Erik Qualman in Cambridge (by Alex Planer)

Socialnomics was founded by Erik Qualman with the intent of providing Social & Mobile Statistics, Studies & Surprises.

The blog spawned from the #1 Best Selling International Book Socialnomics.

“Qualman is to social media what Demming is to quality and Drucker to management.” – Scott Galloway, NYU Stern School of Business

Chris Brogan, Ze Frank, Sam Decker

Sam Decker, Erik Qualman, Ze Frank, Chris Brogan

Often called the Digital Dale Carnegie, Erik Qualman is the author of Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. Socialnomics made Amazon’s #1 Best Selling List for the US, UK, Canada and Germany.

The book has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, German, Korean and Japanese. Qualman is a frequently requested International speaker and has been highlighted in numerous media outlets including: BusinessWeek, The New York Times, WSJ, Mashable, USA Today, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Nightly News, and The Huffington Post. He has been fortunate to share the stage with Alan Mulally (Ford CEO), Lee Scott (CEO/Chairman Walmart), Jose Socrates (Prime Minister of Portugal),Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (Nokia CEO), Julie Andrews, Al Gore, Tony Hawk and Sarah Palin. He also has one of 2010’s most viral videos on YouTube in “Social Media Revolution

Speaker Erik Qualman

Erik Qualman - Lisbon, Portugal

Qualman is an MBA Professor at the Hult International Business School. For the past 16 years Qualman has helped grow the digital capabilities of many companies including Cadillac, EarthLink, EF Education, Yahoo, Travelzoo and AT&T. He is a columnist for ClickZ, while also owning the social media blog socialnomics.com. Qualman holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from The University of Texas. He is currently the Global Vice President of Digital Marketing at EF Education. He was Academic All-Big Ten in basketball at Michigan State University and still finds time to follow his beloved Spartans while living in Boston with his wife.

Click here to get the book Socialnomics


76 responses to “About

  1. Hi Erik,
    Hope all is well.
    Really hoping to work with you!
    Everything is ready, just waiting on your nod!
    Ben Knowles
    Shared Services & Outsourcing Network

  2. Based on the broad accepted assumption that mass media is there to manipulate and control (whether these are commercials or a presidential campaign), I’m conducting a research on the opportunities of social media. In the context that social media puts the individual back in power and provides the tools to actively participate in the content and message of the medium.
    I’m just very curious about your opinion on this. How you think this shift to many-to-many communication is at the same time a shift away from this powerstructure of the ‘controlled’ media like the television or newspapers.

    • Leyla:

      This response I’m sure is an oversimplification. But I like to take James Carville’s famous saying of “It’s the economy, stupid.” and adjust it to “It’s a people driven economy, stupid.”

      Hope this helps!

  3. Greater primer to anyone biginning on the SMM journey!

  4. I read the eBook version and found it very interesting, thanks Eric for the efforts and hope of more titles on the subjects. Eric viewpoint of the impact on both business and life is true and we will see more on 2011.

    • Thanks for the kind words Emran! I hope to have a new title out in the next few months, but my baby daughter has been vying for more time too 🙂

      Your encouragement is a HUGE help.

      Cheers to you.


  5. Hello Erik –
    Given the rate of change in this field, are there any ways for marketing professionals not currently involved in social media to supplement their skillset — other than entering a full degree program? I can’t say the offerings at my local community college look promising. How can a young Gen Xr with years of business experience better prepare to compete with Millenials for jobs? Harvard has a 2 week executive level program in April…?

  6. Pingback: Lessons Learned: Student Brings Integration & Access to Marketing Classroom |

  7. I’m doing research on socialnomics what is really about? where the concept comes from?

    • Danielle:

      Thanks for the interest. Per your question – I’m doing research on socialnomics what is really about? where the concept comes from?

      Does this help:

      As you might expect, I enjoy being social. Hence, I listen to everyone’s input and then adjust items to make them better. One of these items has been the exact definition of Socialnomics. Thanks to everyone’s input I have recently tightened the definition:
      Socialnomics: The value created and shared via social media and its efficient influence on outcomes [economic, political, relational, etc.].
      Simply put: Word of Mouth on Digital Steroids!

      A subset of this is that in the future we will no longer search for things, rather they will find us via social media. One of the major components of Socialnomics is social commerce; transactions (outcomes) that occur via social media.

  8. Hi Eric, will u be Asia next year . Will love to have u speak in Singapore – the video and book was mind blowing – but nothing beats hearing from the man himself

  9. Keep up the great work! You rock!

  10. Hi Erik,
    Our CEO Phil Soper loves your video — Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh).Wondering if we can screen it at an our upcoming conference next week in Montreal for REALTORS in Canada? Would you be able to send it to me, rather than us playing from YouTube?


  11. Can you people help a lowly “Independent Business Owner” with AmwayGlobal become succesfull in this mad world of marketing?
    Please respond….

  12. Great blog, I’ll be back!

  13. Thanks amazing work ,you make my job easier to deliver with your clear and straight teachings of Social Media

  14. Would love to follow this site.

  15. Your video is terrifically provocative and engaging, but your stat on DVR’s and commercial skipping is…lax at best. “90% of people skip ads via TiVo/DVR” implies you’re talking about 90% of the television public. According to Nielsen, TiVo/DVR household penetration was 28% as of late 2008 and probably won’t hit 50% until next year. That skews your data a bit. I also think your proclamation of the death of TV, while fashionable, is deeply erroneous. Again, according to a November 2009 Nielsen report, we’re watching more TV than ever: a staggering average of four hours and forty nine minutes a day!
    That said, your earlier points about the sea change social media introduces are very valid. And artfully presented.

    • Dennis:

      The prior video had “those with the ability” people were confused by this verbiage. However, you have a valid point that in the new video than people can misinterpret the statistic. The point is that if given the choice (e.g. when people have the technology) that they will fast forward through ads. To your point though, not everyone has the technology.

      Challenge of not having too much text in a video versus also not skewing the data.

      Thanks for the input!

  16. Just wanted to thank you for the video. Am pitching a business idea (which targets social media sites) to a venture capital firm next week. Needed these stats desperately. Many thanks! 🙂

  17. Hi Erik,

    Your “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)” video is pretty awesome.

    Just had a couple questions: (1) What is your operating definition of social media? (2) In terms of social media “use,” would you include time spent passively interacting with social media (i.e. reading, browsing, etc. without actively interacting through posting, uploading, chatting, etc)?


    • Tiffany:

      Sorry for the delay!

      To answer your question

      1] Socialnomics: The value created and shared via social media and its efficient influence on outcomes [economic, political, relational, etc.]. Simply put: Word of Mouth on Digital Steroids. A subset of this is that in the future we will no longer search for things, rather they will find us via social media.

      2] I would include reading, browsing, etc. on social media sites like Tiwtter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. as social media use.

      I hope this helps!


  18. Erik – Love to connect with you on a potential project. Can you shoot me a note, or call. Contact info is in an earlier email. Thanks. ken

  19. just wondering where you get all of your stats from? the latest post on youtube, socialnomics09, is awesome and has great info, so i just wondered what your sources are…perhaps they are the social media tools themselves? thanks.

  20. Just curious what your thoughts are with the new “Like” button available throughout the Internet. With customers now having the ability to like a business web site, wouldn’t that detract, or at the very least, reduce the number of consumers going to the Facebook page of that business and liking it?

    That’s a concern of mine as I manage the Facebook page of multiple clients. While I want to drive business, the main way I’m doing that is through Facebook. Now there is a potential that fans will just like the website and not even bother liking the Facebook page or possibly think they’ve already done that.

  21. Grate web-site with full information and video about social network ROI..FANTASIC!! In Italy we are in late but I push for it!

  22. I fins your site very informative and relevant. I’d like to quote you on a book I’m writing about the business aspect of private practice for psychotherapists.

  23. Hi
    I am starting into my marketing masters dissertation my topic to date is “digital darwinism, how traditional internet marketing is loosing out to social media” I am struggling to narrow the topic down to one industry as I feel companies in Ireland are only now catching on to social media trend and maybe my topic is just a bit ahead of what is actually happening. I am passionate about the topic and don’t want to change my area of research too much. If you have any suggestions I would be very grateful.

  24. Hi Eric,

    I have to say I was really excited to read your book. I work for a company that primarily serves seniors, and so developing a social media presence was an idea that was met with some push back. I was hoping that the information in your book would give me some good ammunition to support my position. Unfortunately, I was so dismayed by the typos I found in the text that I didn’t get through the entire book – and I certainly couldn’t pass it on to my boss to read. It’s diffucult to take a text seriously when it has so many grammatical and typographical errors. I hope that in future editions this issue can be remedied, because I still believe the information in the book could be useful.

    • Bre:

      Thanks for reading the book! Wiley is working to have a revised version out shortly that will include new data/thoughts and also hopefully catch most of the typos! Thanks for the feedback!

  25. Hello,
    I am a college student listening to your book via Audible.com. I find it quite interesting, but I have one suggestion for the Audio Book. The audio mp3 file comes in one large segment, and although chapters are available you cannot move easily from chapter to chapter, you can only fast forward or rewind to where you want to go. I work out when I listen and sometimes bump the forward or back button and then have to spend 5-10 minutes finding my spot again. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps!

    • I agree with this suggestion Eugene – I will see if I can move the publishing “giants”

      The irony is that the book is designed for a reader to skip around, so the audio version should replicate this! Thanks again for reading and for the feedback!

  26. Hello Erik,
    I was at the FTTH Lisbon Congress, and I enjoyed your presentation!
    On my way to buy your book now!!

  27. Hi Erik – Just heard you on Comet Branding Radio. As an individual working in marketing, branding, public relations, and social media – I understand the challenges of successful implementation and love how, despite your extensive & helpful insights as communicated in Socialnomics, you break it down to the basics: Listen, Interact, React and Sell.

    Annd – kudos for developing a lot of your content on your mobile!


    • Cassandra:

      Thanks for the kind words! Yes, it’s funny that a lot of the book I would write on my smart phone will commuting on the Boston T. Best of luck!


  28. Hello,

    I will start off by saying I’m a huge fan of your video on Socialnomics.
    I’m one of the executives at NewMediaPlus (we are also in the social media arena) and wanted to speak with you about the possibility of doing some cross promotions. I woud love to show your video to our potential clients and sales staff and possibly put a link to your products on our site if it made sense. Send me an email if this is of any interest to you and good luck with your endevours.

    Nathan Johnson

  29. Erik;

    Would like to talk to you about speaking at Kent State University for the American Marketing Association. Do you do speaking engagements?


  30. Hi Erik!
    Im an MBA student at Hult, part of EF and have been following your blog for sometime! Im a marketing major and am absolutely thrilled at uncovering the progress of social media! How do I subscribe to your blog?

    • Dee:

      Congrats on continuing your ongoing education at Hult! If you ever want to chat please let me know. The easiest way to follow is via the RSS. Thanks for the kind words!

  31. I’d like to subscribe to receive your blog via email, but I don’t see a place to subscribe! Sign me up for more great content.

  32. Insightful videos, I wrote up a short piece on my blog: http://www.mwdpr.info

    Looking forward to the book – I’ll be sure to pick it up.

  33. Hey Erik,

    Great YouTube Videos!! would you mind telling me what software you used to put those together? Thanks, Betsy

  34. Film makers should be all over the ideas you talk about, low budget indy film makers most of all but most seem so scared of the whole idea.
    Love to have you on my Podcast Indy Film Wisconsin.

  35. So I just watched your Social Media Revolution video and, well, two things struck me as wrong and distorted. A quick Fact Checking on Google confirmed this…

    1) “Kindle Books Now A Shocking 35% Of Amazon Sales” but didn’t say, “When Kindle Version Available”, nor what the actual percentage of total sales of a book are compared to Kindle (hint – it’s less than 1%). More importantly, Kindle isn’t Social Media – why is it even in this video?! (You can’t share what’s on your Kindle – it’s very DRM-locked, making it anti-social media.)

    2) “There are over 200,000,000 Blogs. 54% of bloggers post content or tweet daily.” NY Times says 5%: “The NY Times reports that according to a 2008 survey only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days.”

    54% daily or 5% in past 4 months – which is it?

    So, after only fact checking two, I have to ask why are parts of this video false, distorted or implying significance when there is none?

    • Jack:

      Thanks for watching the video and for taking the time to comment:

      1) In the video we essentially re-purposed a slide that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has used when discussing the Kindle and the 35% number. You are correct in stating that not 35% of all book sales are for the Kindle. It’s 35% on Amazon when both versions are available (Kindle/Hardcover). We have listed the sources for the video here – http://socialnomics.net/2009/08/11/statistics-show-social-media-is-bigger-than-you-think/ and because of great feedback from people like you we have called this out a little more here.

      The Kindle is listed in this video because the video is also somewhat forward looking – in the sense that books are inherently social and these eReaders like the Kindle take it to a whole new level. One quick example that we will see more and more of soon is college students are able to electronically highlight and make notes on the book and share these notes with classmates. When I went to college and bought a new book I only hoped the person before me that made notes and highlights was smart. Imagine being able to see all the A+ students notes – how great will this be for learning! The DRM item will hopefully get sorted out soon and you can see that with the B&N Nook you can let a friend “borrow” it for 14 days.

      2) The data for this was pulled from here – Source: ClickZ Stats SES Magazine June 8 page 24-25 Chris Aarons, Andru Edwards, Xavier Lanier Turning Blogs and user-Generated Content Into Search Engine Results.

      The data mentioned in the video was did they post or TWEET the NY Times study was reviewing if just the blog had been updated so maybe that might explain the delta as it’s not apples/apples in the methodology. Just a thought.

      Thanks again for watching and commenting and I hope the above info sheds some light!


  36. Absolutely fantastic! Nice work on the video! Totally blew me away!

  37. Hi Erik,

    I am co-founder of SocialMediaAndTheBigW.com and we would love to have you as a guest blogger, if you are interested.

    I previously owned and operate my own NYC agency, and now am partner at an incredible interactive agency in the New York area. I would love to share more via email.

    Thank you,

  38. Alexandra Snesareva

    In continuation of the discussion started by Tammy, here are some of the questions I would like to ask you. As I mentioned, I am working on a research project on social media ROI and thought you might be able to answer these:

    1. Is it possible to use methods borrowed from other industries?
    4. Is it true that we can measure ROI in some situations, but not others? $42,000 from tweets is quite measurable, but how do you measure the profit from the number of Facebook likes?
    5. What are the intangible costs of social media? What are the intangible benefits?
    6. How do we assign the dollar value to the intangibles?

    Thank you for your time,


  39. Erik,

    I’ve e-mailed & tweeted you, but no response. I’m sure you’re very busy and this seems to be the easiest place for you to respond. So here goes:

    Our New Media class requires a “conference” presentation of a technology overload about where the industry is going. Our topic, is socialnomics… We believe essentially there will be one site that will become an “aggregator” for all of the social networks, video, blogs, media multiplatform connections that one must log into and then have access to their media. That’s one of our objectives in our presentation. Since you seem to be the “guru” of this new media revolution, our group has compiled some questions that you may know the answers to, here goes:

    What is one major feature you see that will drastically change social networking?
    What are the top 5 things a social networking site needs to be successful/groundbreaking ?
    What are some innovative ideas for social networking, that hasn’t been tapped into yet?
    -How does one monetize a social networking site? I know Dell is already tapping into that, do you know how they measure their ROI??
    -Is the social media revolution a “life online”…basically eliminating the need for face to face interaction?
    Will people communicate through e-mails and texts, find out how mom is doing through tweets and watch family grow up through pictures on facebook?
    What kind of legal implications does our “aggregator” site face? Do you know of any loopholes to get around this?
    May we contact you with further questions?

    Thanks so much,

    Tammy Luksich
    College Senior from West Texas A&M University

  40. I’m working on a new media presentation and our topic is social networks… We’re using your book as some valuable reasearch, is there any place we can talk to you further about social media and our project??

    • Tammy:

      By all means – feel free to send me an e-mail at my google mail account = equalman. I will not make you use the wave this is GMAIL 🙂

  41. Alexandra Snesareva

    Hi, Erik,

    I want to do some research on social media for one of my classes and was wondering if you could share your ideas in regards to finding a good topic.
    Also, what sources on the Internet would contain credible information?

    • Alexandra:

      Thanks for reaching out to me:

      Some possible research ideas:

      1] Does male/female behavior within social media differ?
      2] Is social media starting to change people’s offline behavior (live your life as if your mother is watching)

      Good sources for tech data:

      Podcast: CNET’s Buzz Out Loud

      Let me know if I can help!

      Best, Erik

    • Alexandra Snesareva

      Thanks, Erik,

      I think I narrowed down to two topics:
      1) calculation of ROI on social media.
      2) brand personalities across the web -what are they and is there one that is the most effective for communicating with customers.

      I know that you have done tons of research. Besides the great sources you listed (i love Mashable!), are there any other sources that get a little more technical, such as actually calculating the ROI?

      Any information will be greatly appreciated!

      Thanks for your time,

  42. Erik

    Your video blew me away. I posted it on my site

    I want a copy of the book badly and am going out hunting to look for it.

    Keep up the great work – if you are ever in the UK let me know (Twitter: scv1)

  43. hey-
    I am trying to do a project on socialnomics. I want to teach people that this is a good source for communication and that it can be improved if you are not up in the noise.
    So if you could, could you please help me out?
    maybe you have some ideas about how someone could strengthen their socialnomics and make them a stronger leader?
    this is for a leadership course and i wanted to do the project on socialnomics. i thought it could be a good fit.


  44. Erik,
    Can you send me some contact information? We would like explore the possibility of having you speak at one of our member events.

    Thank you

  45. I have just been published in LaTimes.com and Los Angeles Times yesterday about my mother who died of heart disease at age 48 and my own heart attack scare. I received an email from a 75 year old woman who said what I wrote rang true for her and now I hope she’ll go see a doctor. I have also written an article about Facebook and the impact it has had on my life over the past few months. I was a holdout but finally decided to post a personal page and the connections I have made are incredible. Do you all take submissions?

    • Sorry to hear your loss and my prayers are with you and your family. I sent you a longer correspondence via e-mail.

  46. your video knocks my socks off

  47. What do you think of Scribd?

    It seems that people want to connect and share their stories and their lives. Social Media seems to facilitate this. Scribd allows writers and readers to share, connect, and merge.

  48. Hi Erik,

    Do you have time for a brief chat on the phone this evening? I’m writing a piece about you to be posted on The Huffington Post.



  49. I find it interesting that you’ve chosen to publish in print what you seem to believe will overtake traditional media.

    • Rebecca – thanks for taking the time to post. Obviously I’m a huge proponent of social media, but I also realize it’s not a zero sum game. Just like millions still have landline telephones, dial-up service, CD players, etc. Millions will still like to curl up to the fire with a paperback or throw it in their beach bag! While others will read on their Kindle, iPhone, etc.

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