February 1, 2015Published by: Drew

The Battenhall WhatsApp stats show engagement wins over noise

WhatsApp engagement data - Battenhall.001

Since March 2013 we have been publishing our own analysis and curated news stories covering the social media, digital and mobile comms space over three main channels: this blog, our Twitter account and the Battenhall Monthly email newsletter. Last month we launched a new channel, the Battenhall WhatsApp. We've been publishing 2-5 stories daily on this new WhatsApp channel.

Brands are increasingly using WhatsApp for open dialogue with their target market, and we've been doing some work in WhatsApp for clients too, so we thought we should eat some of our own dog food.

Feedback from people who have signed up so far has been really interesting. Some wonder why we would want to use WhatsApp at all, the vast majority have welcomed this new communications channel, some of our subscribers message us wanting more, some wanting less. Some just WhatsApp us saying thank you (which is so nice!!).

The reason we feel that brands are taking the leap and using WhatsApp is two-fold: firstly it's where the audience is - 700m users and counting can't be ignored; and secondly is the high engagement levels - common sense would say that WhatsApp messages are missed less than emails and tweets, so even small WhatsApp lists can be far more effective than large Twitter or email channels. There is little evidence around to support this theory however, which is why we thought it a good idea to write this post.

Our channel is still small, just over 100 subscribers at the time of writing, but it is growing fast. Below and in the chart above is a summary of key learnings and some stats for the two main factors that we've been able to extract from WhatsApp that allow us to compare it to Twitter and email - namely open / engagement rates, and click through rates. Note overall list size does vary, but not hugely.

  • WhatsApp lists grow organically quicker than you think
  • Content on WhatsApp and on email is far less viral than Twitter, naturally
  • Engagement rates on WhatsApp average at 85%, far beating our own Twitter and email stats by a long shot, as well as industry standard Twitter and email stats
  • Click through rates on WhatsApp average at 48%, again far beating our own Twitter and email stats
  • We have found the newly-launched WhatsApp web client useful in managing content and responses, but the mobile app is still more useful

This new WhatsApp channel is an experiment for us, but the way things are going so far we think it will be here to stay.

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