How to get started on the WhatsApp Business app

Mohamed Elbadwihi
October 25, 2022
How to get started on the WhatsApp Business app

Table of contents

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install and configure the WhatsApp Business app on your mobile phone. If you’re unsure whether WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business Platform is the right fit for you, or if you’re unfamiliar with any of what I’ve just said, I recommend reading What is the Difference between WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business platform first, and then returning to this blog post.

What we will cover:

  1. Installing the WhatsApp Business app
  2. Creating an account
  3. Setting up your business profile
  4. Setting up your office hours
  5. Bonus: Setting up automatic Greeting and Away messages

What you’ll need:

  1. A business – The WhatsApp Business app is ideal for micro-businesses, but of course, you can use it as an individual.
  2. A mobile phone – The WhatsApp Business app is available for both Android or iOS.
  3. A phone number to register on WhatsApp.

This will take about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how much configuration you’d like to make.

Let’s get started!

1. Installing the WhatsApp Business app

First, download the WhatsApp Business app on your phone. You can do that through the Google Play Store, or the Apple App Store. Once it’s downloaded, select the WhatsApp Business app icon on your screen:

WhatsApp Business app logo on Android

At first launch, you’ll be asked to accept the WhatsApp Terms of Service. Make sure to read these carefully, and then click on Agree and Continue to accept the terms:

If you already have the personal WhatsApp Messenger installed on your phone, you’ll be asked if you wish to convert that account over to WhatsApp Business app. Doing so will retain your conversation history and media, and you’ll keep the same phone number. 

Select Use +XXXXX if you want to migrate your account, or Use a Different Number if you’d prefer to use another number, keeping your personal and business accounts separate. In this example, we’ll select Use a Different Number:

On the following screen, select your Country from the dropdown list, and then enter the phone number you’d like to use on the app. Click Next to verify the phone number. You’ll receive a 6-digit code via SMS, which you’ll enter on the following screen:

On the next page, you’ll be asked to grant the app access to your contacts, and media. If you wish to send WhatsApp messages to people in your contact list, and to be able to make use of your media gallery, click Continue. You’ll then be asked to restore a backup if you have one on Google Drive. Tap Continue if you do, or Cancel if you don’t:

2. Setting up your business profile

Then, you’ll be asked to create your business profile. This is what your contacts and customers will see when they chat with you on WhatsApp. You can enter your business name, add your logo, address, description, and your business category. Later on, you’ll be able to add even more information to your profile, such as your opening hours:

Once you’ve created your profile, you’ll be asked to create a catalog. This is a way to showcase the products and services you’re selling, and allow your customers to browse through them before or while they chat with you. We’ll skip this step for now, you can come back to it later. Select Not now at the bottom of the page:

Congratulations! 🎈 You’ve now created a WhatsApp Business app account. You should now see this:

On the top right corner of your screen, click on the three-dotted menu ⁝, and then select Business tools:

Here, you’ll be able to edit your business profile, create a product catalog, connect WhatsApp with your Facebook and Instagram accounts, create automated greeting and away messages, quick replies, labels, and more. For now let’s select Business profile:

As you can see, this business profile is a little more detailed than the one we created earlier:

3. Setting your business/office hours

Select Business hours, and on the following page, select your business schedule. In this case, I will choose Open for selected hours. This will allow you to set your exact business hours**:** 

You’ll be presented with the seven days of the week. You can choose which days your business is open on, and then add sets of hours to those days. In the following example, I’ve selected Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I’ve added two sets of hours on Tuesday to indicate a lunch break. You can customize this to fit your own schedule. Once you’re done, hit Save:

Your business profile will now show your office hours, as you see in the following image. You can also add your email address and websites to your profile: 

Your business profile is now complete! 🥳

4. Setting up automatic greeting and away messages

Automatic greeting messages are a great way to give a warm welcome to your customers. These messages are sent whenever someone sends you a WhatsApp message for the first time. Greeting messages do not have a defined schedule.

Away messages, on the other hand, are similar to out-of-office messages; they’re sent when you’re away, and can be set to either the same schedule in your business profile, or to an entirely different one.

From your Settings, go to Business tools, and select Greeting message:

Set the Send greeting message toggle to On. You can then change the contents of the message clicking on the pencil icon**:**

You can customize the greeting message further by clicking on Recipients. Perhaps you wish to send this message only to people you don’t know, or you wish to add specific exceptions:

For away messages, go to Settings once again, Business tools, and select Away message:

Here, turn the Send away message on. You can edit the message by clicking on the pencil icon:

Away messages come with defined schedules, and selecting Schedule will allow you to choose from one of the following:

Always send – The message will be sent whenever someone tries to contact you. This is useful for when you’re out on a holiday.

Custom schedule – This option allows you to define when the away message will be sent, and when it won’t.

Outside of business hours – This option will follow the business hours you’ve defined in your business profile. Away messages will be sent whenever you receive a message outside of those hours.

Now, let’s try them out. Send a message to yourself on your WhatsApp Business app number, or ask a friend to help out. If you’ve set a greeting and an away message, and it’s outside your office hours, you should see both the greeting and the away message, like this:

That’s it! You’re now ready to connect with your customers over WhatsApp. In a future blog post, we’ll talk about how to create a product catalog, how to use Quick Replies, and how to connect WhatsApp to multiple devices at once, including your desktop.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the best out of WhatsApp for your business, please feel free to reach out to us on our WhatsApp number, at +13024070488.

We also offer a free session with one of our WhatsApp experts where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak you:

For Europe, Middle East, and Africa

For North and South America

Recommended reading:

What is the difference between WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business Platform?