Lately, more and more people are asking me about Instagram chatbots.
What are Instagram Chatbots? And can you use them to get more sales or reduce your costs?
I will cover it all in this new post.
Let’s dive in.
What is an Instagram chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated conversation partner. It facilitates a conversation between a human and a computer.
So what is an Instagram chatbot then?
An Instagram chatbot is an automated conversation partner on Instagram.
Usually, you would have a conversation with another human on Instagram, but with chatbots, you are not talking with another human, but with a computer.
How this can look on Instagram:
Why should you use an Instagram chatbot?
Instagram has 1 billion active users every month. And 500 million users are using Instagram stories every day.
What is even better about Instagram, is that mostly young people are on it. 71% of the one billion users are under the age of 35.
Besides, 50% of Instagram users follow at least one company, so an extra incentive why should be on there.
But here is the most important reason why you should be on Instagram: 80% of Instagrammers decide whether to buy a product or service on Instagram.
With that many people on this platform, and users deciding whether to buy a product or not, you should be on there.
And it would even better if you have a chatbot on Instagram, because people can then message you whenever they want. And you can use that opportunity to deliver a better customer experience and increase your sales.
So, let’s talk about how you can put a chatbot on Instagram.
Who can create an Instagram chatbot?
Currently, Instagram has partly opened its doors for Instagram chatbots. This means that Instagram business accounts with 10,000-100,000 followers can create an Instagram chatbot right now.
For accounts with fewer users, Instagram has provided the following dates:
- July 2021 – Instagrams accounts with more than 1,000-10,000 followers can create a chatbot
- August 2021 – All Instagram accounts can create chatbots
If you don’t have enough followers right now, you can create a test account to test out the features of Instagram automation.
How to Create an Instagram Chatbot
Now, I will show you how you can create your own Instagram chatbot.
If you are not much of a reader, you can also watch my Youtube video:
Create an Instagram Test Account
If you want to test out the features of Instagram chatbots, you need to create a test account on Instagram.
Just go to Instagram and create a new business account with a handle starting with “test_”.
For example, I created the @test_chatimize account to create this tutorial.
By the way, you need to make sure that this test account is a business account and that it is connected to a Facebook Business account.
If you haven’t connected your Instagram account to a Facebook Business account, go to one of your pages on Facebook, click on Settings –> Instagram.
Here, you can click on Connect account and connect the two accounts to each other:
Connect ManyChat to Instagram
Once you have an Instagram test account or an account with at least 10,000 followers, we can start with creating our Instagram chatbot.
To create our Instagram chatbot, we are going to use ManyChat, which is one of the best chatbot builders for Instagram. If you don’t have an account yet, click on the button below and create your ManyChat account.
NOTE: If you want to use ManyChat for Instagram chatbots, ManyChat is 100% Free.
When you’ve created your ManyChat account, go to Settings –> Instagram, and click on Connect:
Next, you can select one of your Facebook Pages that is connected with your Instagram account. In my case it is ‘Chatimize Test’, so I will click on that one:
And now we’ve successfully connected ManyChat to Instagram.
Let’s say, we are a company and we want to use an Instagram chatbot to automatically reply to questions of potential customers.
Then, we can start by setting up our Conversation Starters.
Set up Conversation Starters on Instagram
When somebody wants to start a conversation with your Instagram account, Conversation Starters will automatically be shown to the user.
And this is really useful, because you can guide the user in a certain direction.
So, go to Settings –> Instagram –> Conversation Starters –> Edit:
And here, we can just type in a Conversation Starter, for example, “What are your opening times?”:
Then, we can click on Create New Message and ManyChat will automatically make a new flow for us.
You can just click on the first message and edit the message to something else:
And then you need to hit Publish on the upper right corner so that the flow is really live.
Now, you need to go back to your Conversation Starters and you need to Activate the Conversation Starters and click on Update:
Now, our conversation starters are showing on your Instagram account!
But this will only work for Conversation Starters. What if somebody asks us about our opening times, without using the Conversation Starter?
Then, we can use ManyChat Keywords to automatically reply to questions!
Automatically reply to questions on Instagram DM
In ManyChat, we can set up a keyword that will automatically reply if someone types in a specific phrase, such as “opening times”.
So, if we go back to our opening times flow, we can add a trigger by clicking on Add trigger:
Then, you need to search for “keyword” and select the Keyword Instagram:
Here, you need to set it to message contains and fill in “opening times”:
What this will do, is when somebody sends a message to your Instagram account and the message contains “opening times”, you Instagram chatbot will automatically reply with “We are open every day from 09:00 tot 17:00.”
Reply to questions your chatbot does not understand (Default Reply)
But what if your chatbot doesn’t know the answer to a question? Then we need to use the Default Reply in ManyChat.
The Default Reply is the flow that responds to your user if your chatbot doesn’t know the answer to a question.
And to be honest, this is the most important flow of your entire chatbot. Because if your chatbot doesn’t know the answer, and you don’t provide a good backup, your potential customer will leave dissatisfied. And you don’t want that.
Let’s go back to Settings –> Instagram, and next to Default Reply, click on Edit:
Then, you need to click on Edit flow (upper right corner) and set the first step of the flow to an Instagram Message:
The next thing we will do is apologize for not giving an answer and asking if the question should be forwarded to a human.
We can do this by selecting the User Input element and asking the question:
Then, you need to set the Reply Type to Multiple Choice (so the user can reply to buttons) and create a new custom field called Forward to human:
Just leave the name of the custom field as it is and set the Type to Text:
Then, scroll down until you see “Skip button text” and remove the “Skip” in the field:
This will make sure that people cannot skip this question. The last thing we will do is add two buttons for “Yes” and “No” by clicking on + Quick Reply:
Now, the answer to the question will be stored in the custom field “Forward to human”. So the next thing we will do is check what the answer to the question is. We can do that by adding a condition to the flow:
And fill in the name of the custom field (Forward to human) and checking if it contains “Yes”:
Then, we can create two messages. One for the Yes option and one for the No option:
Now, we are almost done. We only need to set the conversation to “Open”, so that we can reply to using the Livechat feature of ManyChat.
So, we can add an action that will mark the conversation as open:
And that’s it! Just hit the Publish button and you’re done!
Now, if your chatbot doesn’t understand the question, it will ask whether the conversation should be forwarded to a human and if the user wants that, a human can take over the conversation by using the Livechat feature of ManyChat.
By the way, if you want to see the chatbot in action, go to my @test_chatimize Instagram account and start a conversation!
Can you create an Instagram chatbot with a personal profile?
No, if you want to create an Instagram chatbot, you need to have an Instagram business account.
Now It’s Your Turn
And that’s how you create your own Instagram chatbot.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Do you already use Instagram chatbots?
Or do you want other tutorials about Instagram chatbots?
Either way, please leave a comment below.