Six out of 10 small-business owners say they believe social-media tools are valuable to their company's growth—but most aren't impressed by Twitter Inc. Just 3% of 835 business owners surveyed earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International said Twitter had the most potential to help their companies. Freshology founder Todd DeMann, right, in the firm's kitchen. He says Facebook was the sixth-largest driver of online traffic to his website in 2012.
Professional-networking service LinkedIn Corp. LNKD +0.47% topped the survey, with 41% of respondents singling it out as potentially beneficial to their company. Sixteen percent picked YouTube, the video service owned by Google Inc., GOOG +2.20% and 14% chose social network Facebook Inc. FB -2.09%.
The findings illustrate the challenges facing Twitter in demonstrating to small-business owners the benefits of using the short-messaging service to reach customers. Twitter says it is just beginning to court small businesses, which make up the bulk of U.S. companies, and are an important revenue source for many tech giants, including Google. Twitter hasn't won over small-business owners such as Todd DeMann, founder of Freshology Inc., a Los Angeles company that makes and delivers calorie-controlled meals.