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Priscilla Lopez: Good morning, and welcome to the second of a three-part speaker series
generously sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. Today's hot topic, which obviously is very
hot because we have a nice, full room, is "Revenue Generators: Social Media and Your
My name is Priscilla Lopez, and I'm the regional director for the Orange County/Inland Empire
Small Business Development Center Network serving Orange County, Riverside, and San
Bernardino Counties. Now, can all of you say that like 10 times? That's a mouthful, isn't
We are one of the Centers of Excellence hosted by Mihaylo College of Business and Economics,
and we are co-hosting this event with the Center of Entrepreneurship and, of course,
Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.
John Jackson: I'd like to introduce our keynote speaker of the day, Mark Manguera. He's the
founder of the Kogi Group. Mark has been featured in the "The Wall Street Journal" "Time" magazine,
"Newsweek " CNN, "The New York Times." Son of a gun, he's a graduate of Cal State, Fullerton,
in entrepreneurship. Ladies and gentlemen.
You wonder why we do this; that's why. He also spent some time at the California Culinary
Academy learning that food thing. He lives in Marina del Rey, and he's the proud father
of a one-year-old girl named Jayden. Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Manguera.
Mark Manguera: What I'm going to try to focus on really are three points. What is social
media? Try to erase your mind about what social media should be, and really think about what
social media can do for you, to start that off, and then how social media helped Kogi.
I'm going to go into that. I'm going to share all my trade secrets with you guys. My lawyer's
probably going to end up suing me today. Then after that, we're going to talk about some
examples of social media with you guys out here in the crowd.
Really, what social media is, guys, it's really just a tool. Let's forget all about the misconceptions
of what social media is. It is a bridge. It's a bridge between you and I. It's a way for
me to build a relationship with you guys. It's a way for me to talk, to communicate,
to connect, but more importantly, this is the key between social media. It's a way for
me to establish with every one of you out there. That's really what social media is.
Now the way Kogi uses social media is very interesting. We use it as a way to tell our
guests very simply if we're late, if our location's changed, if we broke down, the police pulled
us over. These are all ways to communicate to our guests instantly, free, and right away.
It's almost as easy as sending a text message to one of your friends, but we send it to
60, 000 people.
Twitter is really our way to connect with our guests, to show them that we appreciate
them, and also to show them that we're not necessarily a company, but we're also a human
being behind it.
Irvine Company, as we know, is one of the largest companies here in Orange County, but
they were able to see outside the box and say, "You know what? We are in the business
of keeping our tenants happy." Now happy tenants mean obviously longer leases and all this
But with every tenant in Irvine Company, each person usually has to have a lunch break.
Now as Kogi, we provide lunch, but we also needed a place to park. They were able to
reach out to us and say, "You know what? We may not understand this whole Twitter thing
more, but if we can give you a parking spot would you feed our guests so they can keep
Social media isn't going to solve all your problems, but social media will help you connect
with your guests a lot easier, a lot better. They won't feel more like a client, I'm going
to talk about Wells Fargo, they won't feel like a client, they're going to feel like
It's not that hard. All it takes is for someone, every morning or every day or every afternoon,
just to send out a twitter and say, "Hey guys, brand-new APR. Got new paint in. Insurance,
brand-new product. Come check it out." That took 10 seconds, it's free, and everybody
gets it on their phone. That is probably the most effective way to let people know what's
Social media, it's just a simple bridge to connect you with your guests. That's about
it. From there, the character and the person behind the twitter is the person really responsible
for helping your business grow. That's all I have. I hope that made sense to everybody
out there. All right, thank you.
John: A lot has been said about having a marketing strategy, a social media strategy. What is
it, and how much do you create?
Sinam Kanatsiz, CEO, KCOMM: Everyone's at different levels in their businesses and trying
to figure out what social media means for them. What you've got to do first is define
the goals. What are the objectives of your business?
It goes back to your business plan, and in your business plan, you need to develop a
marketing plan, and within your marketing plan, you need to have an Internet marketing
plan, of which social media plays a big role.
Identify your media first. I always like to go after the top three or four; that would
be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Define content that's relevant for each of
those media, and deploy that content on a regular basis.
Don't overdo it. Don't underdo it. Have content that's relevant, educational, and not salesy,
cheesy, or something that's going to turn people off. The greatest threat to a 60, 000
following on Twitter is an opt-out. Check to see that people are still engaged.
Joe, I was reading an article where you were quoted that content should really be stories
and that companies want to be storytellers. What do you mean by that?
Zack Swire, President, Swire: It's funny. We talk to a lot of companies about what their
brand is. I'll digress for a moment and only a moment, but marketing to me is the creative
guy of the agency. Stories are what we all connect to. It's from the first campfires.
I don't know if there are any fans of Joseph Campbell and archetypal storytelling. This
goes way back.
It's a truehood in advertising that the brand is always the hero, and heroes will always
go on journeys. This is something that I've talked about for years, and it's interesting,
the man to my right, his brand is on a journey. It's physically on a journey every day.
The beautiful thing about this medium is that you're allowed to take your brand on a journey.
Every hero may fail at times, but as long as we're following that person, and you've
wrapped a brand personality around this journey and it's honest, people love it, because even
if something does go wrong and companies constantly deal with challenges, especially with today's
economy ... as long as you are there in the social space speaking, taking your brand and
testing it, you are going to find your sweet spot.
Sinan: When you have those followers and that trust, you have to make sure your content
is relevant. Make sure you have an incentive tied to it, as well. Kingston Technology Memory
Company, you guys are familiar with.
We launched a great Facebook campaign for them and got about 10, 000 people immediately
to follow them. How did we do it? We gave away 60 solid-state memory drives for free.
That's amazing what people will do free, be it in the B2B or in B2C space. Make it something
people can actually win.
John: ... [indecipherable 08:01] that you've dealt with in terms of social media. Does
anything come to mind?
Mark: You've got to be consistent. You can't forget your customers. If you're tweeting,
you're social media-ing, whatever it is you're doing, and you're doing it every day at a
certain time every day, you've got to keep it up. It's work.
It's not to say it's a lot of work, but after a while that work becomes hopefully fun. Enjoy
it, because at the end of the day you're connecting with the people that are buying your service
or your product.
But that's really the main thing. Keep it real consistent. Don't forget that the people
who are supporting you, talking about your product, talking about your business, because
those are the people that are going to last and be there for you for the long run.
John: I think a conversational tone, like we're at Starbucks, I think is a good tone
to have within the content. It's OK, I think, to be funny and glib, but you've got to be
careful not to offend. That's where you have to be remember from a B2C or a business perspective
this is business, and people on the other end are actually going to read what you write.
There is another risk with a business-focused social media page, and that would be negative
comments, because in that forum you're going to get feedback from customers, from prospective
customers, and maybe even some nutcases. How do you manage those negative comments?
Sinan: That's called policing content. That's really important, as well. If you're beyond
1, 000 followers or viewers of your fan page or your Facebook, you have to make sure someone
in-house or external is following.
There's actually an application, too, on Facebook that will actually send an email to you or
a text anytime any comment is posted. So you can actually peruse comments throughout the
day just to make sure there's nothing negative.
With Kingston, when we had about 10, 000 people following their page that we created for them,
there were all sorts of comments coming from the IT community that were positive and negative.
So rather than just deleting them or removing them, we actually would take that as a PR
opportunity to correct it and post the correct content.
So by removing, you're hiding the reality. I would rather just take the negative comment,
isolate it, and respond to it. Most people don't put negative, negative stuff on social
media because they may get reported as abusive, and people don't want to lose their account.
Ryan Dudley, Proprietor, The Cellar: ...has really built this incredible platform with
social networking, and the more you review, the more people follow you. My dentist is
on there. No business is immune from Yelp. If you're doing business of any kind, you
have a chance of being reviewed by Yelp.
I will say, a difficulty is that it is designed to critique you, so people going right out
of the gate already are gunning for you to some extent. Now if you deliver a good product,
you take care of them, you identify who they are.
If I see somebody yelling walking into my restaurant, again, the Cellar's around 40
years, there's a good chance they're going to end up on Yelp or some online review site.
Now if they pull out their digital camera and they're taking photos of every plate that
comes along, I know for sure they're going to go on Yelp as soon as they get home.
It's become a really interesting tool. One thing I do appreciate about Yelp ... and I've
certainly had my ups and downs; I'll be honest with you, I had a lot of failures with Yelp
early, early on, you can respond. You can respond in private. You can respond in public,
which is a little risky, but at least you have that dialog.
So if a guest comes in and they don't have a great experience, you can at least reach
out to them, which I think a lot of sites are moving in that direction, but they really
got ahead of it more than anybody else. It's delicate, though.
That Yelp is a powerful tool. It intimidates me a little bit, but we're doing better and
better with it. I feel good about the direction, and identifying that customer has been key
in the success of turning that around for us.
John: There's a website called Mashable. I highly, highly recommend it. It is the site
for information on social media. One challenge is every day there are like 100 new tools
that are available to manage your tools. Tools that manage tools, if you can believe it.
Mark, I wonder if you can make a comment about all these tools that are available. Are they
really worth it? How do you figure it out?
Mark: I think it's quite simple. You've got to figure out your business first and then
figure out your audience second and then find a tool that will help connect the two together.
It's not that hard.
For us, we're a mobile food truck, so it's great for us to let people know instantly
where we're going to be. For another industry, maybe it's not clear. Maybe it is Facebook.
Maybe it is who knows what that's out there.
But it's quite simple. Figure out what your business is, figure out who your audience
is going to be, and find that bridge.
Audience Question: I know we touched upon mobile briefly. Do any of you have experience
with mobile initiatives, text message marketing, mobile apps, and mobile websites, and can
you share some experiences with that?
Sinan: That's definitely the future. I'm not trying to hog the stage here. But a majority
of our clients are looking at mobile. If you look at what JetBlue is doing, you look at
how there are mobile websites, that's what we're doing for a lot of our clients.
iPhone or a BlackBerry, and the way the website displays is in a mobile platform. With the
4G network and 3G, it just comes up right away, and you're able to access information.
For the Cellar Restaurant, I would make sure that they have a mobile website, so that way
if someone's just trying to get directions ... because most people aren't accessing
the Cellar Restaurant to go through menus in lots of detail. They're going to get directions
and information and that's it.
But that mobilization is the future. Twenty-three percent of search now is happening on iPhones
and BlackBerrys, so you have to have a very strong mobile strategy. Text marketing is
another big one, so if you've got people's cell phone numbers, it's a great way to deploy
communication and then get them tied back in to your website.