Part 2 of our series on how social media helps businesses grow finds us in conversation with Noni Banks of The Diva Movement, a personal development and social networking organization for women and girls. Facebook was her launch pad after receiving bad news from her doctor.
“I had been sitting on an idea to start a company for 10 years, and after receiving some scary news about my health from doctor, I literally hit the ‘Create Page’ button on Facebook and started my company,” Banks shares with TNJ.com.
And it’s grown from there thanks to social media, Facebook and Instagram in particular, where 75 percent of her audience is formed. Further, most of her paid advertising is through Facebook, and 80% of her events on Facebook sell out.
“We offer a community of encouragement for women leaders and entrepreneurs who are working full time jobs and starting businesses on the side,” she says. “We realize that a lot of times women, especially women of color, are using their own money to fund their businesses, so it was important for us to provide information about tools and resources through social media, through our website, and at our live events to help support them.”
Banks started with Facebook’s Business Page and went on to create private and public Facebook groups. She says she’s seen people make connections on the group page and then develop those relationships by attending her company’s events and networking with each other.
“We do a lot of work around helping women connect in that space, helping them promote and build their brand through our Facebook’s groups and pages, and helping to extend that to live events and in person,” she notes.
Banks’ most popular content is her welcome posts for new joiners, with which she posts an image and short bio with business experience. She uses page and ad insights in conjunction with polls on her Facebook group to continuously understand who her audience is and what they care about.
“We do that to boost engagement,” she says. “We see a lot of women who are not comfortable on social media for their business. They can go on social media and post photos from their vacation, but when it comes to promoting their businesses, and accessing and using social media effectively, we see a gap in those skills. I think people know these tools exist, but they just are not confident about using them.”
She uses those polls to get people “warmed up” to use social media. “Let’s face it: people love to share advice, so we help them warm up to the practice of promoting their business on social media.”
Banks says she believes people know about the power of social media and that you can literally run a business from your iPhone, but it’s fear that keeps them from taking that step forward towards using it for their personal affairs. “People can run departments at big corporations, but when it comes to doing something for their own endeavors on the side, they can’t seem to do it,” she says.
As for the Diva Movement’s success, social media has been a winner. Banks has received so many Facebook messages that she has hired an assistant to “keep up.”