Recent Posts

Ask Shama: How Can I Make My Video Go Viral?

September 14, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

We know that online video can help with marketing efforts, but what’s the best way to go about it? Marketing pro Shama Kabani has answers with her Portfolio.com column. 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 through social networks. To help, Dallas-based marketing professional Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com. Dear Shama, We know from others how powerful online video can be for visibility and growth. Clearly, YouTube continues to reign large with the talking babies and dancing bears, but can it really help with marketing? I’ve been tasked with integrating online video into our marketing efforts, but have no idea where to start and how can I be sure it will go viral. Is YouTube the best way to go, or should we… read more

Ask Shama: Help, Someone Has My Twitter Name!

September 14, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

What happens if another company got to Twitter before you did with a preferred name? And what should you do if an associate is poaching your contacts on LinkedIn? Marketing pro Shama Kabani has answers with her new Portfolio.com column. 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 through social networks. To help, Dallas-based marketing professional Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com. How can I acquire an inactive Twitter user name? Dear Shama, Our company just went through a huge re-branding process. Accordingly, we are trying to set up our new social-media profiles. Facebook and LinkedIn were easy enough. But, we are having an issue with Twitter. Someone already has our company name as their user name. I did some further digging and found that… read more

10 Ways to Use Google Plus for Marketing

July 13, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Updated: April 2014 It would be foolish to expect a product developed by Google to simply roll over and play dead. Google Plus may not currently be the world’s most popular social media platform, but projections indicate that it may not stay in the back of the pack for long. By 2016, it is expected that G+ will overtake Facebook as the most widely-used social network worldwide. After initially slow growth, G+ is certainly making up ground, especially in the realms of SEO, digital marketing, and other business-related fields. If you’re not yet using G+ as a marketing tool, now is the time to start. These 10 tips will help you to get started so you can get a leg up in the evolution of social media marketing. 1. Set up a solid profile. Your entire Google Plus experience starts with the profile. Just like on Facebook, your profile is key,… read more

Confessions of a Globe Trotter: How to Travel Smarter

July 8, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

The snow fell heavily the night we landed in Boston. My vice president of client relations and I were there to meet a prospective customer the next morning. It was meant to be an in-and-out trip, and I packed everything into a single carry-on bag. My colleague checked luggage and it was lost. While we landed the client, it wasn’t before a midnight trip to the only open Wal-Mart in town and a lecture from me on the importance of never checking bags when traveling for less than two days. When it comes to travel, I feel very much like Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter. Always telling people around me how it’s done best. But everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from experience. Just these past six months alone have seen me in more than seven countries—from Hong Kong to Egypt. I travel mostly for business, and here are my best-kept… read more

Part 2: Tips for Overcoming Social Media Fears in the Medical World

June 16, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

[Note: This is the second part in a four-part series about the potential that social media holds for physicians and health care professionals.] Only 16% of hospitals in the United States are currently engaging in social media. Yeah… 83% of those hospitals don’t solicit feedback from people who follow their Facebook feeds, and less than 40% even post daily content to their pages. So why is it taking so long for the medical world to catch the social media wave? Photo courtesy of 123rf.com Obviously there are a lot of initial concerns with implementing and monitoring social media in the medical world. While these fears (which we will touch on in a moment) are legitimate, the biggest fear for medical professionals should be the repercussions of the lack of social media engagement (both internally and externally). You might think I’m just saying all of this because I’m a social media… read more

Digital Wallets, Mobile Payments, and What You Need to Know

May 26, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

How smart will our smart phones REALLY get? Well, Google just announced that they have created an open platform for mobile phones to send and receive payments using NFC technology. They’ve already partnered with Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint, and are open to accepting more partners. Trials have already begun, and by the summer it will be official. By 2014, the majority of phones will have NFC technology. So, here are the answers to your most pressing questions: What is NFC? NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless technology that lets devices communicate to each other over very short distances (roughly 4 cm). It can work between mobile devices, and between a stationary and mobile device. The chip will be in most new smart phones. What does this mean for consumers? Your phone is going to be doing a LOT more than it already does. Your wallet… read more

Business Week Article: Questions to Ask Before You Start a Business

May 16, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Who does a 33 year old man from Zambia turn to when looking for entrepreneurship advice? In this case, to Business Week columnist, Karen Klein. I was honored to have my two-bit included in the article: “Separating Yourself From the Pack When it comes to your business itself, make sure you have differentiated your products or services from others already on the market. Getting customers to try something new or work with a new vendor is tougher than it sounds; we’re all creatures of habit. “Make sure you know and can demonstrate a significant differentiator to separate yourself from the pack for your startup to succeed,” says Shama Kabani, president of Marketing Zen Group in Dallas and author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Keep your external costs low, she says, and forget about fancy offices or full-color marketing materials to start. “Invest in training for yourself and hiring… read more

Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young Entrepreneur

May 12, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

I just did a guest post on Sources of Insight on entrepreneurship. It was so well received, that I wanted to share it with you. I was recently invited to speak to a group of young college students at The City University in Hong Kong on the topic on entrepreneurship. And, I was quite thrilled by the challenge. I believe that entrepreneurship is partly inherent, but everyone has a spark within them to make it happen. At 26, I’ve learned quite a few things about entrepreneurship first hand. My first business was at the age of 9. It was no astounding success. As it turns out, your parents will only buy so much gift wrap before they force you to retire. Since then, I’ve become a savvier entrepreneur. Today, I serve as CEO of The Marketing Zen Group –a full service web marketing firm with a staff of 27 and… read more

How-To: Outsourcing Your Business’s Social Media Marketing During an Event

May 9, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Hello again, Mr. CEO. As promised in How-To: Outsource Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Initiatives – Part 1, here is your Wake-Up Call 2: Events, Trade Shows, Conferences – Oh My! The how and why to snag an invite for your social media marketing initiatives when your company is going to be on display. A case study featuring YOU: So, let’s say you’re going to have a booth at a major conference or trade show that directly relates to your industry and you have recently outsourced all social media to a company that specializes in online marketing . You now have 2 options, well I suppose 3: Plan your SM strategy ahead & bring someone from your social media marketing agency with you. Plan your SM strategy ahead & pay for consulting on day-of best social media marketing/networking practices. Don’t plan ahead. Don’t prepare. Don’t bother going Now, I want… read more

How-To: Outsource Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Initiatives – Part 1

April 13, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Okay so, you finally did it! You finally decided to get your business on Facebook and have outsourced the task to a social media marketing agency. It makes sense too as you’re a small-medium sized business already spreading your internal resources way too thin. Your social media marketing efforts are now out of sight, out of mind, right? Time to focus your attention back on your regular tasks, right? Wrong. I have to say it. You are wrong Mr. CEO / Ms. CEO. The words engaging, sharable, interactive should mean something to you by now. I’m positive you’ve heard them a time or two if you’ve made it to our online marketing blog before. You need to be all three and you need to be strategic and you NEED to make sure all efforts are in sync with your company culture. Since you’ve outsourced… your social media company needs to… read more

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