people rely on Facebook for information, auto-responders can help boost direct engagement with your customers. This allows you to remarket to customers with ad campaigns in their news feeds even if they haven’t liked your Facebook page yet.

Want to initiate the conversation with customers from your Facebook page rather than wait for them to come to you? Facebook lets you do that. You can load email addresses and phone numbers from your subscriber list into custom Facebook audiences. To discourage spam, Facebook charges a fee to use this service. You can then send a message directly from your page to the audience you created.

Note that if a customer logs into Facebook with a different email address from the one in your list, Facebook may not be able to create a match to the customer from your subscriber list.

#1: Create a Chatbot

Tools like Chatfuel, Botsify, and OnSequel will let you create a chatbot without complicated programming.

This article walks you through how to use Chatfuel to create a free chatbot based on a menu system that you preselect. Users will see options they can click, which will lead them through the menus you’ve created.

When you design your Facebook Messenger chatbot, you give users options to help guide them through your menus.
When you design your Facebook Messenger chatbot, you give users options to help guide them through your menus.
Chatbot Lingo

Before you create a chatbot, let’s go over some definitions of the features you’ll encounter.

A block contains one or more cards (messages). Multiple cards can be delivered at the same time within a block. You can add a button to the bottom of a card to give users a phone number to call, a URL to click on and leave Facebook, or open a new block with a new card or cards.

This is a visual representation of the placement of blocks, cards, and buttons in a chatbot.
This is a visual representation of the placement of blocks, cards, and buttons in a chatbot.
The types of cards available are gallery, text card, image, or plugin:

A gallery card can include multiple images in a carousel, each with a heading, subtitle, URL, buttons, or a quick reply. A quick reply is an extra card that can act as a prompt with further instructions from your page if the user doesn’t know what to do next in your sequence of automated messages.
A text card includes a place for text, buttons, or a quick reply.
An image card includes an image and a quick reply.
A plugin card includes integration options such as letting people read or subscribe to your blog via RSS, send a post from your Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube accounts with IFTTT or Zapier, and many more options like Google Sheets or Google Calendar.
To create a chatbot with Chatfuel, first set up a Chatfuel account. After you log into your Facebook account, click the + sign to start a new chatbot.

Start a new chatbot on Chatfuel.
Start a new chatbot on Chatfuel.
Next, choose a template to edit or create a blank chatbot from scratch. Enter a name for the chatbot in the text box and click the red Create a Chatbot button to create it.
Choose a Chatfuel template or create a blank chatbot.
Choose a Chatfuel template or create a blank chatbot.
On the next page, click Connect to Facebook.

Click Connect to Facebook.
Click Connect to Facebook.
Choose an existing Facebook business page or create a new page where the bot will reside.

Select a Facebook page to connect to your Chatfuel chatbot.
Select a Facebook page to connect to your Chatfuel chatbot.
Now click Build in the sidebar menu to start building your chatbot.

Click Build in Chatfuel’s sidebar menu.
Click Build in Chatfuel’s sidebar menu.
The default welcome message is on a text card; it’s the first thing users will see when they enter your Messenger. You can keep this text card, add another one to it (such as an image), or start over with one of the other options available, like a gallery or plugin.

This is Chatfuel’s default welcome message.
This is Chatfuel’s default welcome message.
Enter the features of the card you’ve selected. Also add buttons to the card that users can click to take the next action such as get a phone number, visit a URL, or open a new block.