This week marks the fourth anniversary of Social Media Explorer, the blog. SME became a consultancy just over two years ago. Today, we enter a new era in what SME is as a company and its mission.

Last Thursday, Social Media Explorer officially acquired TechSMO, the consultancy of Aaron Marshall, another Louisville-based digital marketing consultant. Aaron is now SME’s chief product officer. While not wire-service news in the mergers and acquisitions world, we’re excited about taking Social Media Explorer from a consultancy to a company. And we’ve put some more definition to what we are. See more press release-type info with our release.

Aaron Marshall of Social Media ExplorerSocial Media Explorer is now a digital and social media marketing information and education company with a simple mission: To make social media and digital marketing more accessible to all companies and individuals. We will do this through products you’re already aware of, but also some new offerings we have in the works.

Our work will focus on these products:

  • Exploring Social Media – Our subscription-based learning community has evolved into an almost on-call consultancy. When marketing and communications professionals and small business owners have questions about the digital marketing world, need help or advice, we’re there. It’s a nice and affordable piece of mind. We’ve grown slowly but steadily since launching in January. We’ll now be focusing on refining the tool, the experience and the content to provide an even better experience for our community. Join us for the ride, won’t you?
  • Exploring Social Media Business Summits – I’ve referred to our events as the “traveling road show,” and they’re not too far from that. But as people in Toledo can attest, and those coming to Boston Oct. 17 will see, we are pushing the thinking of our audiences there as we try to do here. At present, we have only Boston on the calendar. But we will be announcing six dates and cities for 2012 soon. If you’re interested in an event coming to your town, let us know!
  • Custom Training & Public Speaking – As you know, I maintain a fairly active conference and speaking schedule. That will change a bit after my current book tour, but we will still offer custom educational services to companies and organizations wishing to bring top-tier expertise and help to bear on their use of digital marketing. Both Aaron and I will maintain paid public speaking schedules and are happy to talk to your organization or event about how we can deliver optimal value to your audience.
  • Social Media Explorer Industry Reports – Coming this fall, we will produce regular industry-focused reports diving into the conversational marketplace. These reports will be available on a per-report license or as a subscription for our agency and consulting service friends. We’ll have more information soon about the details of the reports, but our focus will be on delivering insights into what consumers are saying about the industry, brands, buyer intent, pain points and more, while also highlighting success stories and listing influencers in each vertical. Each report will also include a list of broad recommendations Social Media Explorer would have for brands looking for direction in the social media and digital marketing realm.
  • Custom Conversational Marketing Reports – Similar to our Industry Reports, but customized for our client’s needs, we will also produce research that dives into the conversational marketplace in search of answers to our client’s questions or insights they wish to surface around campaigns, product features or developments, market conditions, competitors and more.
  • Strategic Consulting for Digital Marketing – Aaron and I are consultants and continue to maintain active client portfolios. Now we can actually serve them better. Two heads are better than one. But with a primary focus on our products, we don’t want to disappoint or under serve. So in addition to continuing to take on strategic consulting service projects (research and assessment, strategic plan development, organizational education and training) we are also formulating a trusted consultants network to connect clients with the right person or firm for their specific needs.
  • Social Media Explorer – Our industry blog will remain a critical focus for us as we continue to push you to think more critically and deeply about the various issues we face in our efforts as digital marketers and social media marketing practitioners. This blog is now supported by advertising and we thank you for accepting that migration. We will continue to be selective and only present advertising that we deem relevant to you. We will also update you on new advertisers and inform you on how they can help.

With these changes in motion, you’ll soon see changes to the website. Don’t worry! The blog isn’t changing its content, but our site will have a new user experience to allow those visiting looking for our products as well as our posts can find what they need in a quick and intuitive fashion. And I’m proud that our friend David Yeiser, who we think is one of the finer user experience designers out there, is on the project. We can’t wait to show it to you.

Part of that design will be to highlight our authors more, deliver the content better on mobile and tablet devices and present our advertising in unobtrusive but meaningful ways. I specifically told David, “I don’t want this blog to become a NASCAR car.”

It is our hope and intention that the coming months will allow us to continue to grow Social Media Explorer, so stay tuned for potential job openings. We’re excited about making digital and social media marketing more accessible. We will continue to serve you with insights, information and thought starters here on the blog, which will always be free. Our products will be full of value and worth the price of admission. We hope you’ll consider them as they become available.

Thank you for being a part of Social Media Explorer’s first four years. We’ve graduated (on time) and are now working on our advanced degree in a sense. We’re glad you’ll be along for that ride, too.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

    Congrats to two of my favorite people! Best wishes for many years of continued success ahead

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, brotha. Glad you’re along for a bit of the ride, too!

    • http://twitter.com/aaronmarshall Aaron Marshall

      Thanks Nick! I appreciate you.

  • http://womeninbusinessradio.com Michele Price

    AAAAH bring on the Nascar chuckle

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Heh

  • Anonymous

    Good luck, Jason.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and it seems like this a measured and calculated risk.  Keep up the good work.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Geoff. Nice to focus on something more tangible than signing clients, though we’ll keep doing that, too. Appreciate your support and encouragement, sir.

  • http://twitter.com/ginidietrich ginidietrich

    Lots of exciting stuff going on for you! Congratulations!! As someone who has been down this road, don’t hesitate to call if you need any help. The HR issues, alone, may cause you to want to vent. :)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Gini. We’re looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.  Thanks for the offer to vent. May take you up on it. Heh.

    • http://twitter.com/aaronmarshall Aaron Marshall

      Looking forward to being an HR issue… ;)

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Super excited for you Jason. Great stuff!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks my man. Looking forward to producing some noteworthy material soon.

  • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

    Fantastic, Jason! 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Doug. Appreciate you, dude.

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    Watching your business continue to evolve and thrive is both exciting and inspirational! I admire the fact that you’re someone who thinks things through *before* you announce, so I’m sure you’re well on the way to success with this venture. Can’t wait to see what the future holds – congrats!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Kellye! We’re excited to see what’s next!

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    Watching your business continue to evolve and thrive is both exciting and inspirational! I admire the fact that you’re someone who thinks things through *before* you announce, so I’m sure you’re well on the way to success with this venture. Can’t wait to see what the future holds – congrats!

  • http://www.internet-bard.com KatFrench

    Congrats, guys. :) I hope you both benefit and are blessed in ways you can’t expect. 

  • http://www.internet-bard.com KatFrench

    Congrats, guys. :) I hope you both benefit and are blessed in ways you can’t expect. 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Kat! I’m sure we’ll see you soon.

  • http://www.howardgreenstein.com/blog Howard Greenstein

    Congratulations!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Howard! Maybe one day you can write about me in your posh magazine spots. Heh.

  • Ilana Rabinowitz

    Congratulations Jason. It’s been amazing watching you grow one thing after another this year while giving birth to a book!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Ilana! Glad to have you along on SME!

  • http://Twitter.com/Ed Ed

    Congratulations on the anniversary of such a legitimate approach in this “Wild West” industry, Jason! Well done! 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Honored Ed. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Hopefully, I’ll see you very soon, sir.

  • http://argylesocial.com/ Eric Boggs

    Congrats Jason & Aaron!  Argyle will happily facilitate a 2012 Exploring Social Media Business Summit in Durham, NC, USA.  :)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      That’s good news! We’ll discuss soon, Eric! Thanks!

  • http://www.jodiontheweb.com/ jodiontheweb

    Congrats!  Terrific news for a terrific guy :)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thank you dear!

  • http://twitter.com/prtini Heather Whaling

    Look at you — fantastic news! (I would put something snarky in here about how none of us can be as cool as you, but my snark is enjoying a Labor Day break.) :)

    Seriously, so excited for you and SME. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the research reports! Huge congrats and best wishes for many, many more successful years. See you next week!

    Heather

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Heather, you’re one of my long-time peeps in this wacky world. Thank you for being a supporter and friend!

  • Anonymous

    Congrats, Jason! I can’t wait to see all the big things you have in the works. 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Jessica. I can’t wait either! Heh.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats, Jason! It sure is good to see the biz popping for you. Drag Aaron up to Indy with you next time and I’ll take you both out for a celebratory lunch.

    PS. Just set up my home office bookcase and “No Bullshit” was the first book on the top shelf. :-)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      So you can’t reach it, right? Heh.

      Thanks, Katherine. I appreciate all your support personally as well as professionally. Thanks for being awesome!

      • Anonymous

        The top shelf is where the super special books go!

        Right back at you, Jason. It is a pleasure knowing you.

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    This makes me smile. Happy to be a part of a few of the above. Honored to call you a friend, Mr. Falls.

    Heh.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Likewise brother!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Congrats Jayson on this great achievement. I always loved your posts and be there in time to come also.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thank you very much!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I can’t wait to see these changes.  I’ve bookmarked your site as one of my must-read and I’ve learned a great deal… so thanks and more power!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Aaron. Appreciate you stopping by!

  • http://twitter.com/thecontentsquad Bryce Raley

    Sounds like a perfect fit. Best wishes Aaron and Jason!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, so much, Bryce! Here’s wishing for success for all of us, you included!

  • http://katywidrick.com Katy Widrick

    Congratulations, Jason and all…great news!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Katy!

  • http://emilysandford.com Emily Sandford

    Congrats Jason and Aaron. Love a major social media powerhouse being in Kentucky.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      So do we! Thanks Emily!

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

    Congratulations!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Ike!

  • http://whatcounts.com Chel Wolverton

    Congratulations Jason and Aaron!

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