WhatsApp could prove to be a critical business tool. WhatsApp calls, WhatsApp chat, WhatsApp Stories! WhatsApp is no longer a just a convenient way to communicate with your friends and family.
It has fast become the best way to discuss business with your co-workers. WhatsApp has replaced Facebook, which is ironic since it’s owned by Facebook. Does that make it another social media horse to ride? Oh yes, it does – just a strange and tricky one at that.
Here are a few ways to use WhatsApp in your business;
If you sell a product dedicated to helping first-time moms with newborn babies, then it might make sense to create a support group for them using WhatsApp. Here are the rules:
- People have to indicate that they want to join this group. You can’t just add them in.
- You cannot, cannot and will not post one single post about your product or services on this group. The mere fact that you’ve created this helpful group is good enough to create a sense of bonhomie. Remember, this is all about creating trust.
- You will naturally, as per all social media channels, have 10-20% of the group actively chatting, 50-60% lurking (reading but not commenting) and 10-20% permanently annoyed at the level of chatter filling up their inbox.
- You’ll need to manage the over-communicators, make rules clear, give warnings to people who break the rules (privately first) and remove any negative posts.
- You’ll need a full-time chat group monitor once you hit full-steam, as things can escalate quickly if left too long.
- The monitor can post jokes, helpful content and ask questions to keep conversations flowing. Just remember that WhatsApp is more invasive than other platforms and you always stand the risk of spamming users.
Now that you have these groups, you could divide them into cities and organise meetups, which is another great way to non-invasively involve your brand in their lives, building loyalty.
WhatsApp gives you the option to send a bulk message out to all of the people on your contact address book. But the problem is that it’s impossible to think of something that everyone on your address book is interested in.
WhatsApp Status gives you the option to create short, disposable content updates, giving your contacts another way of engaging with your life or your brand. In order for your customers to see your Status, you will need to be a saved contact number on their phones.
Have a shop? Encourage customers to add your cellphone number into their phones to stay up to date with your latest offers and specials.
Offer customer care or have a call centre? The above applies, but this time, inform them that they can receive notices of services downtime or notifications.
Humans love handouts, therefore they love competitions. You could use Status to post competitions, and send out a broadcast message telling your customers/prospects to watch out for Status updates from your brand.
Some brands still don’t understand that Social Media is just another channel for your call centre to manage and oversee. It’s the same as email, the same as phone calls – some clients these days prefer to make their complaints public so that other people see them. WhatsApp can also be used as a channel for customers to lodge their complaints:
- Create a unique cellphone number for your business to manage WhatsApp complaints.
- Load WhatsApp Web and connect your phone by following the prompts. WhatsApp Web allows you to manage.
- WhatsApp on your browser, which is much easier than using a phone to type. You can now copy and paste from your service tracking system into WhatsApp Web, saving time and reducing errors.
Here are a few negatives to be prepared for:
- You could discover that it’s not always good to be accessible 24 hours a day on your mobile device. Some customers expect an immediate response, even over weekends.
- You may find it hard to distinguish between social and business communication, hence the need to create a separate number for your business, if you’re going to use it.
- You might receive a lot of negative feedback from customers who were added without their permission, or who forgot that they gave you permission.
- It could become more of a distraction to your everyday life than an asset.
- Whichever way you look at it, WhatsApp is the future of communications, and all new platforms need to be approached with caution until they are fully understood.