Recent Posts

Social Media Guidelines for Law Firms and Lawyers

January 31, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

You’re in the legal field, so social media marketing doesn’t apply to you. Right? Absolutely wrong. You may be a lawyer or a law firm, but you’re still a business. If social media is where your prospective clients are – and believe me, they are – that’s where you need to be. So how does a smart lawyer use social media without getting into serious trouble? Start a blog that focuses on your practice area. For example: a lawyer with expertise in banking or finance could write a post detailing how to file for bankruptcy. Immigration lawyers could explain the different types of visas, including requirements and application processes. Blogging is a great way for you to show off that expertise (and your finely-crafted writing skills), while also adding more of a “human” personality to your firm. With the correct use of keywords and phrases, you’ll also reap the SEO… read more

How Do I Get People to Watch My YouTube Video?

January 27, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Let me guess: your company uploaded a YouTube video a few months ago, and you’re still stuck around 100 views or so. You’re not alone – more than half of all YouTube videos will be viewed less than 500 times. Ever. Considering people upload 48 hours of video to YouTube every minute, you’re going to need a better strategy than just recording stuff and putting it out there. “Like what?” you say. Glad you asked! Put your company’s best face forward. We’re talking about human faces, but “best” doesn’t necessarily mean “best-looking” or “highest-ranking” in this situation. The person you want in front of the camera might not be in your marketing department, so branch out. Take inventory of the people in your office: who has the smile that brightens up everyone else’s day? Find that naturally outgoing, charming person – they’re your on-camera talent. Don’t speak in jargon. Oh,… read more

Ask Shama: Pondering the Podcast

January 27, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Audio and video podcasts aren’t ideal when it comes to SEO. But marketing pro Shama Kabani says they’re still great tools to add to your communications arsenal. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs, but it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I just read your book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, and I found it incredibly helpful—particularly insightful was your section on video podcasting. I wonder if audio podcasting is as effective in increasing the site’s ranking in Google as video podcasting. Do you have any thoughts? —Emily B., Herndon, Virginia To read more about Ask Shama: Pondering… read more

Ask Shama: Kindle, Nook, or iPad?

January 25, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Forget about work for a moment. What device should you get if you just want to read a book? Marketing pro Shama Kabani offers her take. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs, but it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I am a voracious reader, and as my library gets out of control, I am seriously considering an e-reader, but I am not a techie. At first I was trying to decide between the Kindle or the iPad, but my neighbor suggested the Nook. What are the differences, and what do you recommend for an old-school reader like me?… read more

Don’t Call People Names on Yelp and Other Tips

January 24, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

“Marketing Zen!” you say, “Someone said something rude and awful about my business on the Internet! What do I do about this?” From Yelp to Google Places and many sites in between, consumers now have a variety of outlets to express their opinions about your establishment. This can be great for your online marketing – if you do everything perfect all the time. What if you messed up? Well, here are some tips for dealing with that unpleasant predicament. Keep your emotions out of it. Yeah, we get it. It sucks to put all your effort into something, only to see people trash it on the Internet. For an example from the publishing industry, take independent author Jacqueline Howett, whose defensive replies to a two-star review of her book went viral (although many of her comments have since been removed – probably because she realized in hindsight that responding wasn’t… read more

How to Continue Your Online Marketing Education

January 20, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

It seems like there’s a new development in online marketing just about every day, right? Things evolve so rapidly that you might be having a hard time keeping up. For example, what exactly is a Pinterest and do you need one? You added people to your Circles on Google+ but now what do you do with them? The following tips should help you on your journey to continuing online marketing education. Read relevant blogs. Since you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re already on the right track to keeping up with marketing trends. For those who are serious about continuing their marketing education, it’s essential to stay organized. Once you’ve found more than one or two blogs you want to keep up with, you may want to subscribe via email or RSS feed – for example, using Google Reader. Follow influential Tweeps. You may find that many of your… read more

Why Your Email Marketing Campaign Isn’t Working

January 17, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

So you started an email marketing campaign and then…nothing. You’re not sure what you’re doing wrong, but it’s definitely not working. First, make sure none of the following apply to you: You’re sending too many messages. It’s not even noon, and I’ve already received about 20 emails – and that’s without taking my work account into consideration. For many people, that number may even seem low. The point is this: people send and receive a whole lot of email. Only a very small percentage of that constant wave of emails should be from you. Be helpful, not annoying. YOU ARE SHOUTING AT PEOPLE. This should go without saying but…seriously, don’t ever do this. Not only are you practicing poor Internet etiquette, but you’re probably also being filtered into everyone’s spam folders. You’re not offering anything useful. People handed over their email addresses to you with the idea that they would… read more

Ask Shama: Branding and Social Media – What’s the Right Combination?

January 17, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Striking a balance between strong branding and effective social-media marketing can be a delicate proposal. Portfolio.com’s marketing expert Shama Kabani simplifies the task with some old-fashioned human interaction. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs, but it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I am now in the second decade of my business, and I feel like I need to refresh my brand. Instead of having a company name like Molly’s IT Group, I should change it to Hire Me For IT Services and use this same tag for my Twitter, Facebook, and website. It tells people what I do and sets the tempo. Can… read more

Viral Marketing: Not Just For Cat Videos Anymore

January 13, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

From a quick glance at YouTube, you might think that the only way to make your content go viral is to replace your old marketing strategy with a gaggle of adorable kittens. But before you head down to the animal shelter to cast your next video, we think you should read our list of tips for viral content marketing. What is viral content? “Going viral” simply means that your content has been shared on a massive scale. Videos are often associated with going viral. For example, you may be one of the 71 million people who’s seen this Free Hugs video since it was uploaded in 2006. What makes content go viral? As shown in the Free Hugs video, people are more likely to share content that has made them feel some sort of emotional reaction. Other reasons people are likely to share content include: It’s funny. Sometimes you need… read more

Google Search Results Now Include Your Private Content

January 10, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

In the coming days, you may see a dramatic change in how Google presents your search results. Google has already been integrating social search with regular search since February 2011, placing pages that your connections have shared on Google+ or other sites (excluding Facebook) higher in search results. For example, let’s say I search for The Marketing Zen Group. This article by our CEO Shama Kabani appears very high up on my first page of results. Since I am logged into my Google account and Shama is in my circles on Google+, articles that she shares are deemed more relevant to me. When I log out of my Google account, this article no longer appears on the first page of search results. If you want to try this experiment yourself, try searching your own name while logged in and then while logged out. Google Search plus Your World Google’s new… read more

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