Although the throne of instant messaging applications continues to be dominated by WhatsApp, during the last year Telegram it has undergone significant growth.
Just as WhatsApp Business provides additional dynamics for business communications, in Telegram there are also useful tools to enhance these messaging instances.
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram does not offer a specific application for business or provide alternatives to create business profiles. However, this platform has tools that can provide great benefits for these purposes, as long as your target audience is a user of this service.
How to create a bot for your business in Telegram
If you want to automate conversations, you can create a bot through different methods.
A simple alternative, which we reviewed earlier in 2019, is Manybot. With this service, which runs directly from Telegram, you can configure a bot from scratch, with step-by-step instructions.
For purposes broader than those offered by Manybot, Telegram itself offers a tool to create bots. Is about BotFather, a kind of “master bot” that can be found through the Telegram search engine. This bot allows you to create and manage new bots.
To create a bot through BotFather, just type in the chat command / newbot and then, when requested, assign it a title and username. After that, an API Key will appear in the chat that can be linked to other applications to manage automated messages. Some free alternatives are ChatCompose Y Respond.io.
Also, if you want to add an instance of real-time communication in addition to the automatic responses, you can use the same API Key to link your bot to a software CRM that supports this integration.
If you want to try even more advanced tools, Telegram has a Official guide for developers about their bots, with interesting examples such as integration with payment systems or the possibility of managing an account Gmail as chat.
Telegram channels, an open space for dissemination
If you need to distribute content to a large audience, Telegram channels are a good option. They work in a similar way to a WhatsApp group, but with the ability to emit messages restricted exclusively to users who manage the channel, who can publish both personally and on behalf of their brand.
The issuance of messages can be approached as in a normal chat and can also be automated through tools such as IFTTT, which allow content from other sources such as blogs or social network profiles to be published on the channel.
Those who join these channels do so as subscribers. Unlike a group, within a channel no user can see the list of subscribers.
Channel administrators can directly invite their first 200 subscribers. Once that limit has been crossed, new subscribers will be able to continue arriving through the other channels available from the beginning, such as the app’s search engine or its direct link, which contains the channel’s username (for example: t.me/wwwhatsnew).
To learn more about the possibilities of using Telegram channels, a Official guide in Spanish.
Despite the differences with WhatsApp, these two options that Telegram offers us can be a perfect complement to expand the communication spaces of your business, especially in these times in which this latest messaging platform has increased its user share.