WhatsApp has recently launched WhatsApp for Business, with the aim of targeting small business specifically. It is important to note that, at this stage, WhatsApp Business is only available for download for Android devices, sorry Apple users, you will have to wait.
WhatsApp is an incredibly attractive platform for businesses. With more than 1.3bn users, it’s larger than Instagram, which Facebook has developed into one of the most popular social platforms for marketers.The best thing about WhatsApp is that almost everyone uses it and it does not require any training.
WhatsApp Business allows business owners to create a business page, similar to that of a Facebook Business Page. It’s a great way for small business owners to communicate with their customers, respond more quickly to messages and gather very useful analytical information.
The low down
If you currently have a standard WhatsApp account, you can transfer all you call and chat history to your WhatsApp Business account. Look at backing up your current history. You will not be able to transfer this history back to your regular account if you decide to stop using WhatsApp Business. Both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business can be used on the same phone, but require different phone numbers for each as you cannot use the same number for both.
Like the original version of WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business allows you to interact with customers in the form of a chat. WhatsApp Business offers small business owners a number of tools to help organize, automate and speed up the communication process. Analytics data is particularly useful as it will provide information regarding the number of messages sent, opened and read by your customers.
Businesses are only able to contact users who have provided their phone numbers and have agreed to be contacted over WhatsApp. Users must opt in to receive communications from your business. This means that businesses wanting to put the messaging platform to good use will need to develop marketing and engagement strategies that promote such opt-in.
If you do your follow-ups on WhatsApp Business instead of direct phone calls, you could get 40% more response. No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When using WhatsApp Business for customer communication you may see increased response and engagement.
Set up a business page
Now the part of setting up a business page. To start the business page setting, you must click the menu button (icon 3 points) at the top > then click Settings > then click on Business Settings > and then click on Profile.
Now you are on your business page. To edit, click the pencil icon.
Profile picture – Use an image of your business, like your logo. The smallest size is 192 pixels by 192 pixels.
Location – Specify your business address, you can also use the map that is there.
Category – Choose the right category for your business.
Business Description – Try and duplicate the description used on your Facebook page or Website.
Business hours – State the hours of your business.
Email – How customers can contact you, we recommend using a business email.
Website – Add your website address here and provide links to your social media sites.
Then, check that everything is normal and correct. Then click the “Save” button.
Set up automatic messages
Using WhatsApp Business you can set up automated messages for your customers. Start by clicking business page setting, click on the menu button (icon 3) at the top > then click Settings > then click Business Settings > and then continue to the “Messaging Tools” section.
Here you can edit these messages.
Away Messages – Automatic messages can be set as soon as you are not available or out of the office. You can also schedule these messages automatically at certain times, for example when your business is closed.
Greeting Messages – You can set a notification to be displayed to customers when they first call or after 14 days of inactivity.
Quick Replies – You can create predefined messages and create keyboard shortcuts for them to save the time to send the message.
Verification levels of business accounts
WhatsApp has also created verification levels for business accounts, this is particularly helpful for customers:
Verified: WhatsApp verified that a trusted and official brand is the owner of this account. A verified account has a green mark-up in the profile.
Approved: WhatsApp has confirmed that the phone number of the account is compatible with the phone number of the business. An approved account has a grey mark-up in the profile.
Business account: This account is a business account, but it has not been approved by WhatsApp. A business account has a grey question mark tag in the profile.
In conclusion, it’s time to play around with the new features and get started on communicating with your customers.