Every brand explores ways to get noticed and build connections on social media. You go where your audience is, right? If your brand doesn’t have a presence on messenger apps, like WhatsApp, you may be missing the opportunity to widen and strengthen that web of connections.
Did you know that messenger app user numbers have caught up to those of other social networks?
WhatsApp ranks as the #1 messaging app with:
More and more frequently, brands are building connections on messenger apps. If your brand is not yet present on WhatsApp (or you want to improve your presence), we compiled some best practices and secrets for successfully using the app.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a free mobile app that allows you to chat with other users through your phone’s internet connection. After connecting to the app with a phone number, you can share images and files without SMS charges and have free voice and video calls. This app gives you fun, multimedia options to share with your audience.
Three Ways to Share
There are three ways to use WhatsApp to market your brand:
1. One-to-One chat
This is the feature for which every messenger app was intended: to chat directly with another user. Along with voice and video calls, you can also record bits of audio to text with this app.
2. Broadcast Lists
Broadcast lists are useful when it comes to efficiency and privacy. Anyone who has your number saved in their phone’s address book will receive a one-on-one message. If/when they reply, you will see an individual message from them. No one else will be notified of their response.
*Limited to 256 contacts
A different option is available with Group chats, which allows you to have a socially engaged time with your customers. This can be a fun way to share your messages with photos and videos. Everyone in that group chat can respond and see all other responses.
*Limited to 256 contacts
Success on WhatsApp relies on answering the questions of how, what, and when you should share. Identify who your audience is on WhatsApp and what your goals are for the platform. Spend some time on the app, discovering the typical and most shareable content. During your recon, think about the type of content you could share exclusively on WhatsApp. What would add value and relevance for your target audience?
How do you share?
You can choose between the style of a social post or a newsletter. With the social post style, you create content on one central topic, typically including short text, visuals (image or GIF) and a link. Creating a newsletter in WhatsApp allows you to share a wider range of content, on a variety of topics and each with their own links.
When do you share?
Everything in life seems to be about timing. The success of any marketing campaign can sometimes hinge on when the content was shared. When is your audience most engaged with WhatsApp? Would your newsletters, broadcasts, and group chats garner more involvement if they were sent in the morning (7-8am)? Or would the early evening hours, around 6pm, be more effective? Will sharing on certain days of the week be the secret to your success? As we often say, “Test, Measure, Optimize, and Repeat” in order to find what’s best for your brand and its audience.
How often should you share?
Your brand will also be more successful if you test the optimal amount of messages to send. Where is that hot spot between too many and too few? There are tons of industry benchmarks outlined online that can provide you with a baseline. Start there and then adjust accordingly.
What is your tone of voice?
Your voice on messenger apps needs to be cohesive and consistent with your brand’s overall tone of voice. But should you be formal (like in an email) or portray a more informal, friendly tone? The vast majority of brands on WhatsApp lean toward the more informal end of the spectrum, while holding true to their brand’s unique voice. Identify where your brand lands on the formality spectrum, and don’t forget the emojis! 👍 Three to five emojis per message is ideal.
Take full advantage of the multimedia aspect of WhatsApp by sharing content with a mixture of images, animated GIFs, emojis, videos, and audio.
*Pro tip: Podcasts on the app are popular! Just try to keep your podcasts to under 15 minutes.
To sum it up…
WhatsApp’s features are not yet as numerous as can be found on Facebook Messenger, but the needle is moving in that direction. Finding the best way for your brand to work with the unique aspects of WhatsApp will give you a distinct advantage, especially since marketing on the platform is still in its early stages.
Once you familiarize yourself with the platform, check out the hidden features of WhatsApp with our article: WhatsApp’s Features & Secrets.