Bots are cool. But they only do what they’re programmed to do.

The following is a real conversation between a member of the Church Communications Facebook Group that we’ll call Les, and a Christian clothing outlet store via Instagram DM’s. One of them is a real human and one is not. Can you tell which is which?

We start in the middle of the conversation, in which Les has sent a message to the store with a simple question about the ministry that we will call “Waterloo Ministries” to protect the company from embarrassment. Let’s listen in….


Les: What is Waterloo Ministries?

WM: Hey! Thanks for the DM! This is Stephanie. How are you today?


Les: What is Waterloo Ministries?

WM: Great! We reached out to you because we love your feed and we would love to work with you! Have you heard of us before?


Les: I don’t believe so!

WM: I will tell you a little about us. We are a new Christian brand. Our mission is to help raise money for children in Uganda with the money we raise with our sales. A portion of every sale goes to Waterloo Ministries.


Les: Cool. What is Waterloo Ministries?

WM: Take a look at our website and let us know what your favorite items are? (Sends link with attachment)


Les: What is Waterloo Ministries?

WM: Mine is our “Y’all Need Jesus” hoodie or one of our bracelets. I would love to create a discount code for you. Once you receive the item, we would love to post a picture to show your support.


Les: What is Waterloo Ministries?

WM: I just made this code “JESUS20” for you. It’s good for 20% off your entire order for 48 hours. The following like (whoops) will automatically apply your discount code. (gives long link with attachment)


Bots are cool and all, but if you’re going to do one, make sure you have a plan for someone asking the basic questions.

And what exactly IS Waterloo Ministries?! Turns out, it’s a pretty huge organization doing great things. But not with Les. Les doesn’t know what they do. And neither does their social media robo-butler.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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