Is WhatsApp technically social media?
Whatsapp is a social media platform – On WhatsApp, you can share text, images, and videos to other users as individuals and groups. Additionally, they have a moments feature very similar to Instagram’s and Snapchat’s stories (the latter two being more conventionally considered social media).
I would argue no. Social Media, as we know it now in this day and age, is all about feeds. An entity updates a feed, and other entities consume the feeds they are either interested in or the platform thinks they are interested. There is an aspect of publicity to this, although the audience can be narrowed to a more private group.
WhatsApp on the other hand is simple peer to peer communication, whether in a one-to-one chat or a group chat. That would make WhatsApp a simple communication app.
Social media has basically a performer and an audience, and as a user, you can be both. Communication apps in general have back-and-forth communication, with no clear distinction between performer and audience.
The problem with WhatsApp though, is that it does have elements that could be construed as social media by that definition. Still, the major use case for WhatsApp is communication.
Considering WhatsApp has enabled groups to have up to 280 members for now (and I think the limit will change to accommodate more members in the future), plus the fact that it has that WhatsApp Status feature, I’d say WhatsApp is a social media platform.
After all, you can do anything you usually do on other social media platforms in WhatsApp, right? You can share audio, images, videos, memes, thoughts, jokes, documents, links, etc. in WhatsApp.
Maybe it was originally meant as a communication tool in the beginning. However, defining a social media platform is not by what it’s originally meant to be, but by what the users are using it for. In that regard, WhatsApp fits the definition of a social media platform, albeit a more private one.
Is WhatsApp technically social media?
This is a complex question because social media is a broad term corresponding to a set of products in an industry that is rapidly changing. The term “social media” means something different today than it did last year than it did ten years ago.
That being said, one can argue both ways.
Whatsapp is a social media platform – On WhatsApp, you can share text, images, and videos to other users as individuals and groups.
Additionally, they have a moment’s feature very similar to Instagram’s and Snapchat’s stories (the latter two being more conventionally considered social media). If not the entire app, one could at least argue that it has some features of social media,
Whatsapp is not a social media platform – WhatsApp was originally created as an app to post dynamic status updates associated with your phone number. It later evolved into a messaging app, which is what it’s most popular for today.
It is now trying to monetize as a service to allow stores to easily communicate with their customers with WhatsApp for Business.
None of these features are very much related to social media, but rather communication, so from this perspective, we can argue that WhatsApp is, instead, a communication app. But then, where’s the line between communication and social media?
Social media is a wide term and it includes all types of online media with social nature.
WhatsApp is specifically an instant messaging platform/ app, and yes, it is part of social media. It is not a social networking site like Facebook.
There are many other segments of social media, and some overlap with one another.
A social media platform is supposed to be just that – one space where many people interact together, posting and responding, and it is open to the public (or at least a large group).
WhatsApp seems to me to be more about direct communication between individuals or small groups.
Of course, that could be just the way that I use WhatsApp; your mileage may vary.
What are some creative ways to use Whatsapp for business purposes?
In the past few months did you receive:
- Messages showing brand names instead of an unknown number. E.g.: God electronics instead of +91- 9898989898
- Noticed a verified mark against the brand name?
Wondering how did these businesses get to give such professional touch on WhatsApp? Then the answer is Beta Test. Before launching the business app for Android smartphone users, WhatsApp ran a beta test with select businesses in India. To send professional messages to your customers you have to:
Step 1: Install WhatsApp Business App
WhatsApp for business is free to install app available only to Android smartphone users for now.
Step 2: Enter Required details
Mobile Number: As this is the first attempt by WhatsApp to monetize the app, they allow businesses to register with landline numbers as well.
Business Name: this is the name that flashes on your customer’s WhatsApp chat.
Note: For account verification, WhatsApp has drafted a few parameters, brand popularity is one of them. For account confirmation, your WhatsApp number has to match your business number.
Step 3: Personalize Your Profile
Business Details: Build customer trust by adding a genuine appeal to your WhatsApp business profile. Provide a business description, category, working hours, website, and more for better sales!
Personalized Messages: Make your customers feel that you are not far away from them. Select custom messages to personalize these messages to let your customers know that you’re “open” or “closed” for the day.
Step 4: Get. Set. Send.
Now that your WhatsApp business account is created in less than 5 minutes, it’s time to say “Hey there!”. Start sending product or service updates to your customers, create groups of like-minded people to share your products with. If your customers find your marketing tactics annoying, they have all the liberties to block you.
Step 5: Create & Share Payment Links
Do your customers face problems in making payments via UPI? If yes, then the WhatsApp business app is definitely not a perfect option to use.
The app only enables UPI payments. On one hand, the app provides a whole load of facilities for small businesses but, on the other hand, it fails to provide an apt payment solution or facility.
You need to make use of an extraordinary app – PayUnow, which helps you to create and share payment links with customers on WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS, Email, and more options.
On PayUnow you can:
- Accept customer payment directly in your bank account
- Your customers can pay via credit/debit card, net-banking, wallets, UPI and so on
- No monthly payment collection limit (unlike wallets)
- Your customers don’t need to download or update any other app (unlike WhatsApp business app)
- You do not need a website to use PayUnow
Step 6: WhatsApp Business Statistics
Every business needs to know the results of their sales or marketing efforts. You should know it too! Get to know messages sent, delivered to your customers, and read by them.
Undoubtedly, WhatsApp is winning big bucks in the market today though this is just the beginning. Recently, KLM airlines became the first airline to have a verified WhatsApp business account.
Passengers receive their flight documentation (tickets, boarding pass, etc.) and flight updates on WhatsApp. The airlines made use of WhatsApp to interact with their passengers on a one-on-one basis in order to establish a strong bond with them. This increased passenger return rates and airline sales!
How to use WhatsApp business is a simple question to answer, but what about increasing sales? Listed below are some pro-tips to help you get savvy with:
Ways To Use WhatsApp Business For Selling
Pro-tip 1: Promote your business
WhatsApp is vast and considered as ‘most used’ communications app globally. Any business owner or marketer cannot resist to not use this platform to reach out to his clientele.
Choose all your like-minded customers, create a group (not mandatory) and broadcast new products, offers, promo codes, and more to them. You can also share product demonstrations with them.
For example; as the business app supports video content, you can share product feature videos, ‘how to use’ gifs with your customers for clarity.
Since this is a personal communications platform, make sure all the promotions are worth your customer’s time.
Pro-tip 2: Send Reminders
Today, when it comes to “Breaking News”, WhatsApp is leading the league leaving news channels and newspapers far behind.
Referring to the KLM airline example mentioned above, WhatsApp is used as a medium to send the latest updates, essential documents, and status to their passengers.
Similarly, you can make use of the app to send payment or order reminders to your customers.
Pro-tip 3: Take care of your customers
A dissatisfied customer = a failing business (in the long run)
Keep your customers happy at all times. Use WhatsApp to stay in touch with them, support them by providing a platform where they can complain, share their valuable feedback or rate your services.
This stops them from putting up complaints about social media platforms like Facebook, as they have a much personal way to share their grievances.
With all the useful information brought to you about WhatsApp business, you wouldn’t have to scratch your head about ‘how to use WhatsApp business to sell your products’.
Just follow the above steps and tips, and we are sure you are absolutely good to go with booming your business across leaps and bounds.
Before we move on to working on our next blog post for you, we have jotted down a few businesses that do well on WhatsApp and are almost always ‘sold out’ within just 30 mins!
- Home Décor
- Crafts & Arts
- Jewelry & Accessories
- Services – photography, event planners, beauty consultants, stylists & artists, and so on.
For more on Whatsapp for business:
WhatsApp Business is an Android app which is free to download and was built with the small business owner in mind. With the app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages.
WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download Android app for small businesses. A verified business simply adds to the authenticity and will let WhatsApp users know that you aren’t some thief looking to cheat customers online.
Is WhatsApp technically social media platform