How do I get started with WhatsApp in Sprout?
Before you can start receiving your WhatsApp messages in Sprout review these next onboarding sections carefully. Improperly setting up your WhatsApp account or missing steps can have significant impacts on your access and use of the integration and app.
Note: Once you connect your WhatsApp number to Sprout, you will no longer be able to use that number in the WhatsApp mobile app. This connection can’t be undone. Make sure that your team is ready and trained on Sprout as all messages will route into Sprout and not the native WhatsApp app.
Phone number considerations
You must create a new WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) to use Sprout’s integration. A WABA is your parent account where you can connect up to 25 new or previously used phone numbers. WhatsApp uses phone numbers to create accounts and uses those numbers to send and receive messages.
Phone number do’s and don'ts
Use the following phone number best practices as you get started creating your new WABA and selecting a phone number for the WhatsApp integration.
- Do create a new WABA - WhatsApp doesn’t support migrating existing WABAs to providers like Sprout at this time.
- Do use a new phone number - WhatsApp only allows phone numbers to be active in one place at one time. You can’t sign up with a phone number that’s still active on WhatsApp. You should disconnect any active numbers you want to connect to Sprout before signing up for WhatsApp in Sprout.
- Do update the phone number in your customer communications - When you use a new phone number, ensure your customers know the correct number to contact.
- Do train your team on using Sprout - It’s important that your team understands the new workflows and that they can only access WhatsApp messages for that phone number in Sprout once you connect.
- Do only add additional phone numbers by repeating the WhatsApp onboarding steps in Sprout. Sprout only recognizes phone numbers added within Sprout. Numbers added outside of Sprout aren’t recognized.
- Don’t use a personal phone number - Sprout strongly encourages a new, business phone number for your WhatsApp account. Once you connect your WhatsApp number to Sprout, you lose access to the WhatsApp mobile app for that number. The phone number no longer has access to the WhatsApp mobile apps after the connection is made to Sprout. This can’t be undone.
- Don’t use IVR numbers - Use a phone number that you can verify via SMS or phone call. Phone trees or 1-800 numbers aren’t acceptable.
- Don’t use a short code. Use a phone number that has a country and area code, such as landline or cell numbers.
Phone number FAQs
I already use WhatsApp to provide customer service. What happens if I connect that number to Sprout Social?
Once a phone number has been connected within Sprout Social, messages will only be viewable within the Sprout Social app. Messages that were previously viewable on the WhatsApp mobile apps or in other software applications where the WhatsApp number was connected will no longer be viewable there.
In addition, WhatsApp is unable to support customer message backfills. This means Sprout Social is unable to load any messages into the Smart Inbox that were sent to the number prior to being connected within the Sprout Social app.
Can I use a phone number that’s already on WhatsApp?
If the phone number is currently being used on either of the WhatsApp mobile apps, it will need to be deleted first prior to connecting it to Sprout. Follow the steps in Setting up your WABA section.
If the phone number is currently being used on WhatsApp Business API with another software tool, it is possible to migrate that number to Sprout but it is more difficult and time-consuming. WhatsApp recommends using a new phone number. If you still want to proceed with using a phone number currently being used with another vendor, follow the migration steps in Setting up your WABA to reuse the phone number.
Can I transfer an existing WABA to Sprout?
No. You need to create a new WABA. WhatsApp doesn’t support migrating existing WABAs to providers like Sprout at this time.
When you add a new phone number to your WABA in the Facebook Business Manager, you assign it a display name. There are specific rules around Display Names for WhatsApp. While a display name is typically the name of your social profile, WhatsApp does have considerations to ensure that your Display Name aligns with your business. Review the rules here and how to choose an appropriate Display Name.
If you've used WhatsApp prior to connecting to Sprout and you're Business Verified, you may run into an issue during connection with your Display Name. If this happens, you'll receive an error message during the connection process. WhatsApp will email you directly to resolve the issue and get your Display Name approved.
Once your Display Name is approved, it can be updated by following the instructions here.
During the beta, you can’t update your Profile Photo through Sprout, and once you connect WhatsApp to Sprout, you can’t use the native WhatsApp functionality to update your photo.
Send any photo you want to use as your profile photo via email to email@example.com. Photos may take a couple business days to take effect.
An image size of 640x640 is recommended. WhatsApp may scale and crop uploaded photos to be a square with a max edge of 640px and max size of 5MB. Images with a height or width of less than 192px may cause issues when resizing occurs.
Updating profile information
Most Profile information is established during the profile connection flow within Sprout. If you need to update your profile information after connecting to Sprout, send your requested profile changes to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the following template:
- Description - 512 character limit
- Category - choose one:
- Beauty, Spa and Salon
- Clothing and Apparel
- Event Planning and Service
- Finance and Banking
- Food and Grocery
- Public Service
- Hotel and Lodging
- Medical and Health
- Professional Services
- Shopping and Retail
- Travel and Transportation
- Address - 256 character limit
- Email - 128 character limit
- Website 1 - 256 character limit
- Website 2 - 256 character limit