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Rotorua Daily Post

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Māori businesses in Rotorua get social media savvy. Made with NZ On Air.

Delilah Whaitiri

Facebook has partnered with Whāriki Business Network for the first time to help local Māori businesses and encourage them to use the network as a marketing tool.

An event last week saw businesspeople attend a half-day seminar at Tamaki Māori Village.

“We’re bringing access to information about how to use these tools to promote and sell your business to people that can’t necessarily access it by themselves,” Whāriki director James Rihia said.

“We’ve got experts from Facebook coming here teaching you how to use all the functions that are on Facebook. That’s why we have nearly 100 Māori businesses here, just lapping it up,” he said.

Fit Wāhine NZ owner Puawai Winterburn was one of the panellists.

“An example of me using social media to benefit my pakihi (business) is sharing,” she said.

“For example, my page wasn’t getting as many views as it usually would from my stories, so I asked my community to share a post of me. It was an image of myself and my tamaiti, I was breastfeeding him.

“I got them to share it out, to help boost my engagement on social media, and now I look at the insights where you can see how many views, how many people have seen it, or engaged with it – and there were over 400 shares, likes, comments.

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“So that’s just the power of social media and how sharing your story can really empower other people to step into their growth, to step into their truth and just grow,” she said.

Labour MP Tamati Coffey was also a panellist in his capacity as co-owner of Our House restaurant in Rotorua.

“Definitely there’s opportunities to be working and growing your audience,” he said. “If you can nail it yourself without having to contract it out to somebody else, then it will actually give you a deeper understanding as to how you might be able to use it to benefit your business.”

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