Sunday, April 14, 2024

Instagram Chatbot: What Is It and How to Create It?

Instagram has become a central marketing platform for B2C brands. It is used by 65% of social media marketers and helps in new customer engagement, business growth, and ROI. In fact, it is becoming the first preference for social media marketing, as 29% of marketers planned to invest the most in Instagram in 2023.

Once Instagram ads have engaged potential customers, the next thing is to provide timely responses to their comments and queries and convince them to make the purchase. This is where an Instagram chatbot comes into action.

A chatbot for Instagram helps to manage customer support promptly and sales activities efficiently. Therefore, this guide will talk in detail about what an Instagram chatbot is and how you can build one for your business effortlessly.

  1. What is an Instagram Chatbot?
  2. Examples of Instagram Chatbots
  3. How Does an Instagram Chatbot Work?
  4. How to Create an Instagram Chatbot?
  5. Best Practices to Optimize the Use of an Instagram Chatbot
  6. Wrapping Up

What is an Instagram Chatbot?

An Instagram chatbot is a conversation bot integrated into Instagram that replies to customers’ messages automatically. It is designed to interact with customers with human-like conversations.

Some of the main functionalities of an Instagram chatbot include:

  1. Automatically answer DMs with authentic replies and interactive action buttons.
  2. Automatically reply to comments on posts and Reels.
  3. Provide product recommendations
  4. Help place orders
  5. Send a welcome message to new followers
  6. Send messages about new promotions

Simply put, an Instagram chatbot is an all-in-one virtual customer support and marketing agent for your business.

Examples of Instagram Chatbots

To better understand the Instagram chatbot, let’s take a look at two existing Instagram chatbots.

  1. SHEIN is a global lifestyle and fashion online retailer with over 30 million followers. If you DM it with “Hi”, its chatbot will start and begin engaging with you for follow-up conversations.
  2. Jenna Kutcher is an online business coach with over one million followers. If you DM her with the message “QUIZ”, you can start talking with her chatbot.

Overall, hundreds of businesses are now using chatbots for Instagram to better engage with customers.

How Does an Instagram Chatbot Work?

Now that we know what Instagram chatbot is, the next thing to understand is its working principle.

An Instagram chatbot is like other chatbots built through conversation flow charts, which allows it to interact with customers to answer their questions or take specific actions. There are three main elements in the conversation flow chart:

  1. Trigger: It tells the chatbot when to launch.
  2. Action: It tells the chatbot what to do.
  3. Nodes: It tells the chatbot what conditions cause a specific action.

For example, you can trigger the chatbot when a customer sends a DM. Most Instagram chatbots today are powered through ML and generative AI, so they can understand customer sentiments and respond accordingly. In short, the Instagram chatbot follows a predefined conversation flow chart and uses the internal knowledge base to respond.

How to Create an Instagram Chatbot?

Looking at the capabilities of an Instagram chatbot, it seems a complicated job to create one. However, it is easier than you imagine.

There are now visual chatbot builders that allow you to easily create an Instagram chatbot within minutes. So, let’s now discuss the steps to create an Instagram chatbot:

Step 1. Fulfill Prerequisites

You have to fulfill a few prerequisites before beginning to create an Instagram chatbot. So, the first step will be to fulfill the below prerequisites:

  1. Make sure you have created a business/creator Instagram account. You can also turn your personal account to professional account by clicking Settings and privacy > Account types and tools > Switch to professional account.
  2. Make sure your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook page. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your brand, create one and then link to the Instagram account.

Once you have fulfilled the above prerequisite, it’s time to start building the chatbot for Instagram.

Step 2. Link Your Instagram Account to Manychat

There are many chatbot builders to choose from, but we will use Manychat because of its easy-to-use interface and cost-friendly plans.

In this step, you have to create a Manychat account and link to your Instagram account. So, go to the Manychat website and click “Get started free”.

Select “Instagram” as the connection channel.

Click “Continue With Facebook” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the verification and login process.

Once the verification is completed, select the Instagram account you want to connect with Manychat.

Step 3. Make Manychat Your Instagram Receiver

Now, you have to make Manychat your Instagram receiver. For that, go to your Facebook page and click Manage > Page access.

Click “Advanced Messaging”.

Next to the “Instagram receiver”, tap “Configure”.

Select “Manychat”.

This way, Manychat will now receive all Instagram messages.

Step 4a. Create First Automation with Manychat-powered Instagram Chatbot – Auto Reply to DM on Specify Keyword

Let’s now create the first automation with the Manychat-powered Instagram chatbot. In this automation, we will make the chatbot reply automatically when a specific keyword is written in the DM.

Suppose you run an online retail brand and often get DMs from customers about how to pay. So, you can make the chatbot respond with a specific message whenever a DM contains the keyword “payment”.

From Manychat, click the “Automation” tab from the left sidebar and then click “New Automation”.

Now, you have to specify a trigger that can activate the chatbot. So, click “New Trigger”.

Select “Instagram” from the left sidebar and tap “Instagram DM Keyword”.

Enter “payment” as a keyword to respond and click “Create”.

Specify the answer you want to send automatically to the customer. Once done, click “Set Live”. This way, your Instagram chatbot will now automatically reply to all the DMs that include the word “payment”.

Step 4b. Auto Reply to Comment and Send DM on Specific Keyword

Suppose you are a fitness coach and want to give a 50% discount to customers on the fitness program who comment on your post with the keyword “GAIN”. So, you can automate the reply to the comment and send the specific DM using the Instagram chatbot.

From Manychat, create a New Automation and then click New Trigger. However, this time choose the “Post or Reel Comments” option.

Under the drop-down of “comment contains any words”, add the “GAIN” keyword and a few of its misspelled phrases.

Turn on “Public auto-response in Feed” to automatically comment inside the customer’s comment. Afterward, specify a few responses you want to use as comments. Manychat will randomly use them for comments to avoid making comments look like scams.

After that, you have to specify the message you want to send as a DM to customers who have commented. Set the messages as “Send as Comment Reply” and then type the message.

Afterward, click “Add Quick Reply”, to add a button that customers must press to unlock the discount.

Once customers have pressed the button, you can send them another message to provide the discount code.

After designing all the above triggers, click “Set Live”. This way, your Instagram chatbot will now automatically reply to comments with the keyword “GAIN” and send them interactive DMs.

You can follow the above steps to empower the Instagram chatbot to assist in many other customer service and sales activities.

Best Practices to Optimize the Use of an Instagram Chatbot

Now that you know how easy it is to create an Instagram chatbot, let’s quickly talk about a few best practices to optimize the use of an Instagram chatbot:

  1. Use Instagram built-in analytics insights to evaluate the interaction of customers with the chatbot and then make changes accordingly.
  2. Place interactive buttons beneath most of the chatbot responses to engage customers.
  3. Make the chatbot direct customers to Reels for better product demonstration.
  4. Incorporate images, emojis, and other media content in your chatbot responses.
  5. Ensure chatbot responses are clear and concise.
  6. Make chatbot reply to customers’ comments to bring more engagement.

In short, developing an Instagram chatbot is one thing, but optimizing it to meet customers’ expectations is an ongoing process. Therefore, continuously monitor your chatbot’s performance and elevate its outcomes with new strategic initiatives.

Wrapping Up

Instagram chatbot is very useful for businesses that use Instagram as their main sales engine. It not only automates their customer service but also streamlines many sales/marketing activities, like replying to comments/stories, sending promotional messages, etc. Therefore, follow the steps discussed in this guide and build your Instagram chatbot.

In addition, if you also have interactions with customers on the website, WhatsApp, email, or other platforms, you can use VOC AI Chatbot to create a single AI chatbot and integrate it across different platforms.