While you’ve probably already included platforms like Twitter and Facebook in your social media strategy, WhatsApp could be equally as important to your brand.
That’s right: WhatsApp isn’t just for texting your coworkers or video chatting with your family in a different city. It can be used for business, too.
WhatsApp Business was created specifically with small business owners in mind. It can help you connect with your customers and support them with immediate, personalized customer service.
If you’ve never considered adding a WhatsApp Business account into your brand’s social strategy, we’ll explore why that might be a good idea.
Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.
What is WhatsApp?
The mobile app uses the phone’s Internet connection to let you communicate with other WhatsApp users, making it an affordable alternative to international calling or texting.
WhatsApp was an independent messenger company when it launched in 2009, but Facebook acquired it in 2014. As of 2021, it is still owned by Facebook.
People use WhatsApp for business or personal use because:
- It’s free. The only charges you might get are data roaming charges.
- It’s reliable. As long as you’re connected to wi-fi or have mobile data, you can use WhatsApp to communicate with users all over the world.
- It’s widely available. There are WhatsApp users in 180 different countries.
- It’s not just about texting. You can use WhatsApp for voice messages, calls and video calls, as well as sharing photos, videos, documents, or your location.
8 WhatsApp stats you probably didn’t know
The numbers speak for themselves.
1. WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messenger app in the world
2 billion people worldwide use WhatsApp at least once per month.
This places WhatsApp ahead of other popular messenger apps: Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion users and WeChat with 1.2 billion users.
2. WhatsApp is the third most-used social media network in the world
It’s behind only Facebook and YouTube for worldwide popularity.
3. 58% of WhatsApp users use the app more than once each day
In fact, in the USA, the average person uses it 143 times a month.
4. As of 2019, WhatsApp had more than half a billion daily active users
That’s an increase from 450 million at the end of 2018.
5. Most of WhatsApp’s new users in 2020 are in the USA
Following the States, the countries with the most WhatsApp downloads in 2020 were Brazil, the United Kingdom, India, then Mexico.
6. 27% of American WhatsApp users are ages 26 to 35
7. WhatsApp mostly is used to keep in contact with friends and family
That’s why 82% of Americans use the app. Other popular reasons include strengthening a professional network (13%) and getting entertainment (10%).
8. The most WhatsApp calls ever made was New Year’s Eve 2020
A record 1.4 billion video and voice calls were made using WhatsApp on December 31, 2020.
How to use WhatsApp for business
While only 4% of American WhatsApp users downloaded the app to follow brands or companies, there is still huge value in using WhatsApp for your business.
WhatsApp Business was built specifically with the small business owner in mind and offers specialized solutions that can help you connect with your customers.
To get started, you need a WhatsApp Business account. If you don’t have one yet, follow these simple step-by-step instructions.
How to create a WhatsApp Business account
1. Download the WhatsApp Business app for Android or iPhone
2. Agree to the terms and conditions
3. Enter your business’s phone number
4. Fill in your details
After you enter your phone number, you will automatically be directed to this page. Fill in the essential details like your business name, add a profile picture and select a category that best describes your business.
5. Learn more about the WhatsApp business tools
In the next step, you can learn about setting up a product catalog for your ecommerce or automated messaging.
You can also skip the tutorial and go straight to settings.
Before you move on to advanced features like automated messaging, make sure to add more information about your business. You can manage addresses, hours and websites in the Business Profile category in settings.
6. Now, start connecting with your customers
That’s it! Now that you know how to create a WhatsApp account for your business, you can start using the messenger app to communicate with customers.
4 great uses of WhatsApp for business
So, why should you use WhatsApp as a business owner? Here are 4 things the app might help you with.
Elevate your customer service
With a WhatsApp Business account, you can make your social media customer service more efficient and personal.
On top of serving as a channel for direct messaging, WhatsApp Business has several tools that you can use to elevate communication with customers:
- Quick Replies. Save answers to commonly asked questions as templates and set up shortcuts. This will give you back the time you would spend typing out the answers to repeating questions. And, your customers will get their questions answered faster.
- Labels. Use labels to organize and categorize users and messages. This will help you sort messages by urgency and recognize returning customers. You can use pre-programmed labels or create new ones that make sense for your business.
- Away Messages and Greeting Messages. Set up these automated messages so your customer gets a response immediately, even if you’re unable to respond. This is a great way to set expectations for response times if a customer reaches out outside of your business hours.
On top of all this, it’s simply easy and affordable to communicate with international customers via WhatsApp Business.
Showcase your products in a catalog
You can think of WhatsApp Business’s catalog tool as a mobile storefront. It lets your customers browse your products without leaving the app.
This tool is useful for highlighting new products, seasonal collections or bestsellers.
Here are a few key facts about the catalog:
- You can upload a maximum of 500 products or services.
- Each product or service can include a title, price, description, product code and link to the product on your website.
- Each product has an image.
- You can share links from the catalog in WhatsApp conversations.
Communicate with colleagues or employees
WhatsApp Business isn’t just for communicating with customers. It’s also a useful way to stay in touch with employees. In fact, messenger apps like WhatsApp are used by 79% of professionals for communication at work.
Source: Digital 2020
The group chat feature lets you message with up to 256 people at one time. It’s possible to send PDFs and other documents over WhatsApp business. Files can be up to 100MB.
Network with other professionals
Finally, you use WhatsApp to communicate with others in your industry. The app’s video call tool can be used in a professional networking capacity, just like Zoom or Skype.
You can even sync WhatsApp Business with your desktop, so those professional networking calls can be done from your office computer rather than your phone.
4 useful Whatsapp business tools
Sparkcentral by Hootsuite
Sparkcentral makes customer service conversations a breeze. It’s an automated messaging platform, ideal for managing high volumes of messages.
Sparkcentral offers chatbots and AI solutions that help businesses automate customer service across social platforms — all in one dashboard. It works with WhatsApp, as well as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Instagram and more.
WhatsAuto is another solution you can use to build better auto-replies. WhatsAuto lets you create a chatbot, schedule auto-replies and easily turn auto-replies on and off.
Source: Google Play
Cleanup for Business WhatsApp
Download this business tool if you don’t want to spend time manually deleting old files off of WhatsApp. Cleanup makes cleaning up WhatsApp Business easy — you can select multiple files at once and quickly delete old images, videos, audio files, notes and profile pictures. The app works offline, too.
Status Saver For WhatsApp Scan
This app makes managing your business’s WhatsApp contact list easy. Use it to import WhatsApp contacts into your iPhone, merge duplicate contacts and connect with someone on WhatsApp without adding them as an official contact.
So, there you have it! Now you know why WhatsApp could be a great tool for your business. Don’t forget: messenger apps like WhatsApp Business are great ways to elevate customer service, and improve communication with both your customers and your team.
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