The Social Bot, friendliness catalyst at the bar
A Bar Bot?
Never heard of them? Reading “The two actual benefits of Messenger Bots” should help kickstart your knowledge on the matter. Long stories short, they are applications that find their home inside the Messenger conversation between a Facebook Page and a user.
Inspired by “Le Social Bar.”
Patrice, co-prototyper, has the privilege to be one of the 175 co-owners of the Social Bar, a recently crowdfunded Parisian place. A friendliness laboratories where are tested various answers to the question “How to get people to talk to each other in a bar?”.
One of its attraction is the Social Phone: an old fashioned wired phone with a notebook where guests can leave their phone number. Thus they accept to get random calls from other guests, just to talk, or to fulfill a challenge.
From wired phone to messaging, there is a small gap, which we cross with the Social Messenger Bot. The bot aims to be an on-site conversation and encounter catalyst, as well as a digital archive of social nights, and a tool to strengthen the link between the Social Bar and its guests.
Le Social Bot
An Easy to Join Group Chat for the Guests
When entering the Social Bar, I’m welcomed and told that tonight’s password is “fat cat.”
“Search for the Social Bar on Messenger!”
I do have the Messenger app, and the network is fine. Alright, let’s do it. In Messenger, the Social Bar asks me if I know the password. I send it. The Social Bar tells me that I’m now discussing with all the other guests. And it asks me to start by telling my favorite holiday memory.
I reply “hiking in Island.” Someone checks his phone and asks aloud:
“Who’s Patrice Bonfy? I’m flying to Island in 2 weeks”.
We start discussing and, as I didn’t know him before, I let him throw the dices that will decide the price of my first drink (another favorite attraction of the Social Bar).
As the night goes on, the chat fills with holiday memories of the newcomers and the occasional answers to challenges yelled around by the MC:
“Be the first to send the artist of the next song, and you get a free drink.”
Too bad, I’m hopeless at blind tests.
The following day, I check the chat history to retrieve the name of my soon to visit Island new friend and send him as promised a list of hiking recommendations on Messenger.
Wrap Up By The Bar
When the party is over, the Social Bar sends a thank note to all guests, some pictures of the night, and offers them to send their email to be alerted of future events.
A One Night Prototype
An Experimental Version with Chatfuel
Chatfuel’s solution allows the deployment of relatively sophisticated Messenger bots without a single line of code. There even is a “chatroom” plugin which we can use directly to manage the envisioned group chat. This prototype will, therefore, also be a chance to live test Chatfuel.
A Night for Testing
Renaud Seligmann, co-owner but also manager-manager of the Social Bar, loves experimentations. He agreed to organize a special event to test the bot as soon as it is ready. Be sure to follow the Facebook Page of the Social Bar to be informed of the event.
The test aims at answering two questions:
- Does the bot add to the friendliness of the night? If everyone is stuck on their phone and no one talks, it is a failure. If guests keep their phone on hand but use each new message as an opportunity to meet people and discuss, then it works.
- Does the bot improve guest loyalty? How many emails do we collect? How many new followers on Facebook?
A few months to deploy?
If there are proven benefits of friendliness and loyalty, we will test the bot in more traditional places, and start designing and developing a complete experience that could be made available for every bar in the world!
Prototypers explore promising technologies and exciting business opportunities to uncover new ideas and give them attention, work, and resources.