Recent Posts

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

How to Turn Your Facebook Profile Into a Fan Page

March 31, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Facebook has recently made available a tool which will allow you to convert your personal Facebook profile into a Facebook Page (also known as a Fan Page). A quick refresher: profiles are for people. Pages are for businesses, brands, puppies, and yes…people. So, a person can have a profile and a page, but a business for example, cannot have a profile. A business must have a page. If someone wants to friend you on Facebook, they go through your profile. This is a mutual relationship. If someone wants to connect with you, and you don’t know who they are, they can connect with you via a page by “Liking it.”  This used to be called “Fanning” a  page. You can turn your profile into a page by going here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate. This is perfect IF – 1)    You originally created a profile for your business instead of a page. 2)    You… read more

2011: Social Media Marketing Consultants on the Decline and Other Predictions

January 5, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

In 2010, we were all enamored by social media marketing. Stories about folks getting fired because of their tweets or getting caught cheating thanks to Facebook were all the rage at parties. Okay…well…at least they were at the social gatherings I was attending. Now, we see a greater concern for privacy emerge and more people suffering from information overload.  Here are 3  trends I see emerging this year  – Every Tweet Counts – In 2010, tweeting became a phenomenon. We saw hordes of people sign up, tweet about their lunch plans, and then promptly stop using the service after pronouncing it absolutely useless.  In 2011, we will see more people thinking before tweeting. We’ve passed the experimental stage. It is no longer cool to just tweet. What you say actually matters. (Imagine that!)  And, it goes beyond twitter. Businesses trying to reach audiences will have to give content (and content… read more

7 Steps to Marketing a Mobile Application

January 3, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

2011 will be the year of the mobile application. Early adopters will roll their eyes at that sentence, but Joe Doe from suburbia, who just got the iPad for Christmas is nodding his head. This year, widespread adoption will take mobile applications from a buzz phrase at SXSW to an everyday term (like microwave or blender…). And, more and more  companies will lunge at creating mobile applications. But, creating an application and getting people to actually use it are two different things entirely. We’ve helped a few companies create and market their mobile applications, and here are 7 steps for marketing a mobile application. 1) Start by creating a good application that people actually will use on a regular basis. This may sound like good business sense 101, but I cannot begin to tell you how many applications I see that people would flat out not use. Or, applications that… read more

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