WhatsApp, together with WeChat and Facebook Messenger is among the largest new IM networks with a huge reach and relevance. With these numbers is clear how important could be to integrate it in our blogging and marketing strategy.
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The most intimate social
Now, think about how are you using WhatsApp and how long each day. We don’t think at it as a social media but it actually is. We use it to chat with our friends and family or with a small group of people. In reality it is the most intimate and personal social and we also share personal pictures, videos and links.
Mobile ready and fast
So, since it is very common for us to share links and content with our friends, WhatsApp could also be integrated in our blog as an additional traffic resource. If you consider that the most of your friends use WhatsApp you should think about adding the sharing button in your blog or website. The IM with a link is a direct and fast way to enjoy the content. Generally we engage a one-to-one chat so the content has not a huge propagation, but it’s also true that a user could share it on other social media.
How to Integrate WhatsApp on your blog or website
This website is built using WordPress so I will show you the plugin I have used to add the WhatsApp share button on this blog. The name of is Mobile ShareBar. It is free and very easy to setup. You just need to download it, activate and you are done. This plugin has also Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus included so you can replace it with the existing social share plugin you have.
Another free plugin you could use to integrate WhatsApp on your blog is AddToAny. It include many social media sharing options plus the WhatsApp sharing button.
WhatsApp marketing strategy
Recently Google has announced that mobile friendly is a new ranking factor. This means that mobile (in case you haven’t noticed yet :-)) is becoming even more important than your desktop website. Traditional social media are used by millions of people, so why don’t you try new ways to engage with your audience? Below are some examples of how WhatsApp is used by marketers to communicate in a different way.
Absolut Vodka decided to celebrate 400 special edition bottles in a very unusual way. The brand decided to create a private party in Argentina and invited its customers to find a way to convince the virtual bouncer to get it. Virtual, because the bouncer, named Sven, in reality was a WhatsApp account and the users tried to convince him to get an invitation using the chat. The engagement was great and users sent messages, funny pictures, videos and even marriage proposals in order to convince him! This WhatsApp marketing campaign generated over 600 contacts, 3 days of interrupted chat with users and over 1,000 content shared trying to convince Sven. Enjoy the video! 🙂
A similar thing happened with Klik. The chocolate brand invited its Facebook fans to add its phone number to a WhatsApp group. Subsequently they challenged them to share funny pictures. Also in this case the buzz was great and Klik was added by over 2,000 users and 91% of them took actions in the groups. Also, the campaign continued on Facebook generating over 1 million views over the content shared and with an engagement rate raised by 51%. Here is the video:
The options and the limit
The limit of WhatsApp today is the limited number of users you can involve in this marketing campaigns. The groups are limited to 100 people but it’s also true that a higher number would be quite difficult to manage in a mobile chat. But as WhatsApp said:
- There is no limit to the number of groups you can create.
- Every group has one or more admins. Only admins can add or remove participants.
- Only admins can make other participants admins.
- If the last admin leaves the group, a new admin will be randomly assigned.
- You can always control your own participation in a Group Chat, by staying in or leaving the group when you wish. Remember that only group admins have the ability to add participants. If you have any questions about being added to a group, or prefer not to be added, please speak to a group admin.
- If you have blocked a contact, you will still receive messages this contact sends into any group you have in common. Likewise, they will still receive messages you send to those groups.
So you are free to create how many groups as you like and you can invite 100 people for each group. That said you could create local and geo-divided groups where you can chat with your users or customers based on specific location. The only limit is that you always need to have the telephone numbers of all members.
Not just Marketing and Branding
Today WhatsApp is primarily used to communicate with potential customers or clients in a more person way. For example is used to:
- Answer questions in the presale phase, in order to reply faster to any doubt or inquiry.
- Assist clients in the after sales, or customer care
- Communicate locally, for small businesses
Today it’s not unusual to find a WhatsApp contact on a Facebook Fan Page. That’s because once you are already connected with a social media it’s easier for a client to share or show his phone number to get assistance.
As you can see above, the number of messages sent each day using WhatsApp is definitely bigger than using Facebook. These numbers open a new channel not just for customer care and assistance but also for sales representative to approach prospects in a different way.
According to Salesforce Blog, before using this technique, you must be sure to observe these notes:
- The prospects actually use this technology to communicate
- You already have a pretty established relationship with your contact or at least he already knows who you are ( You don’t want to look like a stalker, don’t you??)
- You have a valid reason why you are using WhatsApp: for example a picture, a graphic or something you know it’s easier to share via mobile
- It is something urgent or you have already tried to reach him out using other media but without any success.
So WhatsApp can be used not just for your marketing strategy or to share content from your blog , but also as a customer care, presale and sales tool.
Good practices and hints
If you are thinking about how you might apply these techniques for your content marketing and social media strategy here are some ideas. These tips are particularly powerful for bloggers and highly engaged audience. By high engaged audience I mean followers or fans who are following you for a long time and who already have a strong relationship with your name or brand. Here you go:
- Create groups on WhatsApp divided by topics
- Invite your readers to join these groups
- Share blog posts or interesting content not too often. Like once a week
- Engage a conversation with the users and invite them to share that content
This practice is pretty similar to Facebook groups. You have a limited numbers of users and you are communicating with them on a more personal level. Since the members are limited you cannot expect the same level for engagement you would have with Facebook groups. But, since the organic reach for a Fan Page is getting close to zero, it can be a great way for you to start creating a new “highly engaged” community.
What do you think? Are you already using these WhatsApp techniques for your blog and your marketing strategy?
Let me know and share this post if you think it might be useful to a friend!
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, I will add soon a WhatsApp contact where we can keep in touch 🙂