Sonia Sroka explains how women can use social media tools to thrive in business
There are plenty of women out there constantly looking out for each other, whether it’s Women’s History Month or not. Thank goodness because, at this point, the best way for us to excel is to support each other and use the resources we have nearby to continue to amplify women’s issues.
In fact, it’s something that Sonia Sroka, the head of global multicultural communications at Meta – formerly known as Facebook – is passionate.
This passion pushes her to make the Latin community aware of all that is available to them for the sake of collective growth.
“We’re here to support women and make sure we give them the tools to pick up and stay in business,” she told BELatina on a Zoom call, where she rocked an immaculate camera presence. as per usual.
The numbers speak for themselves
The Salvadoran Jefa makes a point of showing people the tools available, which can be beneficial for business owners, whether they are well suited to their market or emerging business owners. If there’s one thing the pandemic has revealed, it’s the strength of our community’s entrepreneurial spirit.
However, our community’s penchant for entrepreneurship is sometimes held back by factors beyond our control.
A recent investigation conducted by Meta revealed that 24% of American small businesses run by women are still not operational. In contrast, 18% of small businesses run by men are not active.
Even then, Sroka explained that despite these findings, “we find that 63% of women-led businesses are confident that they will be able to continue operating next year, regardless of the circumstances.”
The power of women is indescribable.
Yet no matter how brave and determined women are, guidance is needed.
“We also know that nearly half of female small business owners in the United States make 25% of their sales digitally and 25% of their sales. Meanwhile, 39% of male-led small businesses are selling digitally. »
“Again, I think we need women to catch up a bit more.”
And while most people are already used to social media and its presence in daily life, some tools go unused most of the time. This is detrimental to our community, as we allow untapped resources and potential to lapse.
But the numbers are in favor.
After all, 40% of Instagram businesses have self-identified as female-owned and started since the pandemic began. This may be due to the rising archetype of the “Covid-preneur”, a social phenomenon of resilience.
Similar data is also valid for Facebook. These two platforms are a place where people can thrive, especially women.
“The women have definitely shown a huge entrepreneurial spirit. We find a way to make it happen. We find a way to help our families.
Build trust and confidence
So how can we build towards a trend that we all continue to grow at a steady rate?
Well, tools like sharing stories are one of the proven ways to help connect others and, in particular, businesses.
Sroka says, “Stories make us more human.
She herself started sharing more on her personal account because she longed for the connection and warmth that many of us have been deprived of over the past couple of years.
“I also need their support. I also want to feel supported. And I think more people are feeling that sense of community, that sense of support in being authentic and coming across as a multi-faceted person – businesses, just like people, are multi-faceted, and bring different things to their pages is a plus.
As we all know, there are countless things we can do with social media, so why not use all of its capabilities? Sroka encourages everyone to use whatever is available to them. Everything is there for a reason at the end of the day.
The importance of support programs
Unfortunately, not everyone may be aware of specific programs aimed at helping women. For example, Meta has a six-year-old program, #SheMeansBusiness, which is committed to supporting businesses.
This program offers free video tutorials. Currently, it also hosts new content regarding financial literacy training for women entrepreneurs. In doing so, it expands financial resilience literacy barriers with a new training track that includes modules on business financial fundamentals, financial health, and more.
Sroka, alongside Meta, encourages small business entrepreneurs to use WhatsApp for advertising efforts to drive business growth and recognition.
Not so long ago, WhatApp featured three of the most influential Latin female artists today, Anitta, Becky G and TINI, as they were part of the “Escúchanos, Míranos” campaign. They used the campaign to share their thoughts and empower themselves. This human connection is also a key factor in the success of a business – and this campaign shows the importance of it.
“WhatsApp also has the stories feature so you can share an update. So there are so many ways for you to connect with people, connect with your consumers, listen to them, give them what they need, what they want, to hear from them and to connect with other business owners.
“These programs that we have available are still there. If you don’t have a business, but are thinking about it or already own a business, consider using everything to learn how to optimize your business,” she suggests. “You can learn to use these resources in a better way or even as a way to network.”
Being part of these programs is a great way to hear others’ experiences because, as this Latin powerhouse says, it can give you insight into how to find solutions together.
When we asked Sonia how she can continue to encourage women and Latinas to get started in entrepreneurship, her advice was to tell everyone to get started before they’re ready.
“Don’t wait until you feel ready because sometimes we’re never ready.”
So when are you making this leap and what tools will you be using?