Instagram chatbots, what are they and how to use them?

By Joren Wouters Updated on

Instagram chatbots, what are they and how to use them?

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:

instagram-chatbot

 

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.

 

How to put a chatbot on Instagram

You can’t. That’s the problem right now.

What do you mean you can’t?

Well, Instagram currently doesn’t have an official API that lets you create chatbots on its platform.

But what about companies that let you create chatbots on Instagram? How are they doing it?

These companies use some kind of automation on their own server. But most importantly, these companies are breaking the rules of Instagram.

And this means that if you use one of these services, you might up getting your account banned from Instagram.

So, what to do next?

Sit tight. Because I spoke with many chatbot experts on my podcast, and chatbots are coming to Instagram. It is just a matter of time.

But until then, you can connect a Facebook Messenger chatbot with Instagram.

 

Connect your FB Messenger chatbot with Instagram

So, now we know that it is not possible to make an Instagram chatbot, what is the alternative?

You can connect your Facebook Messenger chatbot with Instagram.

First, you need to make a Facebook Messenger chatbot. You can do this with chatbot software like ManyChat, Chatfuel, SilFer Bots and Mobile Monkey.

Once you made your Facebook Messenger chatbot, you can connect it with Instagram.

And there are two ways to do this:

  1. Using Click-to-Messenger Ads in Instagram
  2. Share a link in your Instagram bio

 

Click-to-Messenger Ads in Instagram

So, head over to the Ads Manager on Facebook and click on “Create” to make a new campaign:

new-ad-campaign-instagram

Then choose “Conversions” as a campaign objective:

conversion-instagram-ad-objective

When you have made this, you need to make sure the destination of your ad is set to Messenger:

messenger-destiniation-instagram-ad

Now, we can set that we only want to show the message inside Instagram. We do this by setting the placements to “Manual placements” and selecting the specific placements we want:

instagram-ad-placements

Then, at the “Message Template” section, choose for “Start Conversations” and click on “Create”:

start-conversations-messenger-ad

Ultimately, you can decide what kind of message the user sees inside Messenger.

You can make it “Text only”, or you could also include a video or image in it.

Next, I would set the User Actions to “Buttons”:

instagram-ad-messenger-template

Ultimately, you need to fill in the Bot Payload. This is necessary to connect your Instagram Ad with your chatbot.

How the bot payload is used, differs per chatbot software. In some chatbot software, you need to fill in the bot payload in a specific custom flow. With other chatbot software, you can set up your complete ad inside the software itself.

 

Share a link in your Instagram bio

This option is way easier.

In most chatbot software you can get a so-called Ref URL. This is a custom URL to a specific part of your chatbot.

Here’s how to create one in ManyChat.

Go to Growth Tools –> New Growth Tool:

new-ref-url-manychat

Then select the Ref URL:

ref-url-growth-tools

Edit the message for the Ref URL:

edit-message-ref-url

This is the message the user is going to see when he clicks on the URL in the Instagram bio:

create-message-ref-url

Now, we’ve made the Ref URL and the message, let’s copy it so we can use it in our Instagram bio:

copy-ref-url-manychat

By the way, ManyChat is just an example. But this is also possible with a lot of other chatbot software, such as Chatfuel, SilFer Bots, Mobile Monkey, etc.

So, you get an URL that looks like this: “https://m.me/chatimizeofficial?ref=w11841554”. Would you click on that?

No, me neither.

Thus, we need to create a nicely formatted link.

We can do this by creating an account on Bitly and click on “Create”:

bitly-create-link

Then, we can edit the link so it looks attractive to click on it:

bitly-edit-link

Way better, right?

Now, let’s go to our Instagram settings and put the URL in our Instagram bio:

instagram-settings-ref-url

So, it looks like this:

instagram-bio-ref-url

And that’s it! When people now click on this link, they will be sent to your chatbot in Facebook Messenger.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you already use chatbots in combination with Instagram?

Are you going to connect your Facebook Messenger chatbot with Instagram?

Or maybe you’re just waiting until you can make complete chatbots on Instagram?

Either way, leave a comment below right now.

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