What are Facebook Messenger Bots and How Do They Work?
If you are one of the 2.19 billion people who are active on Facebook each month, you most likely have encountered a chatbot of some kind on Facebook. Maybe you asked a Facebook page for directions or more information about an event, only to be instantly answered… by a bot.
Chatbots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people through the use of artificial intelligence.
In a nutshell, when someone types in a message, the bot responds with the right reply.
If you've never encountered a chatbot, or want to check out a cool chatbot, feel free to come to talk to our bot on the Social Media Pro page!
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Articifical Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:
- Speech recognition
Facebook Messenger bots are a new way for businesses to build their own, interactive, automated response tools for Facebook Messenger. The idea behind bots is relatively simple – you set up a bot service to respond to users on your behalf.
The simplest of bots today use preset phrases, such as “Tell me what’s new” or ‘What are your hours?” or ‘Where are you located?”
This is a great yet simple start to using chatbots; there is a whole lot more bots can do!
How Can a Business Benefit From Utilizing Facebook Messenger Bots?
Why would any business want to activate a Facebook Messenger Bot? Why would any social media manager encourage their clients to set up a Facebook Messanger bot?
Businesses who utilize Facebook Messenger Bots get a ‘leg up' on their competition who don't use bots by:
- providing expedited customer service
- personalizing the customer service experience
- being available 24/7
- doing away with customer phone calls
- saving money on customer service
- being able to handle a large volume of messages
- gathering of customer data
- creating an easy payment option
If this sounds too good to be true, let's be clear.
It is not.
AI and bots are here to stay. Not utilizing Facebook Messenger Bots could eventually cost your business money by not providing the same 24/7 services that your competitors are providing. You have to adjust and be willing to advance and implement new technology to grow your business.
Are There Any Pitfalls To Using Facebook Messenger Bots?
Facebook Messenger bots are… bots, not humans. There will be times that using a bot is less than ideal for the situation at hand. What would that look like?
Here are some potential pitfalls to using Facebook Messenger Bots for your business:
- when a human and more sensitive touch is needed but the bot is the only one answering, a customer could get frustrated and even more upset
- if an issue isn't resolved by the bot in private, you run the risk of the customer going back to the spotlight with that same issue and involving everyone publicly
- spam, there's always spam; even if you, the business owner, don't mean to ‘spam' your customers, it can be perceived as though you are. Tread carefully when you set up your bot!
- setting up the bot, leveraging the bot to its full potential, maintaining the bot making sure it works well and understanding the data received from your bot; initially, this all takes extra time, money and potentially more resources.
These ‘pitfalls' should never be used as an excuse to not get started with your own messenger bot. They merely serve as a reality check that bots do need a care team and a human touch!
How Does Someone Get Started with Chatbots?
It's easy; just pick what suits you best!
First, if you are ready to learn and ready to jump into a course, check out our very own Social Media Pro course called Messenger Marketing Pro!
If you want a quick overview, grab this ManyChat Sequences Tutorial which will help you to set up your own chatbot.
Or, if you prefer to listen to a Podcast, listen to this podcast on this particular topic, brought to you by Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner!
Lastly, we want to stress the importance of learning more about chatbots for those of us who are marketing professionals.
We are the ones business owners turn to for advice; it is up to us to continue to learn about new technology and grow as professionals. Furthermore, there is big money to be made by those marketers who stay on the front-end of any new trend, whether that includes AI and chatbots, or another trend.
Invest in yourself, be the best version you can be; be the best social media manager anyone would want to hire. Continue to learn to provide the best service to your clients!
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.