This article is meant to detail all that you need to know to make the most out of a WhatsApp Business application for the company you represent. In early 2018, the WhatsApp Business application was launched to help businesses better interface with their customers.
WhatsApp was acquired from Facebook back in 2014 for the cool sum of 19 billion dollars, and with this merger, WhatsApp would be named king of all instant messaging platforms in existence. This is an ideal tool that every company (big or small) could benefit from employing.
Before WhatsApp was reformulated for businesses to use, many companies were already employing this application for internal purposes and to better reach out and promote their business to the millions of individuals using WhatsApp. The trouble was, this version was only intended for individual people to use, and did not have the resources and features helpful to a growing company.
With this recent overhaul on the app for businesses, companies can expect to see a slew of new features to make basic processes easier and help them to have a dedicated line to the comments and concerns of their customers.
So, without further ado, let’s get into some of the new features you can expect to see.
The Primary Features of WhatsApp Business
Much like social media sites, you can create a profile that allows you to describe your business and to give the official URL and contact information for your company.
Automated Messages/Business Messages
You can offer a dedicated chat service to your customers through the app. Basic information can be inputted to allow for automated responses when they can be used to save you both time and resources.
You can get up to date information about what is working for your business based on what is being read and what isn’t.
This application will work in conjunction with the landline number that your customers already recognize.
Access To WhatsApp Web For Business
You can access all of the pertinent details and conversations for your account via the web service for WhatsApp Business.
Customers will instantly know that they are talking to a business based on the display showing that you are a commercial account.
All Of The Features You Already Know
Of all of the features that you already know and love about WhatsApp Messenger, the new versions for businesses allow you to use them all. You can send pictures, videos, emoticons, GIFs, and documents through the app.
How Do You Get WhatsApp Business?
Using an Android device, go into the Google Play store and type in the search query “WhatsApp Business” (here the direct link: WhatsApp Business). Tap “Install” and in a few moments the application will be on your phone.
For iPhone users, the application is still in development.
Open the app and you will be walked through the setup process. Once asked to associate a number with the account, you can put in the landline number that your customers recognize.
Verify this number by entering the code that you have received via text message.
You can set up your entire profile from this point, including automated responses detailing pertinent information for your customers.
You will notice that Google Play is not offering this app in all countries, but soon it will be everywhere that you are, even if you do not quite have it available yet.
There are varying degrees of the app, offering free versions that are ideal for small and medium sized businesses, while the paid version (Enterprise) is ideal for larger corporations.
The users of WhatsApp will not experience anything different to send messages or receive them from your business either, which makes it convenient for your customers.
Why Should I Be Considering WhatsApp Business For My Company?
Primarily, you can best utilize WhatsApp Business through internal management for your staff and as a priceless marketing tool for promotion.
To best understand these, let’s look at them both a little more closely.
1. Staff Management/Internal Communication Tool
As a successful company, you have likely already realized the value of using WhatsApp (personal accounts) to communicate with and manage the staff you employ. It is as simple as creating a group that includes all of the necessary personnel to contact at once, and in doing so, your company saves valuable time, money, and resources.
For example, this tool is utilized for management purposes by a leading visual engineering company FutureOn. This company is vital for finding smarter solutions for the future of the oilfield business on a digital platform and strives to seek the greatest technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of production.
You will find that this instantaneous form of communication has its perks to say the least. Not only this put management can utilize this messenger application for motivational purposes and to clarify objectives and offer feedback.
Having the opportunity to connect the entire team and give them up to the minute information boosts success in areas like conversion and following credible leads. Management can access updated group chats on a weekly basis to see real time statistics regarding ongoing negotiations and assess the appropriate actions to come.
All of these same features are also available to you through the WhatsApp Business Web service.
2. Communication With Your Customers
WhatsApp can help you connect with your clients as well. Leading experts in restaurant marketing, Forketers, have offered insight regarding how to make the most out of your business base in WhatsApp.
“If you contact your prospects by WhatsApp rather than with direct phone calls, you will get 40% more response. No one wants to receive calls from unknown numbers, but people are more likely to respond to messages. Since our restaurant owner clients started using WhatsApp to communicate with their regular customers, they noticed more answers and engagement.”
The benefits here are two-fold, as you can be far more direct than you would with a phone call while also being a little less formal at the same time. Let’s say you sent an estimate to a potential client and you are waiting for them to accept it. Instead of waiting on a phone call or email response that might never come, you now have an option that rarely rubs someone the wrong way.
Everything is faster and simpler through the use of WhatsApp, however. Now you can just send a short message that you will likely get a response from, which can save you a lot of time in the long run.
Communicating with your customers via WhatsApp can be done in different ways. Your Business account can be used from either a mobile phone or via a PC using WhatsApp Web.
You might be overwhelmed when you consider using an instant messenger like WhatsApp to deal with your wide range of customers. How do you manage all of these people? This Business version of WhatsApp can help you. While it is still in its very early stages of life, WhatsApp Business is already loaded up with time saving, customer management oriented tools to streamline customer service into the new era.
3. New Marketing Strategies
You might be able to easily see that WhatsApp is not going to be the best tool for literally marketing products or services that you are trying to sell, but it can be a great resource for making your company more down-to-earth and human to your customers.
Among the first social media marketing campaigns launched using WhatsApp came from Absolut Vodka back in 2013. They were coming out with a new brand of vodka for consumption, and invited anyone who was interested to try to get into the exclusive private party they organized. To do this, users had to convince Sven the virtual doorman that they should be on the guest list (through WhatsApp).
Absolut accomplished precisely what they wanted to, by not only bolstering the buzz about the new brand, but also getting a lot of feedback from customers and interested parties. When it was all said and done, Absolut had 600 new contacts and over 1000 media submissions, all in just 3 days. This is just one of many successful campaigns launched utilizing WhatsApp. Ideally, the best and most successful marketing strategies combine a primary social media service like Facebook or Instagram with the messaging ease of WhatsApp.
To understand how something like this could work for you, consider the lesser known Klik Chocolate brand from Israel. With the assistance of an advertisement company, this business created a game for users. They just had to save the WhatsApp number of the company on the Facebook page they had, and they started to get messages from Klik asking them to do certain tasks, like send a picture of a funny situation or taking a selfie with a sad face in a hurtful situation.
How did that work out for them? Their Facebook page had over a million views, involvement overall grew by over 50% and over 2000 people took part in the virtual game.
Universal Principles for Marketing Through WhatsApp
While the successful tales listed above might have you ready to jump in and do the same thing, creating your own unique approach will likely garner much better results. The possibilities are endless and more people are learning every day about the options they have at their disposal through WhatsApp.
Focus on communicating offers that are completely created with influencers in mind. Work on a way to make the campaign go viral and spread to new customers. Creating exclusive groups, offers and contests that utilize WhatsApp for communication purposes is a good start. You have to get creative and think well outside the box to set yourself apart from countless other companies looking to bolster business.
There are certain rules and guidelines that you should follow for any marketing strategy you employ through WhatsApp. Many of these tips come directly from Thestartupvideo.com.
Here’s What You Should Be Doing
- Share Your WhatsApp Contact Info On Your Site and Social Media
- Wait Until You Have A Strong Customer Relationship Before Reaching Out On WhatsApp
- Maintain A Professional Demeanor
- Be Sure To Respond To Customers Right Away
- Visual Messages Get Better Responses. Use Videos and Images In Your Messages When Possible
- Have Some Fun
- If You Are Not Available All The Time, Be Sure To Clearly List Hours You Will Be Available on WhatsApp
- Post A Promotion To A Social Media Site and Follow Up With WhatsApp
What You Should Not Be Doing
- Don’t send a message to every mobile number you have. If you start spamming phones, you will end up blocked
- Do not flood phones with an abundance of messages
- Do not ignore feedback from your customers
- Do not leave your profile inactive and refuse to update it. This sends a message that you are not interested in appealing to customers
- Do not make groups of people that have nothing in common with each other. Make sure that you have them linked by a common thread
You will find that there is still a lot of unexplored terrain when it comes to marketing with WhatsApp. Hopefully this article has shown you the vast benefits that can come from utilizing this application for your business. Just take the time to find the version or form that best suits the needs that you currently have. Be on the ground floor of a new era in digital marketing.
You have to understand that a failure to get with the instant messaging trend can leave your company well behind your competition. You do not want to lose customers or your status simply from being “set in your ways”. This kind of interaction and direct attention to your customer base gives you a unique perspective and a human persona to offer your clients, not to mention a more prominent standing to your customers as a business. This kind of foundation ensures that you have better returns on your marketing strategies, especially when you are coupling it with trends like social media marketing.