The Cambodian Women in Business page was established on Facebook in November 2009 to share the experience of women in doing business and networking in Cambodia. Since then, a number of formal gatherings has been held by the network through the support of the International Finance Cooperation of Cambodia. Last week, the first informal gathering was successfully organized through individual contributions.
About 40 network participants showed up at the gathering last June 3 to discuss the role of Facebook in facilitating their various businesses. The event was participated by bloggers, e-entrepreneurs, business women, and civil society organizations.
The discussion initially touched on the emergence of new social media tools which can reach a bigger and specialized target audience compared to the reach of the traditional media. Then the panelists and participants shared some tips on how to maximize Facebook for the expansion of their businesses.
“Ana and Jerry shared tricks on how to increase the number of fans: invite friends [while they are online, so that they can quickly respond to your friend request], encourage friends to click the “like” button as your page appears on their profile and your services are advertised through their profile; use advertising.”
Then the e-commerce startup via Facebook was also discussed. Linda Lee, a young university student and owner of an online shop named “Unique Style Online Shop,” urged other entrepreneurs to use various social media platforms to boost business profitability. Linda emphasizes:
“If you sell online, the start up cost is very low: you don't need stock, no need of a shop, rental, electricity, staff.”
She also advised that marketing and sale strategy will be more highly effective through the use of sweet language to better interact with clients. She added the importance of offering an easy way for delivery and payment methods. She shared some marketing strategies:
“use sweet words and your users’ language: this will make them trust you (you are friendly) and they can understand you (why use an English literary style when they use a mix of Khmer and short English words). They feel they are like you. There are businesses managed by men targeting women buyers (clothing, cosmetics) so they use exactly the same vocabulary and style with “woaw!” and “sweetie!”, a note by the Cambodia Women in Business
Most participants were interested to learn more on how to utilize social media power for their business interests. They were also eager to understand methods that would promote better client interaction. More importantly, such informal gathering was perceived to be useful for women business networking in the country. Dr. Lili Sisombat, the event organizer and the creator of “Cambodia Women in Business” page, hopes that such unique networking in the business community will be sustained.