How to Improve Your Brand Using WhatsApp Business API.
By Stacy Ketiku
Apart from all the sales and promotion that happens on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, I won’t be mistaken to say that WhatsApp is a full-blown market place. Let me tell you how. Sometimes last year, I needed to get a footwear but visited the market on a wrong day; a wrong day in the sense that school kids were returning to school after the holiday and their parents brought them to shop. Virtually all footwear stores I planned to check out were overflowing with kids trying out their new school shoe. Shop owners could hardly attend to me in their small shops and I walked away with the intention of returning on a better day because I wasn’t patient enough.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks later, I saw a cool footwear displayed for sale on a contact’s WhatsApp status. Immediately, I sent her a message to enquire about the shoe and she replied, ‘Welcome to XXX, thanks for reaching out to us; we are all you need to give your wardrobe a facelift. You will be attended to in a moment’. In no time, she sent me pictures of the footwear in various colours as well as their prices. It felt great to know that I could get what I needed without lifting a finger; I placed an order and got my item delivered after 2 days.
Let’s Get to It
These days people buy from who they know and those they can trust; one way to build that trust is by drawing closer to your clients and prospects. You can convert prospects and make your clients stick with you when you consistently address their needs or pain points, give them professional advice, provide a platform for interaction and feedback, help them make a purchase or deliver a service as easily and swiftly as possible.
Do I enjoy going to the market? No. Would I feel better if I had someone to do the market runs for me? Yes. There are several prospects out there who are just like me, they need something done but won’t want to get their hands dirty so they’ll rather pay a fee to get perfect results. You should let your brand and marketing strategy cater for these types of people. XXX has since then become my personal shopper, she updates me on new arrivals as well as latest trends and anytime I need a specific design, I send her a text rather than losing my sanity in the market.
Why Use WhatsApp Business?
Simplicity and Convenience
According to a report by the Global State of Digital in 2019, they discovered that among the 98.39 million Nigerian internet users, WhatsApp is the most active social media platform in the country with 85% of users. There is no complexity in the use of the app, it can be used on both mobile and desktop internet-enabled devices to send messages, pictures, documents, and audio files to other users on your contact free of charge. The Business Profile page is like your traditional business card where you can include your brand name, location, open hours, website and email address to help people get information about your business quickly.
Build Customer Relations and Give Clients Support
The opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with your customers make them feel valued and accepted. You can show them pictures of the item they intend to purchase, advise them on your services and give them options they can choose from. In all, this strengthens your relationship with them and makes you their go-to person whenever they need your expertise or product.
Feedback should spur you to do better and improve all aspects of your business, this is the reason many business owners request for feedback. With WhatsApp Business it’s very easy to request for one and get a reply in minutes since the platform has a high open-rate. You could repost your client’s feedback on your status to serve as some form of social proof to show others that they can bank on you.
With the introduction of Status Update and Catalogue in the new WhatsApp Business, the platform now gives room for more visual content and people can check out what you sell or the services you offer without having to continually message you for this information. WhatsApp status update makes it possible for users to sell virtually anything without having to create a separate page for every single product. You could also run promotions and aggressively market a new product until it gets registered in the subconscious of your audience.
Automated Messages and Chat Labels
The first message I received from my personal shopper on the day I placed an order, is a typical example of a personalized automated message. Rather than make prospects wonder if they have messaged a wrong number, this auto message feature informs them that you aren’t currently online or have closed for the day and will get back to them as soon as possible. There’s nothing more annoying than feeling ignored when you urgently need a response. Furthermore, the Chat Label feature allows you to segment your contacts into different categories which makes it easy to communicate with them based on their needs or labels.
The only advantage other social media platforms have over WhatsApp is visibility. With platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, a wide audience can find you and learn about your brand without following or interacting directly with you as long as you have strategically positioned all information they need right there on your page. However, WhatsApp requires that you have a person’s contact before you can interact with them and they also need to save your number before they can view your Status Update. This only leaves you with the work of consistently building your contact list and ensuring that people save your number with your brand name.
Since WhatsApp is an informal platform unlike LinkedIn and Email, you shouldn’t make your posts strictly all about business else you’ll bore your contacts, get muted and ultimately forgotten. Be open-minded, fun and initiate pleasant conversations; on your page, you can repost educative, entertaining and enlightening user-generated content from other platforms and make people want to interact with you. In conclusion, be mindful of whatever you put up as a brand; don’t promote values you don’t wish to be associated with.