The results of a recent study from AMI-Partners indicate that more than half of small businesses now consider social media to be a significant factor in acquiring customers and retaining existing customers.
That younger companies are more inclined to use social media seems obvious, but the drivers are less obvious. For companies in business for less than 5 years peers, competitors, and clients ranked as the key adoption drives. In companies in business more than 5 years, the leading factor was an interest in promoting the company's products and services.
Regardless of the motivation, social media usage among SMBs is increasing rapidly -- usage is up 33% over this time last year and AMI predicts continued strong growth. Among the other AMI findings were:
65% of small businesses feel more comfortable using digital social media as compared to a year ago.
38% of small businesses are spending less time on traditional marketing in order to make greater use of emerging social media tools.
The motivation for Sage, the Peachtree Accounting and ACT CRM vendor, to present the AMI findings was the debut of SageSpark, a destination site for aspiring entrepreneurs that officers tools and resources for running their business.
In a slightly awkward format (it's a video of a guy talking on the phone), I spoke with Sage director of development Chuck LeDuc about the research findings and a bit about SageSpark. Much of that conversation is available in this video.
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