I have a very dear friend, let’s call her Fiona. Unlike her fictional name, Fiona is not a figment of my imagination. I gave up that friend (Betty) when I was about five years old. Largely because Mum would not give me extra cookies for my invisible friend, being in my view, discriminatingly suspicious in her attitude towards that persecuted minority: the cookie deprived invisible; despite the hard proof of Betty’s existence, evident by the avid consumption of any, and all extra cookies, as difficult as they were to procure. To this day, I take a very dim view of discrimination against minorities.
But let’s not dwell on the noble traits of my formative years …
Fiona and I have been friends since our kids were babies. We’re as different as chalk and cheese. While I was suited and booted putting my stomp on the corporate world, Fiona was studying an environmental degree, juggling family, working with the underprivileged and volunteering her time to care of the environment. She’s so passionate about taking care of our earth that now, many years on, she’s created a business around it.
Fiona, is one of those people who walks the walk, not just talks the talk. You won’t find her lolling about with a latte bemoaning that state of the world. She’s out there, doing something about it. And when we get together we guzzle a cheeky little red, not lattes. Ah, so that’s what we have in common!
Recently, we caught up on each other’s news, well into the small hours and more than one red was had.
Fiona’s business is in bush regeneration. She’s been doing well, working on everything from private residences, community centres and kindies to government environmental contracts.
But like many SMEs, her business needs more clients. Naturally, I started banging on about Dragon Sisters, Smarketing and Fiona’s business Facebook page.
Fiona doesn’t do digital, social media or any of that stuff. Well, she does, a bit. She’s too busy with her digits digging in the earth to redirect them to a keyboard. Besides, she’s no fan of technology. Fiona frequently goes AWOL from her mobile, Facebook and Linked In accounts. I’m used to her being out of touch for tracts of time, then randomly popping up again. That never matters with good friends though, does it?
Just as the last of the red disappeared and I was thinking of doing the same, Fiona picked back up on the topic of Facebook and her business. Out came her laptop and up came her business page.
We put on some coffee and nattered into the even smaller hours. One thing I realized was that Fiona is a natural branding and word wizard. Who knew?! Yet her page wasn’t doing much for her.
She looked pretty crestfallen … ‘ ****! You mean all the followers I had are pretty much lost?’
Erm, yeah, sorry. This, on the subject of FB algorithms, Newsfeed, audience retention, blah blah blah. Suddenly the dry and the boring translated into the reality of nobody is seeing this great stuff ☹!
Fiona huffed about wasted effort and hard work. But she brightened when I pointed out some easy fixes and revitalization ideas. Fiona knows all about revitalization and regeneration, being in the business of exactly that. The parallel wasn’t lost on her.
Here’s to nurturing some new growth Fiona ? Cheers!
Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.