Archive for February, 2012

The Top 5 Takeaways From Brian Solis at the Linked OC Social Media Event

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Justin French and Brian Solis at Linked OC event

After being connected 3+ years to one of my favorite thought leaders in the social media space, Brian Solis and I finally had the opportunity to meet in Orange County at the Linked-OC event. We shared some laughs, he answered my questions, and I even got my copy of “End Of Business As Usual” signed that I had picked up at a local Barnes and Noble the first week it was out! Yes- I am a true Brian Solis fan but who wouldn’t be. Brian has been a huge inspiration to me and many others throughout their social media consulting journey and I did not miss this amazing opportunity to finally meet him in person. I wanted to thank him personally for all the valuable knowledge and insight he continues to share with the business community. His insights are always ahead of the curve.

Here are the Top 5 takeaways from Brian Solis at the Linked OC Social Media Event:

1. Meet in real life- Even though you may have connected with someone on-line, always take an opportunity to meet off-line as this will help strengthen the context of the relationship and create a deeper impact and emotional connection which can help reap huge benefits in your professional career. It’s sociology 101 people.

2. We are forever students- As Brian so rightfully mentioned in his presentation; these current times are trans-formative. Things are changing so quickly. I feel change is occurring in people not only personally but professionally. Embrace change. You must be constantly learning to stay relevant and current in today’s digital age OR risk being left behind. Life is a marathon so enjoy the music and March to the beat of your own drum.

we are forever students Brian Solis

3. Social Media is disruptive- just like Entrepreneurs. To get ahead in life, you MUST take an un-conventional approach. Conventional wisdom does NOT work anymore. You must think out-side the box, especially with your marketing. Just going to school, graduating, getting a job, and getting retirement after being with a company for 30 years is a RARE occurrence. This is now an exception to the rule, NOT the rule. The rule is to work your butt off doing something you love and make sure building a sustainable lifestyle you can be happy with at the end of the day saying you gave it your all each day before you go to bed.

4. Ask yourself and your clients- what defines success? How are you staying relevant to your connections on-line? How are you continually adding value? If you can’t answer these questions in your own life, you might have a hard time helping your clients see the social media success factors in their business. Think of yourself as a doctor. Ask questions. Really find out what impacts their business and help them to improve. Social Media Consultants have a rough job- convincing upper management, showing short term success even though it could take months to deliver ROI. If you are a social media manger or a social media specialist, you had better love what you do otherwise do something else and leave it to the professionals who are in the social media trenches every day. They eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff.

5. Big data is only valuable to you if you can translate it into decision making processes.  Word of mouth online generally is positive or negative. This sentiment can be measured. But data overload still exists in today’s business climate. The REAL question is how are you using this data to help make better decisions on product development, risk mitigation, client retention, etc. This word of mouth online trend is becoming more and more appealing to big brands and we will continue to see this space develop more and more over the coming years.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please share it with your social networks by using the buttons below.  Sharing is caring 😉
Have an amazing week-

Justin Results” French



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Social Media MBA – reflection on the Linked OC event with Brian Solis

Friday, February 24th, 2012

How I predicted the fall of Blackberry and Palm in 2007

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

This is a paper I wrote in business class back in 2007 that I happen to run accross while organizing some local files (as I move things to 100% cloud).  A lot of this info is relevant even in today’s competitive smartphone landscape as Android and Apple continue to dominate. Enjoy- JF

business week

Smartphones- Almost On Palms And Knees- Nimble Rivals Have The Treo Maker Struggling

If you think the mortgage industry is competitive, try analyzing the competition in the wireless communications industry specifically smart-phones.  Competition has never been fiercer.  Palm has been a long time leader in the market of smartphones until the last couple of years.  I actually have a palm treo 700w which I wouldn’t trade for anything.  This is hands down the best phone for business I have ever had.

The key to staying competitive according to experts is keeping on the cutting edge with regards to innovation, style, look and feel, technology, and software.  Blackberry, Apple and other manufacturers have done a good job thus far, but unfortunately Palm has used the same software, with minor updates to the look and feel of its smartphone devices for five years now.  Most of the selling features on today’s devices such as video, touch screen technology, media player, and camera phone have come standard on the Palm smartphones for years.  The catch here in this article is although Palm has been the leader in previous years, competitors are scrambling to take market share from the old leader and continue shrinking their profits.  Palm has had its share of problems and set-backs, and perhaps I can demonstrate some examples by using the Griffin Model.

I will continue to analyze the smartphone article in BusinessWeek utilizing the Griffin Model.  First and foremost, I believe that the environment and culture for the management in Palm headquarters was getting much too comfortable as being the lead innovator for their smartphone product which finally caught up to them.  They should have paid more attention to the inside and outside environmental factors that could have saved them from their current crisis.  I would suggest their management read “From Good to Great- by Jim Collins” for insight to this comment.  Next, one critical mistake that Palm made was not keeping on top of the innovation and upgrades to its software platforms for their phones.  This is critical to the technology dimension for a firm that can be the difference between millions of dollars in profits or losses, especially when the company has a product in a highly competitive and technologically advanced industry such as wireless communications.

The social media and cultural dimension plays a major role for Palm because of the nature of the cell phone industry as a whole.  People now have more cell phones than home phones.  Cell phonesalesand upgrades are at record levels because of the environmental pressures and highly competitive nature of the industry.  Perhaps an early strategic alliance with Microsoft should have occurred sooner, or even been made exclusively with palm.

In closing, Palm now has their work cut out for them.  If they analyze their company according to the Griffin Model and the management team reads my recommended book from above, I believe they will be on their way to saving customers from switching to the Iphone or Blackberry.

Reference: Cliff Edwards “Smartphones- Almost On Palms And Knees- Nimble Rivals Have The Treo Maker Struggling” BusinessWeek– Pg. (41) September 24, 2007.


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Social media MBA- bridging the gap between business, IT, and marketing

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Social Media MBA- secrets on how to succeed with Facebook ads

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Social media MBA – Truth revealed on the importance of marketing vs technology

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

How to Effectively Use All Your Social Media Platforms

Monday, February 13th, 2012

social media mba

How to Effectively Use All Your Social Media Platforms

As a business it’s beneficial for you to be a part of various popular social media sites. Reaching the various overpopulated networks creates maximum exposure. However, you aren’t actually doing any good if you aren’t presenting a unified front between them. You have separate accounts, but the multiple platforms should essentially be seen as one. You want your customer to move between them without knowing the difference.

While your networks present various degrees of customer engagement, each in their own unique way, together they should be a single unit, representing your brand consistently. Having a strong brand image is important to do this well. After employing new sharing techniques, and making a few tweaks to your profiles, you’ll have a free flowing social presence in no time.

Brand Image

As you know, your brand makes you recognizable. pointed out that, “The brand can add significant value when it is well recognized and has positive associations in the mind of the consumer.” If this is the case, you want your brand to be consistent between the platforms. To do this, you should keep a few things in mind.

  • Color scheme is important. This can be incorporated in the design of your Twitter page, welcome page on Facebook and blog theme.
  • Your default photo doesn’t have to be your logo, but should be representative of the brand in a recognizable way.
  • Present yourself as the same business online as you are off. When you are your authentic self, customers trust you.

Get Linked Up

Your business reaches one audience on Facebook, talks with another group of your customer base on Twitter, and presents thoughtful content to the ones caught in the blogosphere. Your business is in good shape to reach everyone you want, yet you are not as successful as you could be. In order to get maximum benefit from your social presence, you want customers to be visiting all your sites. There are a variety of ways to do this.

  • On Facebook, make your “Follow me” button visible.
  • On Twitter, have your website link immediately below your Twitter handle. Then create a custom background, like @Souplantation, directing followers to your Facebook page and blog.
  • On your blog, set up a Twitter feed so you are then connecting with your readers as well.

Let the Various Platforms Supplement One Another

While having a blog is great, and you hope to build a community there, Facebook is more within the immediate reach of most of your customers. Putting exclusive deals on Twitter are great, but not when they only reach the people who already follow you. Keeping posts consistent between platforms is integral in getting as many people involved as possible. You want to reach your entire audience, not just the ones that happen to populate that one network. To do this, you want to spread any new content or information across all platforms.

  • Get your blog post in a Tweet, so it can be shared. Then put it on Facebook so those who aren’t in the blogging world can see it and then post comments on their network of choice.
  • When you give an exclusive Twitter deal, tell your Facebook fans to follow you for dibs on it too.
  • If you put up photos from an event, make it known in all areas. Twitter and your blog aren’t conducive to albums or multiple photos, so put them where it is. Then bring everyone else there.

To effectively use all your social networks, you have to present them as one unified platform. You want your customers to move freely between the various platforms, getting the same business and familiar brand no matter where they are.


Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to phone systems. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including medical billing software for b2b lead generation resource, Resource Nation.


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Social media MBA – the one skill you cannot learn in school

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

How Your Small Business Can Be More Social

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

social media for small business

Your Small Business and the Need to be Social.  

If one of your regrets as a small business leader in 2011 was not being social enough with current and potential customers, is this the year you improve that issue?

As more and more businesses are discovering, being anti-social when it comes to social media is not only the wrong thing to do, it can also very directly lead to a loss on one’s return on investment (ROI).

Among the many pros of having a social media influence on the Internet is that it can be done at relatively low cost to your company, mostly consisting of time and effort.

Deemed by some to be a fad that will come and go, social media has helped many businesses reach out to customers in real-time, allowing them to offer products and services, deal with customer issues and questions, and promote items essentially 24/7/365.


Some Business Owners Just Don’t Get It

That being said, some surveys still show the reluctance by business heads to engage in this medium

According to a recent report from SocialStrategy1 and OfficeArrow, more than two-thirds of business owners (more than 300 executives were polled) indicated they would not be investing time and money in social media this year. While a large number of such owners say they understand just how social media can have a direct impact on their bottom-line, they are nonetheless not going to invest in it.

For those who are using social media, nearly 50 percent said they do in order to improve brand awareness, 33 percent look to increase their leads output, 32 percent are seeking to better their customer service, and 17 percent have been looking to enhance both ratings and reviews.

It appears one of the biggest hurdles for businesses in using social media is many of them question whether or not they are getting a good ROI in return because they don’t measure such numbers. The survey points out that an overwhelming majority of those polled indicated they do not have an accurate understanding of how their present SM efforts were performing.

In the event your company’s social media results have not been very social to date, here are some things to do to improve upon those efforts:

• Fresh content. If your content is not frequently updated, don’t be surprised when both present and potential customers don’t return to the site. Posting on a daily or several times a week basis is crucial in order to get return visitors;

• Promote the content. Make sure you retweet important industry news and events when on Twitter and share similar items on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and more. By doing so, you open the door to having others pass your message along, in essence, being free advertisers of your brand;

• Record the metrics. Make sure you spend the time and invest the necessary resources in recording and analyzing data. If you don’t know who is coming to your site, where they are coming from, when they are coming, etc. you are essentially taking a stab in the dark with your SM efforts;

• Have a game plan. Last but not least, make sure you know who is in charge when it comes to your social media campaigns. Some companies opt for their marketing or PR departments to handle SM campaigns. If your company is too small for such departments, then make sure the individual/s in charge of social media have some experience in this area. You may also look to spend the money and have your social media efforts outsourced to a company that does such work for a living.

If you haven’t already, take the time to invest the necessary resources into your social media campaign today.

Besides, you don’t want your company being known as one who is anti-social, do you?


Dave Thomas, who covers among other items small business loans, writes extensively for, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.



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Social Media MBA – the social media marketing system blueprint

Sunday, February 5th, 2012