Archive for September, 2009

Finally- A True Reality Show Emerges That Tells It How It Is

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Have you heard of the new reality business show Shark Tank? If you haven’t, It is created by Mark Burnett and for those of you that don’t know he was the one who helped create The Apprentice and Survivor. It is by far one the best shows I’ve seen on TV in years. What you might not also know is that I actually applied for the very 1st season of The Apprentice and sent in my video but obviously didn’t make it onto the show, but it was a fun an exciting experience to partake in none the less. (Maybe i will put the footage on you tube soon for you)

The Shark Tank is by far the BEST reality show to come onto the mainstream since The Apprentice in my opinion. I watched the first series of the apprentice, and after starting to watch further seasons, it really lost the touch in which the first season had (which was my favorite). The reason i bring up the Shark Tank is i am tired of seeing all these reality TV series that don’t necessary appeal to me- The Entrepreneur, Business Professional, and real-world small business advocate. I could care less about the Kardasians, Tool Academy, or Making the Band. Those appeal to teens or young adults who need to get their priorities straight. What about the late 20 year old generation Y who are the future leaders of this country? That’s why we are flocking to the internet and social networking because there is so much crap on TV. I mean, my point is we need more shows like Shark Tank on the mainstream because our country is built on small businesses. So I say to all the major TV networks, start putting out more reality shows about business and I know this will add to brining us out of this recession.

Here is a clip from the new reality show Shark Tank

What are your thoughts on the show? Do you watch it? What other shows do you watch that are around business? Do we need to have a reality show called the Entrepreneur? Hey Mark Burnett- let me know if you’d like to discuss this format, I have plenty of ideas on a REAL Reality TV show called the Entrepreneur
Justin R French
CEO Social Networking San Diego

p.s. Check out this show called “The Entrepreneur Hour” I am starting to do. This stuff is the REAL deal. What do you think? Here is a sample: The Entrepreneur Hour- First Show- How To Start A New Business

4 Key Points to consider for your next social media marketing campaign

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Social marketing campaigns are the current trend but what are some key points your business can follow?

Social media and social marketing campaigns have become the norm today. Social marketing campaigns such as Twitter, linked-in, and Facebook and have given people the chance to communicate with family, friends and colleagues too without spending a single penny. Individuals are also making use of social marketing campaigns for business and to make new friends who are like minded and share the same information as them.

Online marketing and social media have come along a long way. Industry professionals have come to realize this potential and social media agencies are now targeting certain sections of individuals to market products, services and even clients to various people who do show some interest.

The whole idea behind social marketing campaigns is that an effective social marketing campaign should give the individual users the resources so that they can share topics or any related data and information with other like minded people. Blogs, videos and even images are some of the ways to use the social media to get the interest of the targeted individuals.

If you have made up your mind to start a social marketing campaign, then here are a few points that you should note beforehand:

Key Point #1
Sit peacefully and decide the purpose of your social marketing campaign. What is the scope of this particular social marketing campaign? Do you want to change the attitudes or beliefs of a certain group of people? Does your campaign affect the masses or does it target specific group of people?

Key Point #2
Make a team and set your target and goal. Assign responsibilities right in the beginning and clearly define your goals. You have to do a bit of research even though you are not trying to sell a tangible product or belief. Statistics and facts have to be gathered and try to talk with industry experts so that you get valuable information that will help you later on.

Key Point #3
Product, price, place and promotion are 4 “P’s” that will go a long way in making this social marketing campaign a grand success. You should first target the required population for a successful social marketing campaign. The social marketing campaign should be highly personal. The message should be effective and target the required audience. Identify the key gatekeepers and stake holders who will partner with you this campaign. Position the product effectively i.e. understand the target audience’s views in order to maximize benefits. If the product is properly positioned the correct awareness in created and the desired message is sent across effectively. It should of course have a direct call to action.

Key Point #4
Last but not the least you have to get financial support for your social marketing campaign. You can take the help of an ad agency, a social media marketing team of consultants, or a government organization and sell your social marketing campaign concept to them and hope to raise the sufficient funds. Getting the funding these days to run a successful campaign are most seen with the big brands like university of phoenix, whole foods, jet blue, zappos, etc. But for small and mid-sized business which we focus on helping with social media, we continue to work on campaigns and are developing and improving upon our turn key systems for this market, so please stay tuned.

Is there anything that you are currently doing in your social media campaign that you need help with? Contact us today HERE and let us know any struggles you are having. We have been in the trenches consulting on these projects now for 9 months.

P.S. here is some feedback on a “Social Networking 101 for Colleges” workshop i did through Mira Costa College and the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (You Can click Here for a copy of the Brochure)

Any Feedback, just drop us a line below, thanks- Justin R French

3 Easy Ways To Set Up A Business Intelligence system using social media

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Are you keeping an eye on your competitors? What are people saying about your company? Do you keep up-to-date on the latest news on your industry? Are you getting constant feedback on your products and services form your existing and potential customers?

Here are 3 Simple ways to set-up a Business Intelligence System using social media.

1. Set-up Google Alerts to notify you of any activity on keywords you are following. For example, i have a keyword alert set-up for social media because i want to know the latest happening in this market because this is my current focus.

Here’s a quick how to video for you:

2. Set-up an RSS Reader (or i prefer Google Reader) to keep you up to date on the most influential blogs in your industry. The quicker you can read the news for your industry and respnd with your knowledge and insight will help build up your authority (this will not happen overnight i assure you)

here’s a video on how to set up Google Reader (and filters which are EXTREMELY helpful):

3. Set-up a twitter account (to aggregate) dedicated to just your competitors so you can keep an eye on them (video to come)

What else would you like to see me demonstrate? Please let me know, i am here to help, thanks

Online Branding Tips For Small Businesses From Guru Dan Schawbel

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

These days, personal branding, online branding, and company branding are extremely important. Especially for building your online presence. But how can small businesses compete with he big brands?

By having a presence online, being active in social media and social networking, and starting a marketing blog about your products and services are the first steps.

I had the pleasure to meet Dan in person at the Gravity Summit event in Harvard i attended, and Dan was nice enough to conduct a brief interview dedicated to the small business community. As you know, Social Networking San Diego has been providing small and mid-sized businesses social media consulting for the last year, and we understand the challenges small businesses are facing. We have seen these items as the main challenges:

1. Limited budgets
2. Limited Time
3. Limited resources

So how can a small business get involved in establishing/ building their online brand?

Listen to some advice from Personal Branding expert Dan Schawbel our CEO Justin R French had the privledge to interview. Enjoy

Any thoughts on how your small business is growing its online brand?

Entertainment Vs. Education

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Entertainment has taken over our society and we need to get back to education. A fellow twitter friend Jeff Perry w/ One Coach really touched on some good points that i elaborate on.

Listen to CEO Justin R French explain this important concept

Warning: This is kind of a rant- BUT I try to touch on some important things. Please forward this blog post to a friend you may now who needs some motivation or personal development.

Who Are Your Top 3 Social Media Authorities?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Social Media for business is still the current trend and for us to stay competitive in our businesses, we must know the “who’s who” in the social media world. We all know, to be the best, we must study and learn from the best.

So who are the Top 3 Social Media Authorities you follow? Here are mine in no particular order. I will explain reasons as to why i choose these Top 3 as my favorites because first and foremost, after learning from literally thousands of social media authorities over the last couple years, I can honestly say these 5 really communicate in a way i can relate to not only personally but professionally and i appreciate their story.

It is important to know that everyone has a unique story, and i mean everyone. Social media and social networking allows every one of us to have a voice, to let our story unfold on a blog, and build our businesses through relationship selling or as i like to call it “educational selling”. Think of this as you are investing time and building your personal brand. And know that as you go through this social networking and social media for business journey, your personal life and professional life continue to come together online. You suddenly see you start to associate with and migrate to good people online who share very similar passions / interests which is the foundation of social networking.

Here is a list of my Top 3 and the date (according to when they started on twitter)

1. Chris Brogan
Date started on twitter: 10-23-06
Why? One of the first blogs (extremely valuable information) on social media and social networking for business I started reading last year and consider him a mentor. Plus he is one of the nicest and genuine guys you can meet online, and Chris actually engages, interacts, and converses with you. Just amazing how he keeps up with all his comments on his blog and followers on twitter. P.S. I just started his new book Trust Agents and it is awesome! (Video review to come- stay tuned)

2. Justin Parks
Date started on twitter: 6-08-08
Why? One of my closest / very first friends on twitter, and we constantly keep in touch and help each other out by exchanging global economic news (he is in Spain) and things we are experiencing in our businesses and how we can improve in service delivery, performance, and customer satisfaction. Not to mention, I consider him an SEO guru.

gary-vee-and-me, gary-vee-and-justin-r-french, justin r french, fellow-entrepreneurs

3. Gary Vaynerchuk
Date started on twitter:5-04-07
Why? I saw his web 2.0 video from last year and another ah-ha moment again. His passion somehow transferred into me and I haven’t looked back since. Plus I got to meet him at Harvard Gravity Summit and he is just one of the most brilliant Entrepreneurs of my generation that I am just amazed by. I can only aspire to be as successful as Gary Vee someday, but in the mean time, I’m working on crushing it!

Now, who are your Top 3 social media authorities and why? Please leave a reply below, I am really interested in hearing your choices
Thanks for sharing
Justin R French
CEO Social Networking San Diego

Want to connect with me on linked-in? Go here

Are you keeping up on the news? Google Fast Flip can help

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Staying on top of the news in your industry is CRITICAL to business intelligence, competitive intelligence, identifying new trends in the market, and of course helping your company stay competitive.

If you are a business professional or executive, you already know the importance to staying on top of the news. I happen to be a little TOO attached to staying on top of news. Thats why i have developed a proprietary workflow for executives that helps resolve the issue of information overload. All the tools i implement for my clients are 100% FREE and the information workflow i have developed is a system that executives cannot be with out.

Here is a part of our system (see video below) because if you are like me, you know the importance of staying on top of cutting edge news and technology that IMPROVES information gathering and our clients see huge value in working with us to stay on the cutting edge of business, technology, strategy, and of course, communication and workflow improvement.

ready to get your information workflow set up? This eliminates:
-information overload
-time wasting
-feeling overwhelmed
-not being informed

email me at [email protected] to get your information workflow system set-up and stay ahead of your competitors!

-Justin R French

Final Principle I learned While Attending Gravity Summit At Harvard

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Principle 5-
Carefully look at the tools available and decide collectively with Authorities which tools you will implement
There are thousands of tools, mediums, platforms, social networks, blogs, etc. that you can consider to use as you start your social media engagement. Talk to the authorities and usually they will give you some insights on what some of the main/ well known tools you might want to use. My first suggestion is start with Google’s products/ services. But remember when discussing with these authorities to value their time, because at the end of the day, being in business, it always comes down to time=money.

What principals would you add? Do you agree/ dis-agree with some of my principals? I am interested in hearing from all businesses (large and small)

A Day Of Reflection- What were you doing on September 11th 2001?

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
we will never forget

we will never forget

I take this time out from all the business talk, the tech talk, the healthcare talk, the reality shows, and all the social media talk to reflect on a day that I will never forget. I remember this day of infamy that will haunt me for the rest of my life. It was a disaster on a scale that was un-imaginable to any 21 year old at the time.

I had just moved into my new place, started working as a customer service rep at a local skin care manufacturing company in Carlsbad, and going to Mira Costa College full time. Things couldn’t have been going better for me.

I woke up that morning around 6:30am i think to my daily alarm which is the news station on my TV (though now I usually check twitter first) to a picture of a burning building. My first thought was “am i watching a movie clip or something?” I was still trying to wake up all the way (I’m not much of a morning person i must admit) so it takes me a few minutes to get myself going and become alert. After a couple of minutes, i started switching to some of the other local news stations and the same picture was on the screen. This cant be real! I turned the volume up to listen attentively to the reporters as they start to repeat timelines of incidents unfolding, the plane that hit the first building, and on-going concerns of planes being un-responsive. After a couple more minutes into the events, i see right in front of my eyes the second plane collide into the other tower. At this point, my heart has sunk to the floor. I am absolutely beside myself. I call my mom immediately to express my shock and emotional distress. I then call into work and they say everyone has the day off and should be spending time with their family. I did just that.

It was one of the most depressing days our country has ever experienced, yet the events that followed would be ones that came to a shock to me as well. The days ahead caused Americans to act very differently. I have never experienced strangers holding doors for other people going in and out of convenient stores. I had never seen so many people just going out of their way to be nice or strike up a conversation with a stranger. It was as if our country united around this tragic event and caused people to appreciate their lives more, have a certain respect for others, and really come together as Americans. This collectiveness lasted quite a while, but as we know, people heal over time and forget over time. I guess in a sense I have never forgotten that tragic day and still try to look through all of the pain and suffering in the world, the hurt, the bad economic times, the depressing news, and try to be optimistic in our future. I must say that after getting onto Twitter, it really gave me back that sense of collectiveness on a global scale, forming relationships with strangers on common interests, networking, helping others, and it seems to have given people their own personal communication tool. It allows others to provide their opinion of the news, discuss topics openly and thoughtfully, and even add some positive and inspirational news for once.

A country can only take so much negativity before it really starts getting to people and something needed to be done. I say Twitter in a sense is bringing people together again not amidst a tragedy, but one of the worst economic crisis’s we have seen in a very long time. We will prevail through these tough times, just as we did as Americans after September 11th 2001. This is my reflection.

Please reflect on what you were doing on September 11th 2001 I am very interested in hearing others stories.

Also, if you’d like to use the hashtag on twitter #Reflection i will put together a series of posts of other American’s reflecting on the day. I look forward to your reflections

Top 5 Key Principles For Small & Mid-Sized Businesses I Learned While Attending Gravity Summit At Harvard Cont.

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Principle 4- Don’t try to be something your not
If your corporate culture isn’t big on being transparent, focused on integrity, or critical on providing excellent customer service, and good at communicating, then social media might not be a good fit for your company. If you look at all the examples of big companies using social media effectively, it fit EXACTLY with their corporate culture! This is a key principal to understand. And if you company is trying to “Act” like it cares just for the sake, it will not work. Know that this takes us back over to Principal 1- Listen First, Time investment, etc.

What principals would you add? Do you agree/ dis-agree with some of my principals? I am interested in hearing from all businesses (large and small)