Chatbot Dos and Don'ts - Kath Clarke
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Chatbots are a great way to automate the collection of information from people and guide them to the right information they need, however it is important to realise that you are working within Facebook’s environment and you need to abide by their ever-changing rules and policies or you may find yourself potentially banned from using their services.

The goal of this article is not to provide you with a definitive list of what you can and can’t do, but to give you a general understanding of what you can do with a chatbot and how you can keep up to date with Facebook’s messenger policy changes.

DISCLAIMER – We do our best to keep articles and strategies up to date but it is your responsibility to make sure you are not violating Facebook’s terms and conditions.


  • A basic list of what you can and can’t do with a chatbot

  • Where you can find more information about the changing Facebook Messenger and Chatbot Policies



  • You can use a chatbot to collect people’s information and send it to other applications, i.e. your CRM to trigger different events or marketing activities, providing people to understand where their data is going. For example, ask people where they would like you to send their voucher? Not just what is your email?

  • You can send an automated message with any promotional material for FREE within 24 hours of them interacting with your chatbot. For example, if they sign up to receive a download about losing weight, you can ask them if they want to signup to your private group or free challenge with an automated message within 24 hours of them saying ‘yes I want to download this’, but you can’t send the same message 25 hours or two days later.

  • You can personally message people who have engaged with your bot as long as it’s within seven days of their original message.

  • You can build an audience of people who engage with your chatbot and download their details to grow an audience on Facebook to remarket to with paid ads.

  • You can ask people to join groups.

  • You can connect your chatbot to other compatible systems to give people updates on their order, product consumption information or event updates.

  • You can use the chatbot to build engaging menus to help people find the right information.

  • You can use a chatbot to automate replies for questions you get asked a lot e.g. where are you? What do you do? What services do you offer etc?

  • You can use a chatbot to help navigate people through a funnel or deliver information including videos, downloads and other information.

  • You can use a chatbot to acquire leads from posts and comments on your page. For example, when you run a competition where the call to action is ‘comment here’, you can connect the post to a chatbot to collect people’s information or you can connect a chatbot to a page, so it automatically pops up whenever someone comments and asks them if they want more information? if people respond to the chatbot popping up, they can then talk to the chatbot and sign up for information etc

  • You can pay to send sponsored messages to everyone who is connected to your bot via Facebook Campaigns. This is the only way you can send out promotional material. So the goal is to make sure people engage with you, and you get them in a group or on your database.

  • You can use Instagram ads to get people to engage via messenger


  • You cannot use subscription messaging unless you are one of the few approved agencies/businesses. Basically, this means you can’t set up a subscription service that delivers daily videos or content to people unless you pay Facebook money.

  • You cannot send sales promotions to everyone for free or who hasn’t engaged with your bot within 24 hours. For example, if you are having a sale you can’t just message people, you need to pay Facebook money to promote your post.

  • You can’t personally send messages to people about sales if you haven’t spoken to them with in the last 7 days of Facebook. Facebook will know as they track how many messages you are sending via messenger.

  • You can’t trap people. You need to give people an option to unsubscribe from your bot.

  • You can’t send content to people that violates Facebooks T&C’s

  • You can’t automate the Instagram message services without moving people to the messenger app.



  • Make sure you are not spamming people with endless messages in person or automatically unless they have come to you. Facebook wants people to have a great experience and businesses to provide personal service

  • Use Chatbots to guide people to your groups and collect peoples information so you can phone or email them

  • Don’t excessively message people if they haven’t spoken to you after seven days

  • Don’t send promotional content to people who haven’t engaged with you in the last 24 hours

  • Use paid advertising to promote promotional content or activities, e.g. sales or downloads

  • Don’t rely on using a chatbot to deliver a challenge or a series of emails. You need to get them into a group with units, a membership site or your email database to do this

  • Use Chatbots to build an audience of engaged people and then download their data so you can remarket to them with paid ads

  • If you are not sure what you are doing is right or complies, don’t do it. Think of another way to get people messaging your bot to be safe then reply or give them information, e.g. put a post on your page for a secret sale and get people to message you to find out more.

  • Make sure you keep up to date with changes via that fuels blog and Facebooks resources.

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