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Team bonding is important on and off the field – and the same goes for companies. It’s challenging to work with people you can’t stand, or at least understand to some extent. WhatsApp is helping teams of every variety bond via messages and it’s a sort of social listening that can give your team an edge.

Team Bonding 2.0

If you’ve never been to a “team bonding” retreat, you may be missing out. Gone are the basic “catch your partner as they trust fall” drudgery, replaced with indoor, outdoor and icebreaker events to suit any interests!

Sentiment around team building is exceptional for a reason:

But with teams spread out across the globe, or travelling there to capture new segments – or just too busy to take time away for a day of awesomeness, virtual team bonding has taken the place of IRL connecting. And WhatsApp is playing a role by offering a team bonding 2.0 experience that’s better – or worse, depending on your appetite for total team bonding immersion.

WhatsApp, the freeware cross-messaging platform, has taken hold in personal and professional messaging – and is creating a way for businesses, individuals and teammates to connect outside of traditional social media channels. It’s offering a level of team bonding that may be too close for comfort to some, but has worked expertly for the England Women players, where knowing every facet of players’ lives is essential.

Phil Neville sends text and WhatsApp messages to his England Women players on a daily basis, believing it’s “impossible to coach properly unless you understand the player as a person. ‘The first month after I took over, I messaged players maybe once or twice a week but now I speak every single day with every single player,’ Neville said. He knows every facet of their lives and “regards such contact as part of a holistic, emotionally intelligent approach to management.”

And that sentiment, the desire for close connections in this digital age is part of a growing trend. Fostering those emotional connections, be it in sports or your business, is very important in the quest to create authentic ambassadors for your brand.

Getting Emotional About It

It’s interesting to note the demographics for WhatsApp in the UK, or those talking about it rather, skew male. And this jibes with the number of worldwide World Cup viewers (55% male, 37% female), and could be a place to target traditionally male audiences (should a product or service segment that way), or it could also present an opportunity to capture an underrepresented female segment. Digging in to the sentiment to see what each is saying, in context, would reveal relevant, brand-specific clues:

 

And one of the UK males that could figure in to your marketing might be Prince William. It’s actually not so far-fetched to consider, as the royal brothers are rumored to stay in touch that way. We’re guessing the baby’s birth announcement may have happened via a phone call, but this is still an interesting tidbit to have bubble up in NetBase Pro:

Why wouldn’t the royals use it though? Touting confidentiality and group messaging capabilities that take users beyond the seemingly less secure social options out there, WhatsApp seems a solid contender for any group messaging. And businesses are certainly hopping on board – and for good reason:

“WhatsApp Business allows you to create a public profile for your business with basic information, including an address, website and other helpful information. Different chats can be labeled for organization, such as new customers, returning customers or orders completed. Small business owners are also able to set away messages and create quick replies to frequently asked questions. And just like the normal WhatsApp, conversations are always encrypted, and businesses can be blocked just like individual contacts.”

Making the most of WhatsApp would require the same effort you’d put into developing any other platform, of course – but with Facebook’s recent acquisition of the messaging platform, you can expect it will become the next important place for your brand to have a presence, assuming your audience is there. And we can help you sort out if they are!

Contact us to learn more and see a demo of social sleuthing in action!

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