Online communities that are hosted on Facebook and Twitter are a phenomena that several South African women are finding beneficial to their brand or business.
On Twitter for example, you’ll find chats that are specifically for a certain group of industry professionals. Like the #PRChatAfrica is for those of the public relations industry and #JobAdviceSA connects job seekers with human resources or recruitment professionals.
On Facebook there are groups that connect like-minded entrepreneurs with each other.
Candice Clark, a Career Coach and founder of the Facebook group Career Girl Collab, connects with people who for example are interested in a career change. She started her community in December 2016. Currently she has 515 members.
According to Clark, her group is a space dedicated to inspiring and supporting you in creating a career or business you will love. “Also, it’s a space to connect with other like-minded career and business-oriented ladies. There are daily and any day type prompts in the group, as well as online pop-up events and our quarterly face to face events.”
— Palesa InvestingBabe (@misspale01) March 15, 2018
Clark says many of her clients first joined her Facebook group before they started using her services as a coach.
“You give potential clients a chance to interact with you and assess your skills and knowledge, prior to deciding to start coaching with you.
You are able to build relationships with a group of talented, like-minded ladies!”
#WeTalkBiz Q3. Develop a culture of curiosity on life long learning! Work on being curious about the future rather than scared of it. Explore the possibilities rather than only focusing on risks. Explore the trends but have your own take on them based on your context & experience
— BrionyLiberCoaching (@BrionyLiberCo) June 19, 2018
If you are thinking of starting a Facebook group, she advises: “It is important to be clear on what your intention is with the group, and how much time you are prepared to dedicate towards it. Design and market your group with those two things in mind.”
Phumeza Langa, a Communications Consultant and Freelance Writer, started her Twitter chat #SistaHoodHour in May 2017.
She explains the opportunity to start #SistaHoodHour came from another Twitter chat team, @CreativeChatSA. “I had done a Twitterview with them a few months earlier and they approached me after working on a revamp of their vision and plans.
— Nicolette Mashile (@ImcocoMash) July 26, 2017
“I immediately jumped at the chance to work on #SistaHoodHour because it felt as though the timing was right to pursue something that I’m passionate about: connecting women to each other, having positive and uplifting conversations and learning more about various topics in our lives and careers.”
Opportunities that came out of #SistaHoodHour included radio interviews. “I’ve also received online profile opportunities to share my #SistaHoodHour journey. It’s really great that people, women especially are rallying around one another and supporting each other – whether they know one another or not.”
Langa says hosting a Twitter chat is a great platform to learn, share and grow with other people. “It’s a sense of community even if you haven’t met everyone in person. I’ve had really great people encourage me along the way and shown me incredible support.”