When people talk about social media marketing, they often think of popular traditional networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. But messaging apps are slowly catching up—and by number of active monthly users, they already have.
It’s clear that businesses can’t afford to ignore messaging apps. Apart from the rapidly growing user base, these apps provide two key functionalities that traditional networks don’t—personalization and authenticity. Business is based on building relationships, and all relationships start with conversations. Considering this, it’s easy to see how messaging platforms like WhatsApp can be of huge help to brands.
While some of what we’ve already written about Messenger will still apply, WhatsApp is unique in certain ways. There are more than 1.5 billion monthly users on the platform, and it looks like the number will keep growing. But before we get into the details, it’s important to understand what you can do on the platform.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a messaging platform that uses your phone’s internet connection to send messages, images, files, or make voice calls to other WhatsApp users. WhatsApp also has a business version, called WhatsApp Business, where you get all the features of the normal version, and a host of additional features. However, WhatsApp Business is only available for Android right now.
To use WhatsApp, you’ll have to download it first, and then set it up using your phone number. The app will use your phone contacts to show a list of WhatsApp users that you can chat with. If someone has your number saved on their phone, they’ll be able to see you on their list as well.
On WhatsApp, you can either chat with individual users, or create groups with up to 256 people and chat with them all together.
WhatsApp marketing strategies
While WhatsApp is a great platform for your business, there are a few limitations that come along with it. For instance, WhatsApp doesn’t support ads, nor does it have the concept of a business account. This means that brands will have to be more creative in the way that they approach potential customers through the platform.
WhatsApp’s group chat limitations also make it a poor choice for large scale campaigns, as you’re limited to 256 people at a time.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while running campaigns on WhatsApp:
Real-time customer chat
Through WhatsApp, you’ll be able to offer customer service in real time. WhatsApp has multiple features, like chat, and voice or video calls, that you can use to support your customers. This not only has the benefit of improved customer service, but also ensures that you’re able to provide direct and personalized treatment to your users.
It’s not just customer service that WhatsApp can be used for, though. You can also use WhatsApp to take orders from your customers, or provide them with special discounts.
It may also be a good idea to use WhatsApp Web to optimize your service. Using your computer’s keyboard and webcam will allow you to provide unparalleled support to your users.
Fully utilize WhatsApp’s features
WhatsApp has a lot of features that you can use to your advantage. For instance, the platform has its own status feature, which allows you to upload posts as statuses that disappear after 24 hours. You can use this if you want to be less aggressive in your marketing, but it’s also a great way to announce flash sales or offers to your customers. For instance, you can ask them to take a screenshot of the QR code on your story and present it at your store to receive a discount on their purchases.
On top of the status feature, you can also share your location with enquiring customers. If someone wants to know where your store is, you can directly send them the location in WhatsApp. The recipient will be then able to open it on their phones in Google Maps.
Finally, WhatsApp also has a payments feature, that allows you to send and receive money through the use of UPIs. The first time you use WhatsApp payments, it’ll ask you to set up your UPI, after which you can receive money, or send refunds to your customers. However, this will only work if your clients have WhatsApp payments set up as well.
Make messages more attractive
WhatsApp provides various formatting options to make your messages look appealing. You can either italicize or bold certain parts of your text to emphasize parts of your message. To italicize text, put it between underscores, and to make it bold, put it between asterisks.
Also remember that you can send GIFs, images, and videos along with your text. This can make your text more appealing to readers. You can choose to add emojis to your message, as well, to add a little expressive flair.
But never spam your customers with repeated messages! Make sure you type out everything you want to convey in a single message, broken neatly into multiple paragraphs so it’s easier on the eyes. Try to keep your content as brief and interesting as possible.
WhatsApp business app
WhatsApp recently launched the business version of their app, although it’s only available for Android right now. The business app has all the features of the normal one, with a few additions:
Profile: On the WhatsApp business app, you’ll be able to set up a business profile for your brand. You can add details, such as an email address, physical address, and a small description about yourself.
Labels: You’ll can also add labels to the different active chats. For example, you can tag a particular chat “new customer”, or mark a chat as “order received”, to keep track of customer requests. You can even create your own labels, as needed.
Quick replies: Quick replies let you save and use messages that you frequently send, to save time. For example, you can save “/thanks” as “Thank you for choosing us! We’ve received your order and will be processing it in the next few minutes. We hope to work with you again!”
Away messages: You can also set up away messages on WhatsApp, and turn them on whenever you aren’t going to be available to respond. Just compose a message that will let your customers know when they can expect a response, and you’re done.
Greetings: Set up a greeting message to send to your customers when they chat with you. You can use these to introduce your customers to your brand, let them know what services you provide, and the times you’ll be available to chat.
Statistics: WhatsApp also provides a few statistics in its business application. Here, you’ll be able to see how many of your messages were sent, how many were delivered, and how many were actually opened and read by your audience.
That’s it from us for today! Have any questions, or know of anything that we missed? Be sure to leave a comment below—we’d love to get in touch with you!