Since April 2019 businesses have been able to create profiles and connect with their customers on WhatsApp.
From its humble beginnings in 2009, as an app that allowed people to send messages, photos and videos over Wi-Fi, WhatsApp has become the world’s favourite messaging app.
Just ask their two billion (billion with a B), global users.
Facebook took note and bought it in 2016 for a whopping 16 billion smackeroos. American. Shortly after the acquisition, new features such as Group Chat and Group Video calls were introduced.
While Facebook has plans to integrate WhatsApp and Instagram, they still intend to keep WhatsApp as a standalone business.
Should businesses be using WhatsApp? Hell to the yes.
As a platform, WhatsApp was designed for personal communication. You create a personal profile and invite others, mostly people you know, to chat with you.
No public profile means you can’t drop a line to just anyone.
Businesses were using WhatsApp to unofficially communicate with their customers before they launched WhatsApp for Business.
That was a little frowned upon because it wasn’t in-line with WhatsApp’s principles.
Now businesses can create public profiles that include their contact details and be available for anyone to chat with.
So, are brands using WhatsApp for Business?
According to WhatsApp, since launch over 5 million business profiles have been created on WhatsApp for Business.
My favourite feature, especially for small businesses, is the product catalogue. Brands can create a catalogue highlighting their most current offering and link directly to their e-commerce sites.
Which brands are using WhatsApp for Business?
According to Digiday, especially publishing and fashion brands are flocking to WhatsApp:
- Adidas using WhatsApp as a Direct Marketing channel.
- Absolut using WhatsApp for brand marketing.
- Financial Times using WhatsApp for sharing free content and driving subscriptions.
- Netflix using WhatsApp in India to introduce new shows.
- KLM using WhatsApp for sharing flight details, providing customer service and other details.
- OYO using WhatsApp for staying in touch with their customers.
- Hellman’s using WhatsApp for engaging customers in Brazil.
- YOOX using WhatsApp for offering personal shopping services.
That means prioritising creating meaningful engagement with people and giving them a reason to share their first-party data with you.
Platforms like WhatsApp for Business may take a bit more effort than what we’re used to, but they can become a vital life-line that sets you apart from the competition.