In a daring move by Mark Zuckerberg, the famous Facebook founder, Facebook made its biggest acquisition of the decade by purchasing WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. This is even bigger than its previous acquisition of Instagram at only $1 billion back in 2012. While the WhatsApp acquisition was a major concern for many investors, internet marketers should not totally ignore what Facebook is up to right now, especially with regards to acquisitions since this could potentially set the trend in social media marketing ahead.
As a marketer you should take the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook as another cue for the future trends in social media marketing because this can help you stay on top of the competition. While Mark Zuckerberg plans to make WhatsApp a separate unit from Facebook, there is higher probability that this app will be soon integrated into the mainstream of Facebook business.
What is WhatsApp?
This is actually a text messaging app that lets users send text messages to individuals or groups, from their PC to Smartphones or from Smartphones to Smarphones. These messages are not only in the form of texts, but they can also be chat messages, and text messages with media files such as audio and video. The best part of all is that the text messages sent through WhatsApp will not cut into your monthly allowances for texts in your phone plan since the data will be sent via BBM or iMessage. Therefore, you can send unlimited number of text messages to anyone without costs.
However, WhatsApp is only free to use during the first year. For the subsequent years, a yearly subscription fee will be collected in order to continue using the app. But the required yearly fee is very cheap at only $0.99, which is affordable to anyone with Smartphone. This is way much cheaper compared to the average yearly expenses on text messages. Clearly, WhatsApp is the future trend in text messaging, especially now that WiFi coverage is continuously expanding to more areas.
How to Use WhatsApp for Business and Marketing
Businesses can benefit a lot from WhatsApp, and marketers can use it to further enhance their marketing campaign. There are numerous uses of WhatsApp in marketing and in business. Here are some of them, which you can quickly and easily integrate into your online campaign.
Provide Text Alerts for Events and New Posts
Text messaging will further add a personal touch to your campaign, even if it is solely online. You can send text alerts to your subscribers whenever there is a new post published in your site. So instead of your happy readers subscribing to your RSS feeds, you can ask them to get alert notifications whenever a new article is published so that they will be among the first ones to read your updates.
Another way of using WhatsApp for marketing is to use this app to notify your customers and prospects of your upcoming or current time-limited deals and bargain offers. Many customers will surely appreciate being notified of your special discounting schemes that allow them to avail of your exciting deals.
Combine Social Marketing with Text Messaging Marketing
It is projected that WhatsApp will soon be integrated into Facebook. If this happens, you can also combine text marketing with Facebook marketing and use WhatsApp to increase your Facebook fans, FB shares, and likes. This is perfect for businesses with tangible products, as well. You can tell or inform your prospects and loyal customers to like your post in Facebook to get discount coupon codes that let them avail of your products at greatly marked down prices. You can do the same if you want to increase your fanbase.
There are actually many things that you can do to attract more people to see your marketing offers and special packages if you can combine text messaging and social media marketing in one platform. On the part of the Facebook users, this would be a welcome feature that will significantly enhance their user-experience. They don’t have to always log-in to their FB account just to check the updates since they are already notified via text messages of the updates to their profile that require due attention to. With WhatsApp now under the wings of Facebook, the chances are high that this will soon be a part of Facebook’s features, which is to the advantage of both customers and business owners alike.
Facebook marketing is one of the effective marketing campaigns that can tremendously boost traffic to your website and potentially increase your sales and income. But success will not come by default. You still need to have a good plan and a couple of effective marketing strategies to achieve sufficient traction from your campaign.
The competition is quite tough, as well, and if you want to excel and stand out from the rest, you have to formulate and implement proactive plans by forecasting the potential trends. The recent purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook is just one of the many signs that tell where the future of social media marketing is heading to.