Build your first Facebook chatbot using Chatfuel

facebook chatbot

What is Facebook chatbot

It is using software to help simulate conversation with the users through message applications, websites or mobile apps.

 

Why do you need a Facebook chatbot

It helps to automate answering the routine question such as what is your operating hours. It can provide multiple requests from users. Best of all it can provide 24 hours round the clock service. It increases your productivity by providing a quick and efficient reply.

 

What type of chatbot can you do

  • Weather bot
  • News bot
  • Personal finance bot
  • Shopping bot

 

How chatbots work

  • Based on rules
    It is base on pre-defined keywords by the developer or you. When a user asks a question using a certain keyword, the bot will search its data and give a response. If this keyword cannot be found, a pre-default response will be given such as, sorry I did not understand.
  • Using machine learning
    This is a more advanced chatbot, you need to know machine learning so that you can teach your bot to learn and understand what the user is trying to say.

 

The challenge of creating chatbots

It is to teach your chatbot to understand what your users are trying to say. Two different users might want to ask the same thing but the way they express themselves might be different. It will take a lot of efforts and consistently train your bot to understand your user’s language.

 

Different type of chatbot program out there

  • Chatfuel
  • ManyChat
  • Dialogflow
  • Flowxo
  • Botsify
  • ChatterOn
  • AWS
  • Microsoft

 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to build a simple rule base Facebook chatbot using Chatfuel. Demo link.

Before we start you need to have a Facebook account and a Facebook page. (Not your personal profile page). If you do not have a Facebook page, you can read my article on “How to create a Facebook page under 10 minutes.”

 

What is Chatfuel

Chatfuel is a platform for building bots on Facebook messenger. It started in 2015 and their goal is to make building chatbot easy for everyone.

What is chatfuel

 

It is free for usage less than 1000 subscribers and there is a paid plan for usage more than 1000 subscribers or you need more advanced features.

chatfuel price plan

 

Let get started to link Chatfuel with the Facebook page

  • Go to Chatfuel website.
  • Click on “Get started for free” and it will redirect you to Facebookchatfuel-get-started-for-free
  • Select your accountchatfuel-select-your-account
  • Then select your Facebook page, in my example, I will select “mydemobusinesspage” and click Nextchatfuel-select-the-facebook-page
  • I will not change anything here and click “Done”
    chatfuel-select-the-default
  • And now you have link Chatfuel to your Facebook page.chatfuel-link-up-with-facebook-page

Configure your Chatfuel

After you have click on the “Ok” button, you will be redirected to your Chatfuel account. All configuration will be done in Chatfuel and not your Facebook page.

This is what you will see at the dashboard.

chatfuel chatbot dashboard

 

  • Let click on “New” tab and then “Blank Bot”
    chatfuel add blank bot
  • It will redirect you back to the dashboard and a new Blank Bot slot will appear.chatfuel chatbot dashboard 2
  • Click on the 3 dots at the top right and rename the bot to something meaningfulchatfuel chatbot - click on three dotschatfuel chatbot - rename botchatfuel rename done
  • Now click on Connect and you will be directed to the configuration page. You will notice that your Facebook page is listed, click on “Connect to Page”.chatfuel chatbot configure pagechatfuel chatbot configure page 2
  • On the same page, scroll down and look for Time Zone. Update the time zone.chatfuel configure time zone

 

On the left navigation, you will see Automate and Set Up AI. I will be making use of both components. You can choose to use either one or both. So what is the different?

  • Automate: It is a selection that you provide the users. Example for ATM machines, it might ask you to choose a language, then choose what is the amount you want to withdraw.
  • Set Up AI: Your bot will pick up the keywords or phrases that the users type and you will assign a reply.

chatfuel chatbot automate setupAI

 

Let’s start building using Automate

Welcome Message: This is the first message that the user will see when they chat with your Facebook chatbot.

Let go-ahead to edit the text on the right. {{first name}} is a variable, where if a username whose name is David chat with your bot, it will response as Hi David.

chatfuel chatbot automate page

 

I will change the text to Hi, {{first name}}! Nice to meet you. Welcome to Game Zone chatbot. How can I help you today?

chatfuel chatbot update welcome message

Under the Add Element, you can add an additional element to the block like text, image, gallery, quick reply and more.

Let us create some blocks so we can add it under our Welcome message

  • Our Location
  • Operating Hours
  • Promotions

Click on the + button under Add Blocks.

chatfuel chatbot create new blocks

 

Name the first block as Our Location. Add a text box and type in the address in the text box.

chatfuel chatbot our location block

 

chatfuel chatbot our location block add text

 

chatfuel chat our location block with map sample

Do the same for operating hours and promotions. (If you want to add a map, click on the image element)

After you have completed, click on Welcome message. Click add button. Give a name to the button and under the redirect to block select our location. Do the same for the rest of the two blocks.

chatfuel chatbot welcome add button

chatfuel chat welcome add our location

The result will look like this.

chatfuel welcome sample

 

Let test the bot

Click the Test Your Bot button below and you will be prompt to log in to your Facebook account.

chatfuel chatbot test your bot

Click the Get started button at the bottom and this is what they will see.

facebook messager

 

facebook message chatbot

 

Trying clicking on Our Location.

chatfuel appearance 2

 

So now you can try to build more block and link every chat up.

Tips: Every block can enable you to link to another block

 

How to Set Up AI

Do you still remember the Default Answer block?

chatfuel default answer

Let go back to the messager and try typing “operation hour” and you will notice that it will reply with the default answer above. It is because the bot has not been taught how to respond to these types of questions.

chatfuel demo

Let’s go back to the “Default Answer” box to change the text copy.

Change default answer

 

Setup AI

Click on the Setup AI on the left navigation.

Click on the setup ai

The first box on the right, type in “hi”, “hello” and “anyone there”. The second box on the right type in “Hi, my name is May, a chatbot. How can I help you today?

Chatfuel setup ai add rule

Let’s add another rule. Click on the blue button which says “Add AI Rule”. A box will appear at the top, in the first box key in “location” and “address”. Earlier we have created a location block, now we just have to click on the Block link and select “Our Location”

Add another AI ryke

 

Let’s test our AI

Go to the Messager and type “Hi”

facebook messager type hi

You will notice that the bot responds to the rule you have set earlier. Now try typing location and see what happened.

facebook chatbot messager location

 

I hope this simple tutorial can help to kickstart your Facebook chatbot and next AI project.

Need help building your own Facebook chatbot?

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