Twitter has not been readily accepted as a small business tool yet but there are those who are having success using it. So why should small business be using social media at all? The most prominent reasons are responding to customer questions, networking and education... but there's more.
What most, to date, have not been doing is looking to sell through these channels which is interesting considering some of the success that can be found with a small business that gets it. And for those who do, and execute effectively, the opportunity to directly facilitate and create sales are out there and have the potential to be huge.
So what’s it take to get the little guy involved? Well, extra time, money (but really not much) and people. With social media being so time intensive the barriers to entry get higher as a business gets smaller, but not really insurmountable for those willing to put in the time. In the future it is going to be critical for small businesses to decide where they want to put their scarce resources so they can maximize their ROI. With a constantly moving target however that is increasingly difficult so the future of small business and social media will be interesting to watch. Although with social media the bang for the buck can be enormous.
My vote is study up on the cause and effect, tools, and basic concepts. Develop a basic strategy of what ustility or value you want to offer. Then hire a smart young intern (many available at a mere $10/hr, and some simply to fulfill college internship requirements) to execute with your hands-on guidance.