Please tell us who you are and what you do?
Hi, I am Neeharika. I currently work at Facebook helping to bring new products to market. I work with a gamut of products, specifically in understanding how we can help small businesses grow and help them build community.
What is your background? Can you tell us about your journey?
I was born in India. I spent 20 years of my life there. I had always had a thirst for more knowledge and it was my endless curiosity that brought me to the United States. I came here for my master’s degree, it was my first time in this country and I didn't know what to expect, I just knew that I loved learning and wanted to grow in this new world. I have spent more than a decade paving my path here, working as an engineer in building green spaces, as an entrepreneur, to now helping bring the world closer together. I am passionate about helping women in STEM fields grow and advise them to become entrepreneurs. During my journey, I have been fortunate to find mentors to look up to and aspire to do the same for immigrants coming to this country to fulfill their dreams.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I find it rewarding to be able to work with so many inspiring people every day. I especially love bringing the world closer together and giving small businesses a voice.
Words to live by?
Stay curious and keep learning.
We'd love to learn a little bit about what can small businesses / budding entrepreneurs can do with Facebook + Instagram to build their communities?
The beauty of platforms such as Facebook + Instagram is that they help you connect with a large audience. Certain ways to use them effectively are to stay true to your brand’s voice and encourage existing customers to share their experience with your brand. Partnering with other local businesses is another way to broaden your audience base as well. Keeping your information updated on these platforms and truly communicating with your audience by answering questions and staying engaged is another good way to create a connection and a sense of community.
In your opinion, what's the most important thing a small business should do to market their brand?
For small businesses it is important to know what differentiates them from other brands. Having an authentic voice is step one of the process. After that, it is helpful to think of a couple of strategies and experiment with it. For example: weekly behind the scenes of your business to humanize your brand, photo series to showcase your product in a certain theme or any other interesting ways you can think of reaching out to your consumers. For every brand, you have to experiment with a couple of ideas to understand and measure what works well. For small business, it is important to constantly iterate your approach and ensure you are truly listening to your customers.
As a small business, how do you stand out from the crowd on Facebook?
Understanding the platform and using it effectively to tell your unique story is the only way to differentiate your brand. There are several tools we offer to engage your audience creatively.
Photos taken by our friend, Emily Scott