In most forms of advertising, the big guys have an unfair advantage over the rest of us. Most small businesses don't have the budget or marketing team in place to run Super Bowl ads, or have a billboard towering over every major market from Vancouver to St. John's.
The rise of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube has started to even out the playing field. Any business, regardless of the size, can get out in front of its customers, and create a really effective marketing campaign for a fraction of what it costs to run an ad in a more traditional medium. A couple years ago, having a Twitter account was a novelty. It's quickly becoming as important as having a radio or TV campaign for your business. In fact, for many of us, including myself, radio and TV are primarily consumed online, which means most of the regular ads bypass us entirely. If Canada would finally catch up, and have services like Hulu, Pandora, and Netflix, I don't think I'd need cable or radio at all.
What does this mean for your business? It means if you're not on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., then it's time to sit down and rethink your online strategy. If you haven't done this yet, check out this article for some insight into getting your business presence online.
Once you've done that, here's a big list of Twitter applications that could help your business.