Using WhatsApp for business – the new important trend?
WhatsApp has become one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with 1 billion daily users. Besides being a phenomenon in the people’s private lives, the app is taking control in the work side of the story, businessmen and women using it more and more in their everyday business activities.
A reality that is seen also by the app’s owners that are getting ready to start capitalizing more on its success. According to Tech Crunch, WhatsApp is gearing up to finally monetize its messaging app by charging large enterprise businesses for tools to better communicate with customers. WhatsApp will also offer a free app to small-to-medium sized businesses, though it hasn’t outlined the specific functionality of the app. The enterprise solution will allow global companies “to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates”.
Moreover, recently, WhatsApp began testing verified accounts for businesses. “Conversations with businesses are encrypted and they can be blocked. Interestingly, if a business isn’t already in your phone number contacts, its name will appear as whatever they register themselves as instead of their number. This could allow WhatsApp to create a business search engine with optional sponsored results, or let businesses cold-message people, possibly for a fee,” wrote Josh Constine for Tech Crunch. More on the subject one can read here.
As the interest towards the app’s use for business is constantly growing, we are offering you some tips on how to maximize the app’s features on the professional life as well.
- Look at its importance in Customer Communication
- Asses the market you are working on
- Look deep within yourself and find your best features
- Work on developing them even more
- Of all of them find the differentiator, your USP (unique selling point), that makes you unique
- Define your brand and become an expert
- Be present in the market and make yourself known
- Generate brand awareness through networking and promotion
- Be a constant presence on the social media channels that are representative for your work
- Always keep on expending your network, strategic partnerships and focus on the game plan
- Don’t look focus, get rid of your ego and accept criticism
According to ProfitBooks, following up on WhatsApp instead of direct calling on the phone calls will help you get a 40% higher response rate. “No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers, but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When we start using WhatsApp for customer communication, we noticed better response and engagement. This also gives an opportunity to be little informal. For example, you have sent a quotation to your potential customer but haven’t heard from him, what do you do? You either call him or send a followup mail using formal language. Instead of doing this, if you just send a short message on WhatsApp asking about the status, you might get a quick response,”writes the website.
2. A great tool for Marketing, Promotion and Customer Support
WhatsApp could be a great tool for customer support simple because of its wider reach. Your customers would always prefer to send you a message over WhatsApp rather than calling a helpdesk number or talking to a robot.
Moreover, WhatsApp can prove to be a very strong marketing tool. It is a good one-to-one platform for direct communication, making it easy to send and receive any type of content (images, audio files, short video clips, etc), really fast, to users all over the world. Unlike SMS or Email, there are less restriction on the format and delivery chances are higher.
This doesn’t mean that you should spam your customers with WhatsApp messages. Ideally you should use WhatsApp to connect with existing loyal customers rather than trying to reach new users.
3. A place for using your creativity
Technology and digital are helping businesses become more creative, offering them the possibility to innovate and surprise their target on a regular basis. WhatsApp, like any fresh and hot app, makes sure it gives its users the chance to grow their business in a cost effective manner, all one has to do is be up to date with its technical features and try and see things from a different perspective. One can get inspired from here.
4. Great for Market Surveys
Whatsapp is a great interactive tool for getting real-time suggestions and feedback from your customers about your products and services, through brief and concise questions relating to the areas of your business or service you need information on.
5. Amazing for Internal Communications purposes
One of the greatest things about WhatApp is that is easy to use and understood by all types of target, almost everyone uses it. At the same time, as pointed out by vanguardngr.com, you don’t need to explicitly ask your employees or team members to check the app, because chances are they’re already hooked to it. “You can form WhatsApp group for different teams in your business, for example you can form a WhatsApp group for the Business Strategy team, another for the Sales and Development team etc. Your team can share ideas, instant messages, images, audio files, video clips and other media among themselves in a quick and fun way. You also don’t need to be too afraid of the information shared on the these groups getting out, because Whatsapp messages are protected with an end-to-end encryption that not only makes it one of the safest messaging apps in existence, but also adequately protects your data from leaks,” adds vanguardngr.com.
More pieces of information and ideas you can also read here.
The greatest mistakes a brand can make online
Waiting too long to launch a product / service.
Like in a relationship, so it happens in business: the perfect timing is essential. In the desire to be sure everything is perfect, most entrepreneurs or business owners wait too long, therefore missing the right opportunity to launch the business, the service or the product. It’s important not to forget to trust your guts and just go for it.
“Some people are waiting for some magic audience size “1,000 subscribers” or maybe “10,000 visitors” or whatever your number might be. Some people just can’t find the time to blog or podcast or make videos AND to build a product at the same time. It’s tough. Some people simply talk themselves out of creating a product because they’re afraid no one will buy it. They don’t want to fail after putting in so much time creating content. Whatever the reason, this is a fatal trap. If you’re building a business, you need to address the biggest risk head-on. The biggest risk you’ll face as a business is in creating something no one will pay for,” wrote Corbett Barr for fizzle.co.
Not checking and double checking before posting
Still, one must be very careful before sending the message into the world. Each post on social media should be treated with a lot of attention and care, otherwise it may do more harm than good. Often we see big grammar mistakes, pictures that are not doing any favor to the brand, wrong comments or even worse. Even they are taken down afterwards, it might be too late.
Fabricating pieces of news or information
For each brand the trust must be earned. People don’t like to be lied to or be mislead, therefore you must make sure that every piece of information you share with your target is 100 % true. Today, every piece of content is very easily checked by anyone. If you do make a mistake, make sure to apologize for it. Everybody can make mistakes, the important thing is to own it and act accordingly. Your target will understand and respect you. Don’t hide and act like nothing happened or erase the post.
The lack of patience.
Brands are not built overnight. Building an online brand takes patience. It’s something that’s built brick by brick with every tweet, every blog post, and every podcast episode. It’s built with every client one step at a time. One of the biggest mistakes business owners do is thinking that a brand can be build in only 2-3 months online and complaining after this short period of time that they aren’t seeing any traction. In reality, building a brand takes years of hard work, experience, people and investment, so make sure you think of all those aspects prior to starting on this road.
Not being consistent.
You can’t build an online brand without consistently putting a message out there. A social media following is gained in time, after a lot of work on strategy and implementation, an e-commerce business takes months of work prior to launch and after launch, until the first signs of success occur. Time and dedicated teams that are working towards the same purpose, following a strategy based on true insights. Constant content must be sent on regular basis to all the social media platforms of your brand, PR, marketing & sales efforts are also needed. Constant, insightful, creative and powerful messages, perfectly targeted to your interest group or groups. “If you’re having difficulty being consistent with your content creation as you build an online brand, try automating your social media needs and creating an editorial calendar for your site. The more organized you can be the better,” said Amanda Abella, writer and author of “Make Money Your Honey”.
Not putting customer experience first
Customer experience is one of the most important factors in your business, especially today in the world on the Internet and social media frenzy. Since your social interactions are public for everyone to see, your reactivity defines your brand and shows customers how much you care. The more you interact with them and show them your interest in them, the better. Don’t be shy on giving special discounts or mentions on your social media accounts to the people that are loyal to you and choose your brand on a regular basis.
Not really listening to their consumers
And believing that you and your team always know better. It;s important not to forget that from the unhappy consumers or the ones that choose not to buy your product / service in favor of another one, you can learn the most. They are the unbiased ones and their opinion should be treasured. Don’t just pay lip service to your customers. You don’t have all the answers, they do. There’s a reason why “the customer is always right,” because without customers you don’t have a business.
Focusing mostly on acquisition
It takes a lot more effort to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, so you may want to keep your customers happy. Offer help, give away freebies, or conduct regular surveys to make sure their needs are met.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes in social media, according to Forbes.
Top 10 Tips for Branding Yourself
source: Working Voices
Living in the era of social media power, when the information is the key and in everybody’s reach, finding oneself’s niche and becoming known is getting a more and more difficult task to accomplish. Even at first glance it seems the reality is exactly the opposite, the rapidity in which one can get into the public’s eye, but at the same time fade away, makes it even harder than before to make it last and create a strategic and smart path for one’s good brand positioning.
We’ve prepared some tips that we hope will help you on your road to success:
Knowing the past, the competition and the market you are activating on is key in order to create a good positioning for your brand.
According to Robert Half, branding yourself begins with self-reflection. Take stock of your strengths. What are your best attributes? What positive adjectives might a colleague use to describe you? Is there one particular talent or discipline in which you truly shine? What’s your personality? If you’re just beginning your career, choose a discipline or area of focus that truly interests you. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Hard-working, focused and reserved people get ahead just as often as social butterflies.
Go to extra classes / courses, attend workshops and seminars that will help be become even better on your field of expertize and that will enhance your talents. Learning never ends, no matter the time in your career you are at.
The USP is the big idea that brands are always searching for. A USP gives a brand a compelling and unique value proposition with its target audience. “Likewise, you want to represent something special that sets you apart from others and establishes a value equation about your abilities when you are pitching yourself for a job, a promotion or a free-lance assignment,” says Catherine Kaputa in Huffington Post.
Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that’s irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.
Make sure you are present at the most important events in your industry and start conversations with the right persons, the ones with whom the association with will help your brand and your career. Ask questions, mingle, try and show your expertize as much as you can.
You should be connecting with other professionals in the industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.
In time, once you have a known and appreciated voice try using the PR tools available to you and get your name out there.
Depending on the industry you are activating on make sure you know what social media channel suits you the best. Not every industry fits you having a profile on Linkedin and Facebook at the same time, not every industry requires an Instagram or Snapchat account. Also, make sure that the content you are delivering is customized to that specific social media account.
The networks are meant to evolve, not stand by. So is the industry you are activating on. Moreover, you can never know what the future holds. The more people you know, the merrier. The more connected you are, the better. Make sure that at the same time you don’t lose the focus on your “final” game plan.
According to the AICPA specialists, the true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.
“These days, branding the company you work for isn’t enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen,” says the American Institute of CPAs.
When it comes to being the best the ego shouldn’t be standing in your way. Accept the criticism, as it will only make you better and help you achieve your goals.