Two decades ago it would have been virtually impossible for a regular Malaysian to create a product and then sell it to someone from across the globe. Most foreigners after all probably wouldn’t have been able to point to Malaysia on a map anyway, let alone know anything about its skilled craftsmen and artisans.
Yet thanks to the Internet, much of that dynamic has changed. Small medium businesses (SMBs) in Malaysia can confidently market their products because the world is now their oyster, thanks to platforms such as Facebook’s efforts to support local businesses to go global and grow their business.
Facebook enables Malaysian SMBs to ‘find their people’ overseas - including new customers as well as communities of like-minded people who enjoy their products and appreciate what they do. Instagram, for example, is a great way to seek and find things that pique your interest, and link up with a like-minded community, or find your tribe, whether it’s driven by art, style, love for the environment, automobiles, coffee…. you name it really!
Most proprietors of small businesses – no matter where they are in the world – put love and passion into the products they make, and this passion, when given the right platform, shines bright. Enter Facebook, which is passionate about working together with the “little guys” in order to grow their business, so what's made by someone who would otherwise be unknown, can now be loved by the world.
Take retail entrepreneur young Ameera Zaini for example.
As a young girl, she would borrow scarves from her mum’s hijab collection and add her own personal twist to the garment. Today, she’s turned that passion project into a successful global business, and in no small measure is that thanks to Facebook.
Ameera has been able to embrace Islamic fashion, and showcase her own styles of the Tudung Bawal (wide shawl) to the world.
Ameera began her career as a travelogue TV show host. It was through her travels across Europe and Asia that she discovered Muslim communities everywhere have their own unique identity. This inspired her to create her own line of scarves. The scarves became so successful that Ameera then decided to launch her own ready-to-wear fashion line as well.
At the heart of Ameera’s business lies a desire to create stylish pieces that appeal to self-confident, fashionable Muslim women.
Proud of her culture and heritage, the 26-year-old, who is also a pharmacy grad from the Management Science University, says that she is delighted to have put Malaysia on to the map, when it comes to Muslimah fashion.
“I believe the Tudung Bawal is synonymous with Malay style and fashion, and this became a catalyst for my brand,” she said.
Ameera feels that Facebook and Instagram have been instrumental in getting the brand an international audience.
“I often see photos being tagged online and this leads to many fruitful interactions between us and potential customers, or even between potential and existing customers,” she explains as one of the ways Facebook and Instagram have been essential in creating intimacy with her clients.
“I quickly started to realise that my brand was being accepted all over the world, and that was something that I was really proud of achieving.”
With over 2 billion people on its platform, Facebook is more than able to find SMBs, like retailer AmeeraZaini, a ready audience, and enable them to engage with them effectively.
Why not let Facebook help you find your people and grow your business. Learn how at a training workshop held throughout Malaysia, or check out FB’s online resources at madebyyou.fb.com/my/.