Most businesses and individuals have yet to realize the true potential of Twitter and the Twitter search function. They login, tweet, retweet a funny meme, and respond to any incoming tweets (most don't even do that). The secret to social media isn't about pushing product or reacting to bad situations. It's reaching out to potential customers and providing value to them.
Let's take the auto industry as an example. Most dealerships would blast their followers with any cars they have listed along with features about upcoming models. If they received a question or concern, they may respond if someone is actively checking their account.
What I propose is for businesses to actually go out and search for business. The advanced search feature on twitter can be a very powerful tool. In a short search in the Austin, TX area I found examples of users actively searching for a car with no response from anyone. These are people who are just talking and expressing their feelings and no one is listening to it.
If you're willing to spend a little bit of time each day listening and proactively responding, you can generate high quality leads. Social media is here to stay and putting in the extra effort will separate you from the rest of the competition.