10 Ways Twitter Will Change American Small Business Forever

  1. Ultra-Local Marketing – direct communication between business owners and their local markets allows for business large and small to add a personal touch and an heir of transparency to give them a human edge in an increasingly no-touch technology world awash with noise.
  2. Networking Old-World Advertising – the still-successful outdoor advertising and television commercials are now being used in conjunction with Twitter to give businesses more ROI and feedback on ad placements and their effectiveness. Even without tie-ins, searches for responses on Twitter can sometimes be just as revealing.
  3. Uprooting Wall Street – think of the “Mad Money Effect” on steroids.  When people start talking about a stock and that it should be bought, it gets bought, and conversely, talk about selling leads to selling.  This is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, but nevertheless is an effect of Twitter on business stocks.
  4. Making Blogs Relevant – blogs entered the scene in a huge way a few years back, but have since become mainstream and a bit of a victim of their own success.  Because of the ease of making blogs, their overall saturation is high and readership has suffered.  Enter Twitter: hyper-focused followings with links to blog posts of interests have made blogs more powerful than ever before.  Call it the SEO effect or not – Twitter is shaping how blogs are viewed as a resource around the world.
  5. New Ways to Gather Data – never before has there been a literal tap into the stream of consciousness as there is on Twitter.  A quick search on Twitter’s real-time search engine at http://search.twitter.com reveals whatever anyone was last thinking.  Businesses have an amazingly powerful research tool like never before.
  6. Helps TV, Radio, and Print Interact – when you see CNN co-anchoring Twitter side-by-side with the host of the show, you know Twitter has hit mainstream.  Twitter allows live television shows,  radio stations, and magazines get feedback on what they are doing, know what people think, and how they feel.
  7. Channeling Micropayments – Twitpay and services like it facilitate small loans or payments to companies or between individuals  and will extend the reach of operations like eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal. eBay, Amazon (AMZN) and other e-commerce companies will get a financial benefit from real-time micropayments.
  8. Changing Telecommunications – Telecom companies have chosen to manage user behavior by forcing customers to transfer voice, video and data on platforms that they can track. Twitter will force telecoms into a position similar to the one cable companies find themselves in.
  9. Government Interaction – Large government agencies will quickly realize that Twitter may be one of the single best ways to communicate with the public and may even mandate that Twitter participate in some programs to distribute emergency notices to citizens quickly like with the Emergency Broadcast System that was used to reach the public over radio and TV starting in 1963.
  10. Enhancing Charity – The Internet and the major products set up to use it are changing at a remarkable speed, permanently altering the way we live. Twitter could have as large a role in this transformation as Google and Facebook have had in the past decade.