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Reach new audiences remotely and sustainably through the power of chatbots

20 August 2021

Chatbots are an excellent way for charities to reach new audiences remotely and sustainably. But what exactly is a chatbot? How and why is a chatbot an excellent option for charities to consider implementing? And what work is involved in setting it up?

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is artificial intelligence (AI) software that can generate a conversation with a user through applications such as Facebook messenger.

This automated tool is designed to quickly answer questions, in a natural, informative way enabling customers or supporters to find out specifically what they need to know instead of talking to someone directly on the phone – especially if they are not accessible to one at the time.

However, a chatbot doesn’t have to just be a tool to answer questions, you can be as creative as you like. For example, at Social Republic our team created a chatbot for the British Red Cross and turned it into a first aid quiz for anyone to use from the comfort of their own home. This was an extremely effective addition to The British Red Cross’s Facebook Messenger platform as it helped empower its audience to learn first aid skills in under a minute.

How you can use a chatbot as a charity

As a charity, you can use a chatbot in various ways, suiting it to your specific needs.

The different ways charities can use a chatbot include:

  • Answering questions anyone has about what your charity does. Questions could be: how do you donate?
  • Creating a fun and engaging quiz for your supporters to get involved in. From educational quizzes to ‘get to know’ your charity quizzes. You can be as entertaining or informative as you like.
  • Directing your supporters to a specific landing page to find out more information on a specific topic. An example could be to a specific blog or a campaign your charity is running.

In the case of the British Red Cross the charity wanted to help parents learn life-saving, first aid skills in under a minute with their children and a first aid quiz was the perfect way to do this, which fitted seamlessly as a chatbot. An example of one of the quiz questions as shown below included: ‘What way should you ask the child to lean?’ when a child gets a nosebleed.

Why a chatbot is a good option for charities

A chatbot is a great option for a charity for several reasons, the main benefits include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – A chatbot is a cheap and easy way to create engagement as well as interacting with your supporters. British Red Cross’s chatbot drove over 2,000 visits to the First Aid Champions landing page.
  • Ability to deliver more breadth of service – With a chatbot, you can respond to supporters 24/7.
  • Reach wider audiences remotely – Queries can be answered from the comfort of your home and anyone around the globe can use the chatbot.
  • Simple and easy to use interface – You can build your first chatbot with a platform like Chatfuel in as little as three minutes with its user-friendly design.

These are only a few of the benefits of having a chatbot as a charity. With the flexibility of this tool, you are also able to adapt it to suit your goals and connect with supporters efficiently.

So what work is involved in setting up a chatbot

If you are looking to set up a chatbot, we recommend using the platform Chatfuel, the leading chatbot platform for Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

Platforms like Chatfuel and other similar ones like Mobile Monkey, Aivo and Imperson, work by having a drag-and-drop interface which means there is no technical knowledge needed to set up your own chatbot.

With this kind of platform, you can create different flows – or the path that a user will take essentially – from asking a question to finding out the specific answer.

Within Chatfuel there are three main elements that will form your chatbot. To put it simply, these are:

  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)

Once you have created your flow, or pathway, you can then connect it to your charity’s Facebook page and when a user sends your page a message the chatbot will respond. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to find out more detail and the step-by-step process on how we created a first aid chatbot for the British Red Cross, then head over to social republic’s blog here.

Creating a chatbot doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task, no matter what type of charity you are. This excellent tool is perfect for anyone. It will not only save time but most importantly you will be able to connect with your supporters in an efficient and adaptable way. 

So, what are you waiting for?

You can read even more about the quizbot in Engaging audiences through mobile platforms.

If you enjoyed this you may also like How Tommy’s adapted to use voice technology to deliver health information.

Banner Image: Kindel Media on Pexels

Hannah Jarvis

marketing executive, Social Republic

Hannah is a marketing executive at Social Republic and specialises in copywriting, content creation, reporting, research and blogging.