There is no escape. Each day we are requested to become fans of Facebook pages. ‘Please do it, it’s my friend’s page’ read the usual lines on the respective page. Scroll to ‘Like’ button and yes, we are welcome to the most powerful kind of word-of-mouth marketing — recommendations from friends on Facebook.
The concept of Facebook entrepreneurship has gathered a huge momentum in Pakistan. Now more and more people look to start their business from their homes using Facebook to build a base of loyal customers, and then just stick to niche marketing to sustain a gradual increase in popularity.
One of the most apparent reasons for this trend is that it’s free. Shehreyar Ali, page owner of ‘Insomnia Kitchen’, a service that delivers food to your doorstep at a single phone call, believes that owing to economic pressures and logistical issues, opening and running a restaurant is a risky venture; he thus came up with a new concept which caters to a niche market at a minimum overhead cost.
Ali believes that taking risks with innovative ideas has become easier. “The rule of thumb is to have a smart presence on a social media site and maintain one-to-one interaction.”
The page ‘Le Rêve: Designer Cakes & Chocolates’ has a following that goes into thousands. When the owner of the page floated the idea of combining her love for art and passion for cooking, she was aware that social media is already the big thing in marketing mediums; Facebook was actually the first thing she had in mind when she was discussing the possibility of a designer confectionery brand.
“It’s important to realise that in this day and age, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not just networking websites, they’re digital communities which are helping people to come closer. Facebook is just a town in this digital world; we’re the neighbourhood’s favourite bakery,” she elaborated.
She believes that there’s no limit to the beauty of the digital world. No limit to what, where, when and how things can be done. “The clients are different; they are influenced by the latest trends, they want to have something different but without losing the customary feel,” she emphasised.
Maha Hassan started off with the venture of creating handmade gift favours in May 2010 under the label ‘Eventive’. “The idea was basically to do something creative and useful for not just myself but for people around me; I was passionate to reach a class of people who are true evaluators of unique things, who can appreciate creativity and go for it by choice,” Hassan explained.
Her page has received a massive response over these two years. “I could not be more satisfied, not only with the number of people who follow my page but also the clientele list which includes Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Chawla Group of Industries and many more.” Now she is looking forward to opening her own outlet.
What was once seen merely as a place for social interaction has fast evolved into a professional platform, serving as a potent online marketing tool and letting people from all walks of life and of all ages interact. Whatever the reasons behind its increasing popularity, social media is playing an important role in allowing people to utilise their talents without even stepping out of their house.