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What's WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a free and effective messaging platform that can be used as a way of communicating with your organisation’s participants, staff and interested parties.

This webpage discusses how to set up and use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business.

  • WhatsApp is a personal and private form of social media you can use to message friends, colleagues, and those you have a phone number for.

  • Although best used by adults, it's important to consider that users may have protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, therefore always consider if the content you're sharing is appropriate for all recipients.
  • WhatsApp Business is a separate platform with more functionality for organisations, allowing them to communicate with their customers and market their activities, products or services.

Use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business to: 

  • Communicate with people quickly, efficiently and in a personalised way.  

  • Send messages, photos and videos to individuals or groups to inform them of your organisation's news, fixtures, events and other useful information.  

  • Create groups where participants, volunteers, teams or committees can participate in conversations by adding messages, photos and videos, or asking for feedback and share information. 

  • WhatsApp Business also allows you to share files, lists, marketing materials and data on your profile that people might find useful, such as your organisation's address, opening hours, training locations, email address, links to your website etc.

Getting started

  • Download the WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business app to your phone or device. You can download both apps on the same device. If you have a dual-SIM phone, or a separate mobile number for your organisation, you can keep your phone numbers separate.  

  • Create and verify an account. You’ll be given a registration code. 

  • Once verified, allow the app to access your contacts, photos and chats. 

  • Start a chat by tapping the chat icon and selecting a contact to send a message.

Things to consider

  • As a more personal form of communication, WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business is best used with adults.  

  • The Ann Craft Trust and the NSPCC have guidance on how to stay safe online, financial exploitation on social media, and social media and online safety. These provide essential guidance on how your organisation can safeguard your people against online risks.  
  • Messages are securely stored or can be set to be time limited and disappear after a predetermined period. For more information on privacy, safety and security visit the WhatsApp Help Centre.

  • WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are designed to make you easily accessible. They allow people to contact you at all hours, while this enables a quick response, it can raise expectations about response times.   

  • WhatsApp Business allows you to manage expectations at busy periods or out of hours by enabling you to send automatic responses to let people know when to expect to hear back from you.  

  • WhatsApp Business allows you to create prepopulated responses linked to keywords, it can also send pre-written welcome messages which can save you time.  

  • It’s important to consider any GDPR implications when using WhatsApp and sharing contact details of your people. For more information on GDPR and Data Protection check out our GDPR Podcast, Wright Hassall’s Guide on GDPR for sports clubs or WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy
  • You can link Instagram Business, WhatsApp Business and Facebook Page accounts.