Introduction from the Editor: We are fortunate and grateful that May King Tsang took the time to write this incredible blog post. Please make the time to put the kettle on, make a cup of tea or coffee, sit down and read this fantastic guest blog post. Thank you May King for writing this.
Social Media has the capaciTEA to do great things and I am currently the recipient of that. Let me explain. Hello there. My name is May King Tsang. My first name is May King and I am the founder of MayKing Tea. My husband was given an opportuniTEA to relocate to Australia three years ago and I followed. I had already started my business in the UK and moving over to Brisbane and starting my business again from scratch was daunting but a challenge I was willing to accept. I didn’t know a single person in Brisbane before moving over and had used Twitter to chat with like-minded business owners to start building relationships.
I was taught on the Chinese culture side of me (I’m a BBC: British Born Chinese ), that everything must be conducted in balance and so I didn’t put all of my eggs in one basket. As well as using Social Media I also went to Networking groups to build those relationships. After listening to many, I decided to go onto Facebook to help raise awareness about me and then my business. After learning about FB, I created a group called Queensland Business Group to see if I could help other business owners in my adopted home. I worked hard to help other business owners; encouraged the sharing of great content and supported collaborations within the group. To date, the group has over 3100 members who Help, Share, Collaborate.
After two years of building MayKing Tea and Queensland Business, unfortunately my husband asked for a divorce; had informed Immigration of our marital status and I had 5 days to tell Immigration what I was going to do or risk being asked to leave the country. Due to the voluntary work I had bestowed on business owners, I appealed to them for assistance. The money for my visa application was raised in 24 hours and they never stopped giving. “Pay It Forward”: never a truer word spoken.
As you can see from my story, Social Media is a fantastic facilitator for small businesses when it comes to relationship building. But the real source of the power is in its execution – it has to come from the heart. You see, whilst many business owners are aware of Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, many business owners are not embracing the concept to its fullest. Business owners often practice winning friends and influencing people with an end goal of making money and for me, this is not true relationship building. A genuine desire to help other business owners should be authentic, true and with no set expectation other than to help someone else.
For three years I helped other business owners on the Social Media networks mentioned above about #tea, #business or issues that the Social Media communiTEA needed assistance on that I could help with. Sometimes I wasn’t able to help, so I did a Share or a Retweet or just a Like and I did the best that I could with no expectation from the help I give. A year after applying for my own visa (August this year), unfortunately Immigration rejected my application and so I asked my network again for assistance. It was very difficult for me to ask for help as I’m normally the one that helps others and always thought I was bullet proof and could resolve things by myself. How wrong I was!! As well as Queensland Business, I have built a great communiTEA of tea business owners (I don’t believe there is such a thing as competition); Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Google+ friends, LinkedIn Connections and Pinterest followers and others. My tumultuous journey (thanks for that great word Caroline) of 8 days in trying to figure out what to do before risk being kicked out of the country is captured on YouTube (videos containing the hashtag #maykingfairgo). It was a huge success and for right now I have a little reprieve, and can stay in the country until my court hearing for my appeal.
So there we are. That is my story about the power of Social Media. I could’ve bored you with statistics and global reach. I could’ve bored you with the finer details of what happened in those 8 days, but I just wanted to share from the heart, how Social Media has helped me. Many followers of mine went through my immigration journey including the wonderful Andrew Emmett who very kindly shared my petition amongst his networks to help me to stay in beauTEAful Australia. (Thank you Andrew). I will leave you with a final message. If you want to use Social Media effectively for your business, I would say, just get into the conversation. Be social (Social Media: remember the clue is in the title) and be part of the communiTEA. Help others with no set expectation because you never know when Social Media Karma (Thanks Jasmine Birks for sharing the Social Media Karma arTEAcle with us on #QBG) will conspire with you to help you in your hour of need. Be authentic, true to yourself and have fun! It really is that simple. The money for your business will come later as it has mine and you can continue to follow my business success if this is your cup of tea on any of my Social Media links above. Thank you for listening.