Chatbots: A Guide to the Who, What and How

Messenger applications are the new email, particularly with the younger generation.

Currently, there are 1.5 billion users and 300,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger.

Chat applications such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are increasingly popular because of the natural conversation that can occur from a mobile – it works seamlessly across mobile devices.

With the introduction of chatbots, it appears we are set to be spending much more time on our Messenger applications in the near future.

What are Chatbots

Chatbots are virtual assistants that simulate a conversation with another human. They operate rather conversational, you talk to it as you would a normal human.

Although Chatbots are programmed to be conversational, there are limitations to their communication skills. They can be programmed to respond the same way to certain questions, to respond differently to messages that have particular keywords and more advanced programs can use machine learning to adapt their response to suit different situations.

Things Chatbots Can Assist With

  • Getting assistance in an emergency
  • Fixing an issue or complaint
  • Make a booking
  • Pay a bill
  • Purchase an item
  • Add yourself to a mailing list
  • Finding ideas and inspiration for future purchases


Social Media Chatbots

Social Media Chatbots are designed to make things easier for the consumer.

We’re often flooded with prompts to ‘book now’ or ‘order now’ on e-commerce websites. Facebook argues that none of these “actually mean now – they’re merely the beginning of a tedious consumer journey”.

We’re sure you have encountered something similar along the lines of “please wait”, “enter email” or “please enter promo code” – the list goes on.

Every new step or delay is a chance for customers to abandon their journey.

Facebook calls this “friction”. Watch the video below by Facebook – Zero Friction Future.



Getting Started With Chatbots

Anyone can use a Chatbot – just as long as you have something to offer people.

Let’s say we want to set up a Chatbot to answer any questions regarding our monthly #SMPerth Drinks.

Chatfuel is an easy to use application, that doesn’t require any code, that we can use to do this.

1. Select what you want the bot to do.


2. Write a welcome message (optional).

chatfuel setup


3. Click on “Set Up AI” from the side panel and follow the prompts to set some rules.

We’re going to enter some keywords that will let the chatbot know what answer to respond with.

chatbot smperth


Now, let’s test our bot!

SMPerth Bot

Using Chatbots are a great way to automate easy tasks for your brand while offering speed and convenience for your customers.

Great news for your marketing strategy because according to Facebook IQ, 60% of people surveyed across 23 markets say they would actually pay more for convenience. 

Below are some key benefits for your brand when using chatbots:

  • You save time and money
  • Generate leads and revenue
  • Guide users to outcomes
  • Offer after-hours support
  • Engage users in a unique way

It’s important to have your goals clearly defined before creating a Chatbot. What is it that you want to do?

Do you want to offer customer support by providing answers to FAQ? Are you looking to provide information about a new product? Whatever it is, make sure you know what you want to achieve before you begin the process.


Examples of Brands Using Chatbots

Chances are you’ve already engaged with a Chatbot. Below are some brands who do a great job using Chatbots to automate tasks and provide convenient service to their customers.


There’s no reason to leave Facebook to source your news when you can search directly within the Messenger app. Most news companies now use Chatbots to assist their followers.




The Dominos chatbot can be used to order pizza online. Instead of just having a chatbot handle all their Messenger requests, they find a nice balance between automation and human response.

We wanted to test out the Dominos chatbot.

We messaged Dominos and asked for “Pizza pls”.

The response was a bunch of automatic responses. We ignored these because we had no desire to actually order a pizza. A few minutes later we were contacted by a real user asking if they could help us.

The conversation is pictured below.

Dominos Chatbot


It’s important to structure your chatbot with rules so it isn’t just on autopilot. The last thing anyone wants is to feel like they are talking to a computer that isn’t solving their issues.

Your goal should be to improve communication between your followers and your brand. A successful chatbot will help you answer your customers in real-time and provide service at all hours of the day.

People Want Chatbots

Not only do chatbots provide the opportunity for better customer experience, but people also expect you provide them with chatbots. According to research from Facebook IQ, 74% of people expect messaging to enable better customer experiences.

messaging better customer experience

And just in case you needed any more persuasion – 59% of people expect to use messaging more to make purchases in the future.

messaging for purchases


So what are you waiting for? With a well-managed Chatbot, you will spend less time managing your social media channels, possibly increase future sales and improve customer experiences.

Do you use chatbots for your business? What are some issues you encounter with chatbots? We would love to hear from you in the comments.

Sean Huxley
Sean graduated from Murdoch University in 2017 and went from intern to Account Manager with Coffey & Tea. He also contributes to Social Media Perth.