In order to be successful when it comes to social media, building relationships with your audience and creating an advocate community are crucial. Ehsan Khodarahmi, founder of SMXChat and SMXShow, learned this from running his own consultancy business for 3 years; during which period he formed the social media centre for Samsung in Europe and oversaw the global social media strategy development for the electronic business as well as CSR analysis for Nestle and Vodafone. From his time completing these projects, he concluded that success and sustainability is based on being the following:
Here are some examples of how this simple framework works in practice:
In April 2013, Ehsan launched SMXChat with the ultimate aim to make life easier for everyone and he is currently in the process of setting up the SMXShow. SMXChat was launched by Ehsan in partnership with Mark Salke and the first chat took place on 19th April 2013 with only three participants, Ehsan, Mark and a third person who was polite enough to stay for about 40 minutes.
Today, SMXChat attracts people from Canada, USA, UK, India, Lebanon, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, the Netherlands, France and Italy who come together every Tuesday 8pm UK time. Senior directors and head of departments from IBM, Adobe, Salesforce, Buffer, SproutSocial and Melwater join the one hour chat to share insights. The chat is even trending on Twitter every now and again.
Last time it trended was 4 November 2014:
Founder and CEO of Socialbakers even tweeted about SMXChat:
The vision for SMXChat was simple; bring all subject matter experts from around the world under one roof to:
- exchange knowledge and experience
- share insights
- learn from each other
This vision has not and will not change; in fact it has been replicated to build SMXShow; a digital TV show that was announced in August 2014. SMXShow programmes will be informal, fun and entertaining; yet informative and in collaboration with the community. Therefore, the channels of communications are going to be Vine, Google+ and YouTube. The ethos and values practiced and encouraged are defined as TART.
Ehsan says about starting SMXChat and it’s continued success:
‘We started SMXChat based on our personal beliefs and values. We knew that we are not the only ones who want to make a difference and add value; hence we decided to look for those who think along the same lines. The key to success with the SMXChat community is that it is based on collaboration and knowledge sharing; and goes beyond the terms by actually practicing what we are preaching. Since we started the chat, we have seen the number of participants increasing constantly and now we have a great base of regular contributors. We have proved as a community, that collaboration and consistency are the foundation of success; which can help lead to innovation and increased productivity. This is the concept that SMXShow was born out of; to help businesses take their brand communications to their target audience. In the near future, traditional use of press releases and media contacts may not be as effective, and businesses need other ways to get in front of the people they want to be talking to. It is increasingly important for businesses to be ahead of the game, rather than enjoying the status quo, because it will not be long before they are left behind.’
Businesses, regardless of their size and location, can effectively use social media; but how? This is exactly what SMXShow intends to answer through series of engaging and interactive videos clips; in a show format.
SMXShow will be producing high quality content focused on education and knowledge sharing. Therefore SMXShow is not and will never be about selling products or services. SMXChat believes everyone is an influencer, opinion former and above all is a leader; thus everyone must be heard and everyone should be given an opportunity to transparently communicate.