Having a good customer service strategy is one of the cornerstones of a successful business.
In today’s day and age where consumers expect everything fast, being slow may just mean not being there at all.
One of the best ways to attend to your customers’ concerns quickly is to jump on an instant messaging platform.
And what better one to use than WhatsApp, the most popular global mobile messenger app used by billions of consumers worldwide?
But wait, what about Facebook Business?
As a business or entrepreneur looking to provide the best customer service, you’ve probably also come across Facebook Business.
Don’t be mistaken. Even though the two platforms operate under one parent company, they offer vastly different features and each is unique in its own way.
That’s what we’re here to do today. In this article, we’ll dive into the features offered by each and drill into the main differences between WhatsApp Business and Facebook Business.
If you’re among the billions of consumers who are familiar with WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business won’t be all that difficult to grasp.
It is as it sounds—a communication app created for businesses and entrepreneurs to interact with their customers through instant messaging. It’s kept separate from your personal WhatsApp account (which can be used concurrently) to avoid mixing personal and business.
Designed for small businesses, it’s a free app that comes with features aimed at facilitating businesses’ communication with their clients. These include product catalogs, message templates, and automation services to help you sort through and respond to your customers’ queries easily.
As part of WhatsApp’s suite of business tools, there’s also WhatsApp Business API. The main differences between the two are mainly that the API offers more advanced features and is catered to medium and larger businesses.
While WhatsApp Business is free, obtaining access to WhatsApp Business API would require you to hire the services of a business solution provider and WhatsApp partner.
To learn more about their differences, we recommend that you give our article on the differences between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business API a read.
Facebook Business, or Facebook Business Manager, as it’s officially called, is a platform that allows brands to create and manage their Facebook business assets like pages and ads all in one place.
Just like WhatsApp Business, it is free to use and is kept separate from your personal Facebook account.
That means that you can outsource your Facebook marketing efforts to a virtual assistant or an agency without needing to connect with them first, which was the case with an older version of Facebook Business.
It’s considered to be one of the most indispensable social media sites for brands to market on today.
Before we dive into the different features WhatsApp Business and Facebook Business offer, let’s take a look at some user statistics.
Yes, the WhatsApp Business user base is just a fraction of Facebook Business Manager’s. But given the former’s relatively recent launch in early 2018, that should come as no surprise. Plus, reaching 50 million users in just two and a half years is quite an impressive feat.
But what about reach?
With just 30 percent more Facebook users than WhatsApp users, the potential to reach clients on WhatsApp shouldn’t be all that different than on Facebook.
So why is the number of WhatsApp Business users still relatively low compared to that of Facebook Business Manager’s?
As we’ll see in the next section, this could be down to the differences in their features.
The numerous and different marketing options and assets within Facebook Business (pages, messenger, ads, pixel, etc.) means it offers a whole lot more tools than WhatsApp Business.
Some of its most basic and popular ones include:
By and far, Facebook Business Manager’s most popular tool among businesses is its ads. In fact, ads form Facebook’s primary revenue, with 98.5 percent of its 2019 global revenue coming from advertising.
This is also one of the biggest differences between the two—ads are (so far) not permitted on WhatsApp. Parent company Facebook did contemplate allowing brands to run ads on WhatsApp before user backlash forced them to reverse their decision.
Facebook does offer customer service features such as a business page to provide basic information and the use of Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers. But because of the host of other tools available, it is catered more towards social media marketing purposes.
WhatsApp Business’ features, on the other end, are more customer service-centric. Its main purpose is to facilitate brands’ communication with consumers by offering them an instant messaging platform through which they can have a two-way interaction with clients.
In terms of getting started, the more comprehensive features on Facebook Business and the fact that it extends beyond customer service interaction mean its learning curve is much steeper.
With much to learn and master, setting up Facebook for business can be rather overwhelming for entrepreneurs or small business owners who are just starting out.
It’s worthy to note that although they’re two separate entities, with both operating under the same parent company, WhatsApp Business and Facebook Business are actually pretty intertwined.
If you’re looking to set up a WhatsApp Business account for WhatsApp Business API, you may do so from within Facebook Business Manager itself.
You can then connect your WhatsApp Business account to Facebook so that ads that you run on Facebook (or Instagram, for that matter) can take your clients to a WhatsApp chat with you directly.
Should you use WhatsApp Business or Facebook Business?
There’s no right answer.
It ultimately depends on your goal. If what you’re looking for is an all-inclusive platform that goes beyond customer service, Facebook Business has a lot more to offer.
But as mentioned earlier, getting started with it can be time-consuming because there are so many elements to learn. Even if you are a regular Facebook user, the learning curve doesn’t get much flatter because Facebook Business is an entirely different world in and of itself.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Business requires much less effort to learn. If you, like many others, already know the ins and outs of WhatsApp’s functionalities as a personal user, it won’t take long for you to be acquainted with WhatsApp Business.
If you’re looking for a platform to help you facilitate customer service and communication with your customers, WhatsApp Business solutions like CRMs and APIs would be the way to go.
Plus, since it’s much newer, there are also relatively fewer brands using it. As a small business, creating a WhatsApp Business account and offering your customers the ability to reach you through the world’s most popular messaging app could just be the differentiating factor between you and your competitors.
WATI is proudly owned by Clare.AI, a digital assistant startup offering innovative online tools that employ the latest technology in machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide award-winning customer communication experiences to businesses. Users of Clare.AI’s solutions include multinational enterprises and a host of Fortune 500 companies such as AXA, Everbright Sun Hung Kai, Fidelity, Birdie, Cigna, Bupa, and more.