Hello! Welcome to the #AskNatchi show. I’m Natchi Lazarus. Today, we are talking about how to get started on WhatsApp. This ministry that has asked us this question is just getting started and they want to know what is the best way to get started.

WhatsApp is too important to ignore

Whether you are a church or a ministry of 50 people, or 5,000 people, WhatsApp is something that you really need to consider. WhatsApp may not be big in your region, or your part of the world right now, but I’m telling you, just looking at the trends and the way Facebook is merging all its assets like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, it’s just a matter of time before WhatsApp becomes one of the key ways in which you can communicate with your members. It’s a fast-growing app. It’s used by billions of people around the world.

Last week, there was an announcement from Facebook about bringing payment options within WhatsApp. So people can make payments. People can send money to each other using WhatsApp. And, of course, communication-wise it’s already a very popular app for communication because of its ease of use. So it’s great that you are asking this question and if you’re just getting started,

Step 1: Download WhatsApp Business

I’ve got four simple steps for you.
#1: Download the WhatsApp Business app. There are two apps on the app stores for WhatsApp. One is called the regular WhatsApp app, just called ‘WhatsApp’. The other is ‘WhatsApp Business’. WhatsApp Business app is the one that you want to use for your ministry. Because it’s the business version, it’s got a few extra features that can help you as a ministry, as an organization.

Download the business app. Set it up. It’s very simple. Just give your ministry details, you can even use a landline phone for setting it up. You can have both the apps on the same mobile phone. That’s a facility that WhatsApp gives, you can have two different numbers linked with your phone. That is point number one.

Check out the detailed Blog Posts

We’ve got details of all the four points I’m going to talk about… we’ve got detailed blog posts on my website, so you can go search for ‘WhatsApp’ on www.natchilazarus.com, if you want to go deeper into each of these, but let me just quickly lay them out for you. Step number one is: Download your WhatsApp Business app on your phone and set it up.

Step 2: Announce & Connect with Followers

#2: Announce it or get your followers on your WhatsApp database. Basically you announced it first to your church members, or people who are already supporting your ministry, or who are donors of your nonprofit, who are not yet connected with you on WhatsApp, announce it to them, get them to send you a test message or something so that you will have their database. Because not everyone uses the same number for WhatsApp. People might have multiple numbers… a different number for WhatsApp. You need to have their correct WhatsApp number.

Having their phone number is not enough! Listen. Because that is one thing I have seen in my work as a consultant, many ministries, especially with WhatsApp, think “I’ve got everybody’s phone number. So I got them on WhatsApp”. No, you haven’t. Because people use different WhatsApp numbers. So ask people to send you a test message from their WhatsApp, so that your existing audience can be connected to you. Then you go to your other audience who are not yet your members, then you publicize your number and start collecting their database on WhatsApp as well. That’s step number two.

Step 3: Setup Groups and Broadcast Lists

#3: Set up Groups and Broadcast Lists. That’s the way that’s the most effective way of communicating on WhatsApp. You can send a group message like a message broadcast using the ‘Broadcast List’ facility of WhatsApp. Set that up. Also set up ‘WhatsApp Groups’. If you are into that kind of an operation, like a small group or something, then you can use WhatsApp to set up those Groups and easily communicate with people. The open rate in WhatsApp is incredible. These two tools will help you a lot and will help you engage with your audience. That’s step number three.

Step 4: Link WhatsApp to Channels

The final step. #4: Link your WhatsApp number with every other asset. For example, in your website, you should have a WhatsApp number listed as part of the contact details. In fact, you should have a button – a WhatsApp button, where people can click and immediately send you a message.

There is a facility like that from your website, people can link and send you a message on WhatsApp. You should have that facility, and set that up first. Also link your WhatsApp with your Facebook page, link your WhatsApp. You can have a button on your Facebook page that says ‘WhatsApp’ and people can click on it and connect with you there. Connect it to on your Twitter bio, if you want.

You can put it on your TikTok bio and all of these places. In fact, I would say, put it on all your printed material, in your brochures, in your ministry’s printed material, in your banners, and everywhere. Put your WhatsApp number because it’s a business number, it’s not your personal number, you set it up with your business account, so can now publicize it just like your regular phone number.

These are the 4 steps for you to get started… for getting started on WhatsApp. I hope that was useful. Thank you very much. Have a great day. I’ll see you next week with another answer to another question. If you have further questions on this or if you have any other question on digital social media, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them. God bless you. Stay connected, stay blessed and stay safe. I’ll see you next week. Bye.

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