While most people might know Zoe Saldana from starring in movies like Avatar Where guardians of the galaxy, last week, the actor took on the role of host of Facebook Boost with Facebook Festival of good ideas. The virtual event aimed to help small businesses navigate the post-pandemic business world.
The business world is no stranger to Saldana. In 2018, she founded Bese, a digital media platform that focuses on the stories of communities that are typically under-represented in mainstream media.
In an interview with Contractor, Saldana talks about how technology has evolved for businesses and the importance of amplifying your voice in the digital age.
What is the most interesting information you gleaned from organizing the festival?
How much technology has evolved. Social media is not just a social vehicle for people to connect, but a vehicle for businesses to do their best. [work]. Businesses survive by growing and promoting themselves, and how this awareness can multiply really blew me away.
These small businesses are built by bright, young people. But the point is, they’re young, so they’re making these bold, courageous decisions to build this on their own. If we don’t give them that support and help them amplify their messages and their businesses, then they really have limited capacity to grow.
Covid was a very big pandemic in the sense that it not only tested our health and our lives, but it also tested our businesses and our growth and our dreams. And these are things that are slowly getting back on their feet.
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Do you want to have the social media presence necessary for small business success?
I think so. I would love to be an anarchist and say to you, “No, you can do it on your own”, but I think because we are becoming citizens of the world who depend so much on our phones, everything we consume is on the internet – whatever. or our news, where to shop, what to eat. For small businesses to have this visibility, they need to have some type of knowledge of how to exist in the digital space.
I’m not a millennial and technology has always been something that has always been difficult for me to grasp, but after starting a business like Bese, I knew I needed to live on social media.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for businesses in this post-pandemic environment?
I think we’ve all learned that less is more. We were all hit hard when the world stopped, but what it brought us was this reality that less can be more if we are efficient with our time, take care of our lifestyles, take care. of what we like and cultivate our ideas.
Overall you can be a very small team. But that doesn’t mean you are short. You can still be a very big, inspiring, and moving company no matter your size because of it. It is not about his smallness. It’s just a matter of efficiency.
I think it’s really important to have a two to five year plan because once you have set goals or a timeline you don’t get overwhelmed by the generalization of “getting it”. But defining the ‘it’ and giving it a timeline will also give you the opportunity to focus on your life and well-being in addition to your dreams and ideas.
Hearing about the stories of these small businesses, have you noticed any parallels with your experience growing a business?
As it’s about Bese, I am confident and proud of the content we create. When I was at scale I realized that as algorithms develop and change drastically, we have to evolve in the way we perceive them. [technological] vehicles and how we want to reach our community.
We all jump on social media because we want some kind of authentic representation of inspiration. And I feel like the truth always wins. Sincerity will always win.
For young small businesses, the more authentic your voice, the more it will reach people. Even if it’s a community of 50,000 or 500,000, they will respond to you in a very positive way. So it’s something that comes back over and over again.
How does a business understand how to use these algorithms?
I think it really depends on what type of business you have and what goal you’ve set for yourself in terms of what your reach will be. Is it just your local community? Is this your region? Is it the state? Is it the nation?
This will dictate the type of tools you need to acquire so that you understand all of your when, how and where.
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