July 1, 2014

How Facebook can help build your business

Facebook can be good for business, but many business owners aren’t sure how to use it effectively. Steve Hibberd, co-founder of Tiger Pistol, discusses ways to make the most of Facebook by getting your message to the right people, as well as a special offer for NAB Business customers.

Facebook can help your business grow. We share ways to help you drive success by getting the right message to the right people, as well as a special offer for NAB Business customers.

People spend more time on Facebook than on any other online property, and in Australia, it’s the most visited site, with nine million people logging on every day.

Steve Hibberd, co-founder of Tiger Pistol, says more than 25 million small businesses across the world have a Facebook page and they’re right in thinking Facebook can be good for their business.

“Facebook is continually coming up with more and more ways to drive success by getting information about your business into the newsfeed of people who can be of value to you,” he says.

Finding success on Facebook

Hibberd has three key pillars for helping make Facebook work for your business:

1. Growth: a business needs to grow its online fan base to a healthy level.

2. Engagement: a good percentage of those fans should be actively engaging with the content being published. A business needs to continually review and adapt the content to ensure it stays in line with their fans’ interests.

3. Conversion: finally, when you have a solid fan base and an engaged audience, you can shift your focus to converting them to customers. It’s important not to rush the conversion stage – if you attempt to convert a customer who hasn’t been properly engaged you could lose them.

A presence on Facebook will deliver value in different ways for different businesses. “If your business is online, it’s easy to see and measure the impact of everything you do on Facebook,” says Hibberd. “If it’s of bricks and mortar, Facebook can still create value but it may take longer, and the relationship between your daily activity and dollars coming in through the door can be harder to measure.”

The challenge for many businesses – smaller ones in particular – is keeping up to date with everything they could and should be doing to make the most of Facebook.

Facebook recently named Tiger Pistol as one of just two globally Preferred Marketing Developers for small business. “That has changed our relationship with Facebook dramatically,” says Hibberd. “We now have access to a huge amount of additional insight and support around their strategy. This enables us to develop products which give our customers an advantage by anticipating future developments.”

Tiger Pistol takes much of the guesswork out of growing, engaging and converting a social media audience for small business through its engine that generates easy-to-follow 14-day plans. “The plans tell you what kind of post to create each day,” says Hibberd. “They’re based on activities that are working well for similar businesses.

And the engine that generates the plans is continually learning, looking at the outcomes of different companies’ activities and then applying these to the plans it creates.”

Plans include eight content types ranging from branded posts and offers to non-branded posts and educational pieces. Each one includes an explanation and an example as a guide for users. And, as the content is posted automatically by the engine at the time it’s most likely to be seen, you can create content daily or in advance.

Facebook also provides opportunities for you to pay to promote your Facebook page or a particular post. As you can target specific markets, paid advertising is a good way to get information about your business in front of the right people. And, while there’s no upper limit, it doesn’t have to be expensive. “You could expect to see measurable results from $50 a week, or even less,” says Hibberd.

As much help as you need

Along with the self-serve platform, Tiger Pistol offers ‘do it for me’ options which create all of the Facebook content for people who don’t have the time or resources to do it themselves. However, as Hibberd points out, customers are more likely to engage with a brand that expresses a distinct personality. “It’s very important that the voice of the business comes across,” he says.

Free Tiger Pistol trial for NAB Business customers

Tiger Pistol services start at only $45 + GST per month and there are no contracts or other commitments. To help NAB Business customers harness the power of social media, NAB and Tiger Pistol have come together to offer our customers free access to the Tiger Pistol platform and customer support for up to 90 days. To find out how to take up the free trial offer, visit nab.com.au/tigerpistol

This article was first published in Business View magazine (May 2014). For more articles and interactivity, download the iPad edition of Business View for free via our new app NAB Think.

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Disclaimer: NAB and Tiger Pistol have entered into a promotional agreement. As part of this agreement, NAB may receive payment for customers whom sign up to Tiger Pistol.