Twist Image founder Mitch Joel has a great response for those that question the real value of social media tools such as Twitter:
Treat it like an icebreaker but take it further.
If Twitter were nothing more than a tool to help you meet new people, it would be awesome enough. The truth is that what you do with it beyond that point is where the true value lies. When people complain that wishing someone a Happy Birthday on Facebook takes a little bit of our soul away, what they fail to focus on is that without Facebook or Twitter even the smallest “Happy Birthday” wish may never happen… and sometimes, just those nice, little pings in life can be more than enough. Most of us could all use a little more time to nurture those weaker connections. I, for one, love the fact that Social Media facilitates those special kinds of real interactions between real people. It’s amazing how those real interaction can often lead to lifelong ties that have strength beyond strength.