Small Businesses See Social Media as Key to Customer Engagement


Small Businesses See Social Media as Key to Customer EngagementWALTHAM, Mass.  (Profitable.com)  In celebration of Small Business Saturday, Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), the trusted marketing advisor to more than 400,000 small organizations worldwide, released the results from the company’s latest Small Business Attitudinal Survey.

In the fall 2010 survey, small businesses reported an increased use of social media tools, viewing these tools as additive and complementary to other marketing activities. Small businesses plan to dedicate more dollars to social media marketing efforts in 2011.

  • 63% cited Facebook and 30.7% cite Twitter as important tools for marketing, up from 50.5% and 25.6%, respectively, from Constant Contact’s March 2010 survey.
  • Further, the survey suggests that small businesses now see Facebook as equally important as face-to-face interactions; 62% cited face-to-face interactions as important.
  • Traditional marketing activities, including websites, email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys, all saw modest increases in importance this fall, compared to the spring survey results.

“Today’s reality is that everyone is trying to do more with less,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “Small organizations don’t have the luxury of full-time, dedicated social media staff like larger companies do, but that’s not stopping them from using social media marketing to broaden their marketing reach.”

The Constant Contact survey also found that small businesses’ greatest challenges relate to generating new business through effective planning, sales, and marketing.

  • When looking for new customers, 91% cite the value and importance of word of mouth.
  • Other online tools rate as very important as tools for finding new customers; 68.8% rate a company’s website and 58.6% rate email marketing as very important for finding new customers.
  • Nearly 75% of respondents said they expect their businesses to grow in the next year.

“We applaud our small business customers who have found a way to work creatively and use the resources they have to grow their business, despite tough economic times. For example, they are pairing tried-and-true tools like email marketing with new tools in social media to exponentially increase their reach – at no added dollar cost,” said Goodman.

While the year has been tough for many small businesses, only 18.5% reported a negative outlook on the economy for the next 12 months.

“While we can’t predict the economy, we expect that small businesses will continue to survive and thrive in 2011 by finding new, innovative ways to grow their businesses using limited budget and resources,” said Goodman. “We anticipate further adoption of social media marketing tools as a way to give added lift to other proven marketing winners, including email and event marketing.”

Complete survey results may be viewed at http://conta.cc/bunme8.

In celebration of Small Business Saturday, following are three examples of the company’s more than 400,000 small businesses that are increasing their reach through innovative online marketing programs:

  • Boston-based Busa Wine & Spirits has seen an 80% increase in online wine sales in the past six months based on its integrated online marketing program that combines Constant Contact email marketing with social networking and community website postings. On November 12, Constant Contact’s event marketing tool was used to organize an event that attracted 300 attendees and raised more than $16,000 for local charities.
  • New York City’s Sweet Sally’s bakery began integrating social media with its Constant Contact email marketing campaign two months ago to create dialogue and interaction around recipe testing to meal planning. The results: sales have increased approximately 50% and the bakeshop has been featured by more than 30 media outlets since launching the campaign.
  • In October, Cincinnati, Ohio, pet food distributor Dingo offered fans a $20 coupon for joining their email newsletter list and “Liking” the company’s Facebook page – if the page reached 5,000 “Likes.” The company went from 330 to its target 5,000 “Likes” in just 72 hours. Dingo reported a 22% sales increase (45% of increased volume from new customers) and the company’s email newsletter list grew by 60% as a result.

About Constant Contact, Inc.

Constant Contact’s email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools help small organizations grow their businesses by building stronger customer relationships. More than 400,000 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and member associations worldwide rely on Constant Contact’s easy-to-use, affordable online tools to create and deliver personalized, professional communications that engage casual customers, members, prospects, and passionate customers wherever they congregate online — from their email inboxes to their social networks. All Constant Contact products come with unmatched education, training and personal coaching services, and award-winning technical support. Founded in 1995, Constant Contact is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: CTCT) with offices in Waltham, Mass.; Loveland, Colo.; Delray, Fla.; and, San Francisco, Calif. Learn more at www.ConstantContact.com or call 781-472-8100.

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to, statements regarding the introduction of new product features and future social media marketing offerings. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date they were first issued and were based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections, as well as the beliefs and assumptions of our management. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “believe,” “hope,” “target,” “project,” “goals,” “estimate,” “potential,” “predict,” “may,” “will,” “might,” “could,” “intend,” variations of these terms, or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which involve factors or circumstances that are beyond Constant Contact’s control. Constant Contact’s actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including but not limited to the risks detailed in Constant Contact’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other documents that may be filed by the Company from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent Constant Contact’s views as of the date of this press release. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. Constant Contact undertakes no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Constant Contact’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.