As WhatsApp grows in popularity around the globe it’s continuing to climb its way into recruitment strategies and communication plans at US colleges and universities. If you’re exploring new ways to refresh your international student recruitment or communication plan for the upcoming year, adding WhatsApp into the mix might be one area worth exploring.
WhatsApp is the second largest messaging app in the world with more than 1 billion people in more than 180 countries using it. Since calls and messaging are free through WhatsApp it’s an economical way for international students and scholars to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Along with personal use on WhatsApp the opportunity for businesses to use it as a helpful tool is also growing. For example, more than 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil already use WhatsApp to communicate with customers.
How would you implement WhatsApp into your plan? Create a WhatsApp business account.
Auto-Reply and Templates: With a business account you’re able to create a business profile that allows students to view information on your school and communicate with you directly. To help battle the time difference and potential delay in response time, WhatsApp has features like automated replies and reply templates.
Labels: WhatsApp also allows you to list your contacts or chats with labels- if you want to organize your contacts by labeling them according to where they are in the enrollment funnel or based upon what type of student they are (prospect, current, alumni, etc.), it’s certainly possible. Labels allow you to send the right type of message to each of your contacts, keeping your communications customized and not spammy.
Language Support: WhatsApp supports 60 different languages meaning the ability to reach students in a variety of languages is possible (as long as your office also has the language support available).
If you’re on the fence about implementing WhatsApp into your recruitment and communications strategy keep in mind that since business accounts are free you can always test it out without the risk of wasting funds, and keep tabs on the statistics they provide to see how successful it is for your institution.