Mary Olushoga is a committed leader passionate about small business growth and positive development in Africa. She is the founder of http://www.awpnetwork.com, an enterprise given honorable distinction at the 2012 World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) and listed as a 2012 Apps4Africa Innovation. She is the first-ever GOOD Maker/Oxfam America International Women’s Day Challenge Winner, a Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Associate, and an Oxfam America Sisters on the Planet Ambassador. Mary received a bachelor’s degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York and a master’s of science degree from Baruch College. She has served as a Public Policy Fellow at the University at Albany, Center for Women in Government and Civil Society and most recently participated in the Sub-Saharan African Women In Public Service Fall Institute. Mary has featured on BBC World News, BET.com, Black Enterprise.com, the Columbia University Africa Economic Forum, the UN ECOSOC Youth Employment Forum, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and the United States Department of Labor Add Us In Initiative on Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, and Disability. Her articles have featured in The Huffington post, Sahara Reporters, Omojuwa, and Applause Africa magazine.
There are many ways to market your business with a limited budget. Social Media is one of the effective ways to do this. Social media, I strongly believe can help to move your business and brand forward. However, all that you need is time. YES! Once you choose to establish an online presence, you will need to create time because you ought to respond to your clients. Not responding to potential clients or customers in a timely fashion, shows bad customer service and is a negative portrayal of your brand.
Establishing an online presence will help to mobilize your business growth. You are probably aware of the tools that I will discuss here and it is important to know and learn how to use them properly. Yes, we have heard of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and the list is endless but often times, we do not use these platforms appropriately. The social media platforms that I just listed are free tools and all that you need to do to register, is sign up with an email address to get started.
Facebook: Even if you feel that you do not need a personal account, your company at least needs to have a Facebook page and presence. This will help customers become more familiar with you, your brand, product, or service. You can hold contests, give away free products, or simply let people know where your shop is located. So if you currently don’t have a Facebook page for your business, set one up.
Twitter: I find twitter very useful. Twitter helped me to get on BBC World News. It has also helped me to build my personal and business brand. I have made a lot of friends using twitter and it has given me a platform to talk more about my work and what I do. Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters/words to describe yourself, product, or service so this calls for brevity and creativity. If you think that you don’t need Facebook, try twitter.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn allows you to attract a more professional crowd. I use LinkedIn for my personal and professional needs. Currently, I have over 500 LinkedIn friends. Many of my clients use LinkedIn for business and professional purposes. Some have gained new customers or made business deals using this platform. You can also get reliable referrals. All that you need to get started with LinkedIn is an email address.
These free tools are useful because they can help you to develop and build an online brand at no cost. Building your brand is crucial because it can help you to take your business, professional, and personal brand to the next level. It can also help you to gain more exposure and attract new customers. So YES! There are ways to market your business with a limited budget.