Building a Business with Social Media
With the advancement of technology and various social media platforms, the way we network and promote businesses has dramatically changed. Although technology cannot substitute for in-person connections and networks, social media has allowed for a new way to connect with people that you may not meet or have as a customer otherwise.
The globalization of business and the ability to order items online can greatly expand the marketplace. In terms of authentic Algonquin goods and services, this can allow more accessibility for customers who want to support the Algonquin community from different places in the world. These new technologies increase the possibilities of finding like-minded businesswomen and consumers with fewer constraints on factors such as geography and time.
Generally, women are more active on social media platforms such as Facebook than men. In a study conducted by Christina Constantinidis, they found that social media has the potential to offset some of the biases against women in the business world by giving them more of a platform and social capital . Additionally, the study found that there were significant differences in the number of clients gained through Facebook dependent on the gender of the businessperson. Larger numbers of women in female sectors of business in comparison to males of mixed sectors gained clients through Facebook. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram can all be beneficial to creating a larger women’s business network and gaining new clients . Using social media channels to your advantage can allow you to make new connections and for potential customers to be more aware of your business!
Social media can also act as a great way to form new social circles and networks of strong businesswomen. Christina Constantinidis interviewed a sample of 228 female entrepreneurs in Belgium and found that most women entrepreneurs find it important to share advice and experiences with other women in similar situations. Social media is a way to share your experiences and to further your connections with other female entrepreneurs who are encountering similar problems.
The Algonquin online marketplace developed under the ODEY project will be an opportunity to share Algonquin products created by the ODEY participants. With this online marketplace, marketing using social media can be used to promote products that are readily accessible online.
Social media can be difficult to navigate for the purpose of engaging with customers and building a client base. Here are some key tips to help you get started:
- Start a conversation. Engaging with people that are following your page or your business on social media can make them feel more connected, making them more likely to support you in your business. You can post different things related to different aspects of your business. For example, if you’re selling artwork, you can share some of your favourite artists and ask others to comment on their favourites as well.
- Stand out. Is there something that makes your business unique? Well, the most unique part about any business is the person running it! Creating a personal brand, style and perspective in social media posts allows potential consumers to feel more connected to your business. It’s important to stand out and post things that you yourself would find engaging. Using photos and videos can also help to create engaging content.
- Dominate on one platform. Depending on the consumers you most want to reach, using a different social media platform will reach a different audience. For example, Facebook will reach a different demographic than TikTok.
- Share content from other like-minded people. It’s also important to both share your own content and share content from others! That way you can form new connections with like-minded people and business owners.
- Create a calendar. Most businesses that become successful have planned days that they either automate social media posts or plan to create a post to promote their business. It’s good to keep on top of social media content and to make sure you’re getting information out there on events/sales/contests that might be running.
Constantinidis, C. (2011). How do women entrepreneurs use the virtual network Facebook? Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 12(4), 257-269.