Recent Posts

How Older Users are Utilizing Social Media

August 31, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

When I first started speaking about social media marketing in 2008, I’d survey the group to see how many people used social media sites. The majority of baby boomers in the room would NOT raise their hands. Fast forward to 2010, and there is rarely a soul in the room who isn’t using Facebook or LinkedIn. The PEW Internet Research Center just released a report on how older users are using social media. I wanted to share some of the key statistics here and my thoughts. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%. By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%. 1 in 10  internet users ages 50 and older now say they… read more

The Tech Titan Award Speech I Should Have Given

August 28, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

There are events in life that you prepare for: your wedding, the annual Thanksgiving dinner, graduation, the birth of your child. Then, there are events which you almost miss because you drank too much Pepsi and needed a bathroom break. Last night was such an event. When the Alliance of Women in Technology nominated me for the Tech Titan Emerging Company CEO award, I was grateful. I felt honored that they would deem me worthy of their nomination. When I made one of four finalists I was thrilled. I thought “wow! the Judges really wanted to encourage a young entrepreneur.” And, that’s where I stopped. I didn’t dare dream that I would actually WIN the award. My fellow finalists were top notch CEOs and had accomplished more in their careers than most people accomplish in multiple life-times. I was truly excited about the Gala. Mostly about dressing up, going out… read more

Think Before You Post – an Open Letter to All Consumers

July 9, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Dear Consumer, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt. This is one of my favorite quotes – perhaps because I consider myself a constant creator and editor at heart. I was speaking with a reporter from MSNBC today, and we started talking about business ethics. As we explored what it means for businesses to be ethical, it made me think about the flip side of the coin – consumer ethics. We as Consumers Have NEVER Had This Much Power It is 1972 – you are watching a Television ad for a product you know sucks. What do you do? It ranges from nothing to telling your next door neighbor to perhaps yelling… read more

13 Ways to Land your Dream Internship in Marketing, PR, and Social Media

May 20, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Summer time is here! In Texas this means hot summers, ice-tea, swimming pools, and barbecue. It also means lots of student and graduates are looking for internships. As resumes fill my inbox, and I find myself dispensing advice more often than usual, a blog post on the topic seems fitting. 1) Re-do the Resume – As a student, I never understood it. My resume looked JUST like the template provided by the career center. Big mistake! As an employer, I hate seeing such resumes. Tweak your resume for each position. If you can’t take 30 minutes to do that, then don’t consider applying for that position. You don’t want it badly enough. 2) Beef up your LinkedIn Profile -Before you ask your parents and their friends to forward your resume, think twice. Instead, beef up your LinkedIn profile. Now, give the profile address to your network. Make it easy for… read more

St. Gallen Symposium – Switzerland, Chocolate, and Lessons on Entrepreneurship

May 5, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

“Super! Danke. Ciao.” – That is my chosen foreign phrase around here. I am in St. Gallen in Switzerland for the Leaders of Tomorrow Symposium. Every year, 200 young leaders are invited to join the symposium to discuss entrepreneurship. This is the 40th year, and I was honored to receive an invitation. Over 46 countries are represented. This is a two day “pre-programme”, then the actual symposium with today’s leaders starts. Today was the 2nd day. Here is a recap of my two days here so far. Day 1 – I landed in Zurich at 8:30 am. That would be about 1:30 AM Dallas time, so I was extremely jet lagged. After quickly refreshing in one of the airport bathrooms, I decided to buy a pre-paid SIM card for an unlocked phone so I could make and accept emergency calls. There are two big carriers in Zurich – Sunrise and Yellow…. read more

Win a Free Social Media Strategy Session with Shama

April 13, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

I can’t BEGIN to tell you how excited I am. As many of you know, I’ve worked really hard on my first book – The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue. Well -it is FINALLY here! Amazon has released it and so have bookstores across the country. The BUZZ is building! – I debuted it on Good Morning Texas last week. – FastCompany.com wrote a review of it here: http://bit.ly/fastcompanyshama – I am on the COVER of this month’s Online Strategies Magazine: http://www.onlinestrategiesmag.com/ Now, I need your help because I couldn’t have gotten this far without your support. Here is how you can help: 1) Order your copy if you haven’t already done so. You can grab it online at http://www.ZenofSocialMedia.com or at Amazon: http://amzn.to/zsmmbook 2) Contact your local bookstore and library to make sure they get a copy. 3)… read more

21 Businesses You Can Start in a Refugee Camp

March 31, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

On my drive back home yesterday, I was listening to a fabulous segment on NPR about how the people in Haiti refugee camps have taken to starting businesses in their tents. Astonishing, isn’t it? That business can thrive, and often does, in the direst of circumstances. It got my brain going – and I made a list of 21 businesses someone can start in a refugee camp. 1) Food & Water – Back to the basics. Food and clean water are rare in camps, and FAIR PRICED vendors who can provide fundamental supplies win. 2) Fortune Telling –Read palms or tarot cards for fun? No matter the time or place –people are always eager to know their fortunes. 3) Entertainment – Rescued a Television set? Or put together some hand puppets? Diversion is a valuable commodity during tough times. 4) Beauty Salon – Men still need haircuts and many women… read more

Why Good Trumps Great: The Evolution of Business

March 10, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

If I could call this post a manifesto, I would. And, perhaps it is just that. This mini manifesto is written for all business owners and at-heart entrepreneurs. This past weekend, I attended a dinner hosted by good friend and colleague Suzanne Falter Barns. Tim Kelley spoke at the dinner about the old vs. new paradigm of business, and the thirty of us present chimed in. The main message: Greed is Out. Purpose is In. The businesses of the past focused solely on growth. But, today’s landscape is different. Growth is a small percent of what makes a company truly great. A small company can rule supreme (in terms of profits and brand loyalty). Bigger is no longer better. Better is. Umair Haque, blogger for the Harvard Business Review (and my recent professional crush!) wrote this: “Hypercompetition — and hypercollaboration — is accelerating. The people formerly known as consumers are… read more

7 Ways to Make an Event More Memorable

March 5, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Just got back yesterday from speaking at the Social Business Bootcamp in Dallas. See me smiling in the picture? It was a great event, and it got me thinking about what makes an event truly memorable. Event planners and conference hosts, take note. 1) Don’t overlook a great MC. A Master of Ceremonies is often an afterthought for many events, but the MC sets the mood. And, a good one makes the whole event better. Couch surfing Ori was the MC yesterday and his humor really helped the audience relax. A good MC will make the speaker’s job easier. 2) Loan out video (point and shoot) and digital cameras to the participants. At the end, collect them back and put the content online. It is a great way to engage the crowd and see the event from many perspectives. 3) Choose a Twitter hashtag beforehand. Make sure all the participants… read more

Why No One Will Fan Your Facebook Fan Page

March 4, 2010 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Let’s face it. Your fan page is the equivalent of the party in college that no one wanted to attend.  Sure, your mom and best friend may be your fans. They may fan your auto shop or financial services consulting page on Facebook. But, for the most part – no one else will. People Fan Pages Based on Their OWN Identities. I learned this lesson in graduate school while researching for my thesis. People don’t join groups or fan pages because of you or what you offer. They join because of them. Facebook is the ultimate mirror. We create profiles that reflect who we are as human beings. We fan pages based on how they fit into our image of ourselves. See yourself as a neighborhood proud soccer mom? You will probably fan the local farmer’s market page. See yourself as a technology and book lover? You will probably fan… read more

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