Features / 16 Nov 2017

A beginners guide to Chatbots


Let us hold your hand as we walk you through the basics of chatbots

Chatbots are not only one of the most useful and easily accessible marketing tools in the online world (you can order a pizza 🍕 while having a chat with your best friend without even leaving Facebook Messenger) but they can also be one of the most entertaining things EVER. From booking international flights ✈️ and hotels to feeding sharks with junk food and blowing up bad guys, Chatbots can do it all! In fact – they’re part of our top three social media trends for 2018.

Yeah, okay, we get it, they’re cool… but what are they?

A Chatbot (short for chat robot) is a computer program that maintains a conversation with a user in natural language, sending a response based on selected relevant topics. Chatbots can be found across various communication platforms (Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Text Messages – the list goes on).

But… how?

Artificial intelligence (AI)  is typically embedded into a Chatbot to help it better understand the context of the conversation and help it create unique answers for each interaction.

Quick science ‍‍‍ ⚗️

There are two elements of Chatbots; one functions on a set of rules, and the other uses machine learning. Chatbots based on rules are only as smart as you create them and therefore are very restricted and can only respond to specific commands and keywords – so if your conversation gets a little bit wild, it won’t know how to cope.

Chatbots that use machine learning essentially have an artificial brain (or AI) and can pick up on language used in the conversation, not just basic commands. AI Chatbots continue to get smarter as they learn from past conversations with people – scary stuff!

🎶  Give me 20 good reasons…  or maybe just five?

For the first time ever, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks themselves! And if that isn’t reason enough to be optimising your business’ messenger inbox, here are some more:

See more about what has to say about the rise of Chatbots here!

So what can these bots do?

How users can interact with your bot:

  • Free text – users are encouraged to use certain keywords but ultimately have free reign with text and create their own custom messages
  • Pre-set answers and Answer menus – the ability to insert either horizontal or vertical style answer menus that contain fixed responses for the user to choose from

 How your bot can say ‘hi’ back:

  • Photo/GIF replies – bots can be programmed to reply to users with an array of different content other than just text (photos, GIFs, video and more!)
  • Carousel-style menu – creators have the option to include horizontal scroll-able menus to which click-through links can be added to each individual piece of content
  • Shareable content – attach prompts to your messages, encouraging users to share content, sign up a newsletter, buy concert tickets – you name it!

Because more is more…

Only the best of the best for our fans – here are some of Facebook Messenger Chatbots we highly recommend chatting with:

Did you say, endless possibilities?

For retailers, Chatbots can offer online customers a mirrored experience to what they would receive in store with a physical sales assistant – whereas for artists in the music industry, it can mean sending direct sneak-peaks of new releases straight to fan’s inboxes.

Here are some other ways that businesses are already utilising Chatbots:

  • Album/song releases
  • Menu/catalogue information
  • Store openings
  • Tour announcements
  • ‘Live’ fan conversation
  • Product information/suggestions/FAQ/Customer support
Also read on Features view all