ManyChat is a Facebook chatbot service backed by 500 Startups. With ManyChat’s service, we can build a Facebook Messenger chatbot in 2 minutes without writing a single line of code! I like this service so I am writing this article to share how to use ManyChat.
Connect Facebook account to ManyChat
First of all, let’s go to Manychat and click “Create Bot” to get started.
Then we just click “Sign In With Facebook” to connect our Facebook account with ManyChat.
We can select a Facebook page to manage the chatbot.
After we sign up, we can see the Dashboard with available features listed in the left menu.
This is the most important feature, allowing us to setup keywords and corresponding reply that triggered by the keywords. It is listed in the bottom of the menu.
+ New Message
We may create a new message in here. We can send real-time or scheduled messages to the users who have sent messages to our FB page.
We may browse the scheduled messages here and edit (or cancel) them.
Historical messages are in here.
Autoposting is a great feature, which can send RSS/Facebook/Twitter/YouTube new posts automatically to the subscribers via FB Messenger. But be careful not to spam subscribers.
We can design a welcome message using this feature. It is a great opportunity to engage with a subscriber using welcome message. But we should avoid to promote our product aggressively in the beginning. Just take a welcome message as an opportunity to build relationship with users.
It is impossible to setup comprehensive messages to address all possible communication. When the bot receive a message with no keyword rule, we can let the bot tell users that it cannot understand message in default reply page.
There are three types of message format available in welcome message.
+ Add Text：Plain-text message.
+ Add Image：Image message.
+ Add Card：Card message with rich images and text.
A call-to-action button is associated with any type of message.
For example, I setup a welcome message for NovaPoints facebook page. It is a plain-text message asking a subscriber if he/she wants to read startup or marketing articles. The message has two buttons with different URLs.
On the messenger interface we can receive the welcome message after sending a word “hi”.
A user will be treated as a subscriber after sending a message to the Facebook page. Autopost will be sent to subscribers too.
Keywords and Reply
We can setup keyword rules in “Keywords” page.
There are three keyword rules.
If a user’s message perfectly matches the keyword, the reply content will be sent to the user.
If a message contains the keyword (no need to perfectly match), the reply content will be sent to the user.
Message begins with
If a message begins with the keyword, the reply content will be sent to the user.
To build reply content, we can create a new message or select a message template built before.
The types of New Message are the same as welcome message, including plain-text, image and card message. The case below is a card message.
Below is a user’s view on the card message, which asks the user if he/she want to subscribe our newsletter.
We can make the bot automatically send new posts on RSS, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter to subscribers. We just need to connect our own account to ManyChat.
I already gave it a try. I received the autopost about several minutes after I posted a new article on Facebook.
We can let a message to be sent at an assigned date and time. The schedule feature is in the + New Message page.
We can select date and time in the schedule UI.
In default reply page we can setup the reply content while a user’s message has no pre-set rule.
Overall ManyChat is easy to use and have enough features to design a FB Messenger bot. Hopefully it will release more wonderful features soon.