4 Ways to Use WhatsApp for Business

Posted on October 13, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building

Most social marketing strategies are currently centered on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest but WhatsApp may be the next major thing. Facebook definitely thought so. The WhatsApp purchase (when Facebook dropped $19bn to acquire the IM service) left a lot of people confused. But only until it struck them that WhatsApp reached around 450 million active users since US citizens Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded it in 2009. It’s also estimated that the growth rate of the service is about 1,000,000 new users per day with a high percentage of these users residing outside the US.

whatsapp-logo

If you do the math (so cost per user), it becomes pretty clear why Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp makes a lot of sense. Especially when you consider the fact that the acquisition meant that Facebook effectively got access to the user information of nearly 500,000,000 new customers.

WhatsApp for Business

With that said, WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that prides itself on providing users with a simple, personal and real time messaging platform and having no ads, no games and no gimmicks. But marketers have found ways to leverage the popularity of WhatsApp for business.

The question is, how do you use an instant messaging service to help your business goals?

The answer is pretty simple. Think about it. In countries where text messaging is expensive or less accessible, WhatsApp is very popular. Users of the app heavily rely on it to connect with their friends and family and save on their cell phone bills. Small businesses in countries like India have leveraged this fact to communicate and engage with their clients and customers. And the new link between Facebook and WhatsApp makes this communication and marketing channel even more intuitive.

Fair enough, for marketing purposes, it’s critical that businesses maintain an active social media presence but WhatsApp… WhatsApp takes it to the next level by enabling instant messaging between businesses and prospective customers.

Even as we are talking about it right now, in some countries, businesses have started to put their WhatsApp number on billboards and their website. This is particularly true in the case of specialized businesses in India according to the Economic Times.

So essentially, while Whatsapp may not currently be a comprehensive solution when it comes to social media marketing, it’s getting there. Businesses can use WhatsApp for:

1. Growth

WhatsApp is obviously a powerful platform to connect with potential customers. By incorporating WhatsApp in your marketing strategy, you can open a new channel of communication between your sales team and WhatsApp users.

2. Customer Retention

With WhatsApp, you can hope for a closer and more personal relationship with your customers. The instant messaging service enables you to send out quick updates, address customer queries, follow-up on a sale and resolve complaints.

3. Internal Productivity

And finally, because you can create and manage groups on WhatsApp, the messaging service allows for you to form groups to interact, discuss strategies and share business updates with your teams (marketing, sales, HR and so on) no matter their (or your) geographical location.

4 ways to Use WhatsApp for Business

1. For customer service and support

Most businesses use Twitter for customer support but if Twitter is not your kind of thing or that’s not where your customers are, you can use WhatsApp instead. Because WhatsApp enables you to send and receive instant messages and supports multimedia, your messages are not restricted. It’s also more personal than using Twitter.

2. For customer communications

Advertising on WhatsApp is a violation of the app’s terms of service. However, you can use it to communicate with your customers. For example, you can

  • Market to a target audience who subscribed to your texts about exclusive offers, special events, discounts, new products or coupons
  • Confirm deliveries
  • Pass along important news and updates

3. Use it for events

If your business organizes frequent events, a WhatsApp Group is an easy and very effective way to keep your contacts on the same page. Once you have the phone number of your regular attendees, you can send out important updates and supporting multimedia content to the members.

4. Quick communication with coworkers

And finally, if you’re at home or on vacation and you need to quickly let your IT team know about a certain problem, all you have to do is send out a message, the advantages being that it’s secure, it’s fast and it’s reliable. You know what else? It’s not limited to 140 characters. With WhatsApp, you can also easily schedule meetings, pass along important information in a meeting and get news fast. WhatsApp is clearly a simple and cost-effective way for small groups of people to stay in touch with each other.


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Comments

  • Erin Symons

    I’m stoked I came across this article. I just published a similar blog about using WhatsApp and other mobile messaging apps for work. I’d love for you to check it out, and let me know your thoughts. There’s definitely some more secure alternatives out there, which is especially important when you’re communicating with customers and prospects.