Expanding Social Media Explorer

by Jason Falls |

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.

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls 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 Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).