And it’s a question we’ve been pondering a little while here at Space and Time. There appears to be a common misconception floating around, that a Messenger Bot needs to be this complex thing, with many conversations going on at once – it doesn’t.

Your Messenger Bot needs to do one thing. And that’s to fulfil an aim or business goal. We have experimented with a couple of different platforms for creating AI chatbots and we’ve learned a few things along the way…

Start with your objective in mind

You don’t need to try and build an “award-winning” bot. You just need to build something with your objective in mind. And like all good mediums, your Messenger Bot will work best when aligned with a specific goal or marketing initiative.

So, ask yourself, what is it that I specifically want my Messenger Bot to do? What role does it need to fulfil? Do you want your Messenger bot to…

  • Generate more leads/sales
  • Help support your customer service team
  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Drive social engagement

It could very well be all the above. But you can’t do everything at once and you must start somewhere. Once you understand your objective, you’ll then need to…

Decide on a bot platform

A quick search on Google will serve up a multitude of bot platforms:

  • Website Chatbots Made Easy
  • #1 Business Chat Platform
  • Need a Chatbot Platform
  • Build FB Messenger Chatbots

Each one boasting its own unique features, benefits and payment plans. As a neutral media agency, we’re not going to tell you which one you should be using. We’ve used a couple and each one has its own pros and cons, ranging from ease of use to product features and cost.

Unsure where to start? Have a look at this post outlining 15 of the best free messenger bots.

Plan your strategy & build your experience

Ok, you’ve decided on an objective and a platform. Great! Now you need to get a little more specific and plan out your strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Promote a competition.
  • Get customers to sign up to your eBook/newsletter/webinar.
  • Assist with your checkout process.
  • Cross-sell/upsell your products/services.

Let’s take the first one as an example.

You want to use Facebook Messenger for customer acquisition (your objective) by promoting a competition. A simple 3 stage set-up could look like this…

  1. Boosted Facebook Post – promoting your competition. Your Messenger Bot will trigger once someone comments on the post (usually a keyword such as Win or Yes).
  2. Auto Response – once the keyword has been triggered in the comments, an auto-response opens in Messenger. The bot will thank them for entering the competition and let them know when the winner will be announced. At this stage, you could extend the conversation by asking some additional questions.

For example, if you’re promoting a health or fitness product/service, you could ask what their fitness goal is and direct them to a relevant blog post on your site.

Bonus tip: make sure you tag the response, so you can follow-up later with a product/service that helps them achieve their fitness goal.

  1. Send a broadcast message announcing the winner – you can announce the end of the competition by sending a broadcast message to the whole list. (See below example)

facebook messenger bot competition example

Bonus tip: offer a time-limited promotion/discount to all those that didn’t win the competition, which they can claim on the website. 

Remember: keep it simple!

I can’t emphasise this enough, start simple. Your first bot doesn’t need to be this complicated thing. All you need is to have a specific goal in mind and work towards that.

facebook messenger bot preview

Our advice: start with something like a newsletter sign up or a competition. Keep your bot to one or two conversations. Build up your subscriber base first and then look to build out a multi-layered customer experience.

To bot, or not to bot?

So, the answer is yes. With over 1.3 billion people using Messenger every month, you can’t afford not to. Messenger will give you everything you need to communicate with your customers. From customer service issues, right through to booking appointments.

And we can help. If you want to take the plunge and set up your first Messenger Bot, get in touch. We can help you figure out what your first bot should do, which platform best suits your needs and assist with building out the experience for you.