In my post about Oga Musa, I made it clear that we were going to be using Instagram and Whatsapp as our main sources of traffic and awareness. I’ve done a lot research about Whatapp online, and really to be honest there really isn’t a lot said about it. And I understand, Whatsapp is not a social network, it is far different from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the likes.

Whatsapp is a messaging platform, and like most messaging applications the focus is on helping the user strengthen his present relationships rather than help him find new ones, which is the fundamental premise of what all social media platforms are based on, the chance to explore and discover.

Why people think Whatsapp sucks for Marketing

1. Awareness
2. Activation

The problem with Whatsapp Marketing

Awareness

The major obstacle with marketing on Whatsapp is because whatsapp was not built for exploration and discovery it was made to strengthen already present relationships. So wasn’t to built so you can get to meet new people. So the first question you have to ask yourself if you want to successfully utilize this platform, of over a billion daily users, is how exactly can I get people to know I exist? On Facebook, you can like or comment on their pictures. On Instagram and Twitter, you can follow them. But you can’t do any of those on Whatsapp.

Activation

The next question you need to answer is: How exactly can I build a relationship with my followers on Whatsapp?

Whatsapp as a marketing tool is not scalable, and it was deliberately made that way. Imagine you are able to solve the first problem that we talked about, and are able to get over 1,000 Whatsapp subscribers, how exactly do you plan on building a relationship with them?

Option 1: You could use Broadcast lists

This is perhaps the most straight forward solution that might come to mind, create about 5 broadcast list, each with about 200 members, and them send them a newsletter regularly.

It might work, but the problem is whatsapp doesn’t show your broadcast message to people that do not have you saved as a contact. In other words, if I didn’t save your number I can not see your broadcast message, even though, you have my number.

Option 2: You could use a Whatsapp Group

Here is another option, why not gather the numbers and add them to groups and market to them. This is probably even worse than the first. The whole point of groups is to bring people with a common interest together, to share and foster these interests. The people you are bringing together, didn’t of their own vocation choose to join the group, and most likely do not have the same interest. And at the end of the day, you might do more harm than good for your brand.

Is there a way?

Yes there is, thanks to Snapchat! Whatsapp this year released an update in an attempt to compete with Snapchat, if you are a Whatsapp user (if you are not you are probably using a rock as a means of communication), you are probably using Whatsapp Status already.

Whatsapp Status allows you to post updates of what’s going on in your life: what are you thinking, how are you feeling, what are you doing, events in your life.

Using Whatsapp Status as Marketing tool

First we need to understand how Whatsapp Status works. For anyone to be able to view your status, four things must be present.

Criteria for Status Visibility

1. Your number must be saved on the viewer’s phone.
2. Their number must be saved on your phone.
3. There must have been a mutual exchange of messages at least once.
4. The viewer must be interested in what you want to say.

If all these criteria can be properly incorporated you are on your way to a successful campaign on Whatsapp.
In the coming weeks I’ll write a more practical article on how am currently utilizing the Whatsapp Status, to build an audience on Oga Musa. Am still working on setting up a newsletter. But you can follow me @seunthesage on Instagram, to stay up-to-date on my learning journey and experiences.