[News] Small Businesses Find Profit in Customer Loyalty

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

Small Businesses Find Profit in Customer Loyalty

News Source: MediaPost

A joint study released by BIA/Kelsey and Manta this week found that small business owners are finally starting to invest in customer retention and brand loyalty.

61% of participants reported that more than half of their annual revenue comes from repeat customers, and noted that repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers.

86% of surveyed entrepreneurs spend the majority of their annual marketing budget to retain customers rather than acquire new customers, and 80% spend most of their time and effort fostering repeat business.

While small businesses are focusing their marketing efforts on retention rather than acquisition, they’re still lagging behind on the loyalty program front. Only 34% of respondents have a program in place, and most of these programs are offline, making it difficult to gauge success.

Key Takeaway: Acquiring new customers is both costly and challenging, so it makes sense that business owners are investing in strengthening existing customer relationships. However, without making good use of technology to track retention efforts, small businesses are missing out on valuable data that could help them assess which efforts are working and which aren’t. Protip: Constant Contact provides a great suite of tools that will help you keep customers engaged and allow you to track your efforts.

[Social Media News] Google+ Brand Posts See Twice as Much Engagement as Twitter Posts

News Source: Mashable

Everyone in the marketing community loves to hate on Google+, but a new survey from Forrester Research provides reason to take the social network more seriously. According to the 60,000-participant survey, 22% visited Google+ within the last 30 days—equivalent to the number of visitors on Twitter.

Furthermore, the study investigated more than 3 million user interactions with over 2,500 posts by brands and found that Google+ post engagement is much higher than engagement on Twitter, and almost as high as post engagement on Facebook.

Key Takeaway: To borrow words from Forrester researcher Nate Elliott: “If you’re not actively marketing on Google Plus, it’s time to start.”

[Social Media News] LinkedIn Retiring Products and Services Tab on Company Pages

News Source: Business 2 Community

LinkedIn announced this week that they’re retiring the Products and Services tab on company pages as of April 14th. To date, this tab has been the place where businesses have been able to showcase their goods to potential employees and customers.

Two relatively new features have made the old Products and Services tab obsolete:

  1. The introduction of Company Updates
  2. The launch of Showcase Pages

Both features require an active involvement from the business in lieu of a static description.

Key Takeaway: Think of this change as an opportunity to illustrate your business’s products and services dynamically. Instead of a boring text blurb, you’re now able to share links, photos, and promotions with your LinkedIn followers. You’ll be more likely to engage your followers and better equipped to showcase your unique offerings.

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

How to Inspire Your Small Business Team

We’ve all worked with colleagues who are less than excited about coming in to work every day. They do the bare minimum they can to get by, take their paycheck, and otherwise don’t spare a thought for the business.
Are blasé employees beyond help? Not at all! With a little inspiration, a worker can go from disengaged to invested in your business.

Here are 5 ways to inspire your team and get them fired up about doing great work:

1. Share Your Mission

A job without a mission is just a way to pay bills. Make sure each of your employees knows what your business stands for and what vision you’re pursuing.

2. Remind Employees Why Their Work Matters

Above and beyond your business’s mission, remind your employees why the work they do matters. Whether it’s manning a cash register or cleaning dishes, every person in a small business has an important role to play that can contribute to the company’s overall success. Make sure everyone knows why their individual role is important.

3. Encourage Creativity and Risk-Taking

A bored employee will naturally lose enthusiasm over time. If you can, try to encourage creativity and risk-taking from your staff. If someone has a new marketing idea, let them try it out. If someone wants to help with artwork for your in-store flyers, give them a shot. Allowing people to explore their strengths and contribute to the business’s success in a new way is a great way to reinvigorate a stagnant work life.

4. Reward Successes

Whether it’s an individual or team accomplishment, take time to celebrate successes when they happen. This will keep people motivated to work their hardest and feel proud of what they’ve already accomplished.

5. Say Thank You

Sometimes, the way to inspire someone is simply to thank them for their contribution.

The Bottom Line

Inspiration can come from a variety of sources. Reminding your employees why their work matters, giving them the space to try new things, and rewarding achievements are all simple things you can do to cultivate enthusiasm in your employees.

Share your inspiration ideas in the comments!