My fascination with Social Media and all its platforms began long before the Social Media Marketing ‘Boom’ as I like to call it. I hail from the generation where a dial-up modem and a 300 pound desktop meant the exploration of MSN Chat Rooms. I don’t think I have ever as a young teen used my internet connection for anything other than messaging and emailing friends. Was Google even around back then? No idea, I can’t recall researching anything other than ways to socialize online.
I have been privy to the My Space and Hi5 phenomenons, seen Facebook cannibalize every other competitor, replaced my beeper (which was purple and gave me an extreme sense of connectivity as a young adult) with non-smart cell phones and hopped aboard the smart phone evolution.
I post daily to my Facebook and Instagram accounts, had a brief and addictive affair with Pinterest and a puzzling and confusing fling with Tumblr. I update LinkedIn and use SnapChat filters, even tried Musical.ly. I studied Digital Marketing and aced the Social Media sections. I can tell you how to write content, use analytics, how many and what types of posts should be used for your business, and the best types of social media platforms for your audience – it’s my crack.
However, one of my ever growing curiosities is why more Marketeers don’t use WhatsApp as a business tool. No judgement here, I am equally as guilty. A few interesting facts garnered from web searches. Props to Huffingpost, The Telegraph & Techuntold for letting me borrow (steal is such an ugly word) their research.
- WhatsApp has virtually replaced MMS & SMS – think about it – the ability to send voice notes, video and pictures to one or multiple people with data or wi-fi (no pesky carrier rates per message either)
- 27% of selfies are taken using the App
- 1 million users are added to WhatsApp DAILY
- Facebook paid $19M to acquire WhatsApp
- Over 42 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp DAILY
- You can now add up to 256 members to a WA group
- The average user spends 3 hours per day on WhatsApp
- WhatsApp has over a billion users
- WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton applied for both Twitter & Facebook – but didn’t make the cut (used this one because I thought it was inspirational)
The amount of users, interaction and dependency WhatsApp commands is definitely worth a second look for businesses, large and small. Imagine sending a WA to report a customer service issue, or find out if an item is still in stock? Even creating a broadcast group for preferred customers? Or how about a focus group to test marketing ideas with instantaneous responses? (admittedly that one more marketing related but, hey I am a marketer). Whatever the purpose, WhatsApp should absolutely be a consideration for the Social Media Toolbox.
I would caution against using haphazardly, simply because misuse could turn your messaging into spam – and while we usually have a level of tolerance for spam of the email variety – there is very little patience for mobile spam. Personally speaking that is.
Feel free to comment below and tell me your thoughts on how your business can utilize WhatsApp. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Until next time – Selina