With over 1 billion active users, a 70% open rate and 30 billion messages being sent daily, worldwide. Ask yourself… why are we not using the app in our local authority?
by Nafisa Ali Shafiq
Since joining Calderdale Council, I’ve been exploring how we use different channels to reach our residents. We’ve used a variety of email marketing providers to send out newsletters; grown our Twitter and Facebook followers; used Vine and Instagram to communicate during consultations. Now, the millennial in me is keen to get the Council on Snapchat and more importantly, on to WhatsApp to directly communicate with our residents.
You see, I am one of those 1 billion active WhatsApp users – I actually use it more than any other function or app on my phone and have been for more years than I can remember. I use it share messages, images, videos and audio notes. . To send links across from news sites and sites like Youtube and to hold groups conversations with friends and family. In a previous life, I have used it to provide customer service for a client.
But, in my position, that’s not enough of a reason to use it.
I need a real business case to use WhatsApp. I need to know that we have the resource to manage it, that we’re not just using it for the sake of using it and that we can use the data and subscriber details we gather from it for other campaigns.
Saying this, we are currently in the process of looking to trial it internally – as a method to communicate with a certain group of stakeholders.
To get everyone up to speed with WhatsApp, how it can be used and the pros and cons that come with it, I have put together the following guide.
According to BDO’s WhatsApp-ening in #LocalGov Social Media? 2% of councils currently use WhatsApp. I imagine a whole load of others are looking to use it over the next year or so – are you using it? Or looking to use it – I’d love to hear how.
Nafisa Ali Shafiq is Digital Communication’s Officer at Calderdale Council. She can be found on Twitter as @f154
image via the Smithsonian Institution
The WhatsApp Story Teller project - A Brazilian collaboration between an advertising agency, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and a retail bookseller.
The mechanics were simple:
A book shopper was invited to read part of a story that was recorded as a WhatsApp voice message, sent from the customer’s own smart phone. The next customer continued the story at the point where the last shopper stopped, and eventually the stories were put together into an audiobook for children in care. The bookstore and the NGO captured the storyteller’s WhatsApp ID (their mobile number), which in return was used to send special offers, coupons, and – more importantly – information about how they could provide support to the NGO.
This is just one example of how WhatApp was used to engage with audiences.
WhatsApp in numbers
In March 2016, it was reported that WhatsApp has over 1 BILLION active users worldwide who spend an average of 28 MINS on the app per day. Around 30 BILLION messages sent daily, worldwide with an average 70% open rate.