The number of small businesses using such services will double in the next 12 months, says AMI.
New York, New York—November 3, 2008—More than 600,000 small businesses (SBs, or companies with up to 99 employees) in the United States will deploy integrated social networking services in the next 12 months—up from about 300,000 currently, according to the latest study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.
In percentage terms, 300,000 represents about 5% of the total number of SBs in the U.S. "As social networking evolves, we can see the emergence of targeted offerings for business users," says Nikki Lamba, New York-based analyst at AMI Partners. "In order to attract a greater share of SBs, social networking services must provide customized services that SBs can leverage in order to realize their business goals."
The study also points out that over the next 12 months about 500,000 SBs will use social networking as a resource for advertising and promotional activities. As the number of social networking sites continues to multiply, particularly those aimed at SBs, the prospects of targeted advertising continue to remain positive. SBs can also tailor their social networking to create a stronger brand for their business and allow for communities to form around their product or service offering.
"As SBs struggle with the current economic downturn, business-focused social networking offers an effective, relatively inexpensive and lucrative opportunity to keep steady communication with existing partners and clients as well as incubating new relationships," says Ms. Lamba. "A growing number of businesses are already riding the wave and stand to gain from continued usage of social networking for business purposes. Those businesses not currently using social networking services will find that the resources available will be especially useful in competing under current market conditions."
About the Study
AMI’s US Small Business Overview and Comprehensive Market Opportunity Assessment study highlights these and other major trends in the context of current/planned IT, Internet and communications usage and spending. Products and services covered include established and emerging hardware, software, applications and business process solutions.
Based on AMI’s annual survey of SMBs in the U.S., the studies track a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to budgets, purchase behaviors, decision influencers, channel preferences, outsourcing, service and support. Also covered are detailed firmographics and critically important technology attitudes and strategic planning priorities. This data points to key opportunities and messaging hot buttons for vendors and service providers seeking to match their offerings to SB market requirements.
For more information about this study, AMI-Partners, or our global SMB research, call 212-944-5100, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at http://www.ami-partners.com.