According to a recent Wallstreet Journal and Vistage international survey, six out of ten small-business owners say they use social media and that it is valuable for their growth. Yet, the popular social media site, Twitter did not fare well among small-business owners with only 3% of the 835 surveyed saying it was valuable. Most felt that Twitter was not the best social media site for their business and were not impressed with it.
My favorite social media site, LinkedIn topped the survey as being the most useful, with 41% of the respondents favoring this site over others. 16% picked YouTube and 14% chose Facebook. Twitter is struggling with its mission to demonstrate its value for small-businesses owners who use the short message format of the site in an attempt to reach potential customers.
Small business owners comprise the bulk of the U.S. Companies and are an important revenue source for many of the top social media sites. Some businesses surveyed have tested these social media sites by placing the same amount of posts on both LinkedIn and Twitter and LinkedIn generated many more measurable factors, such as page views, click-throughs and direct sales than Twitter.
Twitter says their company needs to continue to educate small-business owners on the most effective ways to use their services to get a better return. They contend that they are at the start of these efforts and already have 4.5 million smaller businesses who use their services, yet the rate of return for these businesses, remains to be seen.
The bottom-line is many small-businesses, just don't get the traction needed and can't compete with the larger companies. The Twitter audience has a short attention span and it appears that the user wants to get a bit of news and then move on. It is difficult to get your company message across using 140 characters.
In my opinion, there is no "quick-fix" when using social media to promote your business. Every site has its benefits and all major social media sites should be used in conjunction with one another to generate the best results. It is complicated and there is much to learn about the consumer behavior on these sites.