LOCAL BUSINESS SUCCESS CENTER

Tips, trends and marketing advice to help you grow your business.

Here’s a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:

[Social Media News] Small Businesses Investing More in Social Media Marketing

News Source: FOXBusiness

A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn and research firm TNS found that 80% of small business owners are using social media to connect with new customers and generate business. 73% of “hyper growth” businesses—those experiencing significant revenue growth—are increasing their social media spend this year; 42% of small businesses experiencing no growth are also boosting their social media investment.

Businesses who are using social media have good things to report: 90% say that their social media efforts help maintain their company’s brand and identity online, and 82% say that social networking helps them generate new leads.

Key Takeaway: Social media marketing isn’t just a fad—it’s an effective way to form an identity around your brand and connect with customers and new leads. The good news is that, if you haven’t paid much attention to social media yet, it’s never too late to start! 

[Social Media News] Facebook Acquires WhatsApp for $16 Billion

News Source: The New York Times

On Thursday, Facebook announced its largest acquisition ever, purchasing text messaging app WhatsApp for $16 billion. The app currently has 450 million (mostly international) users who pay $1 a year for the service.

This acquisition is one of several recent purchases that Facebook has made to complement its current functionality. Given its struggle to retain younger users and its less-than-stellar messaging, the WhatsApp acquisition comes as no real surprise. But why the big price tag?

The short answer is: user activity. WhatsApp’s messaging volume is now approaching the volume of all text messages sent globally. That’s a lot of texts!

Key Takeaway: Facebook’s Messenger has always left a lot to be desired. With the acquisition of WhatsApp, the social network will open doors to new text-based features. In addition to seeing improvements in basic messaging functionality, we may start to see some messaging features designed specifically for business Pages as well.

[Restaurant News] Restaurant Sales Expected to Reach $683 Billion in 2014

News Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

The National Restaurant Association projected this week that restaurant sales will grow for the fifth consecutive year. Sales are expected to reach $683 billion in 2014, a 3.6% increase from 2013.

Of these project sales, $455.9 billion is projected to come from traditional sit-down and quick service restaurants, $20 billion from bars and taverns, $47.1 billion from managed services, $34.8 billion from hotels and lodging, $66.4 billion from retail, vending, and recreation, $55.6 billion from noncommercial restaurant services, and $2.5 billion from military restaurants.

Key Takeaway: Although there remains uncertainty about the economic outlook over the next year, restaurants will be doing their part to make both Main Street and Wall Street happy.

Other news catch your eye this week? Leave a comment and let us know! 

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