Tutorial: How to build your Facebook Messenger chatbot with ItsAlive.io

Benjamin Merritt
Sep 13, 2018 · 9 min read
illustration by solène
  • How to choose and add triggers (keyword detection)?
  • How to organise and create your bot’s essential recipes?
  • How to create a menu ?
  • How to test your chatbot?
  • How to publish your bot on your Facebook page?

Step 1 — Name your new bot

Start by giving your bot a name: that way, you’ll be able to recognize it easily if you create several different bots.
You’ll be the only one to see this name. For users, your bot will necessarily have your Facebook page’s name.

Step 2 — Create your first recipe

Recipes are the key feature. They serve as the voice and brain of all ItsAlive chatbots.

A recipe is composed of two main elements:

  • User triggers: conditions that automate your content
  • The bot’s answer: the content you can send
  • Then the chatbot will answer “Hey” (Bot answer: text)
Ex: a main recipe can be linked to 3 secondary recipes thanks to 3 buttons, etc…

Step 3 — Choose well your user triggers

The easiest way to help users navigate in between the multiple sections of your bot are buttons. It is more natural for the user and less difficult to set up for you. Buttons will enable you to drive the conversation completely. However, you can leave a bit more freedom to users thanks to keyword detection (user triggers)

Buttons to drive the conversation

The basic principle is: recipe #1 > recipe #2 > recipe #3

  • The quick replies buttons which offer up to 11 possible shortcuts but users can only choose one answer

Keyword detection

To trigger a recipe, users only need to send one or several specific keywords.

  • A group of key words for adjectives / complements
  • And if needed a group of keywords for topics

Other user triggers you can use

You can choose other ways to trigger content. These user triggers can only be applied to users who opted in to your chatbot.

Step 4 — Add your bot answers

Once you’ve set up your user trigger (optional, a lot of recipes can just be triggered by button without and keywords), your bot can send a message by using different formats. Each recipe can be composed of a maximum of 3 successive formats.

  • Always check the character counter: each format is limited

Step 5 — Setting up a bot’s essential recipes

To create a bot, you absolutely need two recipes. Those are the most important recipes, you’ll find them in the Essentials file.

The Welcome message is the very first message your bot will send to users. They will only be able to see it once, so it should be engaging enough!

Introduce your bot! Explain what your bot does, show your users the first keyword/action they can use, or offer a button redirecting to your most popular recipe. User should also appreciate a “how does it work” or “help” button.

The Unanswered message is your bot’s answer when it does not understand the user’s request. .

  • You bot is not meant to understand everything! On the contrary, it needs to fulfil the mission that you assigned by answering the most frequent questions.
  • Use this recipe to help redirect the conversation to the direction the user is most likely looking for, You can create several messages (cards format) and choose to shuffle to display only one with buttons which redirects to your bot’s different fonctions.
  • Feel free to redirect to the main parts of your bot such as menu, recipe help or contact.
  • Use the handover protocol so users can switch from bot to human.

Step 6 — Add a menu for an easy navigation

To drive your users to the different sections of your bot, you can create two types of menu:

Creating a persistent menu

The persistent menu is always visible and can contain up to 75 shortcuts to your chatbot’s recipes or to an external link. As it remains available throughout the conversation, it should contain the top-level actions and most popular recipes.

Create a recipe with up to 10 cards or quick replies as a menu

By using cards, you can create a recipe called “Main Menu”, which will eventually be a slider of all your chatbot’s main different sections. Don’t over use it. For instance, don’t put more than two buttons per section if you have 10 cards.

Step 7: Test your bot

You can test your chatbot before uploading it by clicking directly on the “Test your bot button”.

Step 8 — Deploy a bot on its Facebook page

Your bot is ready? All that’s left is to give life to it by linking it to your Facebook page.

  • click on “Login with Facebook” accept permissions (important)
  • Then you will have all your pages, and you just need to select the corresponding page.

Automated Conversations

It's all about automating conversations and chatbots. News, case studies, thoughts, tutorials…

Benjamin Merritt

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Automated Conversations

It's all about automating conversations and chatbots. News, case studies, thoughts, tutorials…