I remember writing my thesis for graduate school on Twitter when the social network had only a few thousand users. I knew then that it would be a powerful force in the new media world. When I speak, I joke with the audience that it was my favorite thing long before it was Oprah’s or Ashton Kutcher’s. It all came full circle for me when I was invited by the U.S. State Department to go to Cairo and mentor tech entrepreneurs right after the revolution – the revolution many media outlets dubbed a social media led revolution. Twitter had played a huge role in organizing the masses who succeeded in bringing down an oppressive ruler. I was struck by how innovative and resilient the Egyptian entrepreneurs I was mentoring were. One group was looking at how to use technology to solve traffic issues (Cairo is infamous for its 4 hour traffic jams.) Another was building an app which would make emergency services more accessible to those traveling or living in a rural area. Yet another team was out to create an online community for moms where none existed before. There is no doubt in my mind that technology today enables us to do more good than even before in the history of humanity.
The only challenge is – how to keep up?
An inside joke at our company, The Marketing Zen Group, is “What changed while we were sleeping?” And it is made funnier by the fact that often things do change overnight in the world of new media and technology. When I first released my book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, it was in an effort to answer the hundreds of emails I was receiving on social media. There were simply not enough hours in the day to respond to each one individually. As testament to that fact, the 3rd edition of the book is set to be released next January. The questions I was receiving weren’t a casual result of curiosity, but the children of necessity. There were big questions such as how can our organization survive in this new era of customer controlled mediums? And, simple questions such as how many times should we blog? And, the incoming questions weren’t limited to organizations. I heard from educators, parents, teens, and individuals across the spectrum. Everyone it seems wanted to understand the changing world of technology. Since technology has long been a passion of mine, it only made sense that I would see it as my privilege to share that passion and knowledge with others.
While I pen columns and speak on stages around the world, there is no medium more powerful today than online video to reach an audience. It is certainly my medium of choice as I endeavor to continue to answer questions and share my humble expertise.
As Alvin Toffler put it “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” I’ve always considered myself a constant learner, and I am grateful that I have the chance to share my knowledge and passion with others – from traveling and speaking around the world to launching Shama.Tv – a web TV show on what’s hot in business and technology.
Web and TV personality. Bestselling author. International Speaker. Award winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group – a global online marketing company. Shama is the face of today’s digital world, and represents the best her generation has to offer. She has aptly been dubbed the “master millennial of the universe” and “an online marketing shaman” by FastCompany.com.
Shama is author of the best-selling book, “The Zen of Social Marketing,” and is an oft-quoted social media expert. Shama has been featured by Business Week, Dallas Morning News, Entrepreneur, Fast company, Inc. Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal and hundreds of blogs and social media outlets. She’s also an accomplished international speaker and hosts her own Web TV show, Shama.TV. The show addresses new media marketing topics, trends, people and relevant perspectives. She also hosts multiple business and technology segments on TV.
Shama formed The Marketing Zen Group in 2009. Since then, the company has grown to include a team of 30 and clients that range from publicly held, Fortune 500 companies to privately held small businesses and non-profit organizations. The company serves clients worldwide, including companies in Europe, Asia and Central and South Americas. Since its start in 2009, average company growth is 400 percent.
She holds a Masters degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, and prides herself in being a constant learner. In 2009, Business Week honored Shama as one of the Top 25 under 25 entrepreneurs in North America. In 2010, Shama won the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. In 2011, Entrepreneur Magazine featured her as one of four Super Sonic Youth, dubbing her a “Zen Master of Marketing.” And, in 2012, Shama’s company, The Marketing Zen Group, was honored at The White House for being named to the Empact100 list of the top 100 U.S. companies to be run by a young entrepreneur.
When not working directly with her clients or shooting her shows, Shama travels the world speaking on business, entrepreneurship, and technology. She is passionate about empowering youth and works closely with the Young Entrepreneur Council in fostering youth entrepreneurship around the world. In 2011, she was the only woman delegate invited by the U.S. State Department to mentor tech entrepreneurs in Cairo as part of President Obama’s initiative in the region.
The 3rd edition of her best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, was released January 2013 by BenBella Books.