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Remaining Relevant in the New World of Media
While reaching people through images and language has not changed much, the way we find and deliver it to our potential clients has. The good news is it's cheap. The bad news is that it's constant and time-consuming. You need to be able to keep up the pace of trending technologies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and quench the thirst of a new audience that wants to connect to your brand. Their comments can really help you understand what they'd like to see —valuable information, and while free, priceless to a company.

I think that the shrinking size of the Yellow Pages, or the fact that many states no longer publish a phone book (White Pages) has to be seen as the writing on the wall. The last people to still use these forms of advertising, which thin daily, are personal injury lawyers, plumbers and local services—but even they're not relying on it as their as a single option anymore. A personal injury lawyer will pay to be listed on lawyers.com, a plumber or contractor on angieslist.com, and a wedding service provider on theknot.com, etc.

Reality: soon, there will not be much local print advertising at all, as even huge newspapers and magazines realize they're now obsolete (as do their advertisers!) and are forced to go by way of the web. The smartphones and iPads are the future, and even companies that once made a fortune mailing you a DVD realize people will watch movies on demand on small devices. They get it instantly and it can be a great time-killer in airports and so forth.

When well-branded giants are seemingly begging you to 'Like' them on Facebook at the end of their TV commercial or 'Follow Them' on Twitter, it ought to tell you something—whether it's Coca-Cola, Heinz ketchup, CNN or even Dole bananas. I can assure you they don't want to make Facebook or Twitter richer, especially since it eats into their 30-second commercial. But they simply have no choice; keeping up with a changing world is required. New customers with new mindsets are born everyday.

Many have contacted me this past year, beyond the immediate need to save their companies, and I have carefully educated them on Groupon, a company which has grown quickly via mostly word-of-mouth. Some are copying that model, while others have needed 'coaching' (which is often the feeling I get — it is what I actually do in the way I deliver information and advice), screening 'top-talent' candidates on Linked-In, and learning how to use social media like Facebook to create synergy and keep up.

It's impossible for any company to know how much all the 'tweets' they send will actually help their bottom-line profit, and some may wonder if replying to every Facebook comment is worth the time. We simply cannot know.

Nonetheless, this is the thinking of people today, and that cannot be ignored. Staying relevant is crucial in an ever changing world—especially to young minds who don't even know what the world was like before the internet. It's sink or swim, put simply.

Can these avenues help you? Well, they can't harm you! Even if you start a blog and people post complaints, they are still helping you! In fact, that kind of feedback is priceless and costs you nothing...

Mark Geddy Smith
Twin Turbo 360

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