Initiative launched to help older business men and women survive pandemic through social media promotion

Since launching at the beginning of April, the campaign which collects and features the profiles of businesses whose older owners have often been running them for decades, has already amassed a following of 7,000 on Facebook and 34,000 on Instagram alone. Dziadkowie Biznesu/Instagram

A community social media campaign has been launched to promote the businesses of senior-citizens hard hit by the pandemic and whose lack of social media presence makes it difficult for them to reach beyond their regular customer base.

Called ‘Grandparents of Business’ (‘Dziadkowie Biznesu’) and active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the campaign was brought to life by a group of six management students from the University of Warsaw.

The businesses featured include a number of trades and professions including the ice cream business of Mrs Walentyna from Białystok, who has been producing and selling ice cream using traditional methods for the last 62 years. Dziadkowie Biznesu/Instagram

Writing on the project’s opening page, the students said: “Social media is an integral part of our everyday life. 

“Although for the younger generation, the internet is our daily bread, for the older generation it is not an insubstantial problem. 

Because older people often don’t use social media and don’t release that they can promote businesses in this way, the organisers wanted to do something to help them “as we believe in the power of social media for helping people and we have seen how it works before.”Dziadkowie Biznesu/Instagram

“This is exactly why our aim is to help the Grandparents of Business in increasing their client reach by promoting their businesses on our social media.”

Since launching at the beginning of April, the campaign has already amassed a following of 7,000 on Facebook and 34,000 on Instagram and attracted widespread media attention and praise from supporters and fans. 

So far the campaign has featured 14 businesses from across Poland with an average of well over 300 likes on each individual business post on Facebook and 4,000 on Instagram, as well as attracting many comments from those familiar with the businesses who are keen to share their positive experiences.

Called ‘Grandparents of Business’ (‘Dziadkowie Biznesu’) and active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the initiative has so far featured 14 businesses from across Poland.Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

The businesses featured include a number of trades and professions including the ice cream business of Mrs Walentyna from Białystok, who has been producing and selling ice cream using traditional methods for the last 62 years. 

The students’ post about her business was shared almost 2,500 times on Facebook.

Others given the spotlight include a Warsaw shoe shop owner and antique bookshop seller and watchmaker, a Łódź cobbler, Wrocław and Kielce bakers, Katowice flower sellers and a Kołobrzeg toastie hut.

The brainchild of six management students from the University of Warsaw, the campaign got 33,000 followers after just a few days of launching.Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

Olivia Szataniak, one of the students running the campaign, told TFN: “We are really happy to see that our campaign is working. For example, since the post promoting Mrs Walentyna’s ice cream business, we have heard from her that there has been a huge increase in customers. 

“She told us she is now working really hard and she is tired at the end of the day, but a positive tired, she is really happy. 

“We have also heard from the daughter of a florist we promoted who says sales have increased 4-fold.”

Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

Other businesses given the spotlight include a Warsaw shoe shop owner and antique bookshop seller and watchmaker, a Łódź cobbler, Wrocław and Kielce bakers, Katowice flower sellers and a Kołobrzeg toastie hut.Dziadkowie Biznesu/Facebook

She added: “The idea came about because we knew older people often don’t use social media and don’t release that they can promote businesses in this way, so we wanted to do something to help them as we believe in the power of social media for helping people and we have seen how it works before.

“We were really overwhelmed by the reaction, we were able to achieve 33,000 followers after just a few days of launching, which is amazing. 

“We have recently been approached by Facebook who want to help us promote our posts to an even wider audience.”