Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Aussie small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are missing the opportunity to use online tools to run their core business better by: cutting costs, reaching customers and suppliers, innovating and getting more control over their business, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

Businesses with less than 200 employees employ two-thirds of private sector workers and contribute more than half of Australia’s private sector GDP and if advanced online technology becomes the norm among SMEs, the productivity gains would spread through the whole economy.

There are four big opportunities for SMEs to use online tools more effectively: mobile, social, data analytics, and the cloud. The paper says:

  • only 18% of Australian SMEs with an internet connection have developed mobile-optimised websites.
  • only a quarter of Australian SMEs with an internet connection say they use social networking for marketing purposes.
  • many SMEs haven’t realised the full potential of data analytics to understand their customer segments.
  • only 8% of Australian SME managers say they use the cloud. But 47% of SMEs with an internet connection use basic cloud computing services such as webmail or cloud data storage.

All four opportunities can help small firms win where before they would have lost to larger firms that could absorb the fixed costs of corporate IT.

To read more on this story, click here.

Facebook brings video ads to Australia

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Facebook is bringing its Premium Video Ads and Video Metrics to Australia, one of seven markets outside of the US where Facebook is rolling out the new services.

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) chief executive Alice Manners said recent estimates showed video advertising was growing at 55.7 per cent, representing 14.3 per cent of digital display dollars, for the quarter.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said that Facebook Premium Video offers brands new ways to engage and connect with over 10 million Australians who access Facebook daily.

“In the coming months, we’ll be working closely with advertisers to deliver high-quality video campaigns that create the best possible advertising experience,” Mr Easton said.

The 15-second video ads appear in users’ newsfeeds and play automatically with the sound muted until they are clicked on.

Facebook began selling ads in the United States in March.

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AdRoll coming to Australia

Friday, March 21st, 2014
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

AdRoll is coming to Australia and hopes to hire 20 people by the end of this year.

AdRoll, used by internet giants like Facebook and Twitter, is a retargeting company that presents ads to internet users based on their previous searches, which are meant to deliver more sales because they reflect a reader’s interests.

Digital advertising is the fasted-growing type of advertising in Australia, making up 18% of ad bookings by advertising buyers in February. And in the eight months to February it grew by 23.4% to $910 million, compared with 4% growth across all mediums, according to this week’s figures from the Standard Media Index.

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Western Australia tourism business discovers power of social media just in time

Monday, December 16th, 2013
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

A Western Australia tourism business on the brink of bankruptcy discovered just how powerful social media could be in the nick of time.

After spending tens of thousands of dollars on traditional advertising for his one-man Margaret River Discovery Company and getting nothing in return, Sean Blocksidge was five days away from packing it in for good when the social media gods smiled on him. A few couples who had partaken in tours with his company, which provides 4WD tours of the rocky coast and canoeing on Margaret River’s famous waterway, left positive reviews on TripAdvisor and opened the floodgates for Blocksidge.

“I didn’t understand the power of this thing,” said Blocksidge. “And the algorithms behind it suddenly spun me up into the number one thing to do in Margaret River. That was it. The next morning, everything turned around. The phone and email went nuts and I’ve never looked back. Chock-a-block every day.”

For two straight years, it was then listed as the number one tourist activity in Australia.

And every day, Blocksidge does his due diligence by spending 15 minutes taking and uploading a photo of the region to his Facebook page, which auto-links to Twitter, and he then re-posts it to Instagram.

If it’s picked up by TourismWA, his image is viewed by millions.

To read more on this story, click here.

Well-known online entrepreneur shares 10 signs that an internet company will fail

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Photo credit; Nima Badiey on Flickr

Photo credit; Nima Badiey on Flickr

Australian internet entrepreneur Fred Schebesta,  who founded online comparison website and is also a StartupSmart mentor, has put together a list of the signs he says show that an internet company is likely to fail.

Here are Schebesta’s 10 indicators that an internet company is set for failure:

1. The owner expects it to go viral

“The most successful viral campaigns out there are for brands that have already established themselves in the market and have an existing following. Viral campaigns drive brand awareness not sales and should support a core marketing strategy, not the other way round.”

2. The chosen idea adds to an already ‘successful’ core product

“A product that adds value to another successful idea can thrive in the beginning however, when the existing product fails or its owner decides that they can create that add-on even better, this business becomes redundant.”

3. The product is good but could easily operate as a free service

“I’ve watched entrepreneurs crumble as larger businesses swoop in and offer a similar service for free. Remarkably I’ve also watched as others try to establish a paid service when it’s already available at no cost to the consumer! It’s not a good idea if money can’t be made from it.”

4. It’s a faceless business

“Brands that are non-personable scream out to customers that they’re money-making schemes. Customers need someone to talk to when things go wrong, otherwise frustrations can kill a good reputation.”

5. The owner has picked a business where others continuously fail

“Two words — group buying. Why do businesses keep trying to establish in this dying market, especially when it’s dominated by a handful of larger businesses? Too often I see business owners who are too proud to change an idea or enter a different market, sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing board.”

6. There is no differentiation to well-established competitors

“Think or — they operate so well in the market that smaller competitors don’t stand a chance. When an entrepreneur thinks they have a differentiation, they need to question how long it would be before their largest competitor also incorporates this idea.”

7. The business can’t be explained to a 12-year-old

Over-complicated ideas result in users switching off completely. If a 12-year-old doesn’t understand a product then I say don’t bother taking it any further.”

8. It’s for a niche market, not the mass market

“Australia is already a tiny market to operate in and those businesses with a niche idea are narrowing their success even further. When an idea becomes too specific consumers feel alienated and lose interest.”

9. eBay, Google or Facebook are its biggest competitors

“I am flooded with requests each month from the ‘budding’ Mark Zuckerberg. You are not the next social network. That ship has sailed, now we need to move on.”

10. The owner is trying to find new industries or customer problems to solve

“If a product doesn’t solve an obvious problem or make a customer have an ‘Aha!’ moment then it shouldn’t exist. If there are existing solutions to problems that an entrepreneur is trying to compete then they need to innovate in a whole new way to get audiences on board.”

To read more on this story, click here.

Learn the ins and outs of using Facebook and Twitter for your business

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Australia Business Review has posted a short guide to Facebook and Twitter, the two social media behemoths.

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

The guide notes that interaction on Facebook is more personal than on some social sites which is a great tool for engaging audiences.

Facebook allows you to post videos, long updates, run campaigns and events, plus pay for promotion. Advertising on the site is easy because all you need to do is plug in the amount of money you’d like to spend on ad placement per day and Facebook handles the rest.

People that like a business page can send messages with questions, or post on the timeline of the page and even negative comments can be addressed in a way that allows others to see you care about customers.

Using Twitter, on the other hand, is good for a business because thousands of people can share your message in an instant. Interaction is similar to instant messaging, only with a potential audience of thousands or more.

As with Facebook, Twitter can be a place where customer service is showcased, but it must be done within Twitter’s 140 character limit.

Using Twitter and Facebook together is often the best choice for business, the guide says.

To read more on this story, click here.


Napa Valley girls move to Sydney to start online fashion boutique

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Photo credit; Naomi King on Flickr

Photo credit; Naomi King on Flickr

In a reversal of sorts, two women who hail from Napa Valley in California made the move to Sydney to open an online fashion boutique.

While Silicon Valley might seem like the obvious choice for the women, Tessa Mini and Natalia Nowak, moved to Australia instead and were inspired by what they consider Australian women’s fashion consciousness to create Passionista Boutique, run out of their Sydney apartment.

“We package everything, we write all the slips, it’s our baby,” Mini said.

“At first we couldn’t afford a model,” she recalled, so Mini and Nowak modeled the clothing themselves. “I did the entire website myself,” Mini said, and “we do all digital marketing mainly from Instagram and Facebook.”

“We get a steady flow — about five orders a week,” Mini said. Their goal is to grow the business, selling closer to 20 items a week, she said.

Passionista sells a range of clothing including jackets, dresses, tops and accessories. Prices range from $25 to $65 in U.S. dollars. The business ships internationally.

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Brisbane businessman turns disaster into dollars

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Brisbane businessman Michael French turned the raging floods in that city in 2011 into a successful online business by filling a niche that so many people don’t know they need until it’s too late.

Photo credit; johndal on Flickr

Photo credit; johndal on Flickr

While he watched flood waters near his home, French worried about the state of his office, which held his digital marketing company only a few kilometres away. That’s when the idea for his Bizeo app hit him.

Essentially a dashboard app, Bizeo monitors all available data from servers to engines on key machinery, to temperature to exchange rates and social media for a business that is experiencing an emergency like a flood.

“Business owners spend a lot of their time running around checking on things, but this does it for them, and gives them a single indicator that everything is alright,” French says. “Bizeo monitors the status and data across your whole enterprise, and watches everything at once.”

As many Brisbane businesses struggled in the aftermath of the floods, French realized he could add even more functionality to the app.

“Our cashflow was struggling as our debtors blew out and our sales pipeline struggled as many Brisbane groups went under,” French says. “Bizeo now plugs into your CRM, accounting and social media systems.”

Bizeo received a $200,000 grant from Commercialisation Australia last year and French used those funds to hire a business development manager, and file for intellectual property protections such as trademarks and patents and is currently working with clients in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Mexico and London.

To read more on this story, click here.

The Sydney Morning Herald offers you top tips for online expansion

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Australians have spent $13.9 billion online in the past year, so that means if you’re a small or medium business owner or you have an idea that you think could fly online, now is the time to do it.

But don’t go in blindly, use these tips from the Sydney Morning Herald to help you.

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

Photo credit; SEOPlanter on Flickr

1. Look beyond eBay – Many online businesses start off on eBay because the auction site makes it easy to get your toes wet in the online marketplace. But if you’ve found that you have an aptitude for it, don’t just stay stagnant with eBay, push your products out into more places to try and reach as many potential customers as possible.

The best way to do this is by using multiple channels. You can get e-commerce management software to help you utilise a comprehensive range of channels, from Amazon, Trade Me and Facebook to comparison shopping engines like Shopbot.

2. Inventory management -If you are thinking about selling across multiple channels, you do need to maintain careful management of orders and inventory levels so that products are distributed on each channel effectively.

3. Information is king – You should spend the time and effort to publish as much information about your products or services as possible. Smaller retailers often struggle to do this. However, the more information you have and put forward, the easier it is for shoppers to find your product on Google, comparison shopping sites and eBay.

4. If in doubt, get advice - There are several options that retailers can take up to kick-start or grow their online business. Web agencies or independent developers can help retailers get up and running online; some also specialise in different vertical industries.

5. Invest in your own website – For more seasoned eBay sellers, it’s worth considering investing in your own webstore, which lets you ‘take back control’ of the customer experience and control your branding. You will also own the customer data and thus be able to harvest these customer details for marketing purposes.

To read more on this story, click here.

The Australia Business Review shows you how to rebuild a damaged brand online

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Brands can be badmouthed, bullied, beaten up and bruised by anyone online but there are ways to fight back and repair the damage.

Photo credit; Joshin Yamada on Flickr

Photo credit; Joshin Yamada on Flickr

The Australia Business Review recommends that you:

Apologize if the problem has been caused by your actions or those of your staff and put it on your social networks, your website and anywhere else your customers can see it. Make it honest and straightforward.

Remove negative remarks if possible, even if that means having to hire a lawyer to help you remove them from other sites. Remove the ones that you have control over.

Drown the negativity with SEO by burying them with SEO campaigns until they don’t show up on Google’s search results until the 10th page (most people don’t dig this far back into search results).

Re-Direct attention away from the negativity by doing something positive and promoting it, like holding a contest or donating to charity.

To read more on this story, click here.