Originally guest blog 2014 through Desirée Boon, Communication student Update per August 2020 by editors
In the Netherlands, the use of WhatsApp is still increasing 12.1 million The Dutch will use the app in 2020. A visible development is that more and more companies are looking for the possibilities to use WhatsApp for business. WhatsApp marketing: the free app is particularly suitable for increasing the reach and service of companies.
The History of WhatsApp
Whatsapp was created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, both formerly employed by Yahoo !. Based in Mountain View, California, in 2012, despite its global success, it had only 35 employees. Four years after its founding, there were already 415 million active users in the world. As of 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $ 4 billion in cash and $ 12 billion in Facebook stock. The use of WhatsApp has also grown enormously in the Netherlands: the verb appen (with the English A for application) was introduced as early as 2011 General Dutch Dictionary added.
Originally, WhatsApp was exclusively conceived for the iPhone, Android was added in August 2010. At first it was only possible to send messages, but sending photos was already added in 2009. As of 2012, all messages will be secured with encryption. Voice messaging came in 2013, and the feature came in 2014 message read with it. In 2015, the calling function was added and WhatsApp Web was introduced, with which you can whatsapp via desktop. Video calling was added in 2016, as was the file transfer function.
WhatsApp in the Netherlands 2020
Every year Newcom Research & Consultancy publishes the Social Media Survey, in which the use of WhatsApp always comes out strongly. For 2020, Newcom reports that 9.3 daily million users, a growth of 2% (+195,000) compared to the 9.1 million in 2019. For non-daily use, there are 12.1 million users in 2020, a growth of 2% (+220,000) compared to 11, 9 non-daily users in 2019.
Newcom concludes that less than 10% of the people in the 15-65 age group do not use Whatsapp. On average we are in 6.8 Whatsapp groups. WhatsApp is cited as the main social media platform in every age group: 46% for 15-19 years, 63% for 20-39 years, 64% for 40-64 years, 61% for 65-79 years and 47% for 80 years and older.
WhatsApp for companies: business app and business API
With so many users, it only makes sense that companies want to do something with it too, and in 2017 WhatsApp will launch an enterprise platform that allows companies to provide customer service at scale. Airline company KLM is one of the first users. In January 2018, WhatsApp released a standalone business app, the WhatsApp Business App, which is aimed at small business owners. This is a free app, specially developed for small businesses. For example, you can create a catalog that presents your products and services, communicate easily with customers through automation tools, and answer and sort messages quickly. In addition, there is the WhatsApp Business API for medium and large companies to provide customer service and deliver important customer notifications.
The differences between the WhatsApp business app and business API are as follows:
|Business app||Business API|
|For small businesses and freelancers||For medium and large companies|
|An user||Multiple users|
|Works via an app||Works through a CRM|
|No integrations possible||Integrations possible|
|Send standard messages manually||Send messages automatically|
Both offer the possibility of tags, an out of office message and pop ups. Statistics are available for both, but those of Business API are more extensive. The cost makes the biggest difference: with the Business API, sending messages within 24 hours (session messages) is free, but after 24 hours (template messages) this costs money, depending on the country. If you use a tool from a WhatsApp partner, there will be additional costs.
Regardless of the choice you make, the question is of course how you can make good use of WhatsApp as a company.
Share button increases the range
There is undoubtedly a link to an interesting webpage between the messages that one person on average sends per day. You can increase the reach of your website or a specific webpage by simply placing a WhatsApp share button.
By clicking on this icon, visitors to your website can easily send the link to their friends via WhatsApp.
Such a share button is already applied on many websites for Facebook and Twitter. Various news sites, such as metronieuws.nl, have added the button for WhatsApp to the list of share buttons. More and more web shops and blog sites also see the added value of the button.
How do you add WhatsApp to your website?
- Go to 'Plugins'in the main menu
- Choose 'new plugin"and type in the search field"Whatsapp"
- Select your desired plugin and install it. Recommended Share Buttons by Add To Any.
Don't forget to activate the plugin afterwards.
Then first compile your desired button, save it as HTML, and add it to your CMS.
- Go to WhatsApp Sharing;
- Select the size, the text in the button, and the standard text that is sent with the link. You can also choose whether you always include a standard URL or the page that you visit. Choose the latter to prevent annoyance.
- Generate the HTML code and place it in your CMS.
It is useful to put this code at the bottom of your page, so that after reading your visitor can decide to share your page via WhatsApp.
Bringing together in a WhatsApp group
Exchange knowledge and collect ideas? That is possible with a WhatsApp group! Create a group, gather participants and start the conversation. The Rivierenland Library recently organized the 'WhatsApp Writer', a group discussion in which participants could ask questions to a well-known writer. Participants could register in advance for Question Time and afterwards the group was deleted.
But it can also be different. So introduced BBC recently in the fight against Ebola, a WhatsApp group for Africans. In Africa many people do not have internet, but they do have a telephone with internet connection. For that reason, among others, the BBC has chosen to use WhatsApp. The organization sends an update on the situation around ebola up to three times a day. These updates consist of text messages, photos and sound recordings. Incidentally, the messages from other recipients are not visible in this group.
WhatsApp as an additional means of communication
If customers want to contact your company's customer service, then call or email them. Have you ever thought about adding WhatsApp as a communication tool? Simple questions and announcements can easily be sent via WhatsApp. Implementing is easy, the only thing you need in the first place is a SmartPhone and a telephone number.
Fontys Colleges has added WhatsApp to its resource mix. Her target group, students and students, is used to communicate via this App. The incoming messages are answered on working days by an employee who is allowed to WhatsApp during working hours without feeling guilty. In the case of complicated questions, reference is made to the e-mail of a specialist.
Undoubtedly there are even more applications of WhatsApp by companies. In the coming period more companies will look for the possibilities to use WhatsApp. Do you know more applications? I'm curious! You can leave a comment below.