I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Social Media Marketing World Convention in San Diego, California to represent and learn for Crosswind. Needless to say, the city is beyond beautiful and well worth exploring if you ever have the opportunity.

The most interesting part of the convention for me, though, was the bots. There’s Facebook bots, Twitter bots, WordPress bots, Instagram bots … the list goes on and on. You can learn more about a company, complete a purchase, schedule a meeting, and play games – plus more uses are being invented daily. Here I’ll explain some of what I learned this weekend and how you, too, could utilize bots to up your social engagement game.

Bot uses

If your company has a Facebook page, a Messenger bot could really be useful. Anytime someone visits your page they would be introduced by your bot, which can perform any number of services based on what your company does.

Let’s say you run a food delivery service. When someone visits your page the bot could pop up asking if the visitor would like to order something. If so, the visitor could be given the option to try and order themselves by telling the bot what they want, or they could click a link in the chat that takes them to a menu. If they tell the bot what they want, the bot could reply confirming the order, showing the subtotal and asking for delivery information. Visitors can also pay securely through Facebook Messenger.

This is just one of the more popular uses for chat bots, but this technology is changing every day. ­­­­

Setting up your bot

To set up a bot you need to have

a goal in mind. The bot will only do what it’s told to do, so it can be made pretty simply. One of the best platforms for Facebook Messenger Bots is Manychat. Manychat is a Facebook Messenger marketing tool. You can use it to:

  • broadcast messages to all your subscribers at once;
  • send “broadcast sequences” – a series of messages Manychat will send over time with delays in between the messages;
  • utilize growth tools – different style popups used to generate leads from almost any median, such as a website or advertisement; and
  • interact with subscribers in any number of ways via the chat bot.

While creating a bot is a simple concept, actually building it can be quite tedious. Think of it like a choose-your-own-adventure book. When someone visits your page, the bot could start off by greeting them and offering up some options to choose from. The user would then pick a certain option or reply a certain way and that is how the bot decides what to do next.

The image to the right is the back end of the first step of a Realtor calculator bot. This particular bot calculates whether you should sell your own home or use the help of Realtor by asking you a few simple questions. If it calculates that you could probably sell your own home, it congratulates you and says to contact the Realtor if needed. If it calculates that you probably need a Realtor, then it connects you to one. Quick, effective, and takes a load off the front-end work.

This is, of course, only one niche example of what chat bots can do but their abilities are high in number and expanding rapidly. Many large companies have already integrated bots into their businesses for all kinds of purposes. Check out how their bots are being used and try something for yourself!

How will YOU bot?