Deidre Brathwaite: On the social scene
DEIDRE BRATHWAITE knows the power of social media. But she not only knows its power – she owns a new media firm, PixlD Inc., whose sole purpose is to show local small and medium-sized businesses how to harness that power and use it to their advantage.
“It’s a great amplifier of the world because businesses are able to reach a much larger and targeted audience,” she says of social media platforms. “I don’t think enough businesses are fully embracing it or understand it. I think businesses here are getting into social media, [but] I don’t think they embrace the full potential of it.”
Deidre’s love of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was something that she just fell into after living and working in England.
“After I did my Masters, I worked in the family business for a little bit and I was doing social media to promote the family businesses,” she said. “I spoke to my husband about it because I wanted to take it further and I liked the idea of chatting with people and networking online. Through that I was able to bring in additional business and I saw the value of it for small businesses.”
After researching and seeing how she could go forward, Deidre did an online certification programme, so she is a Certified Social Media Consultant.
Deidre boasts of the value through social media of interfacing with clients, something that one would not normally be able to do. One of the clients that Deidre landed was Citibank. She hosted a webinar (web-based seminar) for 100 employees on the Role Of Social Media In Career Advancement. She didn’t have to travel to New York; everything was done right here in Barbados – virtually.
“I approached them about assisting their employees in using the online world to professionally enhance themselves,” she said.
Call it a brave new world, but it appears that social media is the way forward and companies are getting onboard. While this is good, there are some precautions that companies must take.
According to Deidre, there is a lot of etiquette surrounding social media that businesses and employees need to be familiar with.
“Facebook and Twitter are the biggest things out there, but they may not necessarily be relevant for your business,” she said. “You must have an objective and strategy for your business on Facebook or else it doesn’t help you to maximize its benefits.”
As a small business owner who makes a living for social media, Deidre promotes its benefits. Through her company she has conducted training sessions on the value of social media for several local businesses, including the Barbados Small Business Association and Fund Access.
“Our natures are changing so much and consumers are going online because there is such an ease to it,” she said. “ Everybody has the Internet and a smartphone; you can check your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn . . . It’s just a progression . . .[it’s] how we’re evolving.”