It’s no secret that WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet.

In fact, it has over 1 billion active users, and thanks to a multi-billion purchase by social media monolith Facebook back in 2014, the platform has gone from strength to strength.

No matter your thoughts on the reliance we place on instant messaging these days, there’s no denying that WhatsApp is a brilliant way to connect with people no matter what type of mobile device they have in the palm of their hand. Text, images, audio, video and more can be shared instantly and at no cost to either user.

It therefore perhaps stands to reason that WhatsApp is ideally placed for dominance in the business arena, too.

From WhatsApp marketing to the benefits of WhatsApp Business, we’ve looked into it in detail and have you covered.

What is WhatsApp Business?

No guide to WhatsApp Business would be complete without an explanation of how it differs from the regular WhatsApp platform.

WhatsApp Business is a free app that can be downloaded on either Android or iOS and has been built specifically for small business owners (although that doesn’t mean it’s out of the question for larger organisations).

The developers have focused on making the app quick to automate messages, sort through received messages and quickly respond to incoming customer enquiries.

Most importantly, they’ve done this within an app that looks and feels just like the regular WhatsApp Messenger app. In fact, it does pretty much everything you’d expect from the latter including the many types of content you can share with people.

Some of the specific business-oriented features in WhatsApp Business include:

  • Business profile – enables you to list important information about your organisation such as the company address, website and email details
  • Messaging tools that help you respond to customers quickly
  • Stats so you can see the sent, delivery and read statuses of messages

For more information on WhatsApp Business, click here for the official page.

How to get WhatsApp Business?

So, we’ve hopefully successfully got you interested in this new app, but before you learn how to use WhatsApp Business, here’s how to get it for your device.

  • iOS (iPhone) users: head to the Apple App Store on your phone and search for WhatsApp Business
  • Android users: open the Google Play Store and search for WhatsApp Business

When you find the app (just make sure it’s the official one developed by WhatsApp Inc.), simply download, install and follow the instructions to get your business set up on WhatsApp – it’s that easy!

What is the difference between regular WhatsApp and business Whatsapp?

Good question – how do they differ?

In reality, the regular WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are incredibly similar, but there are some key differences.

There’s the app logo, for instance, which includes a big ‘B’ rather than the telephone, but look deeper and you’ll find some really interesting business-oriented stuff.

For instance, when you receive a message via the WhatsApp Business app, you’ll be notified that it is related to your business account. WhatsApp is expected to offer the ability for businesses to be verified in the future, too, to make them even more obvious during conversations.

You can also set a business description and type in WhatsApp Business. This enables you to identify the business with a category, description, your opening hours, email address and website.

Another really useful feature in WhatsApp Business is the ability to segregate conversations into ‘labels’. For instance, you might have a label for new customers, new orders and also enquires. This makes it super-easy to categorise your conversations for quick reference.

How to get auto-reply on WhatsApp?

A key question for people looking for a beginners guide to WhatsApp Business is how to use the auto messaging features.

The good news is there’s more than one type of auto messaging in WhatsApp Business, and they’re all incredibly useful.

  • Quick replies. These can be used to issue pre-configured replies to frequently asked questions. By typing a ‘/‘ followed by a predefined code, WhatsApp will do the rest for you.
  • Greetings. WhatsApp Business can do a great job of automatically introducing your business to new chats. You can customise the message people receive when they first start chatting with your company.
  • Away messages. Heading away on holiday or to a conference? An automated away message on WhatsApp is the best way to inform people of your absence and when they can expect a reply.

With all of the above, you can select exactly who receives the automated messages (for instance, all contacts, people not in your address book or specific contacts).

Is WhatsApp business free to use?

Just like the regular WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business is completely free to use. This is a great trend in software businesses can make use of – the same goes for platforms like TikTok (check out our guide to TikTok).

This is the same on both iOS and Android; you simply download the app (see our instructions above for how to do that) and install it. There are no fees for messages or the initial set up.

Will it remain free forever? Well, if the regular WhatsApp is anything to go by, there’s a good chance that’ll be the case, but it shouldn’t be banked on – things can always change.

WhatsApp Business App Features

Here’s a quick run-through of four key WhatsApp Business features your business could benefit from:

  1. Business profile. A unique business profile that will help customers find out all of the relevant details about your organisation, right inside WhatsApp.
  2. Business messaging. The automated messaging features we’ve noted above really are a boon for any company that wants to speed up its customer communication abilities.
  3. WhatsApp web. That’s right – you don’t necessarily need a mobile device to keep in touch with your customers via WhatsApp; their web app will work on pretty much any other device.
  4. Landline number support. WhatsApp Business can also be linked to landline or fixed numbers, enabling customers to message you on that number instead (this helps if you want to run both WhatsApp apps on the same phone).

Is your business ready to take advantage of WhatsApp Business?

We expect this new app to become increasingly popular, so it’s definitely worth dipping your toes in if you have a spare hour or so this week – give it a try!