Effective Social Media Workshops kick-start 2022 program

Local small business owners and entrepreneurs from Lae, Papua New Guinea, and Port Vila, Vanuatu, participated in two Pacific Connect workshops throughout January and February to improve their online business strategies and promotion skills.  Over the past two weeks, eight participants from Lae and 21 from Port Vila have graduated from our latest ‘Effective Social Media’ Workshops, delivered by Coconut Wireless.

The Effective Social Media Workshop is part of the suite of professional development initiatives offered under the Pacific Connect Program, an Australian Government initiative that assists in stepping up Australia’s Pacific engagement by building stronger relationships between people in Australia and the Pacific under the theme of ‘Australia-Pacific Connections for a Digital Future’.

The month-long interactive course is provided to new and existing members of the Pacific Connect Community, and helps Pasifika entrepreneurs create an effective social media strategy, increase their understanding of different social media platforms and, ultimately, build a strong media foundation for businesses with the goal of increasing sales and awareness.

Demonstrating the organic cyclical benefits of the Community, the workshop instructor is Coconut Wireless Managing Director, Mary Aue, who joined Pacific Connect in 2019, through participation in a ‘Women in Business’ Dialogue. Mary’s organisation is one of the largest social media platforms for Maori, Pacific and Indigenous communities, celebrating and promoting culture, people, news and events to over 700,000 followers with a reach of up to five million people per week. As well as intensive group sessions, Mary provides tailored one-on-one mentoring sessions to participants, actively coaching them in the development of social media skills.

Both Workshops were held in a hybrid setup, with networking opportunities available thanks to our collaboration partners, Lae SME Incubator Hub and Yumiwork Vanuatu, hosting the participants at their venues. For those unable to attend in person, members used the Pacific Connect Learning Platform to watch recorded sessions and complete the interactive tasks.

To finish the series, participants came together for graduation ceremonies, during which they presented their social media plans developed throughout the Workshops, as well as receiving certificates of completion from Pacific Connect Program Manager, Tina Briggs. It’s always a pleasure to take part in these sessions, where participants share what they’ve learnt from these workshops and outline their future business plans.

Following the Lae Effective Social Media Workshop, participants are busy implementing social media plans for their businesses, with an ongoing promotion of four local organisations supported by Coconut Wireless. One participant, Davina, has already piloted her first women’s leadership retreat with ten emerging leaders from her community thanks to the power of social media harnessed throughout this workshop.

Both Lae and Port Vila Workshops represent an increased focus on professional development opportunities for Community members this year, with intermediate-level social media, Augmented/Virtual Reality ‘train the trainer’, mentoring, leadership and instructive Q&A workshops planned.

If you have suggestions for future workshops and other capacity building activities, please contact us or your local Pacific Connect Hub Coordinator.