What are WhatsApp Channels and how to use them for your business
Discover how businesses can leverage WhatsApp Channels, a private broadcasting tool to boost customer engagement and drive sales.
Businesses today are well aware that effective communication is essential in building meaningful and lasting connections with customers. As the world’s most used messenger app, WhatsApp launched Channels, a new broadcasting tool to help brands and communities reach more people at once and diversify the methods of interaction.
WhatsApp Channels allow users especially businesses to engage their customer base and easily deliver captivating content like text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls to a large group of people through a powerful one-way broadcast channel.
Read on to learn more about WhatsApp Channels and how businesses can use them to boost customer engagement and expand their reach.
What are WhatsApp Channels
WhatsApp Channels is a feature provided by WhatsApp that allows businesses to communicate with their customers through the WhatsApp messaging application. It provides a channel for businesses to send automated messages, updates, promotions, and other relevant information to their customers in a convenient and direct manner.
WhatsApp Channels are a new way to communicate with customers, followers, and prospects over a private broadcast tool. The feature allows you to reach a larger and more engaged audience with personalized and relevant content all at the same time.
Businesses can create and manage multiple broadcast channels for different use cases, such as marketing, sales, and support. Channels can help you build communities, share important announcements, and send product updates and special offers.
Integrating Channels into your communication mix allows you to keep customers in the loop on a chat app that you can offer two-way communications on as well.
Features of WhatsApp Channels
Businesses and end users now have access to a powerful tool to connect and receive updates more privately, right within WhatsApp. Channels offer key features to help you get started.
- The Enhanced Directory allows you to easily find channels and content based on your country and preferences. You can also view new, active, and popular channels based on follower count.
- Reactions allow you to react and give feedback using emojis. Your reactions remain private as they are not visible to followers.
- Editing allows you to keep your chat history and make changes to your updates for up to 30 days before they’re automatically deleted.
- Forwarding allows you to easily forward updates to chats or groups and add links back to the channel for easy access.
- Privacy saves customers’ or followers’ data privately without reveling any personal information with the brand.
How to create a WhatsApp Channel?
To create a WhatsApp channel, you need to have a WhatsApp account (WhatsApp Business App), which means businesses need to set it up by themselves.
Steps to create your WhatsApp Channel:
- Open WhatsApp Web and click the Channels icon.
- Create a channel by clicking on the “>” button.
- Follow the onscreen prompts by clicking Continue.
- Name your channel to complete the creation; you can change the name later.
- Customize your channel now or later: Add a description and an icon.
- Describe your channel briefly to inform potential followers about its purpose.
- Make your channel stand out by adding an image.
- Click “Create channel” to finish the setup.
- To access your channel info:
a. Open Channels via the Channels icon.
b. Click your channel, then your channel name.
c. Copy the channel link for sharing.
How to find and follow businesses on WhatsApp Channels
It’s easy for your customers to find and follow your business son WhatsApp Channels to stay informed or learn new things. When a customer follows a channel, they’ll get updates like notes, links, photos, and videos in the Channels section of their Updates tab. To get notified of new updates, they can turn on notifications for a channel.
Here’s how customers can find channels:
- Browse the channel list: Check out all available channels. The list is filtered based on the phone number’s country code and language, but customers can explore channels from around the world by adjusting filters like country, category, and more.
- Check recommended channels: Scroll to the bottom of the Updates tab to find recommended channels based on popularity and activity.
- Find channels via external links: Channel admins can share links to help discover their channels.
To access the list of available channels:
- Click the Channels icon.
- Click “Find channels.”
- Channels with a green checkmark are verified by WhatsApp as authentic. Customers can sort the list by categories, interests, and countries.
Before following a channel, customers can preview their updates:
- Click the channel name to see recent updates.
- Learn more about a channel by checking their channel info page.
To follow a channel:
- Quickly follow from the directory by clicking the “+” next to the channel name.
- Open a channel you’re interested in and click the Follow button.
- You can also follow channels from their channel info page.
WhatsApp Channels for businesses
WhatsApp Channels offer many benefits for businesses that want to connect with their customers and prospects over a reliable broadcasting tool. These benefits include:
Boost customer engagement and reach
Expand your reach and diversify your customer communication by connecting with customers more privately over channels and promoting your products and services.
Enhance customer loyalty and retention
Build long-term relationships with customers, provide them with valuable information and tips and retail them with exclusive offers and discounts.
Boost sales and conversions
Use Channels’ database to generate leads and drive conversions through product promotion and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Improve customer service and support
Provide timely and personalized support to your customers, answer their queries and complaints, resolve their issues and problems, and improve their satisfaction.
Key business use cases
The road ahead
WhatsApp Channels are expected to be a valuable tool for businesses to reach many customers at once over a private broadcast. Currently, Meta has launched Channels in over 150 countries and it is being used by business organizations across several industries.
As the feature is currently in beta testing, Meta plans to roll out WhatsApp Channels to more countries in the coming months. More features and functionalities will be added including: analytics, segmentation, automation, and others.
If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest news for Channels and its features, you can follow WhatsApp’s official Channel.