Square, the mobile payments service, recently introduced Square Cash, a new way to send and receive cash from your friends or acquaintances using email — no account or sign up required.
Here’s how it works:
Someone writes an email with the amount they want to pay in the subject line and then cc’s email@example.com. If it’s that person’s first time using the service, it will direct them to a website to enter their debit card number.
“The idea is to allow anyone to send money to anyone else using the tools in their pocket,” says Brian Grassadonia, Director of Product at Square.
Bottom Line: Square Cash gives small businesses and nonprofits an entirely new payment option that they can take advantage of.
For instance, a small business could expedite a sale by giving customers the option to order a product or service and send payment for it all within an email.
The possibilities really are endless and could make help pave the road to creating a profitable small business.
Here are some of the other top stories that caught our eye this week…
Facebook announced this Tuesday that they will roll out new website and mobile app custom audience features in the coming months.
These new features let marketers deliver targeted ads to people who have visited their website or used their mobile app. According to the announcement…
A bike retailer could reach people who started designing bikes on its website but didn’t make a purchase. Through custom audiences, the company can reach these people via desktop News Feed and encourage them to finish customizing online. Or, a mobile travel app can deliver ads to people who have downloaded their app but haven’t used it in a while and encourage them to book getaways within the app.
Bottom Line: Facebook’s new custom audience features give you a powerful way to reach people who are interested in your business and ultimately close a sale. How many times have you added products to a check-out cart and never followed through with the purchase?
Now, you can reach qualified, interested leads on Facebook through targeted ads that inspire them to take action.
As of this Monday, marketers can schedule organic or Promoted Tweets (paid), including Tweets with photos, up to a year in advance. According to the announcement…
With scheduled Tweets, you can publish content at any time without having staff on-call to Tweet on evenings, weekends, holidays, or other inconvenient times. Advertisers also gain the flexibility to plan content in advance for events like premieres and product releases.
While many social media management services already provide Tweet scheduling capabilities, this is the first time users are able to schedule posts from Twitter itself. Scheduling Tweets with photos is something that’s new and exciting, considering that Tweets with photos are 94 percent more likely to be shared than text-only Tweets.
Bottom Line: With scheduled Tweets, you are able to manage and make the most of your social media marking directly on Twitter. Coordinating Promoted Tweets in advance and around an event ensures that all of your efforts are working together to make an even greater impression too.
Twitter is rolling out a new option for its direct message (DM) feature. Anyone who follows your Twitter account can now send you a DM without you having to follow their account. In the past, two users had to mutually follow each other for DM to work.
Bottom Line: The new DM feature is triggering a surge of mixed emotions. Some feel that their inbox might become flooded with DMs from spammers, while brand’s and businesses welcome the opportunity to communicate with customers in a more personal way and receive private questions or complaints from customers rather than having them publicly displayed in their feed.
It’s all too early to tell how this new feature will pan out, but it could create a new opportunity for you to connect with your followers on Twitter. If you do plan to send DMs to customers, do so with caution. You don’t ever want your communications to feel annoying or invasive.
Facebook is just starting to roll out “review” buttons for place pages this week. The review button is located between the like button and the messages button. When users click the review button, they can rate and review the business. Reviews are published on the place page, in the news feed, and in the ticker.
Bottom Line: Now that your customers have the ability to write reviews about your business directly on your Facebook Page, this boosts transparency and showcases positive word-of-mouth referrals that could attract new prospects.
People trust customer reviews so this could prove to be a powerful tool. Just make sure you have someone to review, monitor, and address any negative reviews.
Top small business influencers
Last night, the companies, organizations, apps, and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market were celebrated at the Small Business Influencer Awards held in New York City.
Constant Contact was recognized as a Top Champion, alongside CEO Gail Goodman. The diversity of recipients — ranging from journalists, to experts, to corporations — is indicative of all of the unique components that support the thriving small business community.
Bottom Line: We’re working hard here at Constant Contact to continue to be a leader in our field because at the end of the day, we want to help your small business succeed in any way possible.
Right now is a great time to be a small business owner because of all the incredible things that are happening in the field. We truly feel honored to be a part of your team.
WordStream kicks off their $25,000 marketing makeover contest
The Grand Prize winner of this contest will receive $25,000 towards their 2014 Google Adwords budget, free usage of WordStream’s PPC Advisor solution and Constant Contact’s Email Marketing software for a year. In addition to the grand prize winner, nine small businesses will be awarded a 32G Nexus 7 Tablet for exemplary performance in specific PPC categories.
Bottom Line: Many small businesses are constantly battling resource limitations — either in revenues or time — that prevent them from optimizing usage of proven marketing technologies that reach new customers and cultivate existing ones.
WordStream and Constant Contact are giving one small business the opportunity to completely makeover their marketing. See if you are eligible and enter the contest for a chance to win.
What top stories caught your eye this week? Tell us in the comments below.