Seven ways to use WhatsApp to grow your business

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TAYLOR CHIYANGWA

This week we caught up with Taylor Chiyangwa a digital marketing and online entrepreneurship enthusiast. He helps start-ups with their digital and online marketing campaigns. Below is his article on how you can use WhatsApp to grow your business.

WhatsApp is a very popular messaging app that has transformed the way we communicate. If you get into public transport or attend public gatherings you are bound to see almost everyone hunkered over their phones and the bulk of the time they will be on WhatsApp.

While the app has been mainly used for social communication, it can also be used by small business owners to help them grow and get closer to their customers.

WhatsApp is a great tool for business because in many countries in Africa mobile network providers have what are called WhatsApp bundles. These bundles allow subscribers to have access only to WhatsApp. This is usually all the access that these subscribers have to the internet for the bulk of the time because data is relatively expensive.

If you are a small business and you rely mostly on your website and ads on other social media channels then you will not connect with these potential customers who only have access to WhatsApp. Given that the number of people who use WhatsApp bundles is very high, the result is that you will miss out on a lot of potential business.

WhatsApp also makes it easy and cheap for customers to contact you. Sending a WhatsApp message is much cheaper than calling an organisation so if you can have quick responses on WhatsApp you will make it cheap for your customers.

Now if you are on WhatsApp, you will greatly increase your chances of connecting to this pool of customers. In this article, I will share with you Seven ways to use WhatsApp to grow your business some ways that you can use WhatsApp and reap the benefits in your business.

Have a WhatsApp Business Account

WhatsApp released the business version of the app in late 2017 and business owners can take advantage of this. This app is a bit different from the normal version of the app in that it allows business owners to put in some details that identify their business. These details include a map of your location, your services, operation hours email address, website etc.

This information is very important for customers and it will also give your business a professional look. You can also schedule quick replies to your customers when you are away. So you need to have a business account as the base of all your WhatsApp marketing activities. Unfortunately, WhatsApp business is only available for Android. The iOS version is not available yet.

  1. Connect Your WhatsApp Business Number to your Facebook Business Page Your business should have a Facebook page and you should use the business number on this page to make it easy for customers to call you and send you messages even on WhatsApp. A great feature that Facebook has rolled out recently is to allow business to create ads and link them to WhatsApp. Using Facebook Ads with WhatsApp

This feature has the capacity to increase the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns on Facebook since customers will be more likely to connect with you via WhatsApp anticipating real-time replies.

The ads can lead to increased traffic on the WhatsApp line and you can use WhatsApp web to allow your support staff to deal with the enquiries.

  1. Use your WhatsApp Status to Showcase products or demo a new product/service

WhatsApp Status allows you to share text, photos, videos and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. In order to send and receive status updates to and from your contacts, both you and your contacts must have each other’s phone numbers saved in your address book.

When you are using your business account this will mean that all your customers with whom you have interacted with before will likely see your status updates.

I have used this technique with my personal line and I was amazed to discover that some people I hadn’t talked to in months still had my number and saw my statuses.

Another way to use the WhatsApp status is when you have a noteworthy event at your business. For example, if you have a restaurant and you are hosting a party you can take video clips and upload them to your status so that other customers who did not attend can see what’s happening and then they will be more likely to attend the next one. You can do the same if you have a celebrity visiting your business. If you have a business like a salon you can take before and after pictures of a client and post them on your status to showcase your expertise. The good thing about updating your status is that it’s free!

If you would like to find out about how to get in touch with Taylor Chiyangwa you can email Tech Hub Harare at hararehub@gmail.com Tech Hub Harare is a coworking space for start-ups. We host weekly networking meetups and promote technology driven entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe.