Twitter may be the most misunderstood tool in the social media toolbox. It clearly relies on a practice that relates to all of social media and is so hard to understand, especially by small business owners/partners. So here it is: be a person first and a company second.
One of the more successful groups to benefit from Twitter are mothers and the companies that market to them. It was @ameladramaticmommy who tweeted about being a person first and then offered @comcastcares or @babycenterPR as examples of "how a company representative can support a brand and allow their personality to shine through."
I can't add much to that except to continue to work with the owners of sustainability-oriented companies to convince them of how Twitter can be an effective educational channel to help move people through the buying or, if it is a cause, the learning cycle. The early adopters of Web 2.0 tools and techniques coupled with social media gives them a competitive advantage even in tough times like these.