In my quest to equip you with tips on how to use social media platforms for business today I’m on WhatsApp. Some people tend to think that WhatsApp isn’t that good for use in business but that’s not the case. If you aren’t fully leveraging on WhatsApp for your business you’re actually missing out on a lot. The active usage of the platform should show you how much of a big deal it is. Well over 1.5 billion people actively user it every month and it’s being used in at least 180 countries in the world. Surely if you want to make some huge strides in your business you must tap into that pool of people. Before we get into some tips let’s look at:

Why Should You Use WhatsApp For Your Business?

The first reason is that it’s a messaging app. You might then wonder what the big deal is about its being a messaging app. Well, there was a recent global survey done that showed that messaging ranks 2nd when it comes to ways customers prefer to interact with businesses. WhatsApp is the top messenger app in most African countries. Locally it is the top messenger far eclipsing other messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger. Virtually anyone who has a smartphone has WhatsApp installed and being their preferred means of communication. That means if you set up a WhatsApp number for customer service it would be most appropriate. People are always on or regularly checking on their WhatsApp accounts so reaching and interacting with your customers would be easy. It’s also very common for viral content to spread quickly on WhatsApp due to easy share-ability of messages. This is a characteristic that can be pivotal for conducting your marketing drives. Let’s get into some tips:

Don’t Let A Day Go By

The cardinal rule is never let a day pass by without responding to messages from customers. A closer look will even show you that even those 24 hours might be too long to pass before responding. Customers expect prompt responses – remember they’re on WhatsApp most of the time. On average, it’s said that customers now expect to get a response instantly or in a few minutes time. There are numerous studies that have shown that there’s a direct correlation between purchases and customer loyalty & message response rates by businesses.

Use WhatsApp Business

If you want your business to get more useful features then you must use WhatsApp Business. A lot of people use the regular WhatsApp messenger and have no idea that there’s a business version. You can download it for free on the app stores. With WhatsApp Business your profile can be more detailed since you can include things like your operating hours, website, email address and business description amongst others. The cool thing about web, email or URL addresses you include on the profile is that they’re clickable. You can logically organize your chats by adding labels to them. It’s also possible to institute automatic greeting and away messages that anyone who gets into your inbox can receive even if you’re offline. You can generate automatic quick reply messages. These are just some of the features that WhatsApp Business provides so it’s important that you use it for your business.

Diversify Your Messages

The items you can send or share on WhatsApp are varied namely, text-based messages, documents, PDFs, images, GIFs, video, audio, voice messages, location details, emojis and even contact details. Often time people lose sight of the many possible message formats by sticking to just mainly text-based ones. Try to diversify and bring variety into how you compose your messages for different purposes. You must bear in mind that people are mostly attracted by visual content so use all the available format features. Some things that are overlooked are actually key in sending messages properly. For instance, emojis are more than just for fun and can be used to avoid misinterpretation of messages. Sending an ‘OK’ with a smiling emoji next to it can avoid the possible misinterpretation of a message as being rude.

Strategically Use The WhatsApp Status Update Feature

Statistically, almost half a billion people actively use the WhatsApp status update feature every day. This means you can take advantage of that feature to actually do marketing. This feature can be very useful for your marketing since you can use it to redirect customers to landing pages. It’s possible to include a clickable link on a status update e.g. to your website. You can post images, short video clips (30 seconds long). People usually check their status updates regularly so take advantage of that. Currently, local people tend to prioritize text-based status updates since they consume less data so bear that in mind.

WhatsApp Web Is There For A Reason

As a business, you might have a large customer base that needs your attention. Handling and responding to their messages using a mobile phone can be counterproductive. This is where WhatsApp Web comes in to help optimize your message handling and responding. By accessing WhatsApp Web which on you can synch up your phone to the WhatsApp site using a PC e.g. a desktop or laptop computer. This will enable you to access your WhatsApp account screen on the PC. Effectively you’ll be able to type and scroll using the PC keyboard and mouse which will increase your speed and productivity.

These are 5 of some of the useful tips that can enhance your use of WhatsApp for business. Publicize your business’ WhatsApp number so that customers know about it. Some businesses still rely on calls and Facebook Messenger for customer service. That trend is slowly changing as more and more businesses are now setting up WhatsApp accounts solely for their businesses. You’ll be amazed to know that Fresh In A Box uses a WhatsApp number as its main ordering portal aside from their website.