WhatsApp Business: A Small Business Guide (infographic)

If you’re looking for a fresh and effective way for your small business to reach out to customers, the answer could be right at your fingertips. WhatsApp launched its Business app on Android in 2018, and it is now available on iPhone and in most countries around the world.

WhatsApp Business is a separate app to the standard WhatsApp, created with the purpose of putting small and medium sized businesses into contact with consumers on a more one-to-one basis. It expands the easy-messaging format of the original WhatsApp, to incorporate business functions for sharing product information, responding to customer questions, and purchase updates.

What’s the reach of WhatsApp Business?

If you’re wondering whether WhatsApp Business will be useful to your business, the answer may depend on your typical customer base. WhatsApp certainly has a very healthy level of engagement, especially with young adults. There are currently 2 billion monthly users worldwide, and more than 80% of British 18-24-year-olds have it.

The WhatsApp Business app itself is already showing significant success, and shows how the market is evolving to incorporate the benefits of a digital interface. Consumers now much prefer to use messaging to communicate with businesses, and over 3 million companies have created WhatsApp Business accounts to connect with their target audience.

To familiarise you with some of the features of WhatsApp Business, and how you can make them work for your small business, HeadwayCapital have put together this useful infographic guide.

How does WhatsApp Business work?

WhatsApp Business has a number of features that could be useful for connecting with customers and offering an accessible and efficient service.

As with the original WhatsApp messaging features, the Business app enables you to communicate in real time with your customers, so you can respond to them without delay. However, with this app you can also save and reuse frequently-used messages to save time with common queries about opening times, delivery services, etc.

You can also share product information through the Catalog feature, which works like a mobile shop front to show what you have in stock, the range of products and prices. When you share this information with customers through one-to-one messages, you can offer a more personal service and help them find products that are relevant to their needs.

Whatsapp Stories offers a dynamic way to announce news about products, promotions and events, and you can also use broadcast lists to send mail outs that appear as one-to-one messages, which means customers are much more likely to engage. Then when you make a sale, purchase updates help keep your customer informed at every stage of the order process.

How do you get set up?

It’s relatively straightforward to set up a WhatsApp Business account, especially if you have used WhatsApp before, and have a clear idea of how you want to promote your services.

Once you’ve downloaded the free WhatsApp Business app, select your country and fill in your business Profile. The Profile should include key information such as your business name, location, industry, and your opening hours or appointment system. Your Business Description should help customers get a clear idea of what your business has to offer, and your unique appeal, so you can make a real impact with that.

How do you make it work?

The key to making WhatsApp Business work for your small business is to make sure you make your account accessible, engaging, and user friendly.

For maximum exposure to your target market, you should link your WhatsApp Business account to any relevant social media, websites, and email signatures that your business uses, to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you and access your services.

Think about ways to promote your new account to increase engagement, such as launching a giveaway that requires people to message your account to enter. You can then maintain these contacts by sending one-to-one messages for future promotions or offers.

The app also enables you to be creative in the way you communicate with your audience, so that your business feels fresh and people stay interested in what you have to offer.

Standard text messages can be useful and informative for direct communications, but there are also a variety of other message formats that you can use to keep things fun and engaging, from emojis, GIFs and stickers, to attachments, videos and images, and voice messages. Adding audio and visual input can help communicate your business’s character, and make you seem more approachable.

You can also advertise products, services, promotions and events using WhatsApp Stories. Use your status to create a buzz by giving your customers a personal insight into your business, and sharing sneak peaks of your creative process, new products, and collaborations.

To help you keep on top of which customers to reach out to for different promotions or WhatsApp Business app enables you to label existing chats so you can easily find chat histories for future reference.

WhatsApp Business helps you to make a personal connection to a wider customer base, and help your audience feel valued and respected. You can use it to reach out and promote products, and also to welcome feedback from loyal customers to gain valuable insights to inform future product development, improve your service, and build your reputation.

Considering that WhatsApp Business is free to download, the simple set up and marketing potential seem to be worth a go for small business owners looking to appeal to the digital consumer generation.

WhatsApp Business is the free tool that is transforming customer service strategies of businesses around the world. But starting a whole new channel can be daunting and time-consuming. That’s why Headway Capital created the ultimate guide to using WhatsApp Business. The step-by-step guide covers everything you need to get started with this vital tool today.
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