How to use WhatsApp in your social strategy
Nowadays, when it comes to learning new things or taking down notes, we’re more likely to have a smartphone in our hands than a pen. The buzzword “mobile first” has never been more pertinent and, since Google’s mobilegeddon, it should be firmly anchored in our minds.
One of the best ways to reach users via their smartphones is WhatsApp. Used by the majority of smartphone users, WhatsApp’s statistics continue to astound – whether it’s the range of different age groups or growth figures. It’s obvious that we should be using WhatsApp in our digital marketing – the question is how?
1. Develop your strategy
Let’s be clear from the start: if you want to use WhatsApp as a channel for communication, you need to be prepared to interact with your subscribers on a very personal level. But it’s equally important not to annoy users, not to bore them and not to bombard them with nonsense messages. Before launching any WhatsApp marketing campaign, consider carefully exactly what message you want to get across and why. There’s nothing worse than seeing your hard-earned mailing list unsubscribing en masse …
2. Build up contacts
Having defined a clear strategy, the next step is to establish a contact list. The key here is a clear, simple, functioning sign-up system. When users sign up to WhatsApp notifications, we can safely assume that they are committed to the sender and are expecting to receive messages. Whether via a separate landing page or a form at the end of an article, the sign-up process should be simple and hassle-free from Double-Opt-In to data protection – after all, we have already established that there is no more personal marketing channel than WhatsApp. Initial contact is usually best made via existing social media channels or a classic email newsletter.
3. Cultivate contacts
Just as with classic mailshot or email marketing, the cultivation of a relationship is paramount when it comes to WhatsApp communication. You should be aiming to make a positive impression from the very first message, even if that’s just a welcome/confirmation message as a simple “sign of life.” Whether it’s prudent to include a direct call to action (order now!) in the very first message depends on your individual strategy.
The technical requirements are in place and the first mailshot is ready to go – but are you sure you know exactly what the user wants to read? Much depends on where and how you have generated your mailing list – not all target groups will expect the same information. Indeed, simply bombarding users with information they have probably already seen on social media or in your email newsletter can quickly lead to frustration and – you guessed it – unsubscribes! Avoid annoying your users with a publishing plan – ideally based on survey results. If you know exactly what sort of users are in your mailing list and exactly what they expect from the service, it becomes significantly easier to research and produce relevant content.
5. Don’t worry!
There’s no room for panic when it comes to WhatsApp marketing. Believe in yourself and your content! Content is king and if your content is good enough, click-rates will rise accordingly.
As in classic direct marketing, it’s advisable to measure the success of your strategy. Therefore, make sure you include a trackable link in your WhatsApp broadcast to keep track of click-rates. This will give you a reliable idea of what content works best for your particular target audience!