The basic idea that drove the creation of social media was to bring the people of the world closer and open up communication across the great distances of the world. This proposition gave precedence to the existence of platforms that enabled people to connect and have fun.
However, as the years stretched, social media increased in popularity and became a mainstream tool; this allowed advertisers to run ads and promote their products and services to anyone they choose as their target audience.
Currently, we can say with boldness that social media has dramatically impacted individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. Social media serves as a marketing channel for businesses to connect with their target population, get customers, and make more profit.
Social media has been key to the growth of many black-owned businesses. Social networks like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube, have been catalysts in helping the Black community express themselves creatively and eventually having their content go viral. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center report 38 percent of Hispanics and 47 percent of African Americans are on Instagram. On Facebook, those numbers rise to 75 and 67 percent, respectively.
So how exactly has social media helped the growth of Black-owned businesses?
More than a few Black-owned companies have witnessed social-media-induced business growth stemming from the famous Black Lives Matter movement.
For instance, a tweet was published on the third of June promoting black-owned companies. That tweet quickly went viral, garnering over a hundred and fifty thousand retweets; this gave all the featured black-owned companies a boost in business growth.
One of the businesses featured in the tweet was booked with orders that it had to close up for a while to clear a backlog gotten from the viral tweet.
During the BLM movement, more people opened accounts with One United Bank (which, if you don’t already know, is the largest Black-owned bank operating in Boston) than they did in all of 2019. Black Wall Street, an online directory for black-owned businesses, was shut down in that same period due to an insane surge in web traffic.
While the Black Lives Matter movement was solely responsible for this growth, social media acted as fuel to exponentially speed up the process. Some social media companies have even gone as far as stepping in with programs to support black-owned businesses.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the social media behemoth, Facebook, launched two new programs to support black business owners and content creators. This gave them a platform to thrive. Black Business August is a series of virtual events that focuses on promoting black business owners. It features training content on increasing business growth.
Apart from that, Facebook also created a $25 million program for black funding creators in its community. This program was aimed to amplify black voices and introduce more diversity on its platform. To qualify, you must be aged 18 and above, reside in the United States, and have a minimum of 10,000 followers on Instagram or Facebook.
There are several ways to leverage social media platforms to grow your venture as a black business owner.
Firstly, you need to interact with your audience to know precisely what kind of information is most appealing to them. Once you have learned what your audience values, your only job is to give them exactly what they want.
You must create engaging content often and foster a community around your brand. Your content does not strictly have to be in one format; you can make content in text, images, videos, and more. While posting your content, make sure to include captions that engage your audience’s curiosity.
Your caption should not be too vague; it must tell the whole story of your post and help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Another critical thing is to be consistent. You should post regularly to gain constant traction and stay on your audience’s mind. Post content consistently, several times a week. Your audience will thank you for it.