WHO: NICHOLLA HENDERSON-HALL
WHAT: SOCIAL INFLUENCER
‚ÄúI started my first Facebook group ‚Äď‚Äú Muscat, Where can I Find?‚ÄĚ in 2010. I started it because I was a mum to an eight month old baby and I didn’t want to traipse around the shops on the street with my daughter in her stroller in the hot weather. It was May and I was trying to find a tailor so I thought I’d utilise the Facebook Groups as a way to ask my friends if they knew of a good tailor. I created the group and invited a few friends who started also asking, ‘Where Can I Find….’ and very quickly the group developed momentum as it was saving people time and money through the members sharing knowledge, recommendations, insights and experiences. That information became powerful to the community and over the years we have grown to a community of near 50,000 members. It‚Äôs still the ‘go to’ group for helping you find what you are looking for in Muscat. We replicated this model across other Oman cities and then Abu Dhabi when I moved there.
THE LEARNING CURVE
I started the Learning Curve Podcast in 2015 as an opportunity to share the success of Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. There are so many amazing women in this region creating amazing businesses which I believe inspire other women who are keen to start their own businesses. I’ve interviewed over 110 women in the last two years and generated over 150,000 downloads across 99 countries. We have also started supporting coaches, authors and consultants with a podcast service – where we help them share more information about their business in a format which allows listeners to enjoy learning, discovering or being inspired.
GETTING STARTED IN PODCASTING
Use audio and video to expand your business message then create a community around what you do! People love to feel connected to others who have a common interest. Given the powers of technology creating audio or video isn’t difficult so don’t be shy to embrace podcasting to help you with your tasks. There are so many services out there now that help you learn, develop and expand on your abilities so you can share your message. I’ve met amazing people through the power of community and it encourages us all to put forward our best first.
For a podcaster the real challenge is developing the audience! Here in the Middle East the podcast community is still small and needs development. In the United States and Europe podcasting is powerful and growing. TV shows have behind the scene podcast shows, and businesses owners have their own podcast shows to help them grow their reach and engagement, share new ideas, and interview clients and customers. It‚Äôs still a new concept and we are still in the early stages of evolving the tool!
Facebook Group Management is an ongoing challenge. The primary challenge are the managing the members. Most members follow the rules and guidelines and maintain a thoughtful and productive attitude in the group but then there are members who seem to believe they can be rude, abusive, aggressive or post how they like. I’ve learnt to always handle these members in a polite and constructive way.
NICHOLLA‚ÄôS SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
1) Don‚Äôt be afraid to use FB Live or shooting your own video. Script it if you have to but start sharing your message using video. The more you do the better you become. People love to watch video. Think of the number of short videos you watch on social networks yourself.
2) Never sell on social networks. Rather encourage conversation, dialogue and activity. Show value, avoid selling as it rarely works.
3) People love funny inspirational images – use them and ask people to share. Don’t be shy to use calls to actions; people do like to be told what to do as it makes decision-making easier.
4) You can now place a video on your Facebook Fan Page Cover image. Use that space to really capture your audience and use the call to action buttons Facebook makes available. Facebook fan pages can really be used as websites these day so use of the facilities they offer.
5) Put aside a budget to create advert campaigns because organic exposure is dead. Make a great targeted campaign using tools available on Facebook to build audiences and create campaigns.