The key to a successful bot is thorough planning and thought. The team at The Bot Platform have been making Workplace bot for years now so we've compiled a list of our top tips to make your bot planning and launch a little bit easier.

This doc is split into three sections - planning, building and promoting.

Planning

Planning your bot flow

Planning your bot is crucial to its success. A well planned bot will also save you a lot of time when it comes to the build of it too. We recommend using flowchart software such as LucidChart to map out your bot journey(s). You can find out more about using flow charts to plan your bot here.

Branding your bot

You can find out more about updating your bot logo, name and description here.

Broadcasts schedules

Broadcasts are a great feature to use in your Workplace bot. Not only do they remind and inform your audience, they can also invite users to join the bot (see the Promotion section underneath). We recommend you set up a broadcast sheet if you are doing lots of broadacsts - you can access a sheet here.

Building

Default replies

We'd also recommend adding in a Default Reply, so you can instruct users how to use the bot if they don't know the trigger word. To create a default reply, first create the message you want to show the user - this could be a set of instructions on how to use the bot, or a simple text box and button to launch the Welcome Message. Then head on over the Default Reply section in the left hand column of the platform and choose this message from the dropdown list. Push your changes live, and the Default Reply should be ready to go.

Appropriate media sizes

Make sure your media is the appropriate size to avoid slow load times and odd looking images. An image message part can consist of either a jpg, gif or png. Images can come in any size, but we recommend you keep them below 2MB so the load time is reduced. GIFs should be in a .gif format and we also recommend they are around the 2MB size. You can upload a GIF that is up to 5MB in size, but the load time may become longer. But feel free to give it a go and test if you can't get the file any smaller. Video must be MP4 files and must be less than 15MB (anything under 10MB is ideal for load time). Ideally, they should be under 1 and half minutes too - no one wants to spend too much time watching a video within a bot! If your video is longer or higher in resolution, feel free to link to a Youtube page. This is super easy - simply create a button and link the video URL in the button settings. A carousel image can be landscape or square. For landscape images use the following dimensions: 1200px x 630px or an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 for square a ratio of 1:1 is used.

Promoting

Promoting a bot within your existing Workplace system is super easy, as there are a plethora of ways to get your bot out there. We hone in on two types of promotion - push and organic.

Push

Push promotion is reliant on setting up broadcasts within the platform to send a ping out to your desired audience (link to broadcast doc here). The ping will then send your required message to your user and invite them to interact with the bot. Broadcasts work especially well when first launching your bot and for events. Broadcasts can be too too invasive however, so please make sure you don’t spam your users. We also recommend setting up a clear opt out route within your bot, so users can choose to stop receiving broadcasts.

Organic

This is where you drive people into the bot, rather than pinging them directly. The most simple way to do this is to provide a https://w.m.me link. You can personalise this to link to your specific bot by adding the bot FBID to the end of that URL - this can be found on your bot dashboard in the platform. For example, if my bot ID was 11145180487192, the direct link would be https://w.m.me/11145180487192. Please note that you will see a longer URL (https://work.facebook.com/chat/t/xxxx) on your dashboard - this will not work for mobile devices so please bear that in mind.

You can also ask people to search. For example: "We've just launched Libby to help provide access to important information. To use Libby, go to work chat and search for "Libby", you can ask Libby all kind of questions including "What's our vacation policy?"

We also recommend selecting champions for the bot who can help promote and distribute it within their teams.

Have team leaders and super users to demonstrate the bot. Create a video of how the bot works and share it with teams.

Involve teams. Creating a bot can be a great team building opportunity. Get teams together, have an open discussion about pain points. Allow them to identify them, include them in the decision and bot design process, so they own it and the outcomes. Allow teams to experiment and test out bots that resolve their business and team needs. They can then demonstrate the benefits to other teams.

Other techniques

Group broadcasts are by far the most efficient way of driving awareness and adoption of Workplace bots. Using the broadcast feature, you can send messages to all members of a group on Workplace.

Mark as important

Workplace has a feature called "Mark as important" allowing posts to appear above all others in the news feed. Choose your Group, write your message, Post it and then you can Mark as important

Internal champions

Another great way to increase awareness of your bot is to ask internal champions/influencers to post about it on their own Workplace profiles. We suggest picking a handful of influential stakeholders of relevance to the event and giving them a shareable asset and some intro copy to post. Get the bot high visibility and endorsements from executive staff.

Ask the CEO or Senior Directors to film a short video or announcement endorsing the bot?

Physical posters

This might be a slightly old school way of promoting bots, but it works. Create some simple posters that show a key screen from the bot, a short and concise description and instructions for how to find and access it. Place these posters in high traffic areas by the event entrance, meeting areas or the coffee machine.

On-site screens

If you have screens in your offices, why don't you have one of the bits of information on loop being something to promote the bot. Explain how your team member will benefit from using the bots.

Further support

If you'd like to chat through any of the above or any bot ideas, feel free to book in a Bot Surgery here. Bot Surgeries are in depth chats centred around any ideas or questions you may have.

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