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WhatsApp Business: Is this form of communication worthwhile for your business?

Your business should be on WhatsApp… Why? Because WhatsApp statistics show that 1.6 billion of its users access the messaging app every month (Statista, 2019). WhatsApp is fast becoming one of the world leaders in communication apps. While this communication app was initially used for personal messages between friends, relatives, colleagues etc, it has since gained popularity as a business-to-customer communication channel.

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download app, available on Android and iPhone, and was built with the small business owner in mind. Businesses can interact with customers quickly and easily by using tools to automate and respond to messages. It is easy to use, as it is intended to feel and work just like WhatsApp Messenger, which we are all accustomed to using to send messages, photos and more.

Why do I need to use WhatsApp Business?

There are so many users on WhatsApp that the platform is hard to ignore. Earlier this year WhatsApp hit 2 billion users, closing in on Facebook, which currently has over 2.5 billion users.

Number of WhatsApp Messages Sent per Day

WhatsApp is not just impressive because it has a massive number of users, it is impressive because of the engagement that the messages get. WhatsApp users send about 65 billion messages per day, which translates into about 750 000 messages per second. User engagement with WhatsApp is at an all-time high; averaging out the 65 billion messages per day means users are sending 43 messages per day, on average.

What is even more noteworthy is that, with the read and receipt indicators, WhatsApp users have a lot of psychological pressure to respond to people who are messaging them. Although it is a bit early to know definitively if this effect transfers to chatting with businesses, there is some evidence to suggest it has.

WhatsApp Business as part of a communication strategy

Integrating WhatsApp Business into your external communication and marketing strategy can be a necessary tool to help you remain competitive. WhatsApp Business will help you create superior brand connections, as your profile gives you the opportunity to inject your brand personality with every customer interaction. WhatsApp is no longer seen as an informal type of online conversation, but rather an instant way to communicate a well-planned message to your audience at the convenient location where they are most likely to receive other forms of messages as well. Your WhatsApp branded business identity serves as the familiar face that greets users when you message them, increasing their trust in you and their loyalty to your business.

You are connecting with customers where they already are. In fact, a Dimension Data study, conducted in 2019, reveals that nine out of ten consumers would prefer using messaging to communicate with businesses. WhatsApp Business gives you the opportunity to engage globally and if you want to tap into a more global market, WhatsApp should absolutely be part of your communication strategy.

Today’s customers want to reach out to businesses and have real conversations, not just respond to one-way messages directed at them and this is where the two-sided conversations of WhatsApp Business play an integral part. As a business, you can send business-related messages, business updates that your customers might be interested in, short “how to” videos, your latest specials, links to blogs on your website and images of your products or any other message that you feel your customer will be interested in. There is no set limit to the number of characters that you can use, but it is best to keep your message short and to the point.

Let’s get started with the WhatsApp Business app!

First, download the WhatsApp Business app for free and then follow the prompts to register. Setting up your WhatsApp Business profile is easy. Your business profile will need a photo that represents your business, your business name, phone number, e-mail address, website and a brief description. Now that you have set up your profile, you can start messaging your customers. When a customer receives your message, it will look the same as the messages you currently receive through WhatsApp.

You can use WhatsApp Business to do all the things that you are used to using WhatsApp for, like messaging and sending photos, and making voice and video calls. You can quickly respond to customers and the “quick replies” feature lets you reuse messages you frequently send, so you can answer frequently asked questions quickly and easily. There are also custom messaging tools, such as automatic greetings and away messages. WhatsApp Business also allows you to stay organised by giving you the opportunity to organise your contacts or chats with labels, thereby enabling you to find certain contacts or chats easily.

Ready to start a conversation with your customer? Get started with WhatsApp Business today – ask ICSC how.