WhatsApp is the world’s most widely used messenger app. Worldwide, WhatsApp is the 4th most downloaded app, trailing behind only TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Why is WhatsApp so popular? The secret is that this is a very handy application for communicating with friends and colleagues. It is free to download and free to use. With a user-friendly interface, clean design, and many extra options, this messenger app is the most recognizable in the whole world.
In the United States, over 75 million people use WhatsApp. That’s about a quarter of the population! The same stat holds true for the other countries in which the app is popular. India has the most users, followed by Brazil, the US, Russia, Indonesia, and Mexico. According to a ThinkImpact.com fact sheet, two billion people used WhatsApp in 2021. Those 2,000,000,000 people sent 100 billion messages per day.
Let that sink in: 100,000,000,000 messages PER DAY. That is a bunch!
Those in the United States who’ve heard of WhatsApp but don’t use it, think of it as a European thing. Indeed, a majority of people in the US who use it were first introduced to it by a European friend, family member, or colleague. It is actually very popular in Europe. Of mobile phone users, 84% of Brits, 81% of Italians, 73% of Spaniards, and 65% of Germans use WhatsApp. So why do so many Europeans use it while so many Americans haven’t even heard of it?
The divergence is due to a difference in billing practices. In the US, SMS texting is priced at a flat rate and is included in most mobile-phone plans. Not so in Europe where a single SMS text message costs between $0.07 and $0.11. The 200 million or so Europeans who use WhatsApp made it the go-to app because they didn’t want to pay for SMS messages. The downside is that a user needs a working internet connection which is not, in general, a problem for most Europeans. Now that it has been honed and made into the user-friendly app that we know today, it has a near-monopoly in the places where it is not banned, like China and North Korea.
Get on Board!
Like television, the internet, and French fries, WhatsApp is no passing fad. It’s been around for over 10 years now and has grown from being just another messaging app to one of the most popular apps on the planet. However, it’s more than just a convenient and inexpensive way to share messages and funny pix/videos with your friends and family. Its features will help you grow your business.
WhatsApp allows users to send messages to other WhatsApp users without counting words or and without restrictions on multimedia attachments. It is encrypted so those messages and attachments are relatively safe from theft. There have been concerns about data privacy which will be addressed below. However, there are plenty of reasons to jump on the bandwagon, especially with WhatsApp Business. The business version of WhatsApp is still free and is designed for small businesses, with up to 100 employees or so.
What Can WhatsApp Business Do for Your Business?
- Tapping into the world’s most popular messenger app will open new markets.
- WhatsApp Business offers customer support and marketing opportunities that improve your customers’ experiences.
- This flexible and effective marketing channel will get you up close and personal with your contacts.
- Reach people faster; 80% of WhatsApp messages are read within five minutes. Email, not so much…
- Direct messaging is great for tailored offers and individual customer service. You can send personal account credentials, order updates, and provide assistance in a safe, one-on-one chat.
- It’s GDPR compliant. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union legal instrument ensuring the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.
- It keeps everyone “honest.” Customers can impact your quality score by blocking or reporting you. This helps ensure that the platform stays free of spammers. If you send legitimate, relevant campaigns, it’s a win-win for both sides.
- It has diverse and interactive content formats. You can include CTAs (call to action), links, images, video, attachments, and products so recipients can interact with the campaign, not just read it. You can share product catalogs and use more than 160 characters to entice customers.
- Receive incoming messages from customers. They can reach out directly without going through your website. This accessibility raises your chances of getting and keeping their business. Studies show that people would rather shop from a company where they “feel heard.”
- It meshes with your multichannel strategy. WhatsApp Business offers a practical and easy way to increase customer engagement in new markets. It is both a support channel and a marketing one. You can answer inquiries, take orders, resolve issues, and send updates while running marketing campaigns via direct messages.
- Fast response times. Automatic responses can be set up to acknowledge inquiries and to answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
- It has Two Billion potential customers.
- It increases the relevancy of your marketing. By strategically targeting tailored messages, your product updates and announcements will be more on point.
- Increases brand awareness. Every WhatsApp business account has a branded business profile complete with a logo or image, website URL, address, etc. You can also list some or all your products to give people an overview of what you offer right there in the app. This adds legitimacy to the communication and enhances your brand image.
Data Privacy Issues
In May of this year, WhatsApp implemented new privacy protocols. This was initiated on orders from the European Union to address GDPR concerns. The update was delayed by several months due to backlash from non-European users, especially from the United States. Many users and some media outlets mistakenly believed that the changes meant that Facebook would be able to read people’s conversations and other personal data. Misinformation spread through the service, touching users around the world.
However, the company has satisfied European Union regulators that their end-to-end encryption works and that people’s data is actually private and protected. WhatsApp helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world, and they are committed to supporting this security technology. They’ve also addressed concerns that Facebook was able to data-mine WhatsApp messages, assuring users that that’s not the case, to the satisfaction of the European Union.
Let AEK Help You Achieve Your Marketing Goals
WhatsApp Business is just one tool in the marketing toolbox. AEK Solutions will manage the many tools that comprise your online presence, including WhatsApp. We will handle your digital outreach so you can concentrate on running your business.
Whatever digital sales or marketing challenges you are experiencing, AEK has a solution! Whether you’re a large corporation or a small, local company, we’re here to help you achieve your business goals. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable, online growth by utilizing creativity and technology to develop solutions to your specific marketing objectives. Our proven strategies will help your business grow.
We want to hear from you. If you have a sales or marketing question, we have an answer!