To have real-time talks with your customers, WhatsApp and Telegram are among the most popular messaging apps. Telegram is known for its feature-rich experience. WhatsApp, on the other hand, boasts of a mammoth user base.
WhatsApp has become ubiquitous when it comes to mobile messaging. Actually, synonymous with texting. In fact, if someone asks you to text the details, you have to clarify whether they mean SMS or WhatsApp.
So, WhatsApp or Telegram, which one is better for business marketing? Let’s settle this once and for all.
This article will help you decide where to focus your efforts. It outlines the essential pros and cons and provides a snapshot of a real-time experience using both apps.
So, this article is about my experience with WhatsApp and Telegram. But first, let’s see how their features compare:
Feature comparison: WhatsApp vs Telegram
WhatsApp has native apps for Android/iOS mobiles and Mac/Windows PC. PC users can also use it via WhatsApp Web, and iPad users need to use it via Web only. You can link WhatsApp to five devices at once, including one phone.
With Telegram, you can log in to as many devices as you like. It has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac as well as Linux. PC users have the option of Telegram Web, too.
WhatsApp allows you to add 1024 people to a group chat. You can also create broadcasts with your contacts. Each broadcast list can have 256 people at once. Then, WhatsApp also has Communities and Story-format Status, which businesses can leverage.
Telegram supports up to 200,000 people in a group. It also offers public channels to broadcast messages. These Telegram channels can have unlimited subscribers.
WhatsApp allows audio and video calls in groups. You can add up to eight of your contacts for the same.
Telegram doesn’t support calls in groups yet. It does have the group voice chat option, though.
WhatsApp doesn’t offer any feature that allows you to dig into the analytics.
Telegram, on the other hand, offers insights into your group’s activities. You can also use different third-party bots to get data essential for your business marketing.
Both WhatsApp and Telegram allow for file-sharing of up to 2 GB in size.
WhatsApp allows businesses to create dedicated profiles. You can add your business info as well as product/service details. Then, you can also create catalogs to organize and share information with customers.
Telegram lacks such business-friendly features.
WhatsApp has integrated WhatsApp Pay for businesses to accept payments from customers. They can do so directly within the chat window.
Telegram, however, doesn’t process payments from users. But you can develop bots to use third-party payment processors and accept payments. They handle all the information, while Telegram is only a middleware.
WhatsApp has a chatbot feature to interact and engage with your customers. You can use it to set automatic greetings and away messages for when they are unavailable.
Telegram’s chatbots can perform a variety of tasks. With Telegram, you can create quizzes, conduct polls, and even automate sharing posts from social networks.
Also read: How to Use Discord to Market Your Business
Automation and API
WhatsApp doesn’t have an official API. Third-party services provide tools for businesses to automate and send custom messages at scale.
Telegram offers an API that businesses can use to integrate the platform with their systems. It’s better automation-friendly. Third-party developers can build integrations to scale business communication with Telegram. Telegram bots can also automate various tasks.
WhatsApp and Telegram business marketing – Real-life experience
Telegram has many features to market a business. But is it better than WhatsApp for you?
Let’s understand how effective they can be from our CMO’s own experience.
Jaison, our CMO, started a marketing group on WhatsApp. It was back when WhatsApp had a group limit of 256 members, and the group looked to overgrow it. So, he ran a poll.
And 73% of participants wanted to move to Telegram instead of having a 2.0 on WhatsApp itself. Thus, a new group of marketers was created on Telegram.
It has been two years since the groups have been active and growing together. And here are the observations from experience.
Why is Telegram better for business marketing?
Telegram groups can have more members than WhatsApp groups. So, you can have a more extensive connected community if you build it through Telegram instead of WhatsApp.
Also, you have better admin controls in a Telegram group. You can delete a spam message sent by other members of the group. In WhatsApp, admins can’t delete spammy, hateful and other such messages.
Then, Telegram also allows you to pin an important announcement to the top of your group.
Why is WhatsApp better for business marketing?
Telegram sure has more features than WhatsApp, and it seems better suitable for businesses. But WhatsApp has something else that keeps it ahead – a huge user base.
When Jaison shared the WhatsApp group’s link on LinkedIn and Twitter, over 30-40 people joined every time. But in the case of the Telegram group, only about 20 people joined it.
Also, people are engaging better in the WhatsApp group than in Telegram. Even the links of Blusteak’s YouTube vlogs and Jaison’s newsletter receive more love from WhatsApp group than Telegram.
It seems everyone wants to be on WhatsApp, as they’re familiar with it.
Telegram can help promote your business to a broader audience. No doubt. You can send business updates to many people at once.
But, seeing the real-life experience, you might like to pick WhatsApp as the instant messenger of choice for an engaged community. Features like business profiles, product catalogues and automated replies also help keep customers well-informed.
So, start with the one you need the most, and move up to both platforms later.