How to Create Your Own Facebook Messenger Bot
Facebook has opened its Messenger architecture to developers. They basically laid out the different commands and different structures that Messenger bot developers could use to interact with Facebook’s core messaging technology. Usually, this is done through an API system.
If any of this sounds arcane to you, don’t feel too bad. It sounds like Greek to most people. This is geek talk. This is highly technical stuff.
At this stage, you really have three options when it comes to creating your own Facebook Messenger bot.
Option #1: Hire Someone To Do It For You
When you hire somebody to build you a Facebook Messenger chat bot, you’re hiring somebody who is very familiar with Facebook’s developer notes, developer specifications and protocols for its Facebook Messenger application.
This is a person who has spent time figuring things out or who has probably come up with several chat bots in the past. The person definitely has the experience to do it quickly and efficiently.
This is a great option to take if you have fancy features for your Facebook Messenger chat bot. For example, if you are looking to automate Messenger interaction after somebody clicks on an ad, you probably would need JSON integration.
In other words, when you click on an ad and Messenger opens up, JSON would pull up some of your user data and then use it to populate key parts of the chat interaction. It’s as if Facebook Messenger chat bot got into your prospect’s head. Really amazing stuff.
After seeing some JSON implementations, the only thing I can think about was “How did they do that?” It’s as if Facebook chat is reading the prospect’s mind.
As quick, powerful and creative as custom Facebook Messenger chat bot development may be, it is also very expensive. Usually, the fancier the chat bot and the more robust its features, the more dollars you should expect to pay.
Well, if you’re on a tight budget or you run a small business with a modest budget, don’t give up. You still have two other options.
Option #2: Try To Do It Yourself Using Facebook’s Default Response System
You don’t have to be a programming genius to make Facebook Messenger’s chat bot system work for you. Facebook does allow an automated response system for its Facebook pages.
You have to turn on the feature and then you have to get permission from Facebook. This is not automatic. The good news, though, is that this is already built-in and you would just plug in the scripts yourself. This cuts down on cost.
This also gives you a tremendous opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Facebook’s default response messenger system. You’re basically turning it into your own response bot.
The downside should be obvious. This option doesn’t really unlock the full range of capabilities that Facebook Messenger automation brings to the table. It just gives you the very basic.
In fact, it can be quite clunky, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing and you just put basic questions and answers. A lot of the questions may not be on point.
Another disadvantage is that it can take quite a while. Everybody has different learning curves and if you’re trying to come up with something that looks professional, it can take quite a while.
Finally, if you drop the ball or the interactions are not as professional as your prospects would expect, your brand may suffer. This is always a possibility. And it may well turn out that the problems it may cause may outweigh whatever benefits and savings you get.
Option #3: Use the ManyChat Platform
I’m using the ManyChat Facebook Messenger bot automation system as my main example. There are other companies out there offering their own platforms that simplify the Facebook Messenger chat bot creation system.
The reason why I’m focusing on ManyChat is that it is the most well-known and the most experienced. They’ve been around the block for quite a while. They have come up with a very robust and scalable solution.
The great thing about this platform is that it is very easy to use. You don’t have to be some sort of coding or programming genius. You don’t have to know Facebook like the back of your hand. It has a scalable learning curve.
Also, its chat bot creation system is very intuitive. It’s almost linear, it’s easy to figure out, and it’s easy to string a series of responses based on certain conditions together.
I can’t say the same with other platforms out there because most of the other platforms out there are built for programmers or coders.
Finally, the ManyChat platform has been used by many small businesses and small to medium-scale online publishers. This means that their platform is tried and proven in terms of its ability to produce bots that deliver the results their client base needs.
Also, another great thing about this platform is that it was designed from the ground up to help anybody, regardless of their technical skills, and regardless of their primary language.
Building Facebook Messenger chat bots using ManyChat is quick and easy. It even has templates you could use. The secret sauce to ManyChat is the fact that it has fine-tuned some features that it knows users deploy to recruit new customers.
It gives you a wide range of tools so you can attract visitors to your Facebook Messenger, and it gives you tools to possibly convert that person into a buyer.
How to Create Your Own Facebook Messenger Bot – Conclusion
It really depends on your skill set and time you wish to spend on setting up a Facebook messenger bot. I always love to learn new things but time is money.
It’s like putting a roof on your house. I could learn how to do it myself but the time it would take to learn is just not worth it to me. Remember, time is the most valuable thing you have.
Chatbots are going to keep growing so you may want to start employing them in your marketing. If you pay attention you will notice you deal with them pretty regularly.
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