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How To Build A Messenger Bot Flow

1For bands and artists, messenger bots have become one of the best ways of reaching your fans via social media, with their impressively high open rates. Here we examine Flow, a new feature which allows you to send messages containing rapid reply buttons and easy accesss to on-demand content.

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Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message

Messenger bots let you reach 100% of your fans — and Messenger content has higher open rates than almost any other channel, reaching 90–95%. This article series is dedicated to highlighting practices we’ve seen working time and again, to help you get the most out of your Messenger bot.

What is a Flow? Where can you find it?

Flows is one of the latest features we’ve launched at POP, allowing you to send dynamic messaging campaigns with quick reply buttons and on-demand content. What makes Flows so different from everything else out there is the ease with which you can create an interactive story for your fans.

For now, you can use Flows for outbound messaging. That means that when you want to directly message your fanbase, you can create your Flow and then send it out. Look at it this way: instead of sending out just one line and a bit of text, you can now create a piece of interactive content for your fans to explore.

When you’ve opened your POP Dashboard, you can find Flows by pressing the little chat bubble when in message mode. When you hover over it, the text will read “compose a Flow”. See below:

  
Start composing a Flow!

What can you use a flow for?

You can now build an interactive message story via our simple editor that lets you message your fans and insert menu buttons to help fans quickly reach the content they want.

Think of this like a website menu — it is basically a mini app, built inside Messenger. And it’s as easy for you to create this as writing an email or editing a document in Word or Google Docs.

Creating your first flow

The best way to learn how Flows work is by trying to create a Flow yourself!

It’s super simple and intuitive. Here are some tips you can use to quickly understand how Flows work and how to make your Flows more engaging for your fans.

Reflect the artist’s personality

First things first, creating a Messenger bot for an artist (or a brand) is extremely beneficial for many reasons. We’ve listed some of those here:

A great way to create an engaging bot is to set it up in such a way that it reflects the artist’s personality.

Be personal when messaging your fans, don’t make your bot sound too formal and generic. Also, use GIFs, images, audio, video to diversify your messages and get your fans hooked.

This is how to use your Flow canvas

Once you click on “Compose a Flow”, you will find yourself on an empty white canvas with only a single plus on the right side of it. This is where your Flow begins. Click on it. Then a few options will appear.

 
    Pick components to build your story with.

Also, keep in mind this is the first thing that the fan will see when you send this out as a direct message.

A. Buttons

→ The paper clip icon allows you to attach images, videos, audio and more

→ The single box allows you to create a message with buttons underneath
 
→ The two boxes next to one another icon allows you to add a link and make a card out of it with buttons underneath.

TIP: if you insert a link in the URL section of the card, all info will be automatically extracted (so you don’t have to worry about images, descriptions and the current URL) — everything will pop up automatically, just wait a second once you’ve pasted a link there.

The last icon on the bottom right is “Quick Replies”. This option can be used once you’ve created your first message. The Quick Reply option cannot be used as a first message. We wrote another article to explain how you can play around with this feature in detail:

B. Structure

→ Once you’ve created a piece of your flow, don’t forget to click on the little “x” on your right in order to save your flow

→ You can re-order cards and items you’ve created up and down by simply dragging them

 

Make your flow interactive

After we’ve gone over how things work and what you can use Flows for, you should keep in mind that the more interactive you make your Flow, the bigger chance there is for your fans to engage with your bot and to look forward to your future messages.

If you’re stuck and don’t know how to create an interactive story, do this
imagine you’re telling a story in real life — build up the actual narrative and use things like emojis, GIFs, images, videos, audio, and other items to make your story as appealing as possible. Grab the attention of your fans and aim to get them to interact with your bot.

The secret here is to reward your fan somehow. You can do this by making your Flows interactive and by providing them with exclusive content.

Fans need an incentive to keep on coming back to your bot and to keep on opening your messages. This is the end goal for everything. Results for you will come from making your fans happy.

Play around with Flows

There is no right or wrong way to do this. We’re at the very beginning of the bot revolution.

It’s all about experimenting at this stage. You have to play around with your bot and Flows and see what works and what doesn’t.

You can determine that based on the performance of every message you sent out (track stats) and the responses you receive from your fans.

Be open and make sure to be persistent with these things. Don’t just create a one-time campaign. Sending out a message every now and then won’t work either. Doing this will not show you consistent results.

Instead, message your fans regularly enough to be able to draw conclusions based on what you’ve done so far.

Once you’re happy with your Flow:

A. You can either preview it straight in Messenger

    Move messages around.
    
Like what you see? Preview it on Messenger.

B. Or load it in your message box. This happens when you hit the big red ‘done’ button. This is the final step before sending your Flow to your fans.

    
 
    Satisfied? Hit done and you’re ready to send.
 

And then just press “Send”.

After you’ve sent out your Flow, you can go to “Statistics” and track how your message performed. Look at “views” and “open rate”. Give it some time and see how your Flow performs. And then just analyze, track and measure. That’s it!

 

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