Since the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook in 2014, the social media platform has been growing very rapidly. Right now, the number of users already surpassed 1.5 billion with more than 60 billion messages exchanged per day.
To make things even better, WhatsApp recently launched its API for businesses. It allows developers and businesses to integrate WhatsApp experiences directly into their websites or web apps.
On top of that, Facebook Inc. has just announced that they are rolling a new policy as of Feb 8, 2021. WhatsApp now reserves the right to share user information with other Facebook companies. Like it or not, this is how Facebook dictates their playground.
Will people boycott WhatsApp? If so, where else will they turn to for a new channel of messaging which is equally effective? What I can say now is that it is not happening anytime soon.
And that’s just the story of WhatsApp personal use.
How about using WhatsApp automation for business? Will business owners take advantage of the situation? The answer is — yes, they can.
Automate with WhatsApp Business App
The structuring of this API via WhatsApp Business App is also a monetization move for both the social media company and other e-commerce businesses to start making money from the App usage. This app’s features are very different from the regular WhatsApp features we are used to. Its usefulness extends way beyond having the ability to connect with friends and family.
Rather, the business owners could list their products and services, set their account to show their business information, and many more e-commerce functionalities.
- Product Catalog
Showcase for your products and share them in your WhatsApp groups and other circles.
- Away Messages and Greeting Messages
Automatically deliver greetings to customers—very helpful in coupon marketing campaigns!
- Quick Replies
Create shortcuts for lengthy and formal messages.
Add color-coded labels, for instance, New customer, New order, Pending payment, Paid, and Order complete. Thanks to this categorization, you can find the conversation details easily.
Set up WhatsApp automation with WhatsApp Business App
This is a really powerful AI feature that would enable you to set some keyword commands in WhatsApp. Based on those keywords, an automated chat flow would be initiated with your customers so that even in your absence, your business is still able to respond to customers queries and give supports. This feature is already enabled in some APIs on the web and it gained a lot of engagement and popularity on social media sites like Facebook around 2015-2019.
This feature, however, has not been fully developed in WhatsApp as at the time of writing this article. However, there is every indication that this would be fully developed and launched anytime from now. Because some of this Bot feature’s basics have been integrated into the App already, they include:
- Ability to set a Greeting Message
- Ability to set an Away Message
The Greeting Message is what would be sent automatically to anyone who is contacting your page for the first time, you can click here to learn more about how to set it up.
The Away Message is the message that would be sent automatically to your visitors or customers when you are not available to chat at any point time when they are contacting you, you can click here to learn more about how to set it up.
There are also some unofficial WhatsApp API Android apps that serve this Bot function. One that I have AutoResponder For WhatsApp. Even though I cannot give you any guarantee on their efficiency or long time availability, you can always get a grip of personal, first-hand experience with the Apps.
A lot of people who have used this specific one would recommend you trying out. So you could give it a try while it’s still available because your marketing ideas do not have to stop or wait until the official WhatsApp API for the Bot feature is released.
Set Up WhatsApp Chat Widget in a WordPress website
The chat widget is the WhatsApp API feature which allows you to show WhastApp floating button on your website pages or WhatsApp buttons on e-commece product pages.
This feature is really powerful and in fact, some developers like NinjaTeamWP have even made much more out of it. In terms of nice UI/UX development and next-level coding that enhances its functionality.
NinjaTeam’s WhatsApp Chat plugin allows you to add multiple accounts of your support members into a WhatsApp box to display so that your customers can choose a supporter they want to chat with. When clicked, the widget or button then opens up the WhatsApp application on their phone, browser, or Mac app to begin the conversation.
This plugin comes with both free version and a PRO version. The free version is pretty much enough for you with its sufficient basic features for businesses, it only allows integration of 10 WhatsApp accounts. If you would like to add an unlimited number of WhatsApp accounts and experience more of the PRO features or latest updates, then you should consider purchasing the PRO version which costs a small, one-time fee only.
Try WhatsApp Messenger Bulksender
This works more like the previously deprecated Facebook Bulksender API. WhatsApp API feature will allow you to send Bulk messages to your WhatsApp contacts at once! But like the WhatsApp chat bot, this is also a much anticipated and hopeful feature that we expect to have from this great instant messaging app.
However, some developers have created and launched some unofficial tools that serve this function. A lot of people who have used them have testified to WhatsApp automation effect. So you could try some of the tools while they are still available. You do not have to limit yourself on WhatsApp while we wait for the official WhatsApp API to be released for this feature.
We hope this article has helped you gain some insights into the potential of WhatsApp automation.
Backed by Facebook, the WhatsApp Business app has been developed as a customer support channel for ecommerce businesses, while WhatsApp’s in-development API is mostly deployed for online marketers.
I am happy to show you how to utilize some of the officially available features of this API and the unofficial features that had been made by developers!
If you like this article, don’t forget to share it 😉
In case you want to optimize other customer support channel like email, be sure to check out how to increase inbox deliverability.