Chatbots: What has Changed [Summer 2019] - Social Coach Desiree

Phew! Sooooo many changes happening in the bot world this summer. Are you overwhelmed or confused yet? It’s okay – even the experts are still working on understanding the updates and changes. These updates are still rolling out and so we are making adjustments and as we learn!

However, there is one thing we can say for sure right now: 

Your chatbot is not going away!

There are lots of rumors going around saying that chatbots are getting shut down or are no longer usable. This NOT TRUE! Chatbots are here to stay. 

Messenger automation is a huge part of how online businesses will be run in the future. Billions of messages are sent back and forth between businesses and customers every month…and 50% of people are more likely to do business with companies they can message.

Having the right kinds of automation set up on your business page Messenger is a huge benefit to your business! People have come to expect instant responses from business pages with answers to their basic questions, so make sure your page is set up and ready to provide those answers.

So no…Chatbots are NOT going away! However, there are CHANGES. These changes are to bring bots into alignment with Facebook and Messenger’s visions and goals for the future – relationships, community, and privacy. It’s important to understand these goals so that your business stays in alignment with the TOS of both FB and Messenger and continues to serve your customers in the best way possible.

These updates are based around ENGAGEMENT

To prepare for the upcoming shift in how Messenger bots are being used, we are starting to implement bots in a new way that encourages recipients to engage actively with your bot. This means that we will be encouraging people to engage by sending out initial messages that are not overtly selling but are instead presenting your events in a fun, interactive way and giving people the option to click “yes” or “no” type buttons instead of just a link. This will increase the number of people who are actively engaging with your page and who are then eligible to continue receiving messages from you.

Because of this, you will notice an increase in the number of notifications from your business page messenger while you are live. We recommend muting those notifications during your live so that you are not distracted.

Here’s a fun sample message with an eye-catching photo, interesting text, and two buttons to click so that even if they’re not interested now, they can still engage!

 Changes include updates to broadcasting and include sponsored messaging

Subscription Broadcasts will no longer be available to everyone as of July 31st. This is because subscription messages were designed to be completely NON-PROMOTIONAL and are only supposed to have to do with news, productivity, or personal trackers. This is the primary change that is happening within chatbots – Subscription Broadcasting permission is being moved from ManyChat over to Facebook and pages MUST apply for approval to continue to use this feature.

If your page is not approved for Subscription Broadcasting, don’t worry! Not every page should be approved. It was the abuse of this feature that has led to these changes. 

This restriction does NOT mean that you cannot send out messages to people who are subscribed to your page. The standard messaging feature allows promotional messages to be sent out with a 24-hour window after a person has engaged with your page PLUS one additional follow up promotional message. This is why getting people to actively engage with your chatbot will be vital going forward!

Sponsored Messaging is also available as a means to re-engage people who are no longer actively interacting with your page. Sponsored Messages are a type of ad, so use them wisely! They go through an approval process and don’t deliver immediately. 

So…how do I use my bot now? 

As you move forward into this new season, consider your chatbot your #1 Customer Service tool, and put yourself into your customers’ shoes. Is this message something they can engage with? Is it useful and interesting? Or are you just promoting your next sale? 

Following are just some of the ways to make sure your chatbot is working for you and your business!

  • Make sure you have an active “Welcome Message” that not only greets people who message your page for the first time, but also includes information on how to shop, where to find things like your VIP Group and your website, shipping policies, and more. This is something EVERY business page should have set up – it’s just good customer service!
  • Create an interactive menu so that current customers and subscribers can head into Messenger and grab the info they are looking for at any time. Your menu should include everything you frequently get asked questions about!
  • Segment your audience by asking if they WANT specific notifications. Attach tags to these people in ManyChat and then you can send them engaging broadcasts that are directly related to the things they want to receive. 
  • Use Growth Tools, Ads, and Sponsored Messages wisely to continually re-engage your audience and add new subscribers.
  • Send promotional messages using the correct settings under Broadcasts. You have 24 hours to send as many promotional messages as you want after a person has interacted with your bot, so make sure you’re thinking ahead and plan promotions accordingly! 
  • Use sequences to create automated messages that send out on time delays. Make these engaging and interesting and you’ll keep your engagement rate up! 

Examples! 

For you visual learners, here are a few samples of engaging messages! This first one is a great option for a sponsored message! Get it in their inboxes and get them engaging!

This next one is a great way to start segmenting your audience based on their interest in a particular product: 

Educate Your Customers & Subscribers! 

It’s okay to tell your customers and subscribers exactly what you want them to do. Tell them to push the buttons! Next time you go live, add Comment Growth Tool to your live and let your viewers know that when they comment, you’ll send them a message and they need to click a specific button if they’d like a message next time you go live! 

No matter how you’ve been using your bot up to this point, these changes are happening and we’ve got to adjust with the changes or run the risk of getting our pages shut down! Nobody wants that, so let’s just roll with it! 

Concerned about the changes? Need more clarification? Book a call today!

The #ThinkSocial Team is a certified ManyChat Agency Partner!