Social media is the buzz word these days. One network that has sprung up is ShesConnected.com and it's aimed at the busy woman. The site was officially launched at the National Women's Show this past Friday in Toronto.
The network was started as a place online to manage both the professional and personal side of a woman's life. Members are able to have both a professional profile and a more personal one for their family and friends.
ShesConnected.com was founded by Donna Marie Antoniadis and Mark Grindeland. Both founders have been focusing on social media since 2007.
Ms. Antoniadis has worked in the sales, business development and marketing world for more than 20 years. Since 1995 she has focused on the Internet industry.
Mr. Grindeland has been working at the executive level in advertising, mobile, and social media for more than 25 years. He has worked on four other start-up companies, each one a success.
Coming into the ShesConnected.com project, both partners spent considerable time researching their intended market. During a telephone interview with Grindeland and Antoniadis we discussed why ShesConnected.com was founded along with the marketing analysis that support the original dream.
"I had a dream for a women's network and took the idea to Mark," Antoniadis said early in the interview.
Since the founding of ShesConnected.com in 2007, the partners have been building the technology that is now in place. Knowing that women are a huge force in the social media network world they did extensive research to narrow down the needs of the working woman when it comes to a network.
One main concern for Donna Marie and Mark was that privacy could be achieved. The partners have achieved that with the dual profiles -- one for business and one for a woman's personal life. On the business side of things women are encouraged to use a photograph of themselves while for the personal profile an avatar and screen name is encouraged.
"It's up to the woman how much privacy she wants. Some women don't have a privacy concern," Donna Marie said, "while others use a screen name so that their business side is completely separate from their personal life."
Mark told me the team did three months of analysis before going ahead with the project.
"We found that although women were very involved in social media networking they were under represented in 2007. We knew that if that path held out women would be a powerful market."
The path has held out, with women the leaders on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The research also told Mark and Donna Marie that women use social media as a way of promoting their businesses. Women who are involved in social media tend to be higher educated as well. At ShesConnected.com, women can promote up to five businesses for free.
On ShesConnected.com, women can also read information from leading female bloggers. They can sign up through ad platforms to make their own blog and make money from that as well.
There is also a business directory on the site.
Another feature is groups; women can promote their groups on the site as well as on their personal sites with a log-in widget. The groups are a free feature on ShesConnected.com.
While members have two profiles they can view their news feeds of both on a single page.
"We are supported by angel investors," Grindeland said, "We have been able to obtain just over $1 million for the project. We will support ShesConnected.com with ad revenue."
Since the Friday launch of ShesConnected.com the site has a 94-country member base. The company employs 20 people and is based in Toronto and Boston.