What Business Thinks: TMI?
“For a very long time, we have gotten used to the idea that media is something we consume,” says Jennifer Kane, social media strategist and principal at Kane Consulting in Minneapolis. “The new definition of media is something that we consume, something that we produce, and something that we interact with and edit and shake and do things with.”
To one degree or another, that also shakes up the way everyone does business. Prospecting for leads, advising clients, shaping marketing messages, deciding where to deploy the most valuable resources—people, time, and dollars—all of it is changed by a changing media landscape.
So in the latest What Business Thinks survey, and in follow-up interviews with survey participants, we asked you, the people who run businesses in the Twin Cities and around Minnesota, how you’re adapting. What sources do you find trustworthy and useful as the number and kinds of media available to you increase? How do you do things differently now than you did a few years ago? And especially, how are you mastering change? Here’s what you told us.
Leads Come Lightning Fast
Lisa Helminiak needed fewer than 140 characters to land a new project recently for Azul 7, the Minneapolis branding and digital agency where she’s a partner. A consultant she knows and follows on Twitter put out word that he’d won funding for a new project. Helminiak saw the tweet and sent congratulations back with an invitation to turn to her firm if he wanted help.
“Literally in two seconds, I got a phone call,” she says. Azul 7 got the work, too. Helminiak isn’t sure it could have happened that neatly a decade ago. Maybe if she were out at face-to-face networking events several nights a week, but even then, she believes odds would have been lower that she’d get an early heads-up on the funding. LinkedIn and Twitter give users a real-time, always-on dashboard that sometimes—not always—flashes valuable indicators of what’s happening with clients, colleagues, competitors, and prospects.
“You can get a sense of what people are working on, and where they might need help,” Helminiak says. Social media don’t replace the phone or face-to-face networking, but they can be powerful supplements to those other ways of prospecting for business.