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Is it really possible to increase your business’s profitability using Facebook Messenger?
Can you leverage chatbots to answer FAQs, seek an appointment, purchase movie tickets or get directions for an event?

The answer is a resounding YES.

The truth is that Facebook Messenger chatbots can do a lot more than usual customer service activities. The tech industry is astounded with the limitless possibility of chatbots not just in the context of heightened monetization and sales-boosting opportunities, but also in terms of their ability to complement (or even replace) human interactions for routine transaction and ecommerce.
For instance, Facebook lets you install Messenger bots on your business website. These chatbots initiate an automated yet personalized conversation with those who click on your Messenger.

How does it work?
Chatbots uses keywords typed by the users within the chat and anticipates their requirements. For instance, if you run an international travel agency, you may want to integrate the keyword “cheap flight” into the chatbot. When the user enters that keyword, the next response of the bot will include a list of international flights at discounted prices or something similar to that.
In this manner, it is possible to create an AI chatbot with predefined triggers which can respond using chunks of interactive texts that make it easier for users to get specific answers.

Heightened customer engagement
These days, most people depend upon Facebook to gather information; use this trend to your advantage by setting auto-responders which augment direct interaction with your customers. This lets you target a huge audience base using ad campaigns within their news feeds, regardless of whether they have seen your Facebook page.

Furthermore, you can also begin a conversation with these customers by transferring their contact numbers and email addresses of from your own subscriber list to targeted Facebook audiences and sending them a direct private message.

Creating a chatbot on Facebook messenger for free
Here is how you can setup a free chatbot on Facebook. Coding is not really a prerequisite thanks to tools like Botsify, Chatfuel and Chattypeople which allow you to create a bot sans intricate programming. Chattypeople, arguably the best platform to create a bot on Facebook, lets you create a custom message easily without having to code anything.

Before we begin, here are a few jargons you should be familiar with:
Block: It comprises of one or multiple cards (or messages). These cards can be provided simultaneously inside a block. Towards the bottom of a card, you can setup a button to provide viewers with a web URL or a contact number to call on. Users can also open up a fresh block using new cards.

The types of available cards include:
A text card: This accommodates space for quick reply, buttons and text. A quick reply serves as a prompt with additional instructions within your page in case a user gets confused about the next step they should take as response to your predefined responses.

A plugin card: It encompasses options like Google Calander, Google Sheets. It also allows users to read and subscribe to your blog through RSS and send posts from your Twitter, Instagram or YouTube accounts using Zapier or IFTTT.
An image card: It includes an image as well as a swift reply.

A gallery card: It includes multiple images with a URL, heading, subtitle, buttons as well as a quick reply.

In this article, we will be creating a free chatbot using Chattypeople.
First create an account with Chattypeople and login to Facebook after which, click on the + sign.

Now, select a template for editing or create a new blank chatbot. Put in a name for the bot within the text box. Next, click on the red colored Create a Chatbot button.

Click Connect to Facebook in the next page.
Select a current Facebook business page or setup a new page to place the chatbot.

Next, click on Build within the sidebar menu to begin creating the bot.
Now, the default welcome message is displayed on a textual card and is the first thing that will be visible to users upon entering your Messenger. You can choose to retain this card or add another card, including an image. You can also utilize other card options such as pulgin and gallery.

Next, enter the features of the chosen card. You can add buttons to the card which can be clicked upon by the users to initiate the next step – clicking a URL, getting a phone number or opening up a new block altogether.

The block displayed within the Main Menu button shows the default answer. Using Chattypeople, you can alter the message which will be your initial response to the question asked by the user. You can do that by altering the textual content or setting up a custom block that can be added to replace the default reply.

Under this card, it is possible to add multiple buttons. Therefore, if some frequently asked requests from the customers include your location, contact details, directions or office hours, setup blocks that contain that information which can be shared with the user. It is also a good idea to create blocks offering chunks of additional information about a particular section of your business.

For creating a new block, click on + Add Block.
Next, you will see a new screen that lets you start afresh using new cards as well as buttons to your chatbot.
Once you’re done with it, click on Test This Chatbot and save your work. Follow that up by clicking on View on Messenger.com to check how it looks.

A chatbot is only as good as its accessibility. To ascertain that, you may want to have others access it using a smartphone or a desktop. If there is a glitch, click on the help icon at the (bottom) right corner of the dashboard to get further clarity or get in touch with the company itself.

Attracting Customers
Once creating and testing the functionality of your free chatbot on Facebook, you may want to direct traffic into it by changing the CTA (call to action) button on your page to ‘Send Message.’ It is also a good idea to drive paid advertising to the CTA via your Messenger’s URL.

You may also want to install self-explanatory plugins (Send to Messenger) on your business website to allow users to message you directly on Facebook.

That’s it! As you can see, it’s no rocket science to create a free chatbot on Facebook that actually works. Doing so using not only saves your time and resources, but can also leapfrog your productivity and overall business prospects.