WhatsApp For Business – Does It Make Sense?
July 31,2019 / Haroon Juma / Marketing Blogs
WhatsApp For Business – Does It Make Sense?
As the most popular messaging app in the world, with over 1.5 billion monthly active users across 180 countries, WhatsApp is a huge opportunity for business.
Brands are starting to understand the power of WhatsApp in its arsenal of communication tools taking into account some constraints that limit use in broadcast or lead generation marketing:
- WhatsApp currently doesn’t serve ads and its encrypted messaging system means targeting would be very limited
- WhatsApp Business users need to pay for each message they send unless customers message them first.
Nevertheless, companies have implemented successful strategies for customer service, one-on-one communications and even non-traditional marketing campaigns.
If your business still thinks the cost per message and limited advertising features unsure about having a presence on WhatsApp is worth your time and money, please read on.
Why use WhatsApp in Business?
The scale of WhatsApp and ability to use impactful media makes it an attractive conversational tool. However, brands have focused on three major benefits:
Enhance your customer service channel- Engage with customers quickly and easily on a platform they’re understand.
Exploit as a digital communications channel. WhatsApp Status has over 450 million daily active users. Messaging groups of customers can reach up to 256 people at a time, while 1:1 interaction can build relationships to strengthen brand loyalty.
WhatsApp is a more powerful marketing tool than you may think. Brands are beginning to explore more impactful use cases. From sending paid visually appealing notifications to directly messaging leads, there are plenty of strategies and features marketers can use to increase conversions and revenues.
How to use WhatsApp for small businesses or for enterprise (WhatsApp Business vs. WhatsApp Business API)
If you’re using WhatsApp for business use cases, avoid doing so through a private account. You are likely to lose access to critical conversations that improve your understanding of your customer and features to support your business.
1. For Small Business: WhatsApp Business
This app is available for Android and iOS, and accessible as an online WhatsApp Web that you can use in-browser
WhatsApp Business is specifically designed for smaller companies that want to organize their presence on WhatsApp. It’s free to use, but more limited in its capabilities than the WhatsApp Business API.
Business Profile: You can create a publicly-visible profile with information about your business, including email address, location, description, URL, hours, logo and more.
WhatsApp Business Statistics: You can see basic analytics reports about your account activity such as the number of messages sent, delivered, read and received.
Labels: You can add custom color-coded labels to active chats with customers to keep them organized.
Greetings: You’re able to set up a default greeting message for customers that start chats with your business.
Away messages: You can pre-set messages to send to customers when you’re not online.
Quick replies: You can save frequently-used responses to send quickly by typing short commands starting with “/”. For example, if you save a quick reply telling customers your address, you could type “/address” to automatically send a pre-written message like “Thanks for asking! Our address is 123 Main Street.”
The WhatsApp Business makes business information more readily available to customers and helps with sorting active chats. Plus, it has some auto-reply capabilities and enough response templates to handle a smaller customer base.
2. WhatsApp Business API?
However, medium and enterprise-sized companies will probably need a more if dealing with large numbers of users or want to add more functionality or automation. That’s where the WhatsApp Business API delivers.
In addition to all the features in WhatsApp Business, the WhatsApp Business API lets brands leverage WhatsApp’s code themselves to get deeper insights and add their own features and integrations. This can allow brands to design and implement:
- More advanced use cases to enhance customer dialogue with impactful media
- Integrate into their business processes with more impactful conversations for brand differentiation
- Leverage the tags for messages delivered and read to assess and react to customer responses
- Record conversations into their CRM and maintain a single thread into a social inbox
- Build automation, triggered messaging and BOTs into a brand customer journey map
Unfortunately, only about 100+ companies currently have access to the WhatsApp Business API, and public use is still limited.
The easiest way to develop and implement your strategy and use case support is through a a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider such as Twilio. As a Twilio partner we support clients to technically integrate and optimise their business workflow use case support.
For enterprises, the opportunity for WhatsApp API is huge if considered in the context of targeted customer enhancing interactions in their customer journey. Mail and SMS have their own place and also limitations, for example email can get filtered into spam folders and SMS can limit the richness of the customer conversation. Therefore, adding WhatsApp to your communications arsenal could prove the difference for your brand.
So, avoid using your personal WhatsApp account for business and tap into the possibilities of WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.
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