Whatsapp is a chat programme that lets you exchange messages with other app users. Sounds much like standard text messaging, you say? Well, you’re right, to an extent. The difference is that Whatsapp allows longer messages, photographs, video and even spoken messages. Whatsapp also makes it very easy to create closed groups of users where members can chat and message amonst each other. So it’s little wonder that already more than one billion users have installed the app on their phones.
A major portion of Whatsapp traffic is chatter and messages between friends and family. But more and more companies are using the app to get in touch with customers. If your (potential) target audience are twenty- or thirty year olds, the app might just be an interesting new way to reach out to them.
Whatsapp makes it easy for people to reach out to you with questions or complaints. An added benefit is that it’s easy for customers to actually illustrate an issue with a photograph or video. Something you can’t do in a regular phone call, for instance. And you can turn that right around and send your customer extra audiovisual materials to make a point or show a solution.
You can even use Whatsapp within your company, to launch internal group chats, for instance. You might set up a private group to announce daily or weekly plannings. This way, all that information is neatly stored in a central location that is always accessible to your employees. So no more mailboxes exploding with update after modification after revision.
If you’re selling something new or you have a product promo on, why not share it via Whatsapp? You can send the same message to a maximum of 250 people in one go, as a mailing list of sorts. Of course, no recipient can see who else has received the message. But, if you opt for this strategy, it would not be a bad idea to invite your customers on Whatsapp and ask their permission first. Most people don’t like to get spammed, and that includes via Whatsapp.
By now, it’s quite commonplace to share web content via Facebook or Twitter, but you can do the same via Whatsapp. You can do this by adding a Whatsapp button to your site. This way, your visitors can share a page or article on your site with friends and family.
Two things you need to keep in mind: if customers want to contact you via Whatsapp, they have to take the initiative. So make sure to put your mobile phone number on your web site and mention it in all your contact details. And before you launch into it, try to figure out if Whatsapp is right for you, your company, your strategy and your target audience. If your customers don’t use Whatsapp or don’t like it, there’s not much use in continuing up that path.
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