How to build a Year in Review bot

The end of the year is a great time to look back on the last 12 months and identify what you want from the year ahead. Using the Year in Review bot you can encourage positive self reflection from your staff, and get them thinking about their personal and work related goals and aspirations for 2020.

So, let’s show you how easy it is to build a Year in Review bot for Workplace by Facebook.

Summary

  • Time to build: 15 minutes 
  • Skill level: Easy 

If you’re familiar with how the Year in Review bot works then scroll down to the next section, otherwise we suggest taking a look at this short overview video that will show you the key screens and features that make up the Year in Review bot. 

What you need

In order to build this bot you will need: 

  • A trial account or log in for The Bot Platform 
  • Admin status on your Workplace instance so you can connect the bot
  • A computer that, ideally, is running Chrome
  • Some festive cheer. Because it’s the Holidays after all!  

Template instructions
Step 1: Creating an account

Ok, so the first thing we’re going to do is log into The Bot Platform. You can do this by clicking this link. Sign in using your TBP log in details. If you don’t have a TBP log in then you can sign up for a free trial using this link. Once you’ve done this you’ll need to verify your email. As we’re security conscious, we’ll use this as an opportunity to suggest all users enable 2FA too. 


Step 2: Launching the template

Once you’ve verified your email you’ll be logged in to your dashboard. If you’re a new TBP user then you’ll see a blank dashboard like the image below. As you build bots they would appear here. 

Click on the blue “Create a new bot” button. 

You’ll then see our template dashboard screen. There are a number of different templates you can choose and each has a ‘Learn more’ button that clicks through to more information about that particular use case. 

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to click on the ‘Year in review bot’ icon.

You’ll then be asked to name your bot. This is the name for your bot on The Bot Platform. We will come to what your staff see when they use the bot when we connect it to Workplace in step 4. 

Type in a name for your bot, for example “My Year In Review”, and click the blue ‘Save’ button. 

Congratulations - you have just created a bot! This isn’t live on Workplace yet, but you now have a template that you can start editing.

On the dashboard screen you’ll see a description of the bot and an overview video. Clicking on the ? icon will open this Help Doc.

We’ll come back to the orange bar at the top that says “Connect to Workplace” in step 4.

Click on the blue “Customize your bot” button and you’ll be taken to the message menu.

The message menu contains all the messages that make up a given bot. For the Year in Review template there are 14 messages which include the welcome message and 5 different questions that makes staff reflect on the last year and plan for the year ahead. 

Step 3: Reviewing and editing the template

We’re going to start off with the Welcome Message. Click on the blue ‘edit’ button to open that particular message. 

The Welcome Message is the first message your staff will see when they start using the bot. It is made up of 1 GIF, 3 message parts and a button. If you wish to edit any of these messages then simply click into the text box and change the text or emojis. Equally, if you’d like to change the GIF then simply click the camera icon and select a different GIF from your computer - although try and avoid using GIFs that are larger than 1.5mb. 

If you wish to click through the bot as if you were a user then you can do this by clicking on the text that says ‘Switch to Navigation’. This will make the blue bar change orange and will put you into Navigation mode which means you can click on the various messages to see how the bot is put together. This is a great way of easily seeing which messages you want to edit.

For example, clicking the ‘Let’s Go’ button takes the user to a message called ‘Question 1’ which contains the first question you can ask your staff. 

In this template the first question is about accomplishments from the past year that they are proud of. If you want to keep this then click the ‘User submits valid answer’ button. If you want to change the question to be about something else then click the ‘Switch to Edit’ button, edit as necessary and click the blue save button.

The next message you may need to edit is called ‘Question 2’ and, in the template, is about favorite work moment from the past 12 months. If you wish to change this question to something else then click the ‘Switch to Edit’ button and edit as necessary. 

Go through each of the questions in the template and change the content where necessary. 

The message ‘Question 3’ is about the nicest thing someone did for them this year.

The message ‘Question 4’ is about six words that best describe their year.

The message ‘Question 5’ is then about looking ahead at their goals for 2020. 

Leave or edit these messages as necessary.

Once you’re happy with your 5 questions you’ll need to edit the ‘Recap message’. This is the message that asks the staff member to confirm their responses before submitting. If you’ve made any changes to the wording or nature of the questions then you’ll need to change some of the text in this message. To edit the message simply click into the text bubble you want to change and start typing/deleting. Make sure you don’t delete the words that start with {{ as this is what pulls in the answers your staff have entered for each question. 

Once you’ve made any required edits to the ‘Recap message’ click the blue ‘Save’ button. 

The next message we need to edit is the ‘End message’. This contains information on the name of the Workplace Group where these responses will post to. Edit the message with the correct information and then click ‘Save’. 

Now we’re going to edit the ‘Get Started’ screen. On the left hand panel scroll down and click on ‘Get started message’ under ‘Settings’.

You’ll see the following screen. Most staff interact with a bot for the first time via a broadcast message which means they won’t see this message, but for anyone that finds it organically they will see this text. 

Edit or change the text as you wish and then click the blue ‘Save’ button. Then click the ‘Messages’ button in the left hand navigation menu.

The next thing we’re going to update is the Persistent Menu. These are buttons that sit at the bottom of the screen and can highlight the bot’s most important features. 

In this case, the Persistent Menu allows staff to get their Year in Review and also click through to the Workplace Groups where their colleagues are sharing their own Year in Reviews. 

Scroll down the left hand menu navigation until you see the Settings section. Then click on the button that says ‘Persistent menu’. You’ll see the screen below.

You’ll need to update the URL of the Workplace group where the bot is posting staff responses to. To do this, simply click on the cog icon and paste in the correct URL in the section where it says ‘URL to open’. Then click the save button and click save again on the screen below to continue. 

Step 4: Connecting to Workplace

OK awesome, your Year in Review bot is pretty much finished! We’re now going to connect it to Workplace. 

Click on the ‘Messages’ button in the side navigation menu and then click on the ‘Connect to Workplace’ button in the orange bar. 

You’ll see a screen that asks you to connect your Workplace account. Click the blue ‘I am a Workplace Admin’ button. If you’re not an admin, you’ll need to involve someone from your company who is in order to add the bot to your Workplace instance.

Ensure all the boxes are ticked on the next screen giving your bot various permissions and then click the red ‘Next’ button at the bottom. 

You’ll then be redirected to Workplace’s website and asked which Workplace account you would like to use. Click on the correct one. Note, you may only have one account to choose from here unless you have a test or sandbox instance that you have an account for too. 

Now we have the ability to customise how the bot will look to your staff and which groups on Workplace it has access to. 

We’ll start off with the bot name, description and icon. 

Click the ‘Customise’ button and enter the name you’d like your bot to appear as in the ‘Integration name’ section. 

Then update the description of the integration. Change it to something short and sweet like “Tell us about your proudest moments from 2019”

You can change the logo/icon of the bot too. For example, if you wanted the icon to be your company logo or any other icon - click the ‘Update logo’ button, add one from your computer and resize as appropriate. 

Then click the blue ‘Save button’. 

Now we need to select which groups have access to the bot. You can change this whenever you want, so our suggestion is to start off by connecting it to a test group or Workplace group that you and other Workplace admins or people you might work on the bot with are in. 

For example, you may have created a group on Workplace called “bot testing” or “2019 Year in Review” that only a few people are a member of. 

Click the ‘Specific groups’ button and start typing the name of the group or groups you want to connect the bot to. This means only people in those groups will be able to find and access the bot. 

Once you’re ready to launch it to the whole company you can add more groups or change the settings to ‘All groups’. 

Once you’ve added the correct groups, click the blue ‘Add to Workplace’ button. 

Wait a few seconds and then you’ll be redirected back to The Bot Platform and you should now see a green bar at the top of your dashboard that says “Success! Your bot has been successfully connected to Workplace”. 

Your bot is now connected to Workplace! Easy, right?

Step 5: Connecting to Groups

Now our bot is connected to Workplace, we can add in the functionality such as posting to groups or sending broadcasts. 

Click on the ‘Messages’ button in the left hand navigation menu. 

Scroll down until you find the ‘share answers response’ and click on the blue ‘Edit’ button. 

We’re now going to add the Post to Group feature into the bot which allows staff to share their Year in Review answers to a certain Workplace Group and, by doing so, encourage staff to congratulate their colleagues and peers on their achievements and create a positive and celebratory working culture. 

You can change the group that it posts to whenever you want, so if you’re not ready to post it to a public group then you can connect it to a test group you’ve created too. 

In the top message, which has the saved attributes, click on the text that says ‘2019 Year in Review’. 

You’ll see a dark blue screen. In the text box start typing the name of the group you want the bot to post this information. If you can’t see the group you want the bot to post to then click the ‘Refresh groups’ button. 

Once your Group is selected, click the blue ‘Save’ button. 

If you’ve changed any of the questions asked to staff then you’ll need to change that text here as well. Simply click into the top text bubble and delete/add the correct text as necessary. You can also change the emojis by clicking the emoji icon under the X cross. Be careful not to delete the text that has the {{ symbol in front of it though as these are the saved user attributes. 

Scroll down to the bottom of the message and you’ll also see a button that says ‘See the group’. This button contains a URL that links staff out to the group where these answers are posted, so they can see those of their colleagues.
To update the URL click the cog icon and you’ll see a dark blue screen like the one below. 

Paste in the URL of the group where these responses will be posted. The click the blue save button. Then click the blue ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the ‘share answers response’ message. 

You will now be redirected back to the message menu and see an orange bar with a button that says “Push the changes live”. Because your bot is now connected to Workplace, changes that you make to your bot will only appear to users on Workplace when you click this button. 

Click the ‘Push the changes live’ button in the orange bar. 

Your bot is now ready to use. Click on the name of the bot in the top left of the dashboard. In the image above we would click on the button that says ‘My Year in Review’ with the Workplace icon next to it. 

Click on that and your bot will open in a new tab on your computer. Or, search for the name of your bot on Workplace Chat on your phone.

The screen you’ll see is the Get Started message you edited earlier. Click the ‘Get Started’ button at the bottom of your screen to start using the bot. 

Your bot is now working! Have a play with it and run through the flow.


Step 6: Sending broadcasts

We’re now going to set up the broadcasts. This allows you to send messages out to your staff. 

You can send broadcasts to all staff, members of specific Workplace groups or custom segments of staff. 

Click on the ‘Broadcasts’ button in the side navigation. You’ll see a screen like the one below. Click on the blue button that says “Create a broadcast”.  

In the section that says ‘Select the message to schedule’ start typing and then select ‘Welcome Message’. 

In the choose a target for your broadcast select ‘Workplace Groups’ and in the ‘Send to group(s)’ section start typing the name of the test group you set up earlier, or a group that has people in that you want to test or use the bot. 

If you don’t see the group when you start typing then click the ‘Refresh groups’ button and try again. 

Scroll down the page and click the ‘Date / time’ section. This will bring up a calendar. Select the day and time you want to send the broadcast. Or, if you want to send it now, click the ‘Set to now’ button. Then press the blue ‘Schedule’ button to save the broadcast. 

You’ll then be redirected to your Broadcasts menu where you can edit, test and delete scheduled broadcasts. 

Once you’re happy that your bot is working the way you want it to work then you can create a new broadcast to the relevant Workplace group or segment of staff by following the same process above. 

And that’s it. You’ve now successfully built a bot that encourages your staff to positively reflect on the last 12 months, look ahead at the next year and share their answers with their colleagues. 

Congratulations! 

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