1. How to build a bot from scratch?

    1. Connect your Instagram account to Chatfuel

    2. Add an Instagram flow

    3. Set up Entry Point

  2. How to test your Instagram bot

  3. Can I use Instagram Automation?

Finally, Instagram Automation is here! 🚀

With Instagram Automation at Chatfuel, you won't have to process common requests from Instagram users manually anymore. You can automate the interactions with them and generate leads and sales from your DMs, post comments, Story mentions, and replies.

How to build a bot for your Instagram from scratch

Connect your Instagram account to Chatfuel

Here are two important things to know about it:

  • You can't use a personal account for this. You need an Instagram Business account

  • Your Business account must be linked to a Facebook Page that you previously connected to Chatfuel.

For more, read our detailed instructions on connecting your Instagram to Chatfuel.

Add an Instagram flow

Head to the Flow Builder (also referred to as Flows) that lives in the Automation tab and add an Instagram flow, using the +button.

Instagram Chatbot Chatfuel

There are three main elements inside any flow:

  1. Cards (basic elements of your bot, like content)

  2. Blocks (vertical stacks of cards grouped together)

  3. Connectors (circular points from which you can drag an arrow that will connect one card to the next)

💭 Think of it this way. In real life, a conversation all starts with words, which you put together into sentences. In Flow Builder, cards are like words. Use them to build sentences or blocks. Link the sentences with punctuation, or connectors. Once you have a few blocks, you've got a conversation or a flow.

There are six types of blocks you can build available within Instagram flows: Send Message, Bot action, Split traffic, Condition, Delay, and Redirect to Flow.

The first two are the most basic, common types of blocks:

  1. Send message blocks. Build these blocks from content cards like Text, Text + Quick Replies, Share from account, etc. Use them when you want to send something to the user (information, photos, posts from your account, etc.).

  2. Bot action blocks. Build these blocks from action cards, like Set User Attribute, Notify Admin Via Email, Live Chat, etc. Use them when you want your bot to perform a background action, like saving, changing, or sending data. ❗️Note that Send JSON Request plugin works only for the most essential elements: text, quick replies, attributes, images.

Cards for Send message blocks ⬇️

Cards for Bot action blocks ⬇️

If you need your bot to behave in a more specific or complex way, try building one of the other four block types:

3. Split traffic: Run A/B tests or randomize answers options your bot gives to users.

4. Condition: Redirect users to different parts of the flow based on conditional criteria.

5. Delay: Send messages later, after a certain amount of time has passed.

6. Redirect to Flow: Send users to the next flow when they reach a certain point. ⚠️ Note that flow redirection only works within one type of flows. You can't redirect your users from an Instagram flow to a Messenger flow.

Set up Entry Points

To bring new users to your flow, set up Entry Points. Without them, your bot simply won't work. Don't forget to toggle the Entry Point on using the toggle switch in the top right corner of the card when you're ready to activate your bot.

How to test your Instagram bot?

Currently, the Test This Flow option available for Messenger flows doesn't work in the case of Instagram. So what can you do then?

  1. If Instagram automation is already available for your account (check the availability at the link below), you can test your bot by writing to it yourself.

  2. If Instagram automation isn't yet available for your account, then you can create a test account. It should start with @test_ (e.g. @test_YOURNAME). Before you connect it to Chatfuel, remember to:

    • Link it to a Facebook Page for which you have admin rights

    • Check that you're using an Instagram Business account, not a personal or a Creator account

    • Make sure you have allowed access to messages in your Instagram account. To do that, go to your Instagram Business account Settings ⇒ Privacy ⇒ Messages and check that the Allow Access to Messages toggle is on.

When you do that, you'll be able to connect this account to Chatfuel and test your flows by writing to yourself.

Can you use Instagram automation?

Check your eligibility.

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