Using Rules

Overview

Rules are a powerful way to automate common tasks like tagging, moving, assigning or even setting the status of, incoming conversations. In their simplest form, you'll setup a filter to match specific incoming conversations that you can then apply an action to. 

Filters

Filters allow you to target specific conversations, based a number of criteria like keywords or language, that you can then apply automated actions to. 

  • Contains – filter conversations by keyword (including hashtags) or phrase. This will search the body text of a given thread item (like a Tweet or Facebook comment). 
  • Contains (Include Links) – similar to Contains but will also search within links. For example, you can use this to search for keywords within links like UTM strings or to filter conversations that contain URL shortener links (like Buff.ly or Bit.ly). This option is used less frequently. 
  • Contains Only Mentions – filter conversations that only include user mentions or user tags but no actual text content. For example, when a Facebook user only tags a friend(s) in a comment on a Facebook post. This filter works or Twitter and Instagram user mentions as well. 
  • Begins With – similar to Contains, but will only match a conversations' body text that start with a given keyword or phrase. For example, pre-populated Tweets or other messages. 
  • Recipient – filter conversations sent to a specific Twitter profile, Twitter, Facebook page and Instagram profile. For example, filter all conversations sent to the Instagram profile BufferReply. Or, filter all conversations that are in reply to a specific Twitter search, like "Buffer Reply". 
  • Type – filter conversations based on type. We currently support: Twitter @mentions, Twitter Direct Messages, Twitter searches, Facebook comments, Facebook messages and Instagram comments. 
  • Language – filter conversations based on detected language. We currently support: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay,, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Urdu.

Actions

  • Tag – apply an existing tag to filtered conversations.
  • Move – move filtered conversations to an existing folder (conversations will skip the Team Inbox). 
  • Assign – assign filtered conversations to a team member
  • Status – set filtered conversations status. We currently support: Closed.

Use Cases

  • Filter out pre-populated Tweets: using the Contains filter, we can specify a keyword or phrase and then use the Status to automatically close these conversations. 
  • Assign shipping questions to Anna: using the Contains filter, we can specify the keyword 'shipping' and then use the Assign action to make sure Anna receives all shipping related inquires.
  • Tag conversations that are sharing our blog content: using the Contains (Include Links) filter, we can specify a keyword of blog.buffer.com to filter any Tweets that are sharing links to our blog posts. We can then use the Tag action to apply a 'Marketing' tag to these conversations, which we can report on later.