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How to Engage Users with a Messenger Chatbot? 🤔💌📲#BestPractices, Part 1️⃣

✍️ Written by: Zuza Śliwińska

Your bot is full of great content, fulfills its functions and users are still not impressed? You’ve corrected all the misspellings and errors and it still doesn’t attract new subscribers nor keeps those who’ve already signed up? So, what is the problem? 🤔

Unfortunately, I have to tell you something…

It’s not the chatbot, nor the users. 

It’s you 🤭😲

Or rather your approach to what a chatbot should actually be like and how it will be perceived by the users.

But don’t worry, we will get to the right approach in a second 😉

Why do we need a specific approach while designing a Chatbot? 🎨

A chatbot is an app. It can also be an addition to your Customer Service System or a tool to promote your brand and actually sell products and services. But it’s not that simple to create a bot that will actually serve it’s purpose AND be well received by your audience.

Working with conversational design and language processing is a totally different animal than setting up ads or coming up with a social media marketing campaign. It allows you to create a chatbot, which can be both effective from the marketing stand of point and engaging from the user perspective. I mean, your subscribers and chatting with it. Not viewing it, not scrolling through. That’s why you need a specific approach while developing a Messenger bot.

BUT, again, it’s not that simple ☝️

#PersonalityMatters 🙌

Messenger Chatbots exist now in almost every industry, in all types businesses of all possible sizes, serving multiple purposes. According to Forbes, there are currently more than 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook’s Messenger. And even though we’re bound to a structure of Messenger platform, we can really play around when it comes to creating a personality, tone and style for our chatbot.

So how to create both effective and engaging Messenger chatbot? 🤔

First of all, again, we have to remember that a Messenger chatbot is a totally different experience then any other advertising or customer relations format from the standpoint of the receiver. We mostly use Messenger to talk with our friends and family, not to consume promotional material. So, in order to take the advantage of this conversational interface, chatbots need to be designed in a way that is the most similar to the usual experience of Messenger users.

You know what else are we using Messenger for? FLIRTING. Making new friends and creating new relationships via a chat is a sign of our times. So since we’ve touched on the birds and bees subject (not really, but it suits my narrative 😎), I will present you with a few BEs on how you should approach creating a chatbot, in order to persuade your audience it’s worth chatting with it.

So what is the right approach? 🤓

✅ BE COOL. Even if your brand is perceived as super serious or premium (for example automotive or financial industry), don’t build a conversation style this way, nobody is going to engage in a boring, promotional pep-talk.

✅ BE REAL. What I mean here is that many chatbots are build in a way that there is no sceptic or…less exciting answer for the user to give. So for example, your chatbot is promoting a new product and you ask the user if he/she likes it. You HAVE TO give them both positive and neutral/negative answer options, not just „LOVE IT” „YAY” „WOW” etc. It’s super sketchy, pushy and not at all like a normal conversation.

✅ BE PERSONAL. First, use {first_name} attributes that allow your chatbot to address users by their own names. Second, use more attributes allowing you to personalize the experience for each user. You can do it with a funny quiz or any question that can divide your audience into more specific groups. 

✅ BE STRAIGHTFORWARD. If you create a chatbot (and you’re smart) it probably has a goal, or serves a particular purpose. Organizing a contest, presenting products, managing customer inquiries, there can be lots of purposes for your chatbot and BEFORE you start sending out Privacy Policies, Terms & Conditions and all that, you have to inform the users why they should even click anything. What’s the point of clicking around without knowing where this is all going? Most Tinder users know the answer by heart.

✅ BE INTERESTING. Stop copying and pasting some corporate gibberish just so the bosses are happy to get those few super standoffish lines out there. A chatbot is not a website nor a flier nor a billboard. You have to translate those promotional claims into a story worth engaging in!

There are lots and lots more of these above, but let’s stop here and go put these BEs to work. In the next part of the article, I will try to get even more intimate, by showing you how the one-on-one experience provided by the chatbot can be used to engage your potential subscribers.

Thanks for reading ✌️

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