social media reviews

***UPDATE*** Congratulations to our winners: Amy Alderman, winner of the blogging contest with this post, and Nik Parks, winner of the Twitter contest.***

Want to win a free ticket to the industry’s largest social media marketing conference of the year?

Social Media Examiner has worked hard to bring you our second physical conference.

And we’ve come up with a fun way to get you involved.

First, what is this event?

Social Media Marketing World 2014 is the world’s largest physical social media conference dedicated to helping marketers and business owners master social media marketing.

Watch this video for a quick overview.

More than 90 of the world’s most respected social media marketing experts will share their strategies with you—and you can meet them face to face.

Presenters include Chris Brogan, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt, Jay Baer, John Jantsch, Michael Stelzner, Amy Porterfield, Mark Schaefer, Steve Farber, Laura Fitton, Brian Clark, Lee Odden, Joe Pulizzi, Nichole Kelly, Pat Flynn, Joel Comm, Viveka von Rosen, Simon Mainwaring, Ted Rubin, Andrea Vahl and Cliff Ravenscraft, just to mention a few!

Check out some of the brands presenting:

There will be 80+ sessions presented in 4 tracks spread over 3 days. Topics will include tips on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, social strategy, community management, podcasting, blogging and video marketing.

We expect to sell out before the event starts on March 26, 2014. People attending represent large and small companies just like yours and some attendees are flying in from places like Australia, Brazil, Norway, United Arab Emirates, India, Peru, France, New Zealand, Israel, Panama, Venezuela, Canada and the United Kingdom.

One of the best parts of this year’s conference is the cool networking opportunities. Not only will we have a Networking Plaza where you can connect with experts and peers between sessions and during dedicated networking times, but we also have networking walks and runs, and an opening night party planned on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. Learn more about the opening night networking party here.

How can you win tickets?

We have two free tickets to the conference (retail value: $1297 each), plus the opportunity to be promoted to more than 230,000 of your peers!

There are two tickets up for grabs and two ways to win:

#1: Twitter Entry

Simply click the button on the right or tweet what you see below for a chance to win one ticket:

I want to win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World via @smexaminer #winSMMW14

You can tweet up to two times per dayEach tweet is an entry to win. We’ll randomly draw the winner of a free ticket. All tweets must have the #winSMMW14 hashtag included.

#2: Written Entry

The winner gets a free ticket, two free nights at the San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt (courtesy of the Hyatt) PLUS a mention in the Social Media Examiner Newsletter (230,000+ subscribers)!

Simply write about your biggest social media marketing challenge and why you should win a free ticket in the comments box below (scroll down).

The judges—Mari Smith (social media speaker and trainer), Pat Flynn (founder, Smart Passive Income) and Mike Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner)—will select the winning entry. Their decisions are subjective and final.

What you need to know:

  1. You can enter to win either or both prizes.
  2. Tweets must contain #winSMMW14.
  3. The entry deadline is Wednesday, February 12, 2014, and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
  4. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, no worries. If you win, we’ll either give you a full refund or you can give your spare ticket to someone you really like.
  5. No purchase is necessary to win.

We look forward to seeing your comments and tweets. Good luck!

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  • KC

    Is it only for American citizens??

  • Fay Schofield

    I live and breathe social media. The first thing I do when I
    wake up in a morning is check Twitter to see what exciting goings on have been
    happening in the digital world.

    I’ve worked in social media for almost 4 years now and I’m
    so thankful to be part of this industry. It’s forever changing, never boring
    and there’s always something new to learn.

    My biggest social media channel to date was taking on a role
    with a leading charity that had no confidence in using social media and couldn’t
    see how it would work for them. I spent a year and a half growing and cultivating
    a dedicated community across social media for the charity. A community who not
    only cared about the issue, but who also invested in engaging with the charity
    on a day to day basis. To date one of their biggest steams of donations is
    through their social media presence. The social media presence I helped to grow
    and evolve.

    This is the brilliant thing about social media. It’s not
    only about different platforms. It’s about connecting with people… real
    people who care about your brand… and that’s the reason I’m so glad I’m part
    of this exciting industry.

    I would love the chance to go to Social Media Marketing
    World. A chance to meet other like minded people and learn from some of the
    best in the business. A chance to connect with people and spread the word about
    how awesome it is to be part of the social media industry.

  • Cyndi Lemke

    One of my biggest challenges in social media is sharing why it’s important to my clients without overwhelming them.

  • Fay Schofield

    I hope not!

  • Not much of chance, but I hope I will win. Good luck all!

  • I’m fairly new to the marketing world, but I’ve been working with social media as a branding tool for a while now. The transition from pure branding to B2C social media marketing was a fairly easy one; there are just more specific tactics involved with the marketing side of the equation, and anyone can learn tactics.

    What I struggle with though is B2B marketing on social media. I’d love to attend SMMW and hear from the leading experts how to best reach other businesses on social media. B2B companies are a huge part of our agency’s client base, and I want to know how to address their needs in the social media realm like I do with our B2C clients.

  • Anyone anywhere is eligible to enter. Last year’s winner was from Australia

  • Great contest guys!

  • T Keppel

    I went to school for advertising and work as a copywriter at a kids clothing company. I took over the social media content for the company on the side, but now I am spending 90% of my day working on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am learning as I go along, and my biggest social media marketing challenge is trying to build a substantial audience on a smaller budget. Would love the chance to attend this conference but our company can’t afford to send me.

  • As a social media marketer who has recently struck out on his own, the information, resources, and networking opportunities afforded by this event would prove invaluable! Currently my biggest SM marketing challenge is definitely time management. There is so much information to cultivate and then use for myself and my clients, plus there needs to be time to step away from it all too.

    Thank you for the opportunity to earn a spot at the SMMW table this year!

  • Amy

    As a freelance marketer and graphic designer who works mainly with small businesses in a town of ~9,000 and specializes in working with Marine Corps Infantry veterans starting their own businesses, I have a few weak spots worth mentioning:
    – It can be difficult to explain to mom & pop shops why a website is important, let alone a social media presence. I’d be interested in learning more about how helpful social is to the smallest of businesses. My own knowledge would greatly impact my clients’ success.
    – Vets and small business owners alike don’t often comprehend the differences between each platform or the benefits to each. They get frustrated and give up many times. If I could be more confident in my own understanding or even learn small business-specific tips or talking points, I feel like I’d be better at consulting those clients and boosting their confidence.
    It would be an incredible benefit to myself and my clients if I were able to attend Social Media Marketing World 2014, and I don’t take this entry lightly. I would absolutely love to attend something like this and be given the chance to better serve my community and clients in the future. 🙂

  • Auston Copeland

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is always during
    the initial “set-up” with a client where I submerse myself in their brand in
    order to fully know their product(s) and vision. Moving across multiple brands
    each day can be draining as you give each their own voice that allows them to tell their story.

    I should win the free ticket to #SMMW14 in order to connect with others who have successfully found ways to represent multiple brands, to network and to honestly relax somewhere sunny and warm!

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    I work for a Stem Cell Nutrition company as their social media manager. For me, this entire job is the biggest challenge I have ever faced because I’m basically building from the ground up. While the distributors are already vast, the issue is that most of them are 60+ and not entirely social media savvy. My job is to try to teach them how to use social media to expand their business in the simplest terms possible, as well as ramping up our social media efforts to bring in some new, younger blood. It’s difficult to balance between the two sometimes, but since starting, I have been able to bring on an additional 10,000 people to our social media pages! I would love to win a ticket to the conference to learn new strategies that I can employ in the future!

  • Rin Gomura

    My biggest social media challenge is staying on top of the latest and greatest. I feel overwhelmed by my home feed, alerts in my inbox and conversations I overhear amongst hipsters. I think I should win because I’m just a normal, non-hipster marketer trying new things and new ideas, hoping to share my learnings with others.

  • Williesha Morris

    This is aweeeeeesommmeee. So you can blog *and* Tweet?

  • My biggest challenge social media marketing challenge involves collecting and interpreting social metrics that matter to upper management and presenting possible action items that were derived from the data collected.

    I would love to win the tickets to learn and network with some of the best and brightest in the industry to get exposed to their thinking, strategy, and innovation. Plus it would be pretty sweet to hang out on a naval aircraft carrier.

    I would love to get some insight on this whether I win the tickets or not. 😉

    Love you Social Media Examiner!

  • Renee Goodwin

    Social media is a big challenge for a small insurance agency. I as the marketing manager look for unique ways to continue to promote our company through social media. Always trying to find ways to help build our reputation and stand out from the big companies. Going to this conference would help us to continue to learn and grow our social media skills. Thanks for the chance.

  • I manage social media for a religious non-profit. Our biggest challenge is managing the large number of profiles we have on each platform. We try to provide meaningful content to all of them but it is very difficult given or resources restraints.
    We don’t have the money to send anyone to attend SMMW, but the opportunity to learn and network with the best minds in the business would cause a sea change at our organization.
    Because a large part of our efforts are in teaching others to use social media for good a ticket sending me to SMMW would allow the content from the conference to reach many people.

  • Lauren Hutzley

    My biggest challenge with social media is getting information from clients about their own personal brand. I am finding that they are somewhat secretive. I am guessing it is because they are so unfamiliar with why they should have a social media plan or they can’t see it further then what they see on their own newsfeed dealing with personal posts. Getting past that hump and being able to learn more from a conference instead of reading and videos would be so greatly beneficial.

  • I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the noisiest person in the world.

    Social media always appears to be one of those areas where people who scream the loudest get noticed.

    But in truth, the people who scream loud will often run out of breath whilst their followers get bored and move onto the next screamer.

    I would love to win tickets to this years Social Media Marketing World to help me to overcome the challenge of cutting through the noise by developing long lasting authoritative strategies that will not only be useful for me, but my target audience.

    This opportunity will help with my online strategy, while providing a chance to meet and network with like minded people.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    – Sam

  • Williesha Morris

    Every day I live, love and learn through interactions on social media. I can capture people’s attention, encourage them and start discussions. I’ve been able to extract my experience with social media on a personal level and make genuine and meaningful connections in business.

    But there is one thing that eludes me: using those connections to convert to sales for my business. As an administrative consultant, it is my job to create social media strategies for my clients. And, yet, I struggle with my own business.

    I want to win a ticket to grab hold of the knowledge and tenacity to make social media work for me, not just with me. I know I have the confidence!

  • zachehrlich

    I have had a tumultuous relationship with social media and smm. Right before facebook went public i started a group to get people to deactivate their facebooks to drive down the IPO (it worked!). Now, having returned (to enter a contest for free concert tix), none of my posts show up on my friend’s feeds because, I am convinced, Facebook has blacklisted me due to my tremendous success (this included an important search for a roommate recently; I missed a good opportunity to move in with friends in Boston because of my disruption).

    My biggest challenge is not engagement, marketing, or metrics, rather, it’s disengaging from the personal relationship I have with my social media accounts, friends and followers. For me it is difficult to find a middle ground. I want social media marketing to be presented to me as a business tactic and to keep that separate from my personal connections with friends. I manage multiple social media accounts for a number of clients and would like to learn how I can focus on each brand individually. How do you make each brand look like they have a personal connection with the end user when it all comes from the same marketer/company/person behind a computer?

  • Meagan

    Today is, as they say, the first day of the rest of my life. I have just quit my good-paying, stable job in fundraising to start two new ventures TODAY: (1) start my own breastfeeding clothing company, and (2) work (very) part-time with a tiny, international development organization who does amazing work in children’s education in South America. Both the non-profit and the business are starting from scratch — so I need to learn everything there is about social media marketing! What better place to do so than this conference?!

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is that I need a proper system set up in place, and I currently do not have that. Social Media changes at a rapid pace, and new tools to help stay on top of that come out every couple of months it seems. I need to have a direct plan of action that I can implement easily. I have realized that each social platform works differently, so how can i maximize each one efficiently without using a copy and paste method that people commonly use.

    As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, my site is 10 months old, and the opportunity to attend SMMW I know would help me get on track. From the awesome amount of sessions, to the people that one can meet, I look forward to perhaps having a shot at getting my system into place. I’m not in a position to afford a VA right now, so I have to organize & implement these systems myself.

    I do know that the right social plan can draw a lot of traffic, so Its about doing it in the most effective way. I am here to learn and grow 🙂

  • Jasmine Maleknia

    The biggest social media challenge that I am facing is bandwidth. I work at a marketing agency and clients are consistently scared to fully devote time to social media because of a lack of ability to commit time to the platforms and efforts. Without committing time to growing the platforms and making social a priority, they are continuing to fall behind and failing to move forward. Without dedicated people to growing the platform and without time to devote to learning about how best to use them and without the large budgets to have agencies handle it all for them- some of the brands I work with are stuck.

  • My business is called Sarah Cole VA on Demand and I have been in operation for 4 years now. My business this year is exploding and although I’m keeping up I would like to learn from the masters. I want to provide killer content and make my clients’ real estate businesses soar. So that is why I would love to win tickets to the greatest show on earth – “Social Media Marketing World 2014!!”

  • Allison Fallis

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is how now to go from a good social media presence to a GREAT social media presence. I can maintain, update, and keep up with our social media pages where I work but I find it challenging to figure out what I’m missing to really showcase our hotel as a leader in the community via social media. We have an amazing product, a great city that we are situated in and have a strong brand behind us that I have to work with and just need the right tools and insight to bring us from where we are now with our social media presence to something amazing and noteworthy.

  • makiomilano

    Where I live people doesn’t believe in SocialMedia, they just want to keep posting and tweeting as fast and not accurate as possible. I want to have the perfect tools to achieve a good strategy and there is one incredible opportunity for me: #SMMW14.

  • Deanna

    It’s simple. My toughest social media challenge was being asked to control my entire company’s identity on every social platform with only 3 months being employed. Not only did I not have a lot of social experience (besides my own personal accounts), but I did not have a lot of experience with my company’s brand and voice to control the accounts wisely. I had to adapt and learn quickly. After just a few weeks, I was even asked to take on a second identity for another company (with just as much knowledge as I had with the first.) Enough said, it has been a whirlwind of a learning curve – and I would like to surround myself with people who could teach me a whole lot about something I know very little.

  • Jenny

    I’ve just been offered a VP of Marketing and Communications Job at an amazing non-profit. It’s doing great work, but has no social media presence. They need to connect with donors and volunteers. My biggest challenge is coming up with a strategy that will demonstrate the amazing work that the company is doing, in a memorable, authentic way. I’m not into gimmicks, but looking for some real wisdom on how to approach this challenge. Thanks!

  • Rachel Melia

    My biggest social media marketing challenge to date has been changing public opinion on a reusable bag ban for my County government client. Public opinion was initially somewhat negative, with a few very vocal/very negative residents. We began doing weekly Facebook reusable bag giveaways. These became extremely popular with a high number of Likes/Comments/Shares changing the tone on the Facebook page and in the community. One weekly giveaway was picked up by a local newspaper resulting in much wider reach within the County and over 700 reusable bag requests.

    I have attended every Facebook Social Media Success Summit and Social Media Marketing Summit and would LOVE to attend Social Media Marketing World! 🙂

  • Lisa Trank

    My biggest challenge with social media is translating the rapid sense of connecting into tangibles – real time connections, exchanges, learning from one another, sharing information in person. After so many years engaging on various social media fronts, I crave ways to create in person opportunities to take the initial spark that occurs into how we can all support one another more fully. I guess the easiest way to put it is that while being able to connect globally and instantly is amazing and truly takes my breath away, I’d like to find that balance with a slower process that is also more meaningful.

  • Elaine J Masters

    I’m online before I’m out of bed in the morning – sharing links, uploading photos, commenting all related to the travel events, my podcast and blog. I blog in the middle of the night, or whenever the inspiration, hits and love the visual communities of Instagram and Pinterest, but to little avail – the numbers aren’t reflecting my passionate for connecting travelers and service. Friends have suggested, “Get thee to the Social Media Marketing Conference,” and I agree however my marketing budget isn’t cooperating. In the words of the legendary Captain Picard, I ask, “Make it so.”

  • Liz Long

    I’m the social media manager for a magazine publishing company, where I run social sites for 4 different publications. My biggest challenge is seeing conversion – on one page, we have great fans who often promote discussion themselves in a post, but it’s hard to see how much of that translates into magazine subscribers by signing up through our website. On another page, while it’s a bit tougher to get them engaged, it’s been building slowly over the last few months but again having that same trouble of knowing how or when they become subscribers. Facebook Insights have helped in regards to knowing when to post and who I’m talking to, but as it’s a unique situation with publication subscriptions, it really is tough to see the bottom line.

  • Cheryl

    Oh, my. I need this bad! 🙂 Social Media is so new to me and since I’m not a sales person and I have such a hard time writing I need all the help I can get. I will certainly enter for this and cross my fingers. It would be a great opportunity. My biggest challenge is always, well not always, is sitting down to do my social media and my mind goes blank. It’s so so hard. I think starting my site has taken longer than it probably should have because it has taken me so long to get things to click and with so much information out there, it’s hard to know or stick with one place to go. That is why I enjoy Social Media Marketing so well and their newsletters. Working another full time job doesn’t help either when time is limited outside my regular job to work on this so that is another reason why it’s taken me so long. That saying “if you build it they will come” isn’t the case. This is a great giveaway! Thank you for the chance.

  • Alexandria DeCastro

    I never thought I’d find something that excites me the way
    that graphic design does. After taking my current job as a Graphic Design and
    Social Media Coordinator, I was introduced to the ever-morphing world of social
    media. To be blessed with the mind of a creative has been my biggest advantage
    in this industry and to have a job that includes both of my passions is more than a person my age can hope for.

    I love my job. I am lucky to have superiors who believe in

    my ideas and support my plans. As a one-person show, I would say that my
    biggest challenge in social is time management. It all gets done but I find
    myself overwhelmed at times. I’d love to become better with taking care of all
    my tasks while staying entirely current with important social media
    developments. I whole-heartedly believe that solving this issue would allow everything else that we want from our social strategy to fall into place.

    Above all, I’d love the privilege of attending Social Media Marketing World 2014 because I truly care for my company. The value of this knowledge is immeasurable. I’m a bit of a newcomer but I’d make the absolute most of this experience. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the consideration!

  • Heather Souders

    Welcome to the world of secondary education Admissions and Marketing. That is what I heard about 9 months ago when I accepted a position at my local private Christian school. The position was fairly new; it was added about 2 years before I came on board. Admissions and Marketing director, wow, what a change! I love new challenges and this job definitely has them. Small budget, increased competition in the form of new (and free) charter schools and a changing Marketing environment. Marketing – this is the challenge. I have a degree in Social Science and I never took a Marketing class. It’s a good thing I’m a reader, because I’ve done a lot of reading up on Marketing. I’ve been frustrated with the lack of return on the print ad’s we were purchasing. From everything I’ve read, Marketing is heading in a different direction and I’ve realized that I need to hop on board the Social Media train. Since taking this position, I’ve subscribed to the Social Media Examiner blog, as well as many others, to learn all I can about marketing via social media. I’ve started an Instagram and Twitter account for the school and put together a social media plan for our Facebook posts. I know there is so much more that I could be doing. My challenge is how do I move my social media to the next level where it’s bringing in prospective families? I know that my school would benefit from me attending the Social Media Marketing World conference. I see this as an opportunity for a crash course in Social Media Marketing!

  • Daniel Vigil

    I grew up with social media (I am 27). When I was 16, Myspace was at it’s height and all the rage in school. Shortly thereafter, Facebook broke on to the scene and I have been an avid member ever since 2005 (my first year in college). I feel that my generation knows how to use social media, probably better than any other generation before us, and unlike generations after us we are at a stage in our lives where social media is not only about friends, likes, and comments, but it’s also about using our social media skills to find a career and succeed in a very fast paced, social media driven world. Since I feel I grasp how to use social media to not only market a business, a personality, and/or a brand, I feel my biggest challenge comes from being able to engage an audience while not losing the genuine feel that Facebook has always given its users. I know how to market products and I know how to get likes, but how do you keep your genuine voice in where people not only see you as a brand, but also as a brand that they care deeply about. I feel that social media has this ability, and I feel that my generation can make it happen and break through a barrier that most marketers ignore and most social media experts forget. Thank you for the consideration.

  • Evan

    My biggest social media challenge is getting our target audience to take action and respond to our social media efforts. It seems as though our content is being lost in the sea of material that is being put out there every second. I should win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World so that I can discuss with other social media professionals what is working and incorporate new methods into my work so that we can continue to successfully grow our engagement with our audience. Thank you!

  • TheMikeBal

    Despite the countless hours spent inside the social-verse I feel limited by my own interpretations of the information I’m able to collect. Hearing how others see, and thrive, in the same space would definitely help to get my wheels turning in different directions.

    No matter how much I read, study or practice, it will never be the same as hearing it from the horses mouth.

  • Lindsey Lambert

    Good afternoon Mari, Pat and Mike,

    My name is Lindsey and I’m a frequent visitor to Social Media Examiner. I am the marketing and communications specialist for an amazing church in Tipp City, OH. I work around the clock to try to engage our fans and followers via social media. My biggest challenge in coming up with consistent contact that drives engagement. I’ve come up with several ideas that our friends and followers love, but how do you keep the momentum up? I want our followers to feel like they are the engine to the vehicle that has the power to change the world!

    Thank you so much! It would be a dream to attend Social Media Marketing World! You all do an incredible job. Thank you for all the time and effort that goes into making Social Media Examiner incredible. I hope to see you in San Diego!

  • april atwood

    Last year, I started my dream job as a copywriter. But 3
    weeks in, the social media manager quit, and I was suddenly fumbling my way
    through social media and blog promotions. To say I didn’t know what I was doing
    would be an understatement.

    As luck would have it, though, our company was planning on sending
    our social media manager to a marketing conference that spring, and since she
    was out, this meant I was in, and started my career as a social media manager
    on the right foot – at Social Media Marketing World 2013!

    The things I learned at SMMW 13 rescued my career (and my
    sanity!). I felt finally that I had a handle on social media promotions, and
    how to effectively communicate my message in this crowded digital age.

    And the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past year? That I
    need to learn more! This is why I want to win tickets to the 2014 conference.
    Social Media Marketing World holds a special place in my heart, and I can’t
    wait to go on and on about how interesting, insightful, and downright wonderful
    the conference was – just like I did last year!

  • Whitney

    Greetings Mari, Pat and Mike!
    My name is Whitney Hagen and I manage social media for Durango Colorado (as well as producing all our graphic design.)

    Essentially, my job is a cake-walk considering I have access to views, photo-ops, exciting events and activities and dozens of amazing local photographers that generously share their gorgeous content with me. I focus my attention on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I am looking to step up the game on Pinterest in 2014.

    We are in the process of building our new website that will be integrated to allow sharing to Pinterest and hopefully incorporate Twitter cards as well.

    I am very excited about all the changes and challenges I will be facing going into a new year with an updated focus. I am, however, discourage because my budget (being a non-profit) is not exactly set up to support all my goals (and dreams). I am a one-woman-shop with a little support from a newly acquired intern so managing everything myself can be very tricky depending on how demanding the design portion of my job is.

    One of the most useful parts of the online conference was a webcast about tools to help mange social media. That has helped me greatly in my management process and I am constantly looking for new/better ways to efficiently and effectively keep up!

    I think this conference might be slightly over my head but that’s what would make it so valuable to me. I would love the opportunity to get a glimpse of what the “big-shots” social strategy looks like!

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • I have found one of my biggest challenges as a social media manager and business owner is client retention. Prospects come to me not exactly knowing why they need social media for their business, just that they need to be on it. It is my job to first listen to them and learn more about their business, what their key marketing objectives are, then educate them and set expectations for their business and industry and for the services they have hired us for.

    I think being able to effectively share social analytics and interpret them for my client would go a long way in client retention. I would like to learn more on how to do this and set better client expectations.

    I should win a ticket because this is going to be my breakout year for my business and I will be a sponge for every word that is spoken at this amazing conference! I think the networking opportunity it will allow is invaluable. I will also make sure I continually promote SME and the speakers throughout the conference so you will get mad props from me as well 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    I need to win because I work for government and I need all the help I can get to convince people here that everything doesn’t begin and end with Twitter and Facebook – and also to invest in some decent analytics!

  • Laura Domingo

    Working at an online fundraising, marketing & advocacy consulting agency, I am well-versed with email marketing. However more and more, our clients are asking for social media strategy. I’ve already dipped my toes in with Facebook advertising, and I regularly follow the Social Media Examiner blog.

    I’ve started working with multiple national non-profits on social media strategy, giving them insights into best practices and the newest trends — much of which I learn from Social Media Examiner! However, the biggest social media challenge that my clients and I face is knowing how to successfully measure ROI. My clients are very motivated to invest more in social media (time, staff, money) but sometimes face obstacles convincing the “higher-ups” to approve a social media budget.

    As my national non-profit clients look to expand their social media program and as our agency explores including social media consulting as a larger part of our business, I really look forward to the opportunity to attend Social Media Marketing World 2014.

  • Elizabeth

    Just as an fyi – this is a great site filled with really great learnings (you can tell I work for government!). I have shared with many people.

  • Nycnet

    While PR is my forte and my passion, social media tends to be the challenging part of my career. It seems that every other week there is a new social media trend, program, app or other form of providing social media for business, and keeping up with all of that isn’t easy. While that is certainly challenging, my biggest challenge is my current one which is what I’m doing as a PR consultant for a present client. The client is an e-commerce/online retailer who provides amazing luxury brand products at discounted prices that you can’t find anywhere else. Though this seems to be a hot market these days, garnering visibility for it is not easy. My biggest challenge on social media is to get more followers for this business through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus. Even though I read so many articles and discuss my challenge with my fellow peers, its still a long and tough road to build followers, but something I will work hard to accomplish.

    I would really love to attend the conference this year and should get the free ticket because this year is the year I plan to tackle all my social media challenges, and what better way then to network with fellow peers and learn from thought leaders about best practices. I have never attended a social media conference and would love for this one to be my first! I’m also a huge follower of this blog and would love to meet the writers behind it and add some social media mentors to my list 🙂

  • Facebook User

    My largest social media challenge has been trying to attract people (patients) to like and become involved in our social media campaign. MRI Scan Group is a referral group that helps the uninsured & under insured patients find low cost, cash prices for medical imaging services that they can not normally afford. However, most people do not want to follow a medical company MRI’s being very rare does not help our case. Currently, we post informative blogs, humorous cartoons, medical information as well as offering our service to people that join our social media campaign However, the number of likes that we have are very minimal and need to expanded in order for Social Media to make a difference.

  • Elizabeth Biocca

    I, with several of my family members, operate a chain of pizza restaurants ( in Tucson, Az. Having been in the industry for sometime, and been involved in the marketing aspect of our business for sometime (15 years+), I have seen the transition into social media marketing first hand from a business owner perspective. The (potential) relatively low cost of social media was very exciting for those of us mom and pops trying to keep up with the big ones in our industry. While social media marketing can be a low real cost option, it does require an investment in time. When you are responsible for running other aspects of a business, time is a hot commodity. My biggest social media challenge would be (oh gosh there are so many), finding a way to promote effectively in the smallest amount of time.

  • Robin

    Simply put, I love the interaction of social media, and its potential for building relationships and business. I need to rein in the overwhelm to use social media effectively, not just for myself but for my clients, too. Plus, I need a vacation and I need to meet as many of the presenters as I possibly can have the privilege of meeting! I follow and keep in touch with a lot of these giants!

  • Coolwrite

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is finding or creating a daily/weekly checklist of activities needed for social media to keep me organized. Since I am so busy, I don’t have time to sit down every day and actually “think” about what I will post to Facebook and what to boost, how I will Tweet, what I need to do with LinkedIn, which photos to search out and post to Pinterest or Instagram, and what to explore with other social media sites. I have marketing letters to send out, columns to write, and other businesses to take care of. Since I’m a bit ADD with all of this, I tend to jump from one to the other randomly. Often in the middle of searching for a piece of information for one site, I come across something else for another and go straight there. Then when I return I forgot what I was doing in the first place!

    I should win a free ticket because I am a big Social Media Examiner fan and spread the word wherever I go (and on my LinkedIn group). In fact, if there is anything that I make sure to do each week, it’s listen to the podcast or read the latest Social Media Examiner blog. The amount, timeliness, and quality of each piece is unbelievable. It’s the best podcast I’ve ever listened to….in any genre. Thanks for providing this resource.

    I believe that Social Media Marketing World will help me crystallize my existing social media marketing, bring me new ideas to launch, AND even help me with my organization.

  • Colin Haas

    My biggest social media challenge is breaking into the field full-time. I work in an industry outside of SMM and only do pro-bono work on the side. I’m also getting my masters in Integrated Marketing Comm and would see SMMW14 as an amazing experience to see and listen to people I follow and read daily. Possibly even networking with some attendees to gain insight on my next steps as a social media marketer.

  • Elizabeth Biocca

    I have enough Social Media problems that I am worth the two tickets!? Have a great day!

  • audreyct

    My biggest social marketing challenge is increasing visibility for our clients – how do you grow from having only your employees, friends and families follow you, read your blog posts, interact, to having enough potential and current clients in the mix that the efforts (time, money, research, writing) put in to sm/content marketing start to pay off. I hope to find answers that translate such common suggestions as “write quality content” and “find users where they are” into actionable, real-world (virtual world) things to do. Thanks for your consideration!

  • Brian Floyd

    The biggest social media challenge that comes to my mind right now is getting clients to understand that effectively using social media means being social.

    For instance I have a current client request for me to start wishing his friends a happy birthday from his personal Facebook account. Furthermore, if I can’t do that, could I find a way to automate his birthday greetings.

    I don’t even know what to say.

    In the amount of time it took to write and send me that email, he could have wished everyone on his friends list with a birthday that day a personal greeting. I don’t know his friends or their history, like he does not know my friends or the misadventures of our past. This is not something to be either outsourced or automated.

    Now I shouldn’t be frustrated by the request, I simply believe the wrong messages about social media have been communicated to too many folks for too long. That’s what the biggest challenge really is: helping clients unlearn these thoughts and perceptions about what matters with social media.

    It’s not just about having a presence and a steady stream of updates – those things are important but it’s not what makes it all tick. It’s the connections. It’s the relationships. It’s the people whose lives we touch and affect, and who do the same for us.

    Too many people are focused on the number of fans, followers, and retweets – but they mean nothing in the long run if those fans and followers don’t care about us, which generally happens because we don’t care about them.

    So in short, I would like to win this trip so Social Media Marketing World because I believe it would be very helpful to me as I work with my clients to help them understand that social media can do many awesome things for them, but they’ve got to be willing to be social to achieve those things.

  • Myrna Duarte

    As the national Senior Consultant for Inclusion Strategy at the American Cancer Society it is my job to communicate our life saving message, employement and volunteer opportunities to communities of all backgrounds and cultures. It is my belief that social media is their common denominator and creating strategies, crafting global and community specific messages it my challenge. I want to win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World via @smexaminer #winSMMW14

  • Chicago, New York and California.

    As a millennial working in social media marketing, I have worked in these locations and have seen the social culture evolve since early 2010 amongst fashion, food, wine and travel. Experiencing endless social change from the early 2000’s when I was in high school until now, helps me to better understand a client’s social challenges for grasping social media changes.

    I recognize the value in understanding consumer behavior and the ability for consumers adopt to change. Therefore, I’m actively interested in learning how I can help my clients and agency stay ahead and comfortable amongst the changes in strategy, posts, social ads and the benefit of bringing social into ALL mediums. The biggest challenge is selling the value that it’s not a matter of “what are we doing with social” as it is to understanding ” how are we incorporating social into this strategy?”

    I have never attended Social Media Marketing World. I would love to be able to build my experience and exposure to support my agency’s desire in understanding how we can coordinate social across all mediums ( TV, Print, Online).

  • Amanda

    I work in university corporate relations and my social media challenges are varied: 1) I am in one of 42 units/colleges on campus, so how can my social media posts engage an audience OFF campus?

    2) A few companies’ CEOs/VPs are currently engaging with us on Twitter and/or Facebook, but how can we get more? How do we find their handles and how can we deliver the content they want without touting another company’s news too much (particularly if the companies are in the same industry)?

    3) A lot of our “news” is proprietary because it includes research funding, grants, etc. How can we create awareness of the fantastic things our unit is doing when we can’t necessarily talk about specific case studies?

    I feel like it’s a slippery slope because we’re not selling a product and we’re not necessarily informing…we are just connecting companies to their right contacts on campus. I think we’re missing a big opportunity by not engaging with them on social media…I’m at a loss as to where to even start. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Callmethequeen

    My main challenge when working with Social Media clients is convincing them that it is very important the be legally compliant when posting to all the various social media outlets, especially when it comes to sponsoring contest or sweepstakes. Like marketing messaging, Social Media is regulated by the FTC and other state and federal laws. To make it more challenging is the fact that each social media platform has their own rules – and they are always changing! There are so many other factors to consider, as well: Privacy Issues, COPPA regulations, CAN-SPAM, the list goes on. I’d love to go on a Social Media Legal Training Road Show! 🙂

  • I love social media! I’m a virtual assistant coach and my biggest challenge is helping new VAs get their platforms started and expressing to them the importance of learning social media for business before trying to offer it as a skill to their clients. A lot of new VAs think that since they have been on social media for years for personal reasons, they can just jump right in and start doing social media for clients. This is not so! Research, study, practice, and constantly being on top of the latest and greatest are imperative to a virtual assistant that wants to offer social media.

    Not only do I recommend all of the free options, like using Social Media Examiner’s blog posts and podcasts, but I encourage all of them to use a paid course because they can get so much more out of them. What coaches do I refer? Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst, and Andrea Vahl of course! (Yep, I went there! And it’s the truth!)

    Going to this conference would be amazing! The information that I would learn would not only benefit myself, but the virtual assistant community. It would also allow me to connect with the leaders in the social media world and find out what their thoughts are about outsourcing social media to virtual assistants.

    P.S. I love the social media podcast! Thanks so much for sharing your connections with us Michael!

  • Michelle Nitta

    My biggest social media challenge is where to begin. I feel overwhelmed when I begin to think of all the options out there, where do I begin and how do I use each one effectively.
    I work for an agency where we rely heavily on traditional advertising platforms, however I know there is an importance to social media marketing, and would really like learn how to incorporate this into our advertising plans for our clients.

  • Maria Spady

    My biggest struggle is figuring out the best way to manage multiple social media accounts at the same time – when to link them, when to give them unique content, and HOW to come up with that much content for so many different channels!

    I would love to win this because I really want to attend this conference, but don’t have the funds to do it and I wouldn’t be able to otherwise 🙁

  • Loren K

    The biggest social marketing challenge I see for myself and
    for our company – a QSR – would have to be keeping content fresh and engaging.
    So many times, I see a trend of just trying to push our products on our fans
    with pictures, prices, etc. and missing out on the opportunity to engage with
    them. We are working hard on engaging more through our social media efforts and
    we’re looking forward to bringing home some tips from SMMW2014!

  • Finishing Touches By Liz

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is that, I am a 1 woman owned/ran small business. I am trying to expand my business and keep up with the ever changing world of social media. However there are so many outlets I do not know which ones to belong to for the most coverage/reach. I would love to be able to gain the knowledge I need by tapping into the amazing resources by attending this conference, I just don’t have the funds…so needless to say winning would give me that MUCH NEEDED opportunity!

  • Earl

    My biggest social media challenge/opportunity is getting up to speed – quickly! I’ve spent 13 years in print-on-demand for the financial services industry. Lots of marketing and campaigns promoting retirement savings plans and strategies – no social media. Three months ago, I went into business for myself providing content consulting, writing, and editing services. Social media is a must for me. Where better to learn the ins and outs than at a conference of social media savants?

  • Priscilla Jordan

    I recently started a blog helping mothers of infants/toddlers called “” and just bought the podcast course John Lee Dumas put together so I can start a podcast in the future. My challenge with Social Media is “putting it all together” in a way that makes sense for me and the people I want to serve and doesn’t just become a daily task that keeps me busy all day, but doesn’t create life changing content. I live in Southern California and would love to come to SMMW14 to create mutually beneficial relationships with the many Social Media experts located here in Southern California. Having now raised 3 amazing daughters, I know it is my calling to move into this next stage of my life teaching and sharing all I have learned being a wife and mother the past 27 years!

  • Diane Gibbs

    I struggle in two main areas:
    1. Knowing WHEN to start selling. I struggled with what idea to make into a course first, as well as tips on what tools should I use to promote the well as what and where I can get the most return on my time and effort.

    2. How to find time to create my first course so I can help other people ignite their spark.

    I juggle between teaching at a university full-time, running a freelance business, and having a weekly web show (The Design Recharge Show). I will be recording episode 79 this Wed and have been at it since May 2012. It has blessed my life by making connections with audience members and guests. The inspiration, motivation, and wisdom my guests bring to the audience and myself is incredible. However, I am sure I am missing out on opportunities which would allow me to help more designers in radical ways.

  • Roz M-Brown

    My biggest challenge with Social Media would be reaching my market with content that they are interested in receiving and anticipating my next post. I am constantly learning more on the our industry and also on Social Media Marketing so that I can bring everyone insightful, informative and upbeat posts that keep them engaged and want to share or talk about them. I would like to engage more people as well as receive more likes, shares, pins and you name it from new people. However, I don’t want to attract or pay for new likes which aren’t industry related.

    I signed up and enrolled in the 2012 Social Media Marketing World Conference, but was unable to attend. I had hoped I could attend this year, but it was not in our Marketing budget. If my name is chosen on your deadline, February 12th, it would be the best birthday gift ever!


  • Sarah Gardner

    It’s been an interesting few years as I build our social media outreach from the ground up at our small botanic garden in Dallas, Texas. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is how to cultivate our online community with limited time, staff, resources, training, chocolate (it fuels the marketing dept–me), you name it. I mean, we’re one step away from using typewriters over here!

    After some trial and error that included giving a happy-to-help but over-eager staff person the ability to post on our Facebook Page (ending with them posting 50 photos of our office Christmas party), I’ve finally worked out the recipe that works well for our specific nonprofit. One voice is less confusing, unless I tell who is making the post. Our community likes easy back-and-forth conversation and craves educational content. They also like to hear about our successes. Donation needs often get filled with a quick plea on Facebook. It’s amazing to see.

    To fix the “post first and edit later” issue, staff email me with educational posts; two of them have weekly subjects they write about and send to me. I then edit and post when the time is right. Two things I’ve learned: Gardeners get up early; I often schedule posts
    at 7 am. They also like to check Facebook right before leaving work. We’ve built up a small but active base that likes to share photos, experiences and tips/tricks on gardening. It’s been interesting to see it evolve.

    Since our entire marketing budget is less than many entry level marketing managers’ salaries, we need all the help we can get on training. I was able to splurge on the online Social Media conference and would love to attend this one in person.

    Thank you,
    Sarah Gardner
    Texas Discovery Gardens


    As a popular entertainer and DJ by night and a business guru geek by day, my greatest social media challenge is helping my poor starving artist friends become hip creative entrepreneurs and STEP UP THEIR GAME by creating digital products to SELL long with their artistic brand and promote that shiz-nit on social media… without sounding too spammy!

    These cats have no problem posting gig photos and selfies, promoting upcoming shows, and sharing the inside scoop on what they ate for breakfast on social media, BUT are they serious about becoming a bona-fide ENTREPRENEUR? Have they monetized their websites? Are they willing to market themselves beyond giving “shout outs” about the next club party? Will they study business tools to take it to the next level?

    My blog, intends to do just that. TRAIN these funky kittens on how to make more money with their art, be authentically hip and unique as possible, and get out of the “poor starving artist” hole for GOOD. HOW? I speak their lingo and translate all this marketing geek talk into a fun, enticing hipster language they can understand in STUPID SIMPLE, easy steps of action. I want to see my peeps SUCCEED!

    There are plenty of cookie cutter suit and tie say the same ol thing marketing gurus out there that keep regurgitating that same old story: “I made a million bucks overnight! Check me out in my Tesla! I got 300,000 Facebook followers in one week! Buy my ridiculously expensive training program” blah blah blah…. BORING!

    My peeps need a hip rockstar biz-nizz guru THEY CAN RELATE TO. That is why you are going to be stoked to feature ME as your prize winning SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WORLD pin-up girl poster child. Please sponsor ME to attend the SUMMIT in March so I can help my artsy friends ROCK and reach an untapped market in social media training. THANK YOU! See you in paradise…. AVENA xox

  • domslm

    I am new to marketing completely. I am working for an agency that handles PPC and SEO for companies in all niches from small to large. I LOVE MY JOB! It’s so wonderful to come to work and learn something new everyday, sometimes more than once a day. When I started this past September, of course I knew what Google was and how to use it, but I had never even thought about all the ads or how or why the results were in the order they were. Just 4 months later I am now a part of the organic team at the agency and my main responsibility is link building and social media.

    Being my company is an online marketing company, Social Media is imperative for us as well as our clients; it’s one of the things that I enjoy most. I would love the opportunity to hear the best in the business share best practices and all the ins and outs of of the industry. At 35 years of age, I feel that I may have missed being part of the generation that grew up with this technology and I would love to be able to experience and take so much knowledge from this conference. I feel that I could benefit from learning how to specifically keep people engaged especially in some of the more niche markets. Being so new to the industry, this would be an awesome advantage for my career, my clients, and my company as I would definitely bring back all my newly gained knowledge.

  • As a social media marketer in a 3rd world country that dances to the beat of “mañana time”, I face countless challenges. They range from balancing the expectations of “1st Worlders” with the realities of the life and culture here in Costa Rica, to dealing with power outages and spotty broadband service – and the occasional earthquake or flood. While my industry seemingly changes on a daily basis, it may take a decade or more to see any perceptible change in the way business is done down here. Paradise has its pitfalls too, believe it or not.

    Most of my clients depend on tourism from North America to fill their coffers and North Americans, generally speaking, have a much higher level of experience and expectation than people here in this part of Latin America. And that is probably my biggest social media marketing challenge – bringing clients up to speed on what they need to do in order for their small business to thrive using social media (and SEO and smart web design) in a country behind the learning curve, where broadband 1st appeared in my province in 2006 and where 3G mobile data service for the entire nation 1st appeared a little over 2 years ago. It’s a form of bridging the digital divide. But it’s not the divide between young and old, have’s and have-not’s. It’s about educating people to think differently about how they do business in a world that’s only a mouse click or a Tweet or an Instagram away. And it’s tough!

    And that’s why I should win a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World. (That and the fact that my wife and 2 kids would love San Diego). Thanks for the opportunity to enter. I love your weekly wrap-up!! Keep the good stuff coming. Make it social today!

  • Christine Murphy

    I have dedicated the last 4 years of my career with my organization working on my own to build social media up and get the company as a whole to accept it while working full time to support the Sr. VP, our retail team and other business departments.

    It’s important to me that our organization be a part of an ever so growing world to communicate with customers. I have made “social care” a part of the way we handle customer issues. Our store managers and regional managers no longer handle customer complaints. I personally take care of each customer. I call them. It’s important for me to know that they are being well cared for and understood. Customers always tell me that they wish that ever retailer handled them as well as I do. They always contact me to tell me about their positive experiences. It’s rewarding to know that I am doing all I can to build a life long customer.

    When I first started doing this back in 2010 I was posting cat pictures. Customers loved them, but I knew that we needed to mature fast and have more relevant content. I couldn’t get most of our 30 stores to cooperate so I made it happen on my own. I spent a lot of free time driving to our locations and taking photos. Our growth started to take off and I almost couldn’t believe that what I was doing actually worked.

    I also started to incorporate contests, a personality or character named Gabby Goodwill, and a special coupon just for fans called Facebook Friday. Gabby was a hit at grand openings, I started a blog using Gabby ( I never knew that I could be a writer!) and the Facebook Friday coupon took off like wild fire. In 2012 we had $37k in sales from the coupon. For our fiscal year of 2013 we had a 408% growth in coupon sales. The overall engagement and fans likes has increased too over multiple platforms.

    In the last 8 months I was starting to get a little down. I had felt like all this hard work had nothing to show for it and I was the only one who appreciated it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love my customers. I love how everyday is something new and different with Social Media and I love being a part of this world.

    As I was trying to decide on my next career move, I had expressed my concerns to my boss. I have never worked for such a caring and inspiring man. He’s always had my best interests in mind. After much debate and run a round the CEO and Marketing Director finally got on board. On the 15th of January it was announced that I was now the Social Media Manager and I was moving into the marketing department!

    Not only do I get to operate the retail store page, but also our boutique stores, our online stores, Gabby Goodwill…but I also get to start up a new plan for our pages that serve and support our veterans. I finally get to work just one job that I absolutely love AND I get to work with an amazing team of people who support me and what my goals are.

    The most important thing during all this is that during these 8 months of not knowing and feeling down on my luck i came across Kim Garst’s Facebook page. This woman is inspirational. Every time I had a moment of doubt, she had a quote to pull me out of my slump. It’s like she was cheering me on that I could do it!

    I did it. I wanted something so bad and I worked very hard for it and I’m going to keep working harder. I’m going to continue to build my company up higher and higher.

    Note ( My profile photo was when I announced my promotion. I made a Facebook Like photo booth prop. Not a bad way to kick off 2014!)

  • David Gannon

    Marketing to 5 distinct different genres on one FB page, segmented email lists and one twitter account is seriously challenging.

  • Vicki Gaebe

    I’ve been working really hard on building up my photography business – I’m doing great in the search engines but I could really use some help getting my name and business out to more channels in the social media world. I follow Social Media Examiner and read all the posts and suggestions. Attending first hand would be invaluable to me and my business. I think one of my biggest challenges is with so many options, just being able to determine the best methods to sharing my photography. Time Management rears it’s head again.

    Thanks for considering a very small business entrepreneur to receive the free ticket to the conference. Can’t make it on my own.

  • I have been in print advertising for 25 years and over the last 8 years have been working to becoming more knowledgable with social media marketing. I have been struggling to keep up with the daily changes of utilizing social media for our publication and our clients. I do research daily to assure I am giving our clients the best we are able to provide, however I know there is more to learn that is beneficial for all. I want to gain more knowledge to not only help my company but to help our clients as well.

    I am a hands on owner and work long hours to ensure we are giving the best product and advice as possible. I know attending a conference with social media specifics would be extremely beneficial and filled with knowledgable instructors who are there to teach and guide those unaware.

    Hoping to hear from you soon!

  • Shelley Webb

    I feel that I have a good grasp on the various social media platforms and the best ways to utilize them. What challenges me most is marketing for those professions that are somewhat dry and perhaps even a bit boring. Bookkeepers and auto repair shops come to mind here. How do I spice things up for them?

  • Sandra Angelo

    I have barely dipped my toe in social media and want to soak up more knowledge from the experts.

    Been very busy developing content after a massive fire destroyed both my home and business. Finally have 30 Step by Step Art Courses ready to go on iPad, Android tablets, phones and laptops. We launched, tested and now coach art students on five continents. But this year, we need to focus on marketing, spreading the word. Social media is a HUGE part of that and I have no clue where to start.

    I live across the street from the Hyatt and would love to be involved in this exciting event!

    Pick me, pick me, pick me. 🙂

  • Mary Ann Everitt-Gutchigian

    I would love to win the tickets. I use social media as much as I breath nowadays. I find it to be the best way to get customers interested in what you offer, what they should be looking into to get ahead themselves, how to stay safe, healthy, informed and entertained. Where else can you do all of this? Starting groups helps the community work together to support a cause or a resort location in my case. Social media hits all age groups which is key in vacation ideas. I have made so many new friends and business connections during the awakening of Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Google, LinkedIn and others it is amazing! If it was around when I was a kid I may have been able to meet everyone in the world by now 🙂 I get in trouble every so often from FB from friending too many people. But I don’t understand why they ask if I know them then… I end up knowing them but so many at one time must send up a red flag or something, so I have to friend s-l-o-w-l-y- now so I don’t get the boot. Networking is wonderful on social media, it is a Godsend today in getting ahead in business, especially vacation- resort type business. I use FB and have 5 pages to get different ideas out but all in name of vacation fun.

  • Yael Kochman

    My biggest challenge as the marketing manager of a new startup is educating the market about a new technology with minimum available resources. I know we have an amazing product, and everyone that sees it tell me so – but how do I get thousands of people to see it? I think I should win the free ticket because our product is a game changer for digital marketing, and this conference is the perfect opportunity to reach out to marketers and tell them all about it Not only it will help boost our marketing efforts, but it would potentially help all the marketers we reach out to during the conference to leverage their content marketing efforts!

  • Amanda Oberg

    After working in social media for four years, my largest challenge is still obtaining timely information from clients. I work in an agency setting, and while several of our clients are diligent about providing information, others struggle. Social media cannot work without genuine, relevant (and timely) content. I’d love to know how others in the agency world are addressing this. Working on social accounts for multiple clients is a challenge. I would love to take insights gained at the Social Media Marketing World 2014 and share it with my colleagues and blog followers. Please, choose me and help make our agency better equipped to face this challenge.

  • Valarie Harris

    Hi Michael.

    My biggest challenge is creating compelling content on a continual basis for a few of my clients that are in Direct Marketing Businesses. I know that there is interesting material all around us but for those clients, it becomes a little more difficult as I have to follow their company guidelines and stay within their parameters, when it comes to what I can or can’t post on social media. I have many great ideas that get rejected so I struggle with keeping their platforms fresh and engaging.

    I’m hoping that If I when the ticket to Social Media Marketing World, I will be able to connect with other social media marketing industry experts, like you, who will have some creative insights and ideas on how handle this dilemma. Thanks so much for the opportunity and chance to attend this Amazing event.

    Very Respectfully
    Valarie Harris

  • Nicole Zinsser

    My challenges have included 1) falling into a marketing management position without a marketing background, 2) being the sole person held accountable for multiple Facebook pages and a Twitter account, 3) having little direction given to me on what to post and when to post. Basically, I’ve just been sharing as much educational, adorable, thoughtful, and entertaining information as possible that is relevant to our two-legged and four-legged clients (I work for Camp Bow Wow :-), and hoping for the best! HELP! I need guidance!

  • Amanda Shaw

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is getting the SMBs I work with to engage their customers in a non-salesy manner, to sell them on the fact that they shouldn’t use social media to sell. They always want to “sneak” something sales into every post!

    I am DREAMING about this conference! I am sure the things I would learn there would help me better explain the power of social media to my clients and kick my own strategy up several notches.

  • Fingers crossed – here goes…

    My biggest challenge is convincing my target market (mums in business) that the return on investment in social media is soooooooooo worth it and that one cannot just “do” social, one has to “be” social. They see at as a drain on resources – mainly time – and are not prepared to put in the effort to reap the rewards. But I want to grab them and shake them to say IT IS WORTH IT IF DONE PROPERLY! It is not good enough to just have a profile and tweet/post once or twice a day – you need to have a plan. Fail to plan, plan to fail. #winSMMW14.

  • Bunni

    As a full time job as a real estate agent, real estate has it’s up and downs. In the last two years it has mostly on the down side. I started looking at social media to increase my internet presence to help with my lead generation and fell in love with social media. So, I took the last two years off to learn as much as I could about it. I ran across your website one day. It was a month or so before your Social Media Marketing 2011. It had the top 100 influencers!! I had just win the mother load!! I started to follow all of them and implement their techniques and strategies. There is so much more to learn. My goal is not only to have the knowledge for myself but be able to help other struggling real estate agent
    Thanks for the chance,

  • Rich Boyd

    Our biggest social media marketing challenge is how to engage with a B2B audience, and a B2C audience, when B2B is 90% of our marketing but B2C is 90% of our social audience! I should win this prize because I’m based in New Zealand and overcoming this obsticle will require some fresh thinking from industry leaders, and my boss is more likely to sign off me going if I’ve won!

  • One word: STRATEGY.

    I teach a Social Media Marketing course at the University of Northern Colorado. I do not use a textbook. I do use a lot of e-readings from this blog and many others.

    The problem with SMM textbooks (there are a few) is that much of the content is about platforms and tools. And, unfortunately these things are always changing and by the time a textbook is published, much of the content that is focused on tactical things are out-dated. For example, a recent book I considered still had high praise for MySpace and did not even mention Pinterest or Instagram.

    Therefore, I am constantly struggling to build a base of planning and strategy for the course content in my SMM and e-Marketing courses.

    And, thus why I would love to attend this conference so I can learn from the brightest minds in social media today.

    I read their blogs. I read their books. Now I want to meet the face behind these great minds of digital strategy and personally encourage them to write more about social media marketing strategy from a planning prospective, for this is the content that endures and best prepares young student minds to go forth and thrive in the digital community.


  • Jessica Carreras

    I’m the Digital Media Coordinator for the City of Dearborn, Michigan, and it would be SO exciting to get to go to Social Media Marketing World, namely because of the networking opportunities it would present that I really can’t find elsewhere.

    Social media in local government lags way, way behind many other fields, and my biggest challenge is finding peers to talk to about our unique challenges and share ideas. We aren’t selling “things” – we’re selling service, and that’s a totally different animal. All the LinkedIn groups and webinars I take part in are really no match for face-to-face contact with other people working in government social media. I would LOVE the opportunity to discuss government social media with some of the big names in the business, as well as my peers from around the world. Social Media Marketing World can make that happen!

    And, let’s be honest – I work in local government, so this is the only way I’m going to get a ticket!

  • Robyn Ackerman

    I run digital marketing campaigns for many small and medium sized businesses here in Chicago. I am passionate about learning something new each day to increase my knowledge and share with my clients. I have been very successful in all the Social Media campaigns that I run, and hope to continue the growth of my company: . By attending Social Media Marketing World, I know I will gain an invaluable amount of knowledge and expertise to bring back here, where it’s ridiculously cold :). I love networking and learning from others, and sharing success stories. Here’s to hoping I win!

  • Guest

    Time is my biggest challenge. Give me another day or two a week and I could rock at this!

  • elaine

    Being a one-woman social media department for a multi-brand restuarant company with ~300 locations (almost half of which are franchise owned) who wears many, many hats (community manager, webmistress, eclub manager, digital strategist, reputation manager, etc.), my biggest challenge is the very limited budget I have to work with. At this time I am unable to add another team member and I am limited in what 3rd party programs I can bring on board to help me due to the cost. We get things done with the limited resources but I know we can do so much more and that is frustrating. I have so many ideas I want to implement but not enough time in the day and not enough money in the account.

  • Amanda Riggins

    Jessica, I am right there with you! I am the Communication Specialist for Montgomery County, Ohio and I am one of maybe two people in the entire county with any sort of digital marketing background.

    Social media for local governments really is a unique challenge, isn’t it? Not only are you dealing with the beast of “marketing” the services the local governments provide (rather than a tangible product), but we lack resources that private companies enjoy.

    It would be so great to have the resources to be able to attend these events through our employers, but I feel your pain of not having that option. Good luck to you! 🙂

  • Julie Fry

    Brilliant contest! I am crossing legs, fingers and toes that I win these tickets.
    I run a networking and membership site for mom-run businesses and social media marketing plays a big role both in getting our messages to our community and providing them the latest news and changes. I am a believer that you have to stay up to date with this fast-changing industry and one of best way to do that is by attending conferences and networking with the pros. I have learned so much by listening to all 3 of your podcasts!

  • Sonja

    My biggest social media challenge is how to manage it all. I need to learn how to hire a VA, in-person assistant and no longer try and do it all. At times I feel like my head might explode with information overload. I love the information, but need to learn how to better manage social media and unplugged time. Looking forward to SMMW and being in sunny San Diego!

  • Content is king. That’s what believe and that’s what I have been telling my social media clients since 2009. Five years ago, I transitioned from being a full time freelance journalist (San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) to a social media coach and consultant based here in Santa Cruz, California. I primarily work with small businesses in the Bay Area and clients from the Central Coast Small Business Development Center.

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is determining the best way for each client to bundle and present their content: should they use videos on You Tube? Try podcasts? Experiment with Google Plus hangouts?

    In short: they may have great content and have some established social media networks, but what is the best way to deliver that content to their unique audiences?

    I would like free tickets because this is the mecca of social media; the largest social media marketing conference featuring the top pros I follow online. The free tickets and lodging would help offset the costs and would be a great investment in my future as a social media consultant.

  • tlzoumer


    I often feel like I am fighting an uphill battle in an industry that has been slow to adopt social media. In a SHRM survey of Human Resources managers in 2008 45% said that they have NEVER used social media and have NO intent to do so in the future. Today, it’s down to 11%. But considering that by the year 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Gen Y or Younger, many will be in for a rude awakening.

    For the past five years I have watched this fascinating field explode. I got my degree in PR and have always been half PR person half social media maven. I feel the combination has enabled me to always have a cautious and realistic view of the potential opportunities and risks associated with social media. I've done social and PR for companies from Alzheimer's care to cupcakes, but my most recent role for an HR services company has proved to be the most interesting and difficult yet!

    Before I came on, our social media channels and content had been lying more or less dormant. Over the past year we have made tremendous gains, in content creation, customer service, and engagement with our employees, clients and potential prospect. So much, that I was invited to speak at a NAPEO, an industry event, on the powers of social media in HR. It was a packed house that came with a line of questions even after I shared what I could with the group.

    PLEASE, help me learn more from my fellow social media peers! I feel the knowledge I would gain at this conference could have a tremendous impact for not only my company, but for our 8,000 clients we help guide. The potential is huge and I would love the opportunity to learn from the best!

    The reason I couldn't purchase tickets for this event this year is because our company just filed to go public sometime this year and budgets are limited. We are in for quite a ride and I can't think of a better time to sharpen my skills and take us to the next level.

    I am tempted to create an entire line in all caps, saying, “pick me” with a bunch of arrows and smiley's, but alas I’ll keep it classy. Thanks for doing a giveaway!

    P.S. Pick me 🙂

  • Ingo Stoll

    Honestly: It’s all about ‘Social’ – not about the ‘Media’. I’m a visionary Dreamer and Social Media Activist. For me it’s not about Business, Raising Money or Making Profits. For me Social Media is a Movement. We all follow our Passion and we all have the Chance to free us from Intransparency, Middlemen and the old Media Machine. Social Media is Dialogue and direct Response. I grow up within AIESEC, an international Student Run with claims to help changing the World for good. Thus, Social Media for me is a means to change the World.

    I do travel to San Diego to be Guest of this amazing Conference. I’m looking forward to meeting all you people and I’m an Inspiration Seeker! If I win, I will give a second person a Chance to join me and all of us there. You might think of an African who uses all the shared Social Media Skills from your Conference to make a Difference where it’s needed the most: in worldwide Education and among the Poorest. And I will raise the Travel Expences and all the Rest needed – for sure. Thank You. And all the Best for your difficult Choice. cu in San Diego! /ingo

  • Amanda Riggins

    I have a small background and a few connections in the social media marketing world, but compared to many (probably most) others here, I am just a young duckling new to the realm of digital marketing.

    I am a fairly recent graduate who has gained some fantastic experience in my field in a short amount of time. I moved from a private company to the local government in hopes to kick-start my career in government communications. My main role in my organization is to begin moving Montgomery County, Ohio into the digital world of social media, SEO, paid advertising, up-to-date websites, etc. and I am loving the opportunity to take on such a huge challenge at such a young point in my career.

    While I am absolutely loving the role, I am also learning that local governments are lagging very far behind in the digital world and often aren’t able to invest in this arena, leaving me to my own devices. This is why I enter this contest today.

    I am hungry for more education on social media and I have a thirst for the knowledge that the leaders speaking at this event hold. My biggest challenge is that I am on of the few in my organization with a digital marketing background and I do not have colleagues and other minds to bounce ideas off of, learn from, and network with. Attending this event will be a fantastic opportunity to return to my role with a new-found fight and an arsenal of knowledge to jump-start Montgomery County’s move into the future of social media marketing.

    Awarding me the opportunity to engage in an event of this magnitude is an investment in the future of one of the new kids on the block and of Montgomery County, Ohio!

    Thank you!

  • Pranab Singh

    This is a great contest! Here’s my entry 🙂

    The biggest challenge I face in social media marketing is
    justifying the ROI. I know the discussion has been on forever, and there have
    been people writing and talking about this, however, I’m yet to find something concrete
    that’s universally applicable.

    I love social media, I kid you not when I say that I even
    dream of status updates, retweets and blog posts. So, I really would like to
    find a solid answer for the ROI because I love it so much. We’ve all heard the
    “What’s ROI on TV ads?” or “What’s the ROI on a billboard?”
    comment. However the lack of justification for one segment is not justification
    for another. Just because you can’t prove point A, doesn’t mean I don’t have to
    prove point B. We, as social media marketers have made a dent in the marketing
    industry, social media has revolutionized the way this industry functions,
    we’ve done that by breaking away from norms, and by thinking out of the box.
    Let’s not restrict ourselves to the traditional industry standards when it
    comes to measuring ROI. Let’s do what we do best… let’s think outside the

    I would love to win free ticket to the Social Media
    Marketing World because I truly believe that this event and what I learn here
    can change my life and in-turn change the lives of people I know. I live in
    India and attending such an event could only be a dream. Thanks to you guys for
    giving me an opportunity to turn that dream into a reality.

  • Pranab Singh

    P.S. – My Birthday is on Feb 12th! So winning would be a great gift! 😛 just putting it out there…lol

  • Betina Finley

    Biggest challenge? What to sell my business clients on in an ever-changing arena of SM. I still believe Facebook, Twitter, Instagram/Pinterest and Linkedin are the best for businesses, however you have a younger audience growing up on the instant gratification of Snapchat, Keek, Tagboard and the blogging of Tumblr. How do you manage multiple clients and fit it all in each day? Would love to learn how to work my time better with 8 clients that each may need a customized platform to succeed. Thanks for your consideration. – Betina

  • As co-owner of an emerging metal arts business (Sunriver Metal Works) my biggest social media marketing challenge is finding the balance between the “learning” and “doing”. Being a neophyte in social media and marketing (not mutually exclusive), I find that much of the education is directed at other marketing people. I realize that the principles and practices can be applied to whatever small business you manage, but it’s much harder to apply the “learning” to the “doing” when advertising or providing benefit to customers (besides the actual product being sold). Many examples given are the “free e-books, podcasts, and knowledge” which work for a social media marketer but are much harder to translate into selling a product in a business like ours (and providing a “loyal customer” discount).

    It is easy to spend too much time looking for “the answer” on today’s social media feeds instead of doing the business. I actually considered attending the Conference but decided it would be more productive (and less expensive) to stay at home and focus on work. With the opportunity to win a ticket to attend the conference, I would feel much less guilty about leaving the business for a few days. It would also be interesting to see if someone outside of the social media marketing vendors could actually take away solid information to apply to their business.

  • Dale DeMarchi

    I’ve been in marketing for 20+ years and recently moved to healthcare marketing. What a change! Social media is about promoting events, publicizing physician accomplishments, managing patient complaints, providing education, and generally inclining people to think positively about our facilities for the time they will need us in the future. Usually not an immediate call to action, but always working to move the perception needle in positive direction. It’s incredibly challenging in our HIPPA regulated environment, but deeply satisfying when people share their good experiences at our hospital. I’d love the opportunity to learn more from others more skilled in this kind of environment. Thanks for your consideration.

  • Sami Cone

    Day in and day out I struggle with making my social media relevant to my audience, yet ultimately authentic to my life & my brand so that I never appear to portray something on my blog that I’m not in real life. What is the key to being inspirational & challenging without coming off as if I’m the only wife, mom, blogger, professor & media personality that’s got it all together?

  • Kathleen Kelly

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is lack of time! As a single podcaster it is darn near impossible to find time to research and prepare for shows, create and produce content, and then promote the show, all on my own, in my “free” time! I need to become more efficient with my social media marketing.

  • My biggest Social Media challenge has been… find time for my own Social Media strategy. And this is right the reason why I think I deserve the prize.

    Over the past years I have helped many companies achieve their business goals, I have grown many audiences to the tens of thousands in a few months, built subscribers lists, generate lots revenue, written content, create brand awareness… but I’ve been so focused on helping others that I didn’t have much time for my own business.

    Now I find myself in a situation where my current audience is very small, my own content hasn’t been very regular, thus affecting my SEO, etc… So I’ve got to a point in which I have decided to focus on my own brand.

    And this is where I think I deserve this prize: some recognition to some years of work, some referrals, some exposure… and of course the chance to meet in person many of of the people that have fuelled my energies over the past years: Jon Loomer, Mari Smith, Andrea Vahl, Amy Porterfield, Chris Brogan, Jeff Bullas, Michael Steiner, Jay Baer (to name just a few)…. Just spending one minute with them, thanking them in person would be enough.

  • Nicole Sobania

    Social Media is my life. I have just graduated with my Masters Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Social Media Management and it is my true passion in life. I currently work at a web development company as a social media specialist and I am also trying to get my own social media consulting company off the ground. I would love nothing more than to learn more about what I love most in life, social media! I would also greatly appreciate the opportunity to network with other individuals like myself who share an interest in social media. I would love the chance to attend this event, as being greatly in debt with student loans, new to the work force and trying to start my own business, funding a trip to an event such as this one simply is not plausible. Pick me!

  • Angela Field

    Thank you for the newsletter and the opportunity to win tickets to the Social Media Marketing World Event in 2014!! My biggest social media challenge is finding the time to visit all the accounts that I love, and give my friends all attention! I would love to connect with each of them regularly, but do not seem to have the time to give them all the attention they deserve!! #winSMMW2014 I hope to see you there!!

  • My current social media challenges lie in growing beyond my
    niche audiences. I spend way too much time on social media for too little return. Social media is doing great for our retention, but we need to grow. Engagement, voice,
    platforms, efficiently cutting through all the noise to connect the right
    message to the right audience – these are just a few of our marketing hurdles.

    I have lived my entire life in the radio industry, which
    I’ve loved. But with the writing on the wall that the new era of listening is digital, I have decided to be in that vanguard. For just over a year now I have hosted a high-quality podcast that consistently gets noted on Stitcher & iTunes, but its growth has been sluggish when compared to the marketing effort I put in daily & the consistency of the content. (still pretty popular, just not up to my expectations) Right now I am poised to launch two additional podcasts as well, in partnership with my wife, who is a blogger.

    We have a huge amount of talent and experience in our respective
    fields – I have been in broadcasting for 20 years, my wife has taught writing
    at the University level, and my current podcast is partnered with a Clinical
    Psychologist – so this is definitely a product worth growing, but social media
    is our weak point. I have followed Pat Flynn & Michael Stelzner since I started my podcasting adventure, and I attribute much of my current success to what I’ve already learned from them about branding, etc.

    I follow all of the conferences through social media, gleaning
    whatever I can that way, but actually attending in person is way beyond my
    means. If we could come to this conference, it would be the springboard we need and would make a critical difference to our business. We are right on that cusp where we could either backslide into busywork and uphill struggle or take-off and become something amazing. And social media is what will make that difference. We would appreciate attending this conference – beyond words appreciate it!

  • Hayley Burrows

    My biggest challenge would have to be living in New Zealand and not having many opportunities like this to learn from the best social media marketing experts. Would love to be given the opportunity to not only help better my skills but also create a better social media experience for my clients and consumers.

  • Angela Field

    Great to see some familiar faces presenting this year!! Hope to see and hear your strategies and insights!!

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is trying to be everything on every major social channel. Rather than type out why I’m a good candidate for the SMMW14 free tickets, I shot you a quick Instagram video instead. Hope you enjoy… and if you want passion, excitement and enthusiasm, you need to hang out with me for a day! Thanks, Brandon.

  • Kelly

    Hello and thank you for the opportunity to win a ticket to SMMW which just so happens to be right here in my backyard, San Diego!

    My biggest challenge with social media is figuring out where to begin. I have a business degree with a marketing minor from 1989. After my husband decided to retire from a corporate role with one of the nation’s largest insurance carriers and open his own insurance agency, he asked me to pull out my little ol’ marketing minor, dust it off and come to work as the Director of Marketing for our business. To date – 7 months into it – this endeavor has proven to be one of the most exciting challenges I’ve ever undertaken. Although I’ve held positions in marketing for several years after college, most of my career was spent in sales and sales management in the medical/dental device industry. Suffice it to say a lot has changed since the last time I drafted a marketing plan

    Because there are so many social media platforms available to us and so many ways to “eat the elephant one bite at a time,” I find myself going in circles every doggone day, looking for a place to start. I’ve read no less than a dozen books on social media marketing (one of them Mari’s), participated in no less than a dozen or more webinars on the topic and taken several web-based classes. The biggest challenge for me is, I’m 46 years old and I learn better the old fashioned way – live instruction. Attending SMMW would give me a chance to absorb a wealth of information all in one place, all at one time. It would be a tremendous opportunity for me to meet people struggling like myself and others that have found successful ways to deploy organized, structured social media programs in their businesses. I can only imagine what I would be able to bring back to our agency the Monday after attending SMMW!!

    So in a desperate plea to win the one ticket you’re giving away let me just say………..pick me!! Pleeeease, pick me!!!

    Thank you so very much for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to attend the conference and can assure you, I will most definitely be one of those attendees that will be taking it all in and getting the most out of each and every and every minute of each and every day.

  • Natalie Adis

    As a recent MBA graduate who was struggling to find a career after graduation this past August. I sat down and spoke with myself, not in the mirror, but a real inside thought process to determine where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. The decision came to me after a few weeks of building a social media consulting company and utilizing my education and my background of networking skills to really make my dream a reality.

    I would have to say one of the biggest challenges I have with social media marketing trying to educate others what this industry is all about. Almost daily when asked what it is that I do, when I try to explain people who aren’t in our world seem to think that it is a thought, point, and one click process that anyone can do. Many don’t realize the dedication, motivation, addiction you have to have, and cups of black coffee it takes to be on top of your game.

    I just started my company about 27 days ago and the business plan took about 3 months to create. I am a top contributor on the Linkedin Group “Social Media Marketing” and have began to write articles that will contribute to the industry.

    I believe I deserve this ticket, since, I would love to go to the Social Media Marketing World convention and connect with top contributors. Why? Well it’s not because I am a mother of two that is tired of changing a never ending supplies of Huggies diapers, nor is it the pounding of my pug’s paws on my screen door, but it is for the mere fact that I have a passion and want to be a maker/innovator to the field and what better way than to learn from the best of the best. *As an aside a mother does need a break even if it’s a work time-out**

    Therefore, if chosen this little Social Splash Guru, will liven up the conference with her latina fun loving spirit, and charm. Maybe saying a couple of “Hola’s” along the way.
    I really want to show my husband and my children that mommy isn’t crazy for staying up on the computer at all random hours of the day, and if I could be a role model to other young women would be great.

  • Jessica Carreras

    So true about the lack of resources! We presented our (pretty impressive) statistics for reach and growth to city leaders, and the reactions were yawns and questions of “So, what do we post on ‘the Facebook,’ anyway?” 🙂

    I love blazing the trail, so to speak, but it would be nice to have more local colleagues in the field – and more support! Digital tools are going to be No. 1 answer to serving residents now and in the future.

  • Laura Torres

    Hola! My biggest social media marketing challenge is be part of the change. I started doing Social Media strategies 10 months ago for a magazine and 3 other companies, and I realize that everything is changing so fast. The challenge will depends on every single person , we need to be responsible assuming that we are creating a content that will be seen for so many people around the globe. We have to understand people and offers them the best quality of the idea , of the product. I want to be part of the digital change in our times. Time is now! Warmest regards from México amigos!!!

  • Educating Australian’s as to the need for digital literacy as a business person, parent or individual is a challenge I have been fighting for three years now. Australian’s in general (yes I am stereotyping here) don’t value education as highly as a snag on the bbq, or a grand-final weekend.

    My mission through Social Media Mastery (Australia’s only qualification in Social Media) is to chip away at this cultural paradox of “social media is just a passing phase”. As a business person it is not about managing a clients online presence but empowering them to take on the learning and to become digitally literate.

    To have the opportunity to join Social Media Marketing World would give me the opportunity to meet influencers in the industry and build those relationships which I would then connect my students as valuable resources for their continued learning.

    I see Social Media Mastery as an event which has the potential to come to Australia and I would love to support that venture. To do this relationships need to be made in person also.

    The more Australian’s I can educate the more relationships can be built using social media.

  • I have been working on the web for over 15 years, but at digital marketing agencies for the past 8 years but I haven’t ever been to any of the big marketing conferences because I have always worked in the trenches (one-on-one) in account/project management. This is the one I think I could learn so much from, apply to my work and become an even better marketer for myself, for my clients and for everybody I openly share my knowledge with.

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is creating effective social media marketing strategies for multiple clients. Keeping up with changes, updates and new tools and figuring out how it will help the varied clients I work with can be daunting, but I love the challenges. Digital marketing and social media marketing is my passion and I don’t see myself doing anything else… ever.

    Thank you for considering me for the free tickets.

  • Jacqui

    Biggest Challenge: Learning to incorporate social learning into small businesses in my

    I live in a small town where some businesses don’t even own a website. I see a huge potential to expand the economy here and help these small businesses to continue to grow instead of them being closing down.

    Social Media is required in this day and age. It would be great to educate myself and Network at the Social Media Marketing World 2014 #winSMMW14 and give back to my local community and keep these businesses going. I lost my job and well not able to afford to attend this event. I did a lot of brainstorming of what my next career choice
    would be. I took a bad situation and turned it into an awesome opportunity for myself and the community. I would love to help and implement the human touch through Social Media and educate these small business owners how important it is to stay connected with their customers through social media.

    So …Social Media Examiner please pick me as a winner! I want my community and neighborhood to benefit from your resources and valuable information that I am sure will be at this event and seeing the small business in my community to become winners as well by me helping them expand their Social Media Reach.

  • Jacqui

    Biggest Challenge: Learning to incorporate social learning into small businesses in my

    I live in a small town where some businesses don’t even own a website. I see a huge potential to expand the economy here and help these small businesses to continue to grow instead of them being closing down.

    Social Media is required in this day and age. It would be great to educate myself and Network at the Social Media Marketing World 2014 #winSMMW14 and give back to my local community and keep these businesses going. I lost my job and well not able to afford to attend this event. I did a lot of brainstorming of what my next career choice
    would be. I took a bad situation and turned it into an awesome opportunity for
    myself and the community. I would love to help and implement the human touch
    from Social Media and educate these small business owners.

    So …Social Media Examiner please pick me as a winner! I want my community and neighborhood to benefit from your resources and valuable information that I am sure will be at this event and seeing my community to become a winner as well helping them expand their Social Media Reach.

  • Jeff

    As a small South African startup with big name clients, our greatest challenge is bringing a 1st World strategy to a 3rd World mindset. Our current ZAR- USD exchange rate makes attendance an impossible dream and winning a ticket would make a huge difference in what we are able to say for our clients and how we say it.

  • Andrew Hutchinson

    My biggest social media marketing challenge, at this stage, is myself. I’m still working on establishing a profile in the industry, through creating and engaging as much as I can. There’s such a great feel to the wider social media network, a real life to it, like being a part of something bigger than yourself. Something you want to tell everyone about. To be amongst that atmosphere, in real life, would be amazing.

  • Sandro Galindo

    There’s so much great stuff about Social Media and we love serving our clients, their needs and their guests’ / fans’ needs. It’s a lot of fun.

    That being said we have a few challenges, including the desire for better software to track and monitor our clients social media accounts and reputations. There’s no, great, one piece of software out there yet. I hope that comes soon.

    The biggest challenge I have is simple, finding others in my area who do what I do who want to sit down and talk about challenges, success stories, best practices and what lies ahead.

    Sometimes talking things out works wonders and I find my colleagues are spread out or short on time. I’d love to sit down over a cup of coffee once a month with others and talk, share, commiserate and celebrate.

    One solution, go to Social Media Marketing World!! It wouldn’t be local but it’d be a great start. Thanks for the chance to share.

  • Sandro Galindo

    The way we handle this is saying “people are already out there talking about you, let’s get in front of it and join the conversation.” Usually helps them to think.

  • Zach

    I was thinking about what my biggest challenge was and the conclusion I initially came to was money. I’m a 20 year old college student and sometimes it feels like the $5/day ad budget that was recommend by Mari is a small fortune, or the ticket to social media marketing world is just not in the budget this year, but upon reflection I realized that my biggest challenge isn’t money, is excuses and my mindset!

    After a few moments reflecting on how more money would solve the problem, I realized that if it wasn’t more money, it would be not enough training, if it was enough training it wouldn’t be enough time, there is always going to be an excuse and a reason to give in, so I need to change my mindset and I am literally sitting on the solution. This event could be my ticket to success, but rather than try and find a way to get there I was stuck focusing on the the price tag. I KNOW that being in a setting where there are hundreds of people that care about success, live and breathe positivity, and don’t make excuses could be the motivation booster I need.

    I have finally realized that these events and classes are just that, booster shots of motivation! This will be a BIG booster shot to stop making excuses and see the opportunities rather than the obstacles. But beyond that it will give me tips, tricks, and expert access so that I know where to go and what to do next time the excuses pop up and my willpower wavers!

    This is my chance to stop the excuses, entering the contest for a free trip is more than just a shot in the dark (that though is just the excuse monster in my head popping up). It’s a chance to grow and expand to heights I had always deemed out of reach. So now as I write this, I stand metaphorically on my tip-toes about to reach the top shelf and nothing is going to keep me down.

  • My biggest challenge with social media is convincing the law firm I work for that social media needs to be an integral part of their overall strategy. Having grown the firm by over 200% in the last year has helped me gain credibility but the lawyer in charge is reluctant to expand the marketing strategy to incorporate social media and wants to stay focused on traditional advertising. I know this conference would give me the tools, statistics and confidence to take the firm to the next level and beyond.

  • Kate

    Hello, my name is Kate.

    I’m a social media marketer from Canada. I started building social media strategies for a Calgary based promoter a few years back, and then went on to start my own social media company. My biggest challenge has been staying current and keeping up with latest changes and trends in the industry. I owe a large amount of my knowledge to blogs like The Social Media Examiner, for sharing pod casts and the latest and greatest industry information. In order to expand my knowledge as a social media marketer, I’ve since joined an online agency who specialize in SEO, PPC, and CRO in order to grow and improve my social expertise. I’d love the opportunity to attend #winSMMW14 and take workshops from some the top industry leaders, it would significantly impact my career in a positive way.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  • I want to meet these guys in person! Do you have a list of topics to be discussed at the said event?

  • salcoombes

    My biggest challenge is that I become so overwhelmed with the zillion tools, tactics, strategies, platforms etc, that I lose my own creative direction trying to do everything and follow “best practice”. Instead of shipping, I sink with info overload! Too much thinking, not enough action. I’d love to come to the event so I can personally meet and thank those who inspire me to not give up. Online entrepreneurs are the real celebrities in my mind… SMM World would be like the Oscars to me, only the speeches are 100 times better and actually teach you something 🙂

  • Chris Green

    being a newbie to Social media, I have started this new career at the age of 60 and now am running one of the largest accounts for a take out franchise in South Africa – and I am just beginning

  • Smeet Shah

    I am an owner of a social media marketing agency in India.
    Generally we pitch clients that have a huge futuristic approach. But in 2012 I thought of doing something for the low lying businesses in India. I started approaching my connections in Surat ( city in Gujarat, India ). There I found that people had least amount of knowledge and interest and I knew that to make people aware of the social media as a whole will be the toughest challenge that I’ll face. But I was determined and wanted to spread the fire of digital media all across the globe and I had to start with Surat first.
    In starting people used to ignore our thought and we always wanted to change their perception about the business. I have even done online promotion for free in the starting months. At one point of time I even doubted my inner self but the love for the industry made me beat all the odds and succeed. Slowly but gradually people started acknowledging our existence. We are responsible for the revolutionary work in the progress of the industry in a small city like Surat. Future prospects of our business has a lot of other cities and this way we can transform cities into big metropolitan. By this medium so many employment opportunities have been created.
    So the biggest problem faced by me was to convince anyone and everyone in a small city to indulge themselves in marketing their product or services using the medium of social media. It is really tough to convince people with no mental aspirations of investing in a business which is almost alien to them.
    But we succeeded and wish to grow even more and go international.

  • madhan maddy

    I have enough chance to win visit:

  • Amy

    I live and work in the African bush in Zambia, in South Luangwa National Park, for The Bushcamp Company ( We are a photographic safari company that operates a lodge and six Bushcamps, all within South Luangwa. The Park is known for its leopard population, and Mfuwe Lodge, where I work, is known for the elephants that walk right through Reception to get to a wild mango tree. So there are no issues whatsoever with the product I market; the properties and the animals speak for themselves. Well, the animals don’t literally speak for themselves, but you know what I mean. So I am lucky in that respect – I am extremely proud of what we offer, and I don’t take that for granted.

    But in terms of listing the challenges I face, the biggest challenge is where to start!

    Logistical challenges abound – electricity outages, internet outages even when there is electricity, limited bandwidth that can impact uploading and downloading capabilities,
    and the simple fact that I can’t just run out to a nearby store when I need a cable or a mouse – we get supplies once a week.

    But those are all surmountable, albeit some more easily than others. By far the hardest thing is knowing how to focus my social media marketing time. I handle reservations as well, so when it comes to focusing our social media marketing activities, I have to spend my time, and the company’s money, as wisely as possible.

    The main problem I have is knowing how to choose from among the nearly innumerable opportunities that exist. I don’t know what works best for my industry, and I don’t have easy access to like-minded folks in similar situations. I live here year-round, and I just don’t have an easy way to find reliable sources to keep up with what is going on.

    I don’t have access to classes or workshops, other than webinars, and while I know there are great ones out there, there are just so many that it’s hard to winnow out the wheat from the chaff. With the limited budget that I have, it’s hard to know what to do and what to avoid.

    It’s so difficult to figure out what works. I don’t have the time or money to do everything, so I need to figure out how to get the best bang for my buck and for my time. So in addition to getting a handle on everything that is out there, I’d like to learn about how to analyze what I’m doing, to see what works and what doesn’t.

    This conference sounds like such an amazing opportunity to learn an incredible amount about what possibilities there are, and more importantly, to learn how to decipher what will work best for us, given our product and the parameters, both financial and logistical, within which I work.

    Realistically, it will cost a lot of money for me to attend the SMMW, and winning an entry ticket would be a huge help.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • Cristina Dinulescu

    As a social media marketing specialist, the biggest challenge for me is staying true to the brand’s audiences.
    I sometimes get mingled in the strategy building, results picking and
    daily routine that listening to my audience hardly makes it in the mix.
    This is especially hard when addressing a worldwide community and trying to
    stick to what bounds it. I’m far away from my brand’s target audience
    and getting in the middle of the conversation is a true challenge.
    What I’m looking for in the Social Media Marketing World event is not only
    attending the most sought-after tracks, but also mingling with peer
    specialists in one of the most diverse settings that is San Diego.

  • Helen Lewis

    I am the Marketing Coordinator for two Main Streets in Adelaide, South Australia. Trying to convince individual traders that collective and collaborative social media marketing activities are of great value is a challenge and that Social Media is not something you do when you have time, it is something you need to make time for.

  • Stacey Wilcox

    I used to work in the tech industry and have moved to the auto aftermarket. I was used to working with customers who were on the cutting edge of social media and I now work in an environment where just 40% of our customers have an email address! I really want to continue to leverage social media, but am trying to figure out if its right for our customer base. I don’t want to give up on it!

  • Adrienne

    My biggest challenge is trying to reach as many people as possible on a non-profit budget. I have to use mostly free resources and this has been difficult when trying to reach a large community. I think I should win a free ticket because I’m very new to the social media world in terms of using it in a business setting (I was in publishing previously) and I have so many ideas, but I’m not sure how best to implement them. I’m a fast learner and I’ve made great progress so far, but I think a conference like this could really help me learn how to use my position to make a real, measurable change in results.

  • Crystal Ridder

    The industry that I work in holds tight to a belief in print, tv & radio advertising. Social is seen as just another avenue that should be free and take very little time. My challenge is to teach the leaders within my company that social is about building relationships. It is not about making a sale today (that’s what print & tv are for), it is about engaging with customers on the platforms that they are most comfortable with. Additionally, I am challenged to build social into every work flow processes within the company. As of today, in a company of 2,000+ employees, social media is generated by one person (me). In order to engage in the social world I must teach each manager how social media can grow their business, tell their story and build a community.

  • Pedro Mendes

    The biggest challenge I face is getting engagement for my posts. I tend to post relevant, shareable content but it’s not getting the engagement I’d like.
    I think I deserve a free ticket because I’m passionate about Digital Marketing and, of course, Social Media. I’m from Portugal and I won’t be able to attend otherwise. It would be a great opportunity to learn and connect to the best in the industry.

  • Nichole Allen

    My company is just over a year old. We understand the importance of social media and the power social proof has over the rise and fall of companies. As the only marketing person working for my company I love seeing all of my numbers in the “green,” but know there is always more to learn and more ideas involved in using social media…it’s so hard to keep up with it all! That’s why I subscribed to Social Media Examiner to get extra insights. I should win free tickets because competing in a health food industry is super tough, even with a high-quality product. The extra knowledge I could gain from the Social Media Marketing World would give my company an extra edge to help our engage and educate our customers about healthier products available to them. Thank you so very much for this opportunity!

  • jeffabram

    Hearing all of the great keynotes, networking and fun that went on at the inaugural SMMWorld makes me want to attend this year. Would love to be there. Thanks for thinking of and executing on this vision for building into the Social Media community.

  • MayaHaffar1

    My name is Maya and I have been working in social media for 3 years, for me I was born and raised in the Middle East Syria , and when I came to state, moved to San Diego, social media was the only way I can keep up of what’s going on back home and it helped me stay up to date with the political changes in my country. I didn’t visit home in a long time and the only way I stay in touch with my family is with the help of the social media.
    As I used social media so much as part of my job it would be very helpful for me to attend this amazing event and learn from the best so I can help others in my country learn and get updates that they may not be able to learn due to what’s happening.

    My biggest challenge is keeping the data I get from all the work I do, especially when I have to manage different business’s in different fields.

    Please help me learn more about socials media and other marketing aspects so I can help others as well and take what I can learn from meeting amazing people who can add to my experience and help me understand more this amazing tools.
    I love all the articles I red and I try to implements what I read in my work.

    Pleas please pick me so I can learn as much as I can and when I have chance to visit my home Syria I can give back by teaching others about it.

  • Darryl Simmons

    Seven years ago the company I worked for let me go prior to closing there doors 4 months later. I never had a hard time finding a new opportunity before, so I was not
    alarmed. Little did I know that the changes in the economy along with me joining the 50+ crowd would make finding work a much bigger challenge than I thought it would be.

    I ended up in retail, ironically the industry I left after college and have been there for almost 7 years. This is not where I want to spend the rest of my working days so
    I continue to look for more meaningful employment. Over the past 7 years I have seen the growing need for Social Marketing in the positions I was applying for so I am taking steps to become more up to date and digitally evolved.

    I have enrolled in a Digital Marketing certificate program at my alma mater California State University at Fullerton which after 10 months will hopefully bring me up to speed. I am active on LinkedIn, have a Facebook page and plan on more use of Twitter and Instagram.

    My biggest social media challenge is all about the learning process and finding a new opportunity that utilizes my traditional Sales, Marketing and Promotional skills. My current employer has no interest in me improving my social media skills so I can move on to a better career. Also, since I am part of the nations underemployed, paying for this valuable conference is not in the cards for me at this time. I hope you will choose me as one of your winners so I can grow and contribute to the social media landscape in the future. Who knows, maybe I will meet my future employer at Social Media Marketing World 2014 in San Diego. Then I can come back in 2015 I will have a
    success story that will help others!

  • Mich Hancock

    Why should I win? Other than the fact that I am spectacularly fun to hang out with : ) I am a social media professional of high integrity that deeply understands the gift of social media. It provide us the opportunity to connect clients’ businesses and personalities to their audience (and to discover new audiences!). It calls for transparency and authenticity (yay!). It allows for connection to people we would otherwise never get to meet; geography, socio-economic status, blocks that may have once kept us from finding each other, are disappearing (woohoo!). I love the friendships i have made via social media, I love the connection, I love my business and I am crazy passionate about what social media has brought to the world. Joy to you!

  • I am obsessed with social media. I started my business because I wanted to be able to help other solo entrepreneurs and small businesses grow by using social media. My biggest client attraction platforms, for me, have been Facebook and LinkedIn. Because of that, I haven’t been able to wrap my head around Google+ & Twitter, so I made that my goal for 2014. I want to be able to learn whatever I can about those two platforms so I can grow my business with those. I also want to be able to share my knowledge with my clients. I would love to win tickets to this awesome event because this is on my bucket list. I follow most of the presenters and I know it would change my world if I could meet them in person. Thank you for the consideration!

  • Melissa Piquette

    I help manage social media accounts for car dealerships
    across the country. Most people do not think too highly of car dealerships,
    rather they usually are emotionally tied to the brands that they sell. This
    makes it very difficult from the beginning to establish a positive connection with
    a dealership’s customer or target audience in general, let alone via social
    media. This is one of my biggest social media marketing challenges; connecting emotionally and having a positive connection with a car dealer’s customer and target audience online. Plus, trying to reach & engage customers/target audience not only on a limited budget but also within a highly competitive market is an ongoing challenge. Also,
    trying to have engaging content on a consistent basis is quite challenging as
    well. I should win a free ticket because not only will this conference help me
    grow and expand my social media marketing knowledge, but also because I cannot
    afford to go & my company does not have the budget for it either. This
    would be an amazing experience; I haven’t been able to attend SMMW conferences
    in the past so here’s hoping 2014 is finally the year I can attend!

  • Travis Rothstein

    The world in which we live is evolving faster and faster. With the
    advances of the Internet, social networking sites like YouTube, Twitter and
    Facebook have become part of our natural way to communicate every day. It’s now
    common to see television shows, beverages, cultural events and even pet food
    inviting us to join their pack, with callings such as “Follow us on
    Twitter”, or on Facebook, or on any of the other 12,000 social networks.
    How about me? That’s the question that many of us ask ourselves…now, what’s in
    store for us in 2014? Let me get to the point!

    2014, in my opinion, is to become the year of “being connected”. With the large migration of Generation Y moving to the “need” to be synced at all times will become the big shift to be wary of…or is it Generation Z? Generation Z will be coming to work one day having used smart devices as early as kindergarten. This group will be using better and faster technology at home than we will be able to provide at an enterprise level. How many companies out there will be ready to host these new workers one day in the near future?

    I/ we/ my company/ the world need to become aware of this migration revolution. We all are aware the content is king and context is queen, however, 2014 mobile technology will shape the evolution of the way consumers find, read, and buy. Don’t think too hard about this, but, what is the first thing you touch in the morning?…Yep…you just said it indirectly or even looked at your mobile phone…and that technology is getting better by the day! 2014 = “Ultra Mobile” where we wear smart watches, smart clothing, and live in smart houses. SMART = STANDARD in 2014.

    So now LOCATION plays a pivotal roll in the paradigm shift. I’m not talking where you are simply located; I’m talking about where you are, when it suits you, when you are ready, A.I. (artificial intelligence)! Today consumers have to check in to get specials, unlockable, and promotions. 2014 will be the year of the beacon. Simply allow your device to connect with brands matching your personal preference and voila!

    So…the social challenge is next…I mean, really. Did you think social media still runs on gut feelings? You can’t even begin to count the numerous dashboards existing online and standalone. 2014 will be the year of strategy. Companies will need to find a way to interpret big data intelligently keeping it simple and to the point (the exact thing that corporate policy stops). Social updates, going viral, telling a story, being compelling and creative through innovation all requires the same thing…stunning Social Media!

    The need for employee advocacy is the new “NOW”. Marketing isn’t your sale window to the world anymore. Neither are sales. Every single employee is an ambassador of your brand which means companies have to lead by example. Forget social
    media in this instance. Rethink “SOCIAL BUSINESS”. Hence the reason I am writing/inquiring for the #winSMMW14 and why I should win a free ticket to this summit. I have a lot explore and being the chosen candidate for the winner of this summit will allow 2014 for me to become…viral!

  • My biggest challenge with Social Media Marketing is convincing clients or would be customers that Social Media Marketing, no matter the content, platform or strategy, is a reflection upon the individual. It is convincing folks that SMM is a reflection of not only your brand, your style, or strategy- it is a reflection of you.

  • I hope to retire from the
    public sector in March 2014 and focus on launching my Young Living Essential Oils
    Independent Distributorship. It would be helpful to win the expenses of the
    largest social media marketing conference.

    The top benefit
    of attending the conference would be the networking. I could bring back new Young Living Essential Oil
    Independent Distributor members.

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is I have no one to
    teach me how to use the social media effectively to attract new Young Living
    Essential Oils Independent Distributors.

    I could bring
    back tools to help me market my business such as best practices, technologies,
    and processes. I am sure there will be training there to teach me a special
    skill or overcome a challenge.

  • John Chisham

    The biggest challenge is to market to a small community in the midwest (13,000) who has not quite adopted Social Media as much as the rest of the world seems to have. It is my hope to come to #winSMMW14. and discover ways that I can integrate Social Media into a more traditional marketing construct.

  • Kriss G.

    During the recession, the nonprofit organization I work for decided to embrace social media as a way to supplement traditional communication methods and maximize our scaled down budget. Since then, we’ve fully integrated our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) with our website, email program and printed materials.

    However, our biggest social media marketing challenge is optimizing our content and keeping the community engaged. We learn from sites like yours and try new things to always continue or foster conversations. However, navigating through all of the data and determining successes and failures is certainly a challenge. It’s like a puzzle where the pieces are always moving- what works, what doesn’t, what times are optimal, what post formats are most effective, to #hashtag or not to hashtag, etc.

    I would love nothing more than to attend Social Media Marketing World. Social media is something I am very passionate about and hope to continue learning about as I advance in my career. Sadly, the company doesn’t have money in the budget for the conference registration.

    I’m hoping to win one free ticket to the conference so that I can learn first-hand about how to take our social media program to the next level. I feel like I’m on my way, but attending this conference would allow me to network with others in the industry, learn from the pros, ask questions and more. As a regular Social Media Examiner reader, I’ve learned a lot about various aspects of social media, from how to run social media promotions that comply with the guidelines to the constant changes that Facebook makes. But the information presented at this conference will give me the tools I need to take our program from good to great! I’d love to be part of such a great event.

  • Becky J Drury

    My biggest challenge is 1) keeping up with the newest, biggest, best next thing and 2) trying to do things right. So much information, how do you know?

  • simplemsolution

    My biggest challenge is: Where to begin!

    I religiously follow Michael, Pat, Amy and Melanie for quite some time and have gotten some really great tips and advice. It would be a dream come true to be in the same room with all this talent and creativity.

    I’ve freelanced part-time for two years and decided to make the jump into entrepreneurship, January 2014. Now is my time; I love this business!

    I believe that this is one of the very few industries where creators open themselves up to share what they know in order to help others be successful. In so doing, they open themselves up to critics and negative feedback and somehow it re-energizes them and gives them the spark they need to keep on going in order to pursue their dreams. You are all my heroes.

  • Alyssa Runner

    My biggest social media challenge always lies in the analytics. It seems like I get started only to then find myself reporting on too many factors to the point of analysis paralysis. On the other end of the spectrum, if I do not go as in-depth, I feel uneasy about the amount of data that I collect and I feel that I desire more analysis then the core of what I’ve seen many people use. I’ve yet to identify a happy medium where I’m not taking entire days to build reports and where I’m getting the most out of my analysis in order to drive future content creation and execution.

  • I’m a psychiatrist in private practice with no business training, trying to grow an online business.
    My biggest challenge is being able to persevere in blazing a trail where I feel I have no peers. I don’t feel like a marketer, yet that’s what I doing. My medical colleagues don’t speak the same language or get what I’m doing. My offline work keeps me busy and I have to keep up the busy pace until
    my online work pays off.

    Now I’ll put away my violin…I love the fact that social media allows me to reach a broader audience and right now my focus is increasing engagement and growing my email list.

    I’ve learned a lot from social media examiner, you’ve been a tremendous resource for me. Thank you. I’d love to have to opportunity to attend the conference. The free ticket would help offset the cost of being out of my office for three days.

  • Kimbe MacMaster

    My biggest struggle with social media is coming up with unique content. I write about social media, and we all know there’s a tonne of content out there on the topic! How can I come up with something that’s fresh, a different perspective, and going to provide value that readers can’t find somewhere else. This applies to either my blog, or social feeds (particularly Twitter). Thanks to you, Social Media Examiner!

  • Noreen Mutiso

    My major challenge in social media marketing using the right platform to market the right product to the right people and monitoring people’s reactions to the marketing/advertising campaign. Monitoring the social media is especially important when launching a new advertising campaign, introducing a new product in the market and re-branding.

    Social media can reinforce products/services offered through positive word of mouth which act as recommendations. Social marketers need to be aware of the ever changing environment and modify they strategies to incorporate new social media platforms.

  • Amanda

    I work with a small non-profit, on a shoe string budget, that is working hard to make a big impact in the world. The California Immunization Coalition (CIC) is dedicated to preventing suffering and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases. One of our
    projects is Shot by Shot: Stories of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, a website that houses a growing story collection (150 stories currently) from people who have been
    affected by diseases like whooping cough, meningitis, and polio.

    Social media, primarily Facebook, has become a vital channel for us to share these
    moving stories and their life-saving messages directly with the public. Three of our stories have gone viral via Facebook (over 1 million views in a matter of days). There is growing interest in our content.

    Everything that I know about social media I have learned through trial and error and the Social Media Examiner (my background is in public health). Now that Facebook
    has changed their algorithm to encourage paid post boosts, we are in trouble (BTW, thank you for today’s post). We are concerned about finding ways for our information to reach people. We are passionate and motivated and have big goals of diversifying to other social media avenues, finding work-arounds to Facebook’s limitations, and learning strategies for specific challenges, e.g., what to do when your content is going viral (besides having a server that can handle surge capacity – lesson learned the hard way).

    The information exchange and networking opportunities at the Social Media Marketing World 2014 would be life changing for us. Thank you for considering us/me for a ticket to the conference. It would not be wasted!

  • CoreenT

    My biggest social media challenge is in volunteering for a non-profit that is not well known but does great work helping wounded military members and their families. I work in marketing too, but this audience has been my biggest challenge because many of our current supporters aren’t social media savvy and sharing stories is difficult because soldiers and other military members are a humble crew. They don’t always want their personal struggles being made public. I’d love to attend Social Media Marketing World for personal and professional reasons. I work for myself, so I don’t often have the money to spare to attend prominent conferences like this. And everything I learn there will help me in my professional work and help me to give back both to this fantastic charity (Operation First Response @_OFR) I’ve mentioned and also may be able to help the Anti-Bullying Task Force I volunteer with. We’re considering starting a Facebook page to help get information out to kids, parents and schools. I know what I learn at the conference will help in all aspects. Thanks for considering me. 🙂

  • Georgia Carver

    Please pick me to come along to the #SMMW14. Living all the way over in Australia, there are many middle of the night sessions and very early morning wake up calls so that I can tune into live podcasts and webinars in the States. It would be SO great to be able to meet and network with other like-minded Social Media obsessive legends in real time and not be in a zombi/half sleep state of mind!
    I thrive in a world where I can engage and network with others and an opportunity to be doing this in real time, face to face would be a once in a lifetime experience. Not to mention the opportunity to hear some of the amazing people you’ve selected as the line up of speakers.
    Keeping up to date with all the changes in social media is tricky and to come along and hear all of the gurus in one space would be like a surreal adventure! I am still regularly going back and re-listening to the recorded sessions from the #smss13 as it was so valuable. I can only imagine that the #smmw14 is like that on steroids 😉
    Please pick me, I promise to bring some Australian fun and I will do my best to bring along some Aussie sun as well!

  • Floyd Rudolph

    Kiaora / Hello Micheal,

    Greetings from North Beach, Christchurch, New Zealand.

    Although my experience with social media started in April 2013, I was fortunate to find SocialMedia Examiner first. The podcasts and information are focused on current developments in social media. This has helped me understand and implement tools such as facebook. I started in May 2013 and have since created a fanpage for the dial a driver business I work for.

    Learning by listening and reading content from SocialMedia Examiner are a daily focus that I look forward to everyday. Thanks for your great efforts Micheal, they are much appreciated.

    As a part time teacher aide at an elementary school, part time designated driver at night, truck driver for a friends moving company during the school holidays and being a parent of two kids at home with mum who teachers at a high school, means that time to work on social media projects must fit between commitments.

    While my time could be seen as limited, I like to be optimistic and remember it is rich in communication opportunities.

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is, how can I help the local economy of my community grow.

    2010-2012 Christchurch was hit by a series of earthquakes and aftershocks. Activity on the east coast of Christchurch destroyed whole suburbs. Within an 7km strip along the east coast many businesses were affected. Today the community looks at vacant lots where houses have been demolished, closed shops and empty spaces.

    This New Brighton area before 2010 was already suffering from lack of human traffic and is probably the only seaside strip in the world where overseas visitors shorten their stay because its boring and has no attractions.

    This year as a teacher aide I have initiated growing spirulina in the classroom. There are many beneficial spin offs for children and the community that could happen from this project. My intention is to educate kids on growing algae in class to produce and consume daily. With spirulina being 70% protein and having many other amazing health qualities, I believe it will have a positive affect on behaviour, attitude and motivation.

    Eventually the children could start their own businesses as community gardens. By starting small and producing spirulina there are business opportunities that kids would lean into in regards to growing algae to produce pharmaceuticals, food, fertilizer and fuel.

    Social media is top of mind for many people. Most of the people, parents and customers I am in front of every week are on facebook. Growing support for the above projects is where I concentrate my present social media efforts.

    Thank you for reading this far. Social media can make a big difference simply by reaching more people.

    Thanks also for considering me to win free tickets to the next 2014 Social Media Conference in San Diego.

    Kind Regards

    Floyd Rudolph

  • Matthew D. Smith

    My career is based on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed in their marketing and advertising goals. I live, breathe and bleed marketing. To win a ticket to the Social Media Marketing World 2014, would be a huge blessing to learn and discover a great deal of high quality information to bring my clients more value to their businesses.

    Even if I don’t win, my goal is to make it to this event, if not this year than the next. I see a networking event like this, to be a life changing event.

    To whom ever wins this chance of a life time, I hope they take advantage of each and every relationship they make, idea or strategy they learn and the experience that could change your marketing career forever.

    Thank you,

    Matthew Smith

  • Lauren Hofer

    My company’s biggest challenge is we are a small family run event company that hosts autograph signings and we can’t figure out how to get our customers to interact more. We post frequently and get likes but our market is primarily males between 25-45 and they only tend to Like posts. As your site has stated many times, likes in Facebook’s algorithm just don’t produce enough views. We need help in learning new ways to get past this!
    Additionally, I would love to win the tickets because I am self taught and take things of this sort very seriously! I spend hours every week reading and taking your blog in. I truly believe this will only help me and the company I work for grow.
    Your site has so far helped our small business grow leaps and bounds in just 5 months! Our sales have jumped, our followers have jumped, and I could only imagine what something lile this would bring! Unfortunately, without these tickets since this is a growing and restructuring year for us we can not afford to be able to attend, but even if I dont, I hope next year I can! I know it will be business/life changing!

  • winechick

    My biggest social media challenge is that social media platforms are built for the user first, as they should be, and businesses second. This brings a myriad of problems as a social media marketing manager: it’s difficult to get problems resolved, the analytics tend to be poor and managing multiple brands is a headache. On top of this, these companies (Facebook aside) have still not figured out a way to deal with beverage-alcohol companies, one of the biggest sources of potential advertising dollars for them! According to the TTB, everything I say & do in social is advertising. Because of this, I need to be very careful of who I engage with on social because I cannot confirm that they are over 21. Put me on a bev-al task force that targets all social media companies – I’m ready! I’d love to win tickets to Social Media Marketing World so I can meet like-minded people, learn from the best of the best and pick up some new tricks. I’d also love to hear what the thought leaders in our field have to say about channels to watch in 2014, technologies to keep an eye on and cool tips to make our jobs a little smoother.

  • Ali Westbrook

    As a millennial and college student, social media is an integral part of my life. However, I am eager to hone the professional use of social media and leveraging it as a tool in my career. I will be graduating from college in May with my BA in business and am currently employed as a marketing intern for a FANTASTIC entrepreneur. One of my roles has been to take-over social media and manage brand messaging. While I am green to the professional business world, I am passionate and eager to learn. Social media is an ocean of opportunity and I have only a teaspoon of knowledge. Someday, I would love to own my own social media marketing and management company that specifically focuses on brand awareness. Social media is a way that businesses become personal with their customers and I think it has opened a door to the possibility of beautiful relationships if leveraged correctly. Although I have a clear goal, I know I have much to learn to get to where I want to be.

    I have done my best to invest in my personal development to get closer to my goals, which has included taking advantage of almost all free training provided by many of the experts that will be at Social Media Marketing World 2014. The access to their training and insights have transformed the way that I do social media, but I know that there is so much more to be gained! However, I can’t afford to take my development any further and winning the ticket to the conference would catapult me to a place I couldn’t get to on my own. The networking opportunities presented at the conference give me butterflies! What more could a new college grad ask for but to meet like-minded and similarly passionate people from around the world? It is the opportunity of a lifetime.

  • monjung

    As digital agency, my biggest social media challenge is to make our client understand throughly in social media marketing. We, Thailand, are growing in digital market but most of our client still stick out for traditional way.

    I hope to win the tickets and join conference will make me get a new and brighter way to achieve an effective strategy for both of client and agency.

  • Hello Mike!

    On the 2nd April I will be undertaking my biggest social media challenge as I launch my new podcast ‘Personal Brand Power’, which is designed to help small business owners, solo-preneurs and sales professionals discover how they can build their own awesome personal brand so that they can make a huge impact on their world!

    To be able to attend the Social Media Marketing World event just days before my podcast launch would be an amazing experience to really kick start my new program!

    Over the past 12 months I have learnt so much about podcasting from listening to podcasts, that it would be an incredible opportunity to meet so many of my podcast mentors such as Pat Flynn, yourself, Michael Hyatt, Lewis Howes, John Lee Dumas, Amy Porterfield, Joel Comm and Cliff Ravenscraft, who have been such an inspiration to me and an enormous help in getting me ready for my launch.

    I’ll be interviewing social media experts, online marketing experts, successful business leaders, authors and speakers about every aspect you need to know to create a great brand, and sometime in the future I’d love to be able to interview each of you about how you have all created such powerful brands of your own!

    So thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this contest! If I don’t win then I’m already planning on being a part of SMMW in 2015! Thank you so much for all of the great value you continue to provide.

  • Kim

    I want to win because I want to learn more about social media so that I can help other business be a success with social media 😀

  • Gary B

    Social media is 75% of my job duties. I also use social
    media extensively throughout my personal life. This seems to be the premier
    social media conference and with the role social media plays in my life,
    attending would be an impactful experience. My biggest social media challenge
    is developing content that creates engagement and interaction. While a lot of
    the content that I push out on our SM formats seems to get strong views, I find
    it hard to get interaction through our social media content. Now not all the
    content I push out is intended to provoke a response, but some of the content
    is and I find it difficult to get a response to that content.

    I have tried adjusting the tone of the message or the way in
    which the message is said, I have added incentives to responses, but none has
    seemed to work at this point. Should I win the contest and attended Social
    Media Marketing World; I would definitely look to learn how to create engaging
    content and the best uses of social media to push that content out. I have always
    wanted to attend this conference since I learned about it a few years ago, but
    it has never fit into my travel budget. I now work at a small private college
    in Delaware and as you can imagine, getting approval for a conference with
    extensive travel is difficult. Winning the trip would obviously allow me to
    attend. This conference has so much to offer that it doesn’t seem possible not
    to leave with multiple takeaways. Thank you for your consideration; this would
    be an amazing opportunity.

  • Joan Muschamp

    The single biggest social media challenge I face is trying to get my client base-small businesses- to understand the process of first having a strategy and a plan before you can expect results. The second is having them understand goal setting, and what type of ROI might be most appropriate for their business.

    The next is keeping up with my own, as I take on client work, which is my priority. I can outsource/automate posting, but carving out time to meet my wonderful plan/schedule is a challenge.

    I would love to attend this conference and win tickets! This assembled group brings it daily, and really provides some of the best information out there. Social Media Examiner and its contributors and friends are my first go-to source, and I’d love to be there in person.

  • Jose Galvez

    My biggest challenge has been to build a tool that helps Community Managers and marketers to have success on Twitter. I am the founder of and we have been building the tool since 2012; now we have a Beta an we are building an even better version with Bigdata, analytics, predictability about Twitter conversations and contacts. I’d like to go to the conference to share our stories, insights and learn from others 🙂 Cheers

  • Derrick Brinkman

    Oh the joys of Social Media. It’s ever changing and always there. Does it sleep? I think not. Some of the biggest challenge is keeping relivent content comment worthy, staying “personal” (not a cold post) but professional, is bad grammar or “slang” OK for a business to use, walking that fine line of business talk/don’t forget about us post/marketing post, keeping customers engaged, and last but not least getting customers to use hashtags. I’m not an amazing writer, so please don’t judge based on grammar :).

    There is so much potential SM has to offer all of us and we all have a map, but are not sure what road to take.

    Oh wait and I heard a quote the other day that comes to mind: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

    thank you,

  • As Hotel Blogger and Coach the biggest challenge is to get the message passed the gatekeepers.

    In the Hotel Industry we have several savvy Social Media Teams but it is often restricted within this team. We have not seen many Hotels that fully utilized the power of their employees.

    My goals is show Hotel Managers and decision makers how they can attract new market segments through their Happy Employees.


    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

  • Andrea Hope

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is not unique. I am right in the middle of the contemporary online small business quagmire… how to swim alongside large corporations while maintaining integrity… and enough customers. In a world where price has become not just the bottom line but often what seems like the only factor,
    large corporations have the unwavering upper hand. In the face of such an uneven playing field, how can small online businesses keep from folding as well as keep from
    compromising quality, integrity, and service?
    I believe the ENTIRE answer to online ‘Ma and Pa’ success lies in social media marketing. Unlike other marketing avenues, social media marketing is a level playing field, allowing for unique and multiple assets to be weight baring factors.
    What has happened to small town America with the influx of Walmart and other large chain stores is currently happening in cyberspace with Walmart, Amazon, etc. Wanna see if I am right?… Google ANY product. I have owned a cell phone and other electronics battery and accessory online store front for 15 years, and it is only in the last couple that that all the small businesses in my market are folding. Through podcasts and educational articles I have been eating up as much social media marketing tips and tricks as I can to keep from following the same fate. I am ready but financially unable to educate myself on a larger scale such as Social Media Marketing World 2014 offers. My passion is to figure out the social media formula for small business success and help not only, but to use the tools I learn at the conference to help other small businesses that are in the same boat. Thank you for the opportunity as well as all the wonderful advice I have gotten along the way from Social Media Examiner.
    -Andrea Hope

  • I am the assistant manager for a little Mediterranean restaurant in Reno, Nevada. We have not made a dime since opening five years ago and we would have been closed long ago had it not been for social media marketing. I have attended webinars, study Michael Stelzer’s writing extensively and blog, blog, blog! I would welcome the opportunity to attend in San Diego so please let me win. This little place deserves to stay open and I would love to be a part of making that happen.

  • Andrew Ford

    My biggest marketing challenge is taking my Personal Business model to Asia. Social media is vastly different in each country, yet the desire to live your dream job and contribute positively to the world is the same. I am seeking the best technology and smartest people to assist me on my quest. My goal is to take my 20 years of corporate experience and University lecturing to create an education platform to help the Asia market take advantage of the Personal Business Revolution. I believe empowering people to live their true mission in life, according to their own values, will make the world a better place.

  • Melanie Sheridan

    I love social but feel I’m at a standstill when it comes to turning a passion into a business. So far, I’ve only been able to attend conferences that fall within the mom and parenting circles (which is fine!) and I really feel I need to go beyond that arena to get serious and focused about working full-time within this space.

  • Michelle

    I love social media – – for my personal life and my work life. As a Social Media consultant I have been training those very hesitant with the basics of getting started and helping them plan their course of action. But, my biggest social media challenge is for ME. I’m a person with real hobbies and interests other than Social Media. Do I create multiple accounts or just be me – sometimes tweeting about my favorite tv show and sometimes my favorite internet marketing tip? I post regularly under a company name but I haven’t been branding my personal/professional self very well as I feel frozen with fear of either being too professional or too personal.

  • Leen

    I am a Social Media Manager, and I manage over 1000 co-branded social media channels for a health publication that gets distributed on college campuses, and my biggest marketing challenge is trying to develop custom and unique content for each campus. We feature a lot of great information within our publication that I highlight, but I want to integrate more targeted content. I’m stretch pretty thin in my position so I’m looking for a way to do this without spending huge amounts of time. I should win tickets because I think I have a unique role in the social media world, and I think I’d really benefit from getting to listen and share with others that have achieved excellence in their social media role, and hopefully relate it to what I’m trying to achieve. I am the social media “team” for the company I work for, and I don’t always get to throw strategy and tactics around and I’d love the opportunity to do so!

  • Laney Landis

    My biggest challenge is convincing my customers who resell my brand products why social media is so completely essential for succeeding in today’s market! Especially the customers who claim to be dinosaurs! And how to open the door to teach them simple techniques to get them started.

  • Marvin Chikadibia Ugorji


    1. Flying blind

    Many companies chase social media tactics with no idea about the who,
    what, when and where of the social web. It’s essential that companies
    first develop a listening program to answer those “W” questions.
    Listening through social media monitoring
    is critical to understanding brand, competitors and key terms relevant
    to your audience on the social web. Without a smart listening effort,
    companies miss key opportunities: marketing, customer service, sales,
    recruiting, partnering and public relations.

    2. Unsure where it fits – who owns social media?

    As companies develop their social media programs,
    responsibilities and resources need to be allocated and that leads to
    accountability and “ownership”. For successful social media adoption
    within organizations, it’s important to establish social media goals and
    responsibilities in different parts of the organization. As resources
    and accountability are identified, the different departments can work to
    cross pollinate efforts, and work together as a team. Doing so helps
    leverage combined efforts and from an implementation standpoint, avoids
    conflicting representation of the brand.

    3. Inconsistent participation

    Companies need to be consistent with their social participation. Our clients at TopRank Marketing with the most successful blogs
    are those that post consistently. The solution to more consistent
    participation is to lead from the top, get executive buy-in. Establish
    goals and provide a feedback loop to contributors. As they grow, the
    community will provide feedback. Set aside resources, plan who will
    create content, monitor and engage. Tap passionate community members and
    activate them to be brand ambassadors. Create efficiencies through the
    repurposing of content.

    4. Not individual or confident

    Believing that people will listen to and find value in what you
    really want to say requires confidence. Whether you’re right or wrong
    might not matter as much as being passionate. Now, more than ever, is
    the time to show leadership and conviction when it comes to social
    participation and engagement.

    5. Digitally unsavvy team

    Modern marketers need to understand social media. Companies don’t
    “do social”, they “are social”. That means being savvy participants.
    There’s good reason for that. According to “Social Technographics of Business Buyers” from Forrester Research:

    91% of business buyers read blogs, watching user generated video, participate in other social media

    55% of decision-makers were in social networks

    43% are creating media (blogs, uploading videos or articles, etc.)

    “If you’re a B2B marketer and you’re not using social technologies in
    your marketing, it means you’re late.” Josh Bernoff, Forrester.

    The good news is that you can learn to be social media savvy through training, participation, listening and engagement.

    6. Data paralysis

    Data should help drive decisions, but don’t let it get in the way of
    creative ideas from your team. Adam relates the story of one of his
    clients, Joffrey’s Coffee
    where he recommended campaign changes based on his personal experience
    with the social web vs waiting for data to prove a concept. The result
    was a successful program by all accounts which is often cited as a
    social media marketing case study by others in the industry.

    7. Lack of personalization

    Use real team members in your social media efforts. Don’t use some
    faceless person behind “Brand X”. Forge relationships with others. Put
    others in the spotlight. “Give to get” and be focused on serving and
    being useful. Don’t send in legal right away as an initial reaction to
    social dissension. Read the “Streisand Effect”
    for more on what happens when that backfires. Embrace personal brands,
    don’t worry about them getting too popular because their allegiance is
    to the brand.


    Social media apps can be utilized to further innovation and
    productivity. Productivity in the workplace can either be hampered or
    heightened depending on the usage of the application. Software is being
    developed and policy and restrictions are being decided everyday by IT
    managers. Palo Alto Networks came out with this whitepaper which
    explores the issues surrounding social media in the workplace. Check it
    It is important to understand not only the immediate benefits of doing
    business using these social media apps, but also the threat it presents
    to a company’s greater ROI and productivity when it comes to the
    server’s safety and security.”-MARVIN CHIKADIBIA UGORJI

  • Buck Inspire

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is getting my life back to normal and being more productive in terms of content creation.

    Over two years ago, I attended my first New Media Expo, formerly BlogWorld, in my hometown of Los Angeles in 2011. I had the pleasure of asking about branding on a panel featuring Deanna Brown (Federated Media), Lisa Stone (BlogHer) and yours truly Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner). “I am a publisher!” My life has been spiraling out of control ever since as I am addicted to checking my vanity stats and depending on my haphazard social media strategy.


    I still remember my first hit of Twitter. I just had my guest post published on Pro Blogger, and an uptick of Twitter followers soon appeared. Strangely enough, many of them originated from Korea. I had no idea Darren Rowse had such a big Korean following. Lately, I am noticing a surge from Russia. My Twitter strategy, is to occasionally tweet some of my favorite posts at random times, or retweet some of my favorites posts from other blogs. Gary Vaynerchuk needs to knock me out with his jabs and right hooks.


    Things don’t get much better in Mark Zuckerberg’s playground. I randomly send friend requests to people who share 30 or more connections and I ask folks to like my page a day after they accept my friend request. I have yet to crack 3 digits on my company page and I have been banned once for sending friend requests to people I don’t really know. I haven’t been doing much on Facebook ever since. Long live the Facebook Queen, Amy Porterfield!


    This is my weakest social media outlet of the big three and that’s not saying much. In my opinion, the posting interface here is the hardest to understand. The only social media goal I had here, was to eclipse the magical 500+ number. Amazingly, mission accomplished, but not much else. I have no clue how to use any of my connections. Lewis Howes needs to slap some sense into me like he does with handball.

    Final Thoughts

    The other commenters here are all quite savvy in the social media arena already. They all just need to polish off a few rough edges. But how amazing would it be to say that the Social Media Marketing World changed someone’s life? Imagine me as the Social Media Marketing World’s version of Subway’s Jared. I can’t think of a more powerful marketing use of your free ticket. You would get a compelling story and an evangelist for life. I dare you NOT to select me.

    Stay Inspired!

  • Nicole Knoll

    When my friends and I would be asked what we wanted to be when we grew up I never had an answer. Teacher, firefighter, astronaut and the other answers my friends would provide didn’t fit my personality fully. I didn’t realize at the time that my dream job didn’t actually exist at the time I was being asked about it. I went to college to study English and Marketing, still not sure what to do. Then Facebook opened up to my campus and I was off to the races. I was fascinated by the speed in which it was adopted. I landed an internship through the university where I got to leverage social media channels in order to connect as the university with it’s students.

    That internship experience lead to my current role as a Community Manager for an amazing brand. My biggest social media challenge continues to be finding new and valuable ways to connect with multiple target audiences as the brand. To truly represent this brand in a way that is transparent. We are an innovative and fun organization. Using a mix of social media channels and media formats has proved to be very effective, but there is always room for improvement.

    Social Media Marketing World 2014 would provide inspiration and push me to think beyond what I’m already doing in my day-to-day activities as a community manager. Sometimes you need to step away from your desk to do the most productive work.

    Thank you for this opportunity and I’ve enjoyed reading the other comments. Here’s to Social Media Marketing World 2014!

  • My biggest social media challenge is getting customers to trust, rely on, and believe in a local car dealership without coming off ‘shark-like’.

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is in keeping up with the constantly-evolving rules to the game, platforms within which to engage and filtering out the so-called experts from the actual experts. In my early stages as a public relations and marketing professional, I could earn a degree, or take a course(s), or read books, or become active in a professional association, or attend conferences to gain expertise. After doing so, I would move forward with confidence. Today, if I’m reading a blog article about how to do something that is social media related, I look for a date. If it’s more than a few months old, I consider it outdated, and search for guidance elsewhere. I’ve become quite a podcast fan for this reason, and place much more weight in what I learn from a respected podcaster who is talking about a current topic. I’m starting a new podcast of my own in the near future, based on the inspiration I’ve received from the Social Media Marketing podcast, Oh So Pinteresting, Edge of the Web Radio, and many others that I listen to on a regular basis. I’m excited for the opportunity to participate in the contest for a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World. I am already signed up but have others I could take from our division!

  • Jessica Wooldridge

    I took a huge risk in November by leaving my full time community manager position to start my own social media consulting business. My biggest social media marketing challenge has to do with experimentation. I’m learning quickly that ‘best practice’ methods don’t work. If I tell my clients that by following steps a, b, and c they’d be successful on social media I’d be lying. It just doesn’t work like that. You need to find the right balance of what works well specifically for YOUR company. Continuously searching for “the right” content is a struggle, but necessary if you want to find on-line success.

    I’ve been told that one of the best goals to have in business is to be the dumbest person in the room. If you don’t surround yourself by people smarter and wiser then you – how are you going to grown and learn?

    This is why I’d like to win tickets to Social Media Marketing World. I’d like to further my experimentation process and learn from others’ successes and failures.

  • Kristy

    My greatest challenge is helping those in financial services do the things everyone using social media is supposed to to, entertain, delight, join the conversation. Banks and credit unions walk a fine line where they need to maintain their reputations as serious institutions, but then we are telling them “be more interesting”. It’s a really challenging space to be interesting in. Having managed other pages related to lifestyle products or recreational services and experiences I recognize, that some business and organizations have it way easier when it comes to growing a community and keeping that audience engaged. When you are a ski resort, you can post a picture of snow piled on a chair and get over 100 likes. As bank, you can craft careful copy, use a great photo, include a call to action and then be luck if more than 10 people take any kind of action (click,like,comment) Considering the current rate of innovation and disruption in the banking industry, I am looking forward to see how the coming changes might affect the way financial institutions are engaging with their audiences through social.

  • Kristy

    PS I would love to win a ticket, because I do breathe social and I strive to be better every single day. I looked into coming…but unfortunately I have no PD budget and it just wasn’t feasible.

  • The mission, as I choose to accept it, is to balance authenticity with intention in every word or image transmitted. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the social image you put forth, and whether advancing a client’s interests or my own, I think the biggest challenge for all of us is ‘keeping it real’.

    I hail from Toronto, Canada and couldn’t typically swing this trip; but winning the #SMMW14 giveaway would let me to fly out to San Diego (1st time) to attend! And I’m sure you could use a few more Canadians down at #SMMW14 🙂

  • MiraePage

    Oh brother! My biggest marketing roadblock is not ever knowing which direction to go. I read and read and read… Each article tells me something different from the last, and often times the information is conflicting. I’m an online vendor and a family entertainer, with no minions to bounce ideas off of or get help from. I often just feel like I’m spinning my wheels, and would cherish the opportunity to learn from this super talented, amazing group! Thank you for your consideration.. 🙂

  • Ginger Graber

    My company has just started focusing on our social media marketing. I am leading the charge. I am not sure how to manage so many channels. I know I have a lot to learn.

  • Nicole M

    I think it’s very cool that you are responding directly to questions instead of passing this task along to an assistant. Shows you are invested in making this conference a success! I listen to your podcast and it’s nice to put a name with a face.

  • Thanks so much Nicole. While I do have a team behind me, I try hard to get out and engage 🙂

  • uzoigwe Williams

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is that since i started online marketing i have spent fortune but nothing have come out of it, i just find myself loving social media marketing each day i want call it a quit i only see myself deeply in it, it is becoming my way of life yet i have not gained anything from it. I believe the TICKET is made for me, it will be an opportunity to learn more about social media marketing.
    Thank you for the opportunity

  • David Rock

    My biggest social media marketing challenge has been standing out, above all of the noise. I’ve been just focusing on creating on “quality” content. It will take time I know and I’ll stick with it, but I’d love the opportunity to meet some of the greats of social marketing.

    I should win these tickets because we’ve launched our site:, we’ve started our podcast, and it could be a great opportunity to meet some of our mentors and be surrounded by people who are inspired and on fire.

    My partner and I would love to be there.

  • Judy Davis – The Direction Div

    As a military spouse I advocate for the military community and would love an opportunity to learn how to be more effective in my social media efforts. My target audience (military spouses/active duty military/Vets) spend most of their time interacting, gathering information and supporting one another on social media and I would like to reach them more effectively. My biggest challenge is understanding how best to utilize each platform effectively and efficiently. I have the basics down, and continue to build relationships but know that I am not utilizing social media to it’s fullest capacity and would love to attend. and learn more!

  • My biggest challenge, my brand’s biggest challenge, and my company’s biggest challenge is how to deliver the appropriate message in each social network, connect with the right audience, and use effectively each of them.

  • Teresa Gronwoldt

    I’m very new to social media marketing, having just taken over social media for the company I work for this past September. I’ve taken us from zero social presence, to consistent updates on twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. I’ve also been a constant voice for more content, and have just gotten our company blog getting some updates. My biggest challenge is to energize others about creating content to put on our blog and to share through social. I’m also constantly needing to remind others of the importance of social. Our reach is still small right now, but its been steadily growing, but I know more content, and more support from inside of our business towards this effort are going to be key to really making our social presence work for us. This event seems like the perfect event for me to learn more about what I need to be doing to get the buy in and build the content.

  • Andrea Bailey

    I love everything about Social Media!!!!! My biggest social media challenge and frustration has been traffic conversions. I am pointing them in my direction but not converting on the sale. Please choose me – my company is only 3 years old and I would love to chosen!!! Andrea Bailey, The Marketing Rookie

  • Hi folks! Thanks for the opportunity to enter. As the social world, my friends, family and Mr. Stelzner can probably attest, I’m beyond excited to have the chance to attend the Social Media Marketing World Conference (and if I can’t, I’ve already set google alerts so I can read all the blogs/posts etc. about it!)

    My biggest challenge is the industry (insurance) that I work in – very conservative. And although I am stubborn and diligently working hard to show them the tremendous value in social media, it is a bit of a slog (e.g.: how do we know this stuff won’t be in the toilet in a few years? What does it really do for us? etc)

    Recently I was quoted in our national industry magazine over the great cold-calling debate ( which did get our brokers talking about it, but I would love the opportunity to learn from the best. I’ve bought books, never miss podcasts, follow key presenters online & absorb everything I possibly can, but it would be incredible to be among the great minds at Social Media Marketing World. (Plus I’m Canadian and it’s freezing here now!)

    Thanks again for the chance to win!


  • Kate Warnock

    I’ve read through many of the 203 comments left so far, and I think Mari, Pat and Mike are going to have a tough job selecting. Put simply, my biggest challenge is to create the same kind of loyalty and value for the followers of my company’s brand, as I feel for our three judges. Mari, you were the fist to help me get our Facebook page rolling in 2010, as I listened and wrote pages of notes during your sessions of the SME virtual conference that year. Pat, I sat through all six of your podcasting how-to videos on Smart Passive Income THREE times this past December, and felt like the smartest person in the room when I described to our IT team every single step we’d need to complete to launch our (soon to be public) podcasting channel. And Mike, your podcast session with Tom Martin last September helped me to write the strategy I presented to our sales executives a week later, and got approval to launch.

    In my role as social business strategist, I want to connect my brand’s thought leaders with an audience who will come to depend on their insights as deeply as I do yours.

    I’ve read the 2014 agenda and it’s as if it was designed around my needs. The big brand business track will be invaluable since the speakers have obviously faced the same challenges I do, and have succeeded in creating that connection (a couple speakers are from competitors, so their lessons learned will be invaluable). Further, I’ll be able to connect with Tom Martin, Jay Baer and others I’ve only met via social.

    Full disclosure: I did get to attend #smmw13 and I returned speaking so highly of it that a coworker registered for this year. Our travel budget won’t allow for both of us to attend, and his focus is far more on campaign execution so he wouldn’t attend the tracks I’m interested in.

    Thank you for your ongoing expertise, and for providing this opportunity to attend #smmw14.


  • I hate social media. There, I said it. It wastes my time, causes me grief, and fills my inbox with unwanted emails. It hasn’t been a good investment for me at all. Yet, everyday, there is a post, a tweet, or an email that catches my attention. I haven’t figured out exactly what it is, but there is something almost subconscious about the selection. It might be a catchy title, a promise of help, or a beautiful graphic that grabs my interest and won’t let go. This selection, when made, draws me deeply into the material. I read the words from top to bottom. I make notes. I tell my friends. Out of all the content out there, this one piece of information seeps through.
    It might be a better writing email from Jon Morrow, a how-to tweet post from Michael Hyatt, or an infographic from Neil Patel. This one piece of information changes something tangible about me. I’m never quite the same again.
    Bottom Line: I want to create powerful content like this. As a blogger for eight years, I haven’t quite found the secret yet. I’m on the edge. I’m close. Please help me find the magic. The words that make a difference. The message that will change the world.

  • Jennifer Toso

    I am a self-confessed social media addict. I believe social media marketing is the foundation of today’s customer service and public relations fields. As a recent graduate of Full Sail University (IMMS), I have worked long and hard on my Internet Marketing career. I have moved up the marketing ladder on my own and have used social media as a tool to build my personal brand, further my education, and to stay connected with my industry.

    My biggest social media challenge to date is integrating social media into my career and learning how to use SM in a B2B market. I work as a marketing programs specialist for a global electronic component distributor and the nature of the field itself is a tough one for SM. The industry is a dry topic for some but I really believe that there is a future for my industry in social media as well as the general B2B community. There are so many venues to interact and engage through social media and I see so much opportunity for my industry to connect with like-minded people.

    Attending Social Media Marketing World would enable me to connect with industry professionals and get the latest information on tools and technology. It would also allow me to gain some insight on how to further my career in SM and how to help my company grow within the social media community.

    I really love social media as a tool for customer engagement and customer service. It is such a great way to connect, invigorate, educate, prospect, and serve your industry. I believe attending Social Media Marketing World would help me to service my industry, and the company I work for, in a more rounded capacity in terms of knowledge, education, and technology.

  • ohkirsten

    My biggest challenge is finding ways to engage our audience while still complying with a highly regulated industry. There are strict rules regarding what we can/cannot do. We cannot advertise or pay for anything. To top it off, my agency has an old-style of management and most of them haven’t heard of Pinterest much less see a need for being on it. It is a constant effort to gain buy in from them about why we need an online presence as it is to gain that online presence.
    I believe in the power of social media, I believe that it can drastically affect a consumer’s experience when they are shopping with us. It’s fun, engaging, and connects people; not just online either. If I won a free ticket I would use the opportunity to leverage what I learned from the presentations and from all the cool people I meet to help improve my agency’s social strategy.

  • Jenny Green

    My biggest social media challenge is time. Time to create, time to research, time to learn, time to optimize, time to engage, time to produce, time to manage. Winning a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World would be the next best thing to slowing the orbital properties of the Earth to add a few more hours to each day. Tips on social media creation, content development, time-saving techniques, engagement strategies, and more – all in one place with the world’s greatest?! I can’t imagine a better solution to my biggest social media challenge! Hope to see you there!

  • Marli

    I am experiencing the exact same thing Deanna! It can be an information overload as to:
    – How to be on the best sites for your brand message
    – Relay best practices for your creative team to creating the most engaging and most optimized content
    – Providing analytic reports while addressing reasons key measurements can change on content approach
    – Targeting consumers and figuring out what they content they begin to find remotely interesting or useful.
    – Finding new tools to use to measure analytics, and social listening
    – Keeping up with ALL of the platform changes that are happening and figure out how your clients can use the new tools.

    It is exhausting, especially as a one-man-team. The most important thing I try to remember for our brand, is once all posts are created and scheduled, to just go out and interact within the platform. Often times those posts and conversations show higher value for our brand than sending out perfect content.

    Best of luck!

  • Marli

    April, my experience was semi the same. The only JR employee at our company and just starting out in digital marketing – I got thrown into the optimization tactics and metrics of social media. Now I evaluate and suggest all content opportunities across social platforms, which is a role I still am trying to harness and learn.

    Writing is quickly becoming my every day, and if only I had slightly enjoyed my Grammar and AP classes in college! Best of luck! I envy your love of Copywriting. I believe that puts you in a strong position for identifying and creating great content on each platform!

  • Marli

    My biggest challenge in social media marketing is measuring post performance. It is difficult to choose how to bucket and compare content. It is necessary to adequately measure performance, while also evaluating trends.

    I currently choose to evaluate the social (mostly Facebook) content we produce for brands based on Engagement Rate. I believe this if the first layer that shows a fairness to all branded content specific to a brand page.

    Upon my research, I share my insights with our creative department and clients, which helps guide our future content strategy and creation.

    If Social Media Marketing World could help me identify best practices in creating useable and sharable content, while also informing how to best evaluate content performance, I would be one grateful Marketer.

  • estypearl

    This conference would really help me with in getting my Blog out there. I’ve been a nutritionist and esthetician for 16 years and have a lot to share but I’ve been hesitant to do it because of the technology aspect. This year I’ve decided not to let it hold me back and I’m attending as many blogging and tech conferences as I can and the Social Media Marketing World Conference sounds like it’s going to feature everything someone like me needs!! I want to go and who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of days in sunny San Diego?!?!

  • Tiffany

    My biggest challenge in social media marketing is finding the right pictures to post on my social media accounts. For instance, no matter how creative I try to be with pictures I post on Facebook, I only average 3 ‘likes’ per post. I blog about saving money, so creating eye-catching, professional grade pictures is always a challenge.

  • Misti Yang

    Clients are my biggest social media marketing challenge.

    That’s only 50% a joke. My first foray into social media was as a Community Manager for Yelp. As a CM, the very essence of my day-to-day activities was social media, in other words, engaging a community, but when it came to embracing other social media outlets for marketing efforts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there were reservations and limitations. In other words, uncertainty generated fear, and with fear, there were at times inaction.

    Now, I help manage several clients social media, and the challenge is similar: either they don’t want to take chances or they don’t want to invest the time to create compelling content to drive successful social media. It is hard to believe, but even today, companies still aren’t sure if social media is worth the time and extra efforts or even a little effort without guaranteed, measurable results.

    When you’re an external agent managing social media there are unique challenges, whether it is not being able to produce timely content without your client’s approval or trying to engage and grow community authentically as a third party voice. So, I find myself chuckling from time to time and thinking, “If it weren’t for clients, I’d accomplish so much.”

    I should win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World because my 3 years as a Community Manager for Yelp provides me with a unique and valuable perspective on the role of Community Managers in social media. That perspective is augmented by years of managing the marketing and fan outreach (both pre and post social media) for my partner, violinist Bobby Yang, as well as a current role developing social media content for other clients. Plus, I am a book-aholic and have read almost every book written by your presenters, but I promise not to stalk them for autographs.

    I know I would learn a great deal, but also do my best to contribute in a meaningful way to all Q&As and conversations. Thank you for your consideration!

  • Blume Bauer

    I’m an early adopter of social media. I love it! The moment I had the opportunity to use it for my business, I latched on quickly. I produce art events, created by myself and my business partner. I love everything about marketing and wake up daily with an eagerness to get started. I would say that my biggest social media challenge is conversion. I’m getting pretty decent results when it comes to engagement and even have a low rate of conversion. I’d really love to learn how to increase the conversion with that *just right* post to push them over the edge from fan to customer.

    I am a HUGE fan of many of the lecturers that will be at this year’s Social Media Marketing World (Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield, Chris Brogan, Michael Stelzner, and Melanie Duncan are all favorites). I would love the opportunity to meet them and glean ideas! My company is new, Siren Song Productions, two years old this March. Although it isn’t in our budget for me to attend Social Media Marketing World this year, I am determined to get there some how, some way. I believe in asking the universe, looking for small cracks in the door. Then BAM! This contest was posted – talk about a big crack! So here’s my foot, pushing into the doorway, hoping to blow it wide open. I would absolutely love attending this conference. I can guarantee that I will take the most notes, the most photos, the most video, and do the most social media marketing of the event. I will shout it from the rooftops!

    So, as the scrawny kid at school would say during team picks in gym class… pick me! pick me! pick me!

  • Veronica Tercan

    My biggest challenge is to find out how you can make people FALL IN LOVE with your brand. A “LIKE” is not enough anymore, it doesn’t stick in your head. When people fall in love with your brand, they go to your social media profiles even when you don’t post (or when your fans have missed your post). I would love to crack that code and I think there’s a lot we can derive from social psychology, so I recently started studying social psychology related concepts and integrate that with social media.

    Why I should win a ticket? My husband’s nickname for me is “social media”.

  • Wieke Gur

    My biggest social media challenge is when I have to engage with the target audience with the most boring topic i.e. language. As a marketer, I learned that emotion sells. I started to communicate with the public through stories or posts which invoke strong emotions (patriotism, nation pride, culture shock, hilarity, disbelief, etc). Some works and some don’t. I get to know my audience more every time my posts are shared and re tweeted. It pays off. Bahasa Kita Facebook page is now the most popular page among Indonesian language enthusiasts. It one point it attracts 5000 new likes everyday. I learned about how content and social media are closely related by doing. The challenge is how to create content that will keep the audience engage. I am 51. Nobody trusts me with their social media management because I don’t belong to the millennial generation. I should win the free ticket because that’s how I can learn more from the best. And that’s how I can proof to companies that you need experience and knowledge too to master the social media.

  • chanda temple

    I want to be the Olivia Pope of social media. If you are familiar with the fictional character on ABC’s “Scandal,” you will understand why I say that. Olivia knows how to get things handled without breaking a sweat. But for me, there are days I’m left sweating up a storm just to develop the right tone for a social media marketing campaign. Believe me, the stress is real. I have the pimples to prove it. I feel that this conference will give me the answers I need to get moving in a new direction.
    I handle public relations for the largest library system in Alabama, the Birmingham Public Library. I also volunteer for my church’s social media ministry and dedicate my time to a handful of nonprofits. I’m married to my commitment of making these organizations better, and I know that marketing via social media is a major key to achieving this goal.
    This conference is just what I need to peel back the layers of what I’m currently doing in order to learn fresh and exciting ways of how to engage and connect with followers and supporters. In today’s world, money is tight and nonprofits really don’t have a budget for advertising. I’m always left trying to figure out how to promote caviar dreams on a catfish account. I want to know how best to use social media to turn people’s Tweets and FB likes, for example, into actual action? How do I get them to turn out for programs? What else do I need to do to connect to the core of their soul to show them that supporting an amazing cause or attending an event will improve their life without bombarding them? How else can I tweak our content to show people we matter now and will matter in the future.

    I live tweet like crazy. I want to know how best to use my skills and more to benefit others.
    Winning this ticket will afford me the opportunity to rub elbows with the gladiators of today’s social media world. I really need this chance, and so do those depending on me. If you pick me, you will have saved the day. I can ride off into the sunset, wearing a white hat and knowing that I’m about to take social media marketing to the next level. Help me handle this. Pick me.

    Thank you.

  • Guest

    As the Social Media Manager for a franchise my biggest social media marketing challenge is educating the franchisees “why social media marketing is important to the franchisees business.

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  • Jen Dalsbø

    @Mari Smith, @Pat Flynn, @Mike Stelzner Greetings! First, I’d like to say thank you to Social Media Examiner for offering a chance to win free tickets to the Social Media Marketing World convention, and thank you to @Phil Mershon for posting the contest rules. I appreciate the opportunity, and am hopeful that I win. Currently, I’m in the process of starting up my own business in the field of Marketing (I’d like to help small family owned restaurants with their marketing needs). In addition, I’m in the process of teaching my son about the importance of following his dreams, reaching for the stars, and most importantly turning his passions into a stable, lucrative business venture. With my background in Sales, a passion for Marketing, and having grown-up in my families restaurant, you’re probably thinking this should be quite easy for a clever, witty, ambitious gal like me, right? Well your wrong! Lol. Turns out that the great big world of marketing is forever changing, in ways that I never imagined… from the basics of online advertising to the now social media platforms, or the newest creation that Germany has released #BoneConducting. In an ever changing world however, I’m finding it hard to decipher what the best practices are to market the many business ventures I’d like to launch. Social Media Marketing is #1 on my list, but I’m still somewhat of a newbie (aside from my personal blogging, status updates, etc…). I’m taking a refresher course online, and took the crash course of Google Analytics online as well, but for me the value of reading about this stuff is not nearly as beneficial as the opportunity to meet with the pros. Therefore, I’d like to win a ticket or two so I can network, share my experiences, and ultimately learn from the best social media marketing guru’s in the industry. Also, my son and I have never been to San Diego, and would be delighted to make the Social Media Marketing World convention our first visit. 🙂

  • Betty-Anne Whipp

    I recently (January 2014) had a client dealing with a major social media crisis that had nothing to do with them at all. I am the community manager for a car dealership and my first clue that something was amiss was when I saw a tweet around midnight on a Friday night. There was a person from Delaware, U.S. cursing out my client who is in Ontario, Canada, on Facebook. There was some nasty things being said both in the private message and posted directly on their page. They were being tarred for something that had nothing to do with them. After some investigation I found that the issue was with a car dealership in Georgetown, Delaware and my client is in Georgetown, Ontario. The car dealership in Delaware had an employee that allegedly did something illegal with a customer’s car and they took down their Facebook page when the situation was talked about in the news. My client then was assumed to be the guilty party. Naturally, I informed the client what I was doing and advised them not to hide and so I dealt with the issues posted directly to Facebook politely informing each individual person of the mistaken identity. The client took care of the issues that came in through their private email. In addition, I posted a timeline cover with a red background and a stop sign to get the attention of anyone coming to the page. I briefly told the visitors what the situation was and that “we” were not the dealer involved in that situation.

    The storm eventually blew over and we even received many kind words from people who had originally come to “attack” my client. In fact we even had some of those people ask if they could come visit us because we “Canucks are just so damn nice”. That was when I realized that I really am in the right business. 🙂

    All of this occurred about one week after I had graduated from Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare’s Social Media Manager School. I have been working in this industry for a long time but that really helped me define what exactly I want to do and where I want to take my business.

    I have participated in a few of the Summits presented by SME and always learn so much. I would be thrilled to attend a live Summit.

    Have a great day.

  • My biggest challenge in Social Media Marketing has been myself.

    I have aspirations to become the next Mari Smith or Gary Vaynerchuck. The openly gay version (or the Ellen of Social Media Marketing if you will) that shares my story, gives back, and inspires more LGBT entrepreneurs to be who they are.

    I am an athlete with an alter-ego that is a total nerd, and I never fit in in high school. I have this crazy inate ability to learn and retain information, while still having the personality and charisma to work with people. I graduated from college as a Civil Engineer, with a Software Engineering minor and then I found myself in a great stable 9-5 office job and I should be happy right? Except that I’ve been doing what I thought I was supposed to do for three years and not doing what I want to do, what I love to do. I love to work with people, be outdoors, and have the flexibility to do a hangout by my pool.

    I learned website design while in college and started a part-time small business when I graduated to help other small businesses get off the ground, but I never understood or appreciated my worth. Quite frankly, I’ve never charged enough; I want to help people and I want to share my knowledge with as many people that want to listen. Well, I’ve worked myself into the ground with this passion and strategy. During my roadkill days, I reached out of my knowledge bubble and learned SEO strategies and Social Media to help my clients even more. I took Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare’s course, Social Media Manager School, and I plan to create something similar to help business owners around the globe learn what they need to know to excel online in a well-rounded approach. To do this though, I need to put myself with the right people, I need to quit my stable day job and take the leap of faith. I even flew out to San Diego in January and joined a group called Life on Fire to help make this happen.

    Molly, you have the knowledge, the passion and the potential, what are you waiting for??

    I still believe that even today, you can’t be an openly gay entrepreneur and become a major player. Maybe that is just me judging myself more than others do, but I have no role model that I know of. Being able to attend SMMW will help me break through that barrier. I decided that I couldn’t afford to attend because I am getting married this month to the most amazing woman I have ever known and all the money I’ve been saving up has been going into the wedding and honeymoon. Because we live in a state that doesn’t allow gay marriage, we will also have the additional expense of traveling to another state to get our marriage license.

  • jvance

    Why I should win? My role has me controlling our company’s social media to rural America…these folks aren’t spending a lot of time on the internet and often times aren’t as socially savvy as urban cities. I would love to go to learn how to better develop my strategies.

  • Shonna Seedle

    I am a Digital Marketing Specialist with Naked Lime Marketing. We do digital marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, YouTube, etc…) for Automotive Dealerships. How many of you can say that you are a fan, follower, +1 of an automotive dealership? Our biggest challenges are getting those fans, followers, +1’s, and then once we get them, getting interaction and engagement from them. I love my new car, but I never went out of my way to like their Facebook page and if I don’t like them, why would I like a different dealership? We need to increase our interaction on social media with our dealerships.
    Personally, my challenge is my experience. I’m fresh out of grad school (undergrad- marketing, MBA- management, innovations and change) working on my first year’s experience with many more to come. Continued learning and developing is the definition of SMMW to me.

  • Kim Knightchik

    I think you’d do well to pick Blume! I’ve watched her build Siren Song Productions from the ground up (although she may not realize I was watching for that long, haha.) She’d definitely do well by you as far as posting about your event, and letting the public know more about what it is, how it is useful to them, and what you can do for them (us)! Please pick Blume!

  • Terri Hampton

    Blume is awesome!!! Not only would she be so grateful, but I think would get the most out of it. Then turn around and use what is learned to share and inspire others. Please pick her, she deserves it!

  • Sean Swentek

    My biggest challenge is being a team of 1 for a large organization with 4 different brands with accounts at all the major social sites. I have to decide every day which pages I should focus my efforts on, while still maintaining brand visibility across the board.

    I would love to win the ticket so I could learn from the best about time management and task scheduling to become a better social media strategist.

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge comes from the dual issue of diminishing reach and increasing costs to get to the target audience. Facebook has been optimizing away my audience and the audience of my clients. At the same time, noise on Twitter and other platforms is increasing exponentially. This trend is not surprising to those who saw the same things happen with SEO and organic search. So the challenge really is how to maintain SM marketing as part of an integrated marketing plan without losing sight of ROI. The challenge is to keep evolving and innovating, while educating clients along the way. I’m a good candidate for a free ticket because I bring 18 years of pro digital experience beyond just SM and I am generous in sharing my insights and brainstorming with others. After years working with the likes of the Getty Museum, Fox Broadcasting and a variety of SMBs, I’m always open to sharing. I’m a recent board member of Social Media Club LA who’s booked over a dozen informational panels on social media topics for our community. Unfortunately this event was not in my budget and I just heard about it. But if I go, I would give as much as I get out of it.

  • Stephanie

    My biggest social media challenge is convincing non-digital and non-tech oriented clients the importance of utilizing social media as an integrative approach to marketing and marketing communications. A) clients that don’t value marketing and don’t understand it and B) thinks it’s a fad or trend. Hence, why I would like to attend so that I can add to my marketing arsenal on why it is not a trend and is a valuable part of the marketing mix.

  • Teresa

    Blume Bauer is by far the most informative, helpful promoter I have ever known! She goes out of her way to help those that are starting out with a new business and don’t know where to start. She stays on top of so many Facebook sites that are specifically for marketing and she even has a little contest going on right now to help people make their promotional material rock on their on sites! She totally deserves to attend the Social Media Marketing World Conference! Please pick her!

  • suryadasi

    As someone under the spell of this sirens song, i am not only a huge fan but a customer as well…. If there is one person who will appreciate this opportunity and apply what she l/earns from this event, its Blume!
    Blumes enthusiasm and energy easily excites and inspires everyone in her orbit and if you pick this scrawny kid, stand back and prepared to be WOWed!!!
    With the inspiration from your phenomenal lineup of speakers, she will be the conversion master, turning fans into customers and people who “never even knew” into fans! There will be no need for her to shout it from the rooftops, her captivated audience will do it for her!
    Pick Blume and just see what she does!!!!
    Suryadasi Devi,

  • socialforsmallbiz

    As the owner of a bakery/deli who is also the main baker, my biggest social media challenge finding the time to properly manage our social accounts. Scheduling tools like Buffer absolutely help, and I always respond to customers that reach out, but I often lack the time or energy to develop next level engaging content.

  • Rooted Sky

    Blume Bauer is AMAZING!!!! She has the best ideas. So Savy! So very innovative and professional. She helped me with my business.I am impressed with the skills Blume has. Blume really deserves to win this.She is so dedicated it’s non-stop. If Blume were to go to this, that would just put her over the top.I am Thankful to have met Blume and have her come on as a social media marketing expert for my business!! Since Blume has come on my clients have tripled.Blume is exciting to work with because not only does she really know her stuff she knows a lot of people with strings!!!! Good luck Blume Thank you. I wish you the best

  • Blume is constantly pushing & challenging her group of social media users & friends to work harder and do our best to get our businesses out there and BE successful… She is a blessing to me and my business because I’m shy, I’m an introvert and I need that little push.. She would really take the information to the extreme and actually help people with it. She is an amazing person full of life and love for others and helping others reach their full potential in marketing!!! Her events are INCREDIBLE! Yes, PLEASE pick her! She really does deserve it!

  • Kathryn

    What is great about Blume is not only her work to network and market her own business and ideas, but the help she offers others looking to improve their own social media networking experience. She’s great about sharing the knowledge and skills that she has picked up on her own or through her networking, and this event would make her an even more valuable asset to the social media marketing world.

  • Lori

    Blume Bauer is amazing and I couldn’t think of anyone who could better benefit from winning this contest. She has helped so many people, including me, and I know she would use this new opportunity to do great things.

  • Renee Fisher

    Blume lives and breathes marketing with social media. I’ve known her over 15 years now, and have watched her grow her business(es) from seeds to full-grown trees, all the while learning and utilizing every marketing angle she possibly could. More than that, she is highly committed to sharing her wealth of knowledge and experiences to the small business community, and lord knows we can use all the help we get. If Blume is chosen for these tickets, it’ll be like 100 of us get to go too, because she will build us all up with what she learns. And that’s pretty much the meaning of life, in my book. You can’t get much more noble than that. You know what you need to do. I thank you in advance, because I know I will benefit from Blume going.

  • Tom Page & SCN

    As a former elementary teacher and now a longtime (okay “older”) communications coordinator for a school district in Michigan, I can tell you that marketing and sharing the the important work of our teachers and students is exciting and ever-changing. From times of crisis to those hard-earned athletic awards and academic honors, school communicators pretty much cover the range. I am blessed to have the responsibilities I have — and want to grow in my service to my community and profession. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, public education is far behind the entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, and “bounce back” resilience inherent in so many social media marketers. Although I’m privileged to see “mini-miracles” in our schools every week, I know I’m behind in using social media effectively to effectively convey them, especially in today’s highly competitive “school choice” environment. Over the last 14 months I have been listening to about 15 hours podcasts per week…as I commute, shower & shave, and shovel mounds of snow. Dan Miller (48days) is right. Learning from the experiences of others (even from afar) will alter your thinking and re-direct how you spend your time and energies. I can’t express how much listening to John Lee Dumas – EOF, The Marketing Agents (Rich Brooks), Amy Porterfield’s podcast, The Social Pros, Social Media Marketing, Michael Hyatt, The Eventual Millionaire, and Smart Passive Income has expanded my perspective. At first, I kind of considered the online marketers mantra of “change the world” a cynical promotional tagline. I sure don’t now. Particularly as I’m convinced that the students in our schools desperately need more of the insights, the total willingness to share value, and the positive attributes of our online marketing leaders, not less. As you can imagine, I’m a better school communicator today because of what I’ve learned from you and your peers. Thank you. I’ll always be grateful for this. So why haven’t I signed up for SMMW by now if I know how tremendous it is going to be? Good question. my situation is this. I am a school district employee. I can’t take three days off when school is in session. However, I begged my superintendent (following the ol’ “just ask” advice) and he said that if I was lucky enough to get selected to win the tickets, I could go! I’d love to bring back fresh ideas, tools, and practices back to my school communications colleagues. We’re world-changers, too. We just have to get way better at it! Thank you for your consideration.

  • Firstly, thank you Phil, SME & SMMW for providing such an amazing opportunity.

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is maintaining my free daily digital publication for my growing readership. This publication is based entirely in social media, mainly aggregation, but also a great deal through systems that I’ve created on Facebook, and Twitter. This project is supposed to be in my “spare time,” but has become such a passion that I find myself constantly self-teaching in order to expand the quality of news, build readership, and publicize daily.

    I’ve been managing the publication for three years alone, but now it’s growing and I am really struggling to maintain a stream of relevant content while managing a supportive and dynamic community for my readers. I know my Facebook Page isn’t quite working as a place to help the community to collaborate or “meet” eachother. They are simply an awesome group of talented people throughout the field of digital entertainment, and I’d love for them to all “SEE” what eachother are doing. I also want the world to see what they are doing!

    So it would be a fantastic opportunity to gain access to the cutting edge workshops, connect with experts in social media and network with future mentors who might be able to guide me towards solutions more quickly. Attending Social Media Marketing World 2014 would help me to move my passionate hobby into a larger space, and give my readers so much more value. Thank you to Mari and Pat for your consideration, and best of luck to all!

  • Maggie Mutesi

    I own an infant social media management company but my biggest challenge is that my country being a third world country, the biggest population is so hesitant to adjusting to social media, they are so used to the old marketing ways. It’s only a few months ago that i got a client who understand the use of social media. I am a desperate social media student and i see this as a big opportunity for me to learn more and interact with the social media experts so as to develop the market in my country. #SMMW14

  • Marlena Solomon

    I manage two brands on social media as a team of one. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I started my primary brand’s Facebook Fan Page and have watched it grow from 58 fans in 2010 to over 535K today. My challenge is that although we are a B2B company, our social media is B2C addressing product and technical inquiries and finding new and creative ways to engage our fans. The overall magical question – how do you show ROI from social if you’re a B2B when your goal is increasing sales?

    The other brand I manage I inherited and creative and posts are handled by a creative agency. I approve their posts making sure it aligns with the brand’s marketing strategy and for content, grammar and correct tagging and hashtags. The challenge is that I am a firm believer that brands should run their own social media which is painfully apparent in their creative and overbranding. Challenge – how do you convince the marketing director that by using an agency you are creating a less authentic social persona and that casting a wider net is more effective than posts targeted to a niche market?

    I usually attend a couple of social media conferences during the year, but I would love to make the Social Media Marketing World my one event for 2014! What I gain from events like SMMW is learning from others about the challenges the face as social media managers regardless of the brand size they represent, and new and creative ways to keep fans engaged.

  • MK Chestnut

    About a year ago I made a big change in my life. I met a guy who had absolutely no idea how the internet really worked, and had already invested a lot of money into starting up an eCommerce site that sold bullion coins. This guy thought that building a site was the way people would find him. After writing all of the descriptions on the site, I started looking into how social media could help him.

    It turns out, as a civilian user of social media, I still didn’t have the know-how to tell him how to run his social media. So one day, scrolling through Groupon (or LivingSocial) I found a deal with Social Media Magic and their Social Media Marketing University. I hopped on that! At the time my family, fiance, and friends thought I was insane because I was in school to become a physical therapist…so totally related! I’ve learned so much through the SMMU courses (many of which have been taught by speakers at SMMW14), and know I still have a lot to learn.

    So here is what the big change was – I stopped doing physical therapy, changed majors, and have started my own Social Media Marketing / SEO consulting company. Teaching and helping people improve themselves has always been my passion. I was a lifeguard / swim instructor for 7 years, coached middle school swimming for 5 (yes, I’m a saint!), and am applying that same love of teaching and coaching to my newest endeavor. Will I be the biggest, baddest Social Media Marketing firm out there? Probably not. But I measure my success not by the number of clients I have, or may ever have, but whether or not I could help them achieve their goals.

    Isolation is my biggest challenge. We are social animals. It is one of the reasons social media is so effective. I can talk about my day, my challenges, any excitement I experience learning about social media with my fiance, family, and friends – but they are pretty sure working in social media is a hoax. I would love to have to opportunity to be surrounded my follow social media-philes. I would love to learn from a conversation with a stranger.

    And I see SMMW14 being in San Diego as a sign. I live here, am a social media addict, and you are coming to me!!

  • My biggest challenge with Social Media has definitely been attribution all the way down to revenue.

    I have been experimenting with a short urls and passing around parameters and triggering goals (very similar to what Google Analytics allows) to track attribution. In the process I have also been able to segment the results by content, channels and employees who share links. I would love to share these findings with my peers are the conference if I win the ticket. Also looking forward to the knowledge exchange at the conference.

  • hel_npic

    Sometimes it feels like I am in a bubble; posting, tweeting, #instragraming, pinning. I am happy here, and enthusiastic. I listen, I learn. Here I am connected to a bigger bubble and together we share likes and laughs, the madness, the sadness and our frustrations. I tell my stories and I listen to theirs. It is a wonderful bubble, my bubble. Then I look up and outside my bubble, all around it, is resistance. Why does it not want to come and join me in my happy, wonderful bubble? Is it a belief that there is no need to join me? Is it fear, unknowing or complexity that stops resistance? How can I teach and entice resistance so it wants to come and join me in my wonderful bubble? Resistance… resistance is my biggest social media marketing challenge.

  • An@t

    My biggest social media challenge is the disconnect between social media’s fast paced growth as a communications tool and the speed at which it’s possible to change the organizational structure in order to manage these new media. Gaining support to invest in these tools can sometimes take time but more importantly, it takes skill and dedicated resources which can be scarce if not fostered. I would love a chance to go to Social Media Marketing World 2014! What a great opportunity 🙂

  • Jennifer Wilder

    Hi Michael! I just spent a 10-hour road trip (5 each way) listening to nothing but the Social Media Marketing Podcast! Over the last four or five months, I have been devouring as much as I can about social media marketing as I’m attempting to change-the-tide for my employer, a non-profit organization called The reThink Group ( Since I’ve increased my social media marketing efforts last fall, I’m seeing steady engagement and growth—but there’s so much potential. My biggest challenge is knowing what it is that I don’t know, and managing and coordinating all the new tactics I’m learning. Winning tickets to Social Media Marketing World would bridge the gap between learning and implementation; it would take me to the next level. Thanks for your consideration! Sincerely, Jennifer

  • I started up
    my website in 2012 and retooled it again in the spring of 2013. The main reason
    for retooling was to add a blog post and so I entered into the realm of
    blogging over the next few months. Then life got hectic and the ability to find
    time and keep up waned. I was just too busy focusing on projects that my social
    marketing fell by the wayside.

    Then, later
    in 2013, I stumbled across Social Examiner and subscribed to the daily email. I
    read some of the articles; however, I will admit not all (they are in a folder
    in my Inbox). One offer that Michael put forward before Christmas was the
    Social Examiner Blogging Fundamentals for Business. At first I was not sure whether to
    take Michael up on the great offer, then, in early 2014 I decided it was worth
    taking a chance. Not a chance on Michael, a chance on myself to invest and
    hopefully get a better understanding of blogging.

    I signed up
    and then proceeded to work through the material (which I found is great by the
    way), and at this point I have watched Michael’s five sessions and am now
    heading into the guest speaker sessions over the next couple of weeks.

    provided a number of ideas and tips which I spend the weekend, reviewing and
    adding to my website (suggested plugin) or establishing pages. I never had a
    Twitter or Facebook page so went ahead and set those up for myself and my
    company. Even adjusted the few blogs I had with some content tips.

    Looked into
    how to improve SEO and on Michael’s advice looked at and purchased an SEO
    plugin as well as established an SEO analytics account to help with monitoring
    and ideas on tools to improve traffic/search engine optimization. Also, set up
    analytics to establish a base as I move forward to see and assess my future
    success in social marketing.

    So that is
    where I am today February 11th, 2014. Now, my head is still spinning
    from the knowledge that I have gained from Michael’s workshop materials and
    probably will continue to spin as I move forward. That is why I am really
    interested in an opportunity to attend the Social Media Marketing World 2014
    conference coming up in San Diego.

    I believe in
    continued growth and attending this conference would allow me to take social
    media to the next level. Take the spinning and plant me firmly on the ground
    (or continue to spin), giving me an opportunity to learn from the experts. The
    conference would also provide me insight into how to develop a social media
    strategy for my business, a consulting services company.

    I have set
    some lofty goals for myself (thought leader, industry expert, develop new
    clients, on the first page of Google searches), now I want understand, from
    these experts: the what, when, where, and why and how when it comes to social
    media. Thanks for the opportunity Social
    Media Examiner.

  • Social Media wasn’t around when I was in school, so I was there when it was born, and I’ve watched it grow into an amazing force of change for the marketing world. I’ve taught myself, attending as many webinars as possible, and reading plenty of Social Media Examiner articles, which have helped me do everything from create a social media plan to promoting an event and building followers and engagement.

    The thing I love most is the thing that challenges me the most. I love the fact that Social Media is ever-changing, and evolving into something more, something better. My challenge is in keeping up with it all. Each new year, there’s a new buzzword or app or program that promises to make your social media management easier. Currently, I am in charge of social media for a pre-launch financial services startup…making banking fun, now THAT’S a challenge! I feel like, although I’ve been doing this for eight years and have been lucky enough to make a career out of it, I’ll never know enough.

    Conferences like Social Media World help to dispel that anxiety. With an opportunity to listen, and learn, from our industry’s brightest stars, and to network with my fellow peers (people that get the frustration that comes from hearing that an organization is handing over their social media management to their PR intern), I feel like I’ll walk away with a greater understanding of what lays ahead in social media, and how I can be a part of it. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of social media, and I don’t think you can ever learn enough about what you love in life…don’t you think?

  • Once upon a time, it was easy to create engagement on Facebook. A witty comment here–a thought provoking status update there­–was all it took to generate tons of likes, comments, and the occasional, “I’m still laughing at your status update” comment if I ran into my Facebook friends offline. Life was good, and my success made me feel like the “Belle of the Facebook Ball” (self-proclaimed of course, LOL.)

    Confidence in hand, I took on the role of Social Media Manager for a nonprofit youth group. Though we had great engagement and a significant increase in our Instagram and Twitter followers, our Facebook page looked like a ghost town. I soon realized that the rules of Facebook had changed, and that it was going to take more than good content to connect with our audience.

    My biggest social media challenge is not understanding how to leverage Facebook to build community and connect with an audience. I realize that quality content is important, but how do I ensure that my posts actually reach my audience? How do I overcome the challenges of Facebook’s ranking algorithms? What type of content works best on this platform? These questions have limited my marketing efforts for far too long, and I feel that attending Social Media Marketing World 2014 will provide the answers I need to accomplish my marketing goals.

  • Rikki

    I have just started my own digital marketing company where I focus my attention on helping the small and medium sized businesses who, let’s face it, are in desperate need of social media exposure. One very large challenge ahead of me is that I have to convince companies, many of whom don’t understand social marketing, not only that this is important, but the way of the future and that they need help in managing the different outlets.

    It is THE biggest growing trend that so many are simply ignoring because they don’t understand it or they are using it, but don’t understand the growing trends. (One company I know had someone running their social media accounts and they didn’t know what hashtags were.) Then after that “small” task of getting them to use my services, I have to then convince them that their money is indeed being well spent even though they may not see a return on investment immediately or at a rapid rate.

    As we all know, social media marketing is more about not only having conversations with people, but at the end of the day, it’s about when all is said and done…and they need are looking for a product or service you are offering, that YOUR business is the ONLY business that should be on their brain, thanks to the efforts you put forth by connecting with them via social platforms. So, I guess my biggest challenge, is therefore making small business owners understand, that this type of marketing, while not traditional, really does make a huge difference and it’s something that a social media marketing company like mine, should be doing to help them.

    I am a self taught social media marketer. But it’s what I love to do. It is my passion. Getting the opportunity to learn, from people who not only are already in the business, but who are masters of the art form that is social media marketing would be an incredible experience.

  • Nicole Kosheba


    I admit I’ve been procrastinating on writing this, for two reasons: 1. I want this
    terribly, and 2. I know that in order to win I must somehow find a way to stand out amongst people who I venture to say are experiencing challenges similar to what I am experiencing. I do not believe that my challenges are any greater than any other persons in the social media realm, and despite having been involved with social media on varying levels since 2004, I have a difficult time calling myself an “expert” as the social media landscape seems to be one that is constantly evolving at a pace that sometimes feels impossible to keep up with, let alone, stay ahead. That is one of the things I enjoy most about this community of social media marketers- we’re all sort of growing, evolving, and earning together and from one another.

    I head up the Social Media initiative for a medium-sized Architecture and Engineering firm. The biggest challenge we have come across thus far has been reaching decision makers and then demonstrating the impact on the sales process (and ideally ROI). We have taken all of the usual steps in writing an effective strategy- defining markets, defining personas, content buckets, etc etc… Despite having done all of that, it seems we are primarily engaging our own staff/family members, existing clients, and fellow marketers. On occasion, we may engage a potential client, however, given that our firm offers a very wide (50+) range of services across several markets, and employs 400(ish) professionals; it becomes difficult to track social media’s impact and return on investment.

    I cannot say with certainty that I deserve to go over anyone else who has participated in this challenge, but I CAN certainly say that I would bring an open mind, attentive ears, and immense appreciation to have the opportunity to network with such awesomely intelligent and experienced professionals. I would be grateful beyond measure and have much to gain by winning a ticket.

    For what it’s worth, I am very interested in the following sessions (and many others):
    * How to Turn Your Employees Into Your Best Social Media Advocates By Jay Baerv
    * How to Achieve a Return on Relationship: Going Beyond Social ROI By Ted Rubin
    * Twitter Marketing: What the World’s Most Effective Businesses Are Doing By L. Fitton
    * How Content Plus an Influencer Network Can Grow Your Business By Lee Odden
    * How to Build a Multi-Author Blog For More Visibility and Sales By Denise Wakeman with Brian Clark & Michael Stelzner

  • Wow. It would be the trip of a lifetime to be amongst the who’s who of social media. I’m probably not the most experienced of all you experts out there but I AM passionate about social media, especially from the communication standpoint. As a consumer I can’t think of a better way to connect with the brands I love than through social media. This also brings me to one of my greatest challenges and that is convincing small business owners that they can’t afford to ignore social media any longer. I love what was stated here earlier by Sandro Galindo that, “people are already out there talking about you, let’s get in front of it and join the conversation.” How do we get them to “join the conversation?” Thank you for your consideration. I hope to see all of you in San Diego!

  • Allison Lindsly

    “The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.” – Paris Hilton.

    The person behind Southern Socialight is not new to social media, however the brand is which is the challenge of finding those ideal customers. This up and coming Jewelry Designer will utilize social media as a method of finding customers before the jewelry line even launches. Easy right? All SociaLights want to master the art of being social so by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. you will learn how to be the star at every event. Only a couple of weeks old, the social media marketing challenge is to find that audience, engage them and have them become faithful followers. Having your built in following sales from this new jewelry line will be epic! So how can you gain this audience of avid fans in a short amount of time using little to none marketing dollars.

    Currently, this Southern SociaLight works at an opulent hotel running all of its social media and outward communication to potential, current, and future guests. Having the luxury of working at this fabulous hotel, finding customers is not the problem. Currently my challenge is how can we successfully use social media as an affective PR tool. Our hotel is strong in our local community, but how can we utilize our social media tools in winning national coverage.

    With a full time marketing job and active social life, it is hard to keep up to the latest changes in social media. Winning this trip to Social Media World, I know that I will be able to master my social media marketing challenges and definitely have an interesting entry for one of my SociaLight blogs!

    Check out my website

  • Andrea Rodriguez

    Hello there! I’m from Belize and I’ve been a subscriber for more than a
    year and I’ve learned so much and it has helped my business. I’m a stay
    at home mommy, building my social media consulting business and my
    biggest social media challenge is trying to decide which social networks
    I should invest more time in and creating content for that specific
    network only. I’m tempted to jump on the latest social media “wagons”
    but I find that I’m spreading myself too thin and I’m not being as
    effective. I want to be able to focus on just a few and do it well and
    be effective and reach my target market which is small business owners.
    Social Media Marketing World would definitely take me out of my comfort
    zone and give me the much needed boost and inspiration I need to move
    forward to greater things in 2014 and beyond! I would love the chance to
    meet some of the people who have been major influencers in my life and
    my business.
    Keeping my fingers crossed. 😉

  • Chi

    The biggest challenge I have with social media marketing is that the social media industry is not evolving faster. I mainly follow brands on my personal social media accounts, so I get bombarded with the same types of boring posts over and over again. Although there are some good resources to help brands evolve their strategy, I haven’t seen a brand that has a well rounded social media strategy. I believe we need to explore better ways that brands can present themselves on social media.

    I should win a free ticket because I want the social media industry to grow as much as possible. I believe this conference has the opportunity to further the growth of the industry because there are lot of opportunities to connect with people who have a big influence in the industry. If I have the chance to connect with these people, I will challenge them to explore better ways to do social media marketing.

  • My biggest challenge in social media marketing is the ability to keep an authentic voice while pushing content that drives consumers to purchase something. In a previous digital strategy role, I was responsible for posting ticket information and packages for a major sporting event while speaking to fans through relevant team details and content. I had a difficult time dancing the line between conversational social media and working toward earning revenue from relatable posts.

    As a junior public relations student at the University of Oregon, I bring the enthusiasm, energy and knowledge needed to hit the ground running at Social Media Marketing World. Digital strategy, strategic marketing and public relations have been the core of my education, and I’ve applied those skills to the collegiate athletics business to gain real-world experience. With my relevant experience, as well as my passion for social media and marketing, I’d love the opportunity to meet with the businesses’ best and absorb as much information as possible.

  • “The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.” – Paris Hilton.

    The person behind Southern Socialight is not new to social media, however the brand is which is the challenge of finding those ideal customers. This up and coming Jewelry Designer will utilize social media as a method of finding customers before the jewelry line even launches. Easy right? All SociaLights want to master the art of being social so by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. you will learn how to be the star at every event. Only a couple of weeks old, the social media marketing challenge is to find that audience, engage them and have them become faithful followers. Having your built in following sales from this new jewelry line will be epic! So how can you gain this audience of avid fans in a short amount of time using little to none marketing dollars.

    Currently, this Southern SociaLight works at an opulent hotel running all of its social media and outward communication to potential, current, and future guests. Having the luxury of working at this fabulous hotel, finding customers is not the problem. Currently my challenge is how can we successfully use social media as an affective PR tool. Our hotel is strong in our local community, but how can we utilize our social media tools in winning national coverage.

    With a full time marketing job and active social life, it is hard to keep up to the latest changes in social media. Winning this trip to Social Media World, I know that I will be able to master my social media marketing challenges and definitely have an interesting entry for one of my SociaLight blogs!

    To educate and inspire entrepreneurs to use social media marketing to:

    1. Get their message out to the world

    2. To make a positive difference to others and to help their business growth.

    To make social media marketing simple, user friendly and to demonstrate the value of social media.

    THE SOLUTION: A winning ticket to Social Marketing Marketing World + learning from the world’s top experts + Me (a passionate, hard working entrepreneur who was born to teach this stuff).

    THE OUTCOME: Awesomeness for all!

  • Lynn

    Friends? Business
    contacts? They disappeared before my
    hair did. I was DONE.

    “You’re not done yet.
    GET UP.” Oh great, now I was
    hearing voices.

    I got up. I started
    reading. That led to writing.

    Remission came 6 weeks later. I kept reading and writing.

    I have to share what it’s like to hit bottom and bounce
    back. I have to tell people if I can do
    it, so can they.

    Here comes the voice again, “Well then you’re gonna have to
    learn social media.”

    I tweet, I share, I started a Facebook fan page and post
    consistently, I participate in groups, I have a top rated LinkedIn
    profile. I follow all sorts of advice on
    social media marketing.

    What am I missing?


    I have a powerful message, and education, skill and
    experience to back it up. What I don’t
    have, is engagement…influence…networking.

    The voice was right.
    I’m definitely not done yet.

  • Yasmine Ehab

    Social media is very interesting because of it’s challenge. my great challenge is to enlarge my reach and engagement numbers when I work for non profit place. Its very challenging to get people out of their comfort zone while they are clicking by their mouse or tablet or whatever, its very challenging because its growing very fast and every year the trend changes, every year we have a new member of social media joining us.

    I believe I should get a free ticket, because being on he other side of the world, in Egypt, where social media bombed with our revolution is an addition to your conference and the great people and speakers at the conference are a great addition to my life, would love to be there to exchange information and different perspective about how the culture affects social media trends and usage.

    I think as a corporate social responsibility to big companies like the ones attending the conference is to give space for NGOs and small SMEs to get an insight from their experience.

    Note: I have tweeted a lot seriously. I will keep tweeting and I will say her I need not want. and I am eligible to enter US

  • Social media is always changing, adapting, growing. It’s like watching my children grow and change around me. Just when I think that I have my kids figured out and get into a rhythm… BAM…what I thought I knew is now different some way/somehow.

    The same is true with social media. As a small business owner, the biggest social
    media challenge for me is staying current, relevant and ahead of my competition. Staying up-to- speed on the ever changing platforms can be extremely difficult and sometimes overwhelming. With so many platforms (FB, TW, LI, YouTube, Pinterest, G+, podcasts, Yelp, etc.), it is a continual challenge to keep up to speed on the latest trends,
    information, etc. Being able to learn in a concentrated setting at the conference would be highly beneficial for me, my team, my business and ultimately my clients. To once again glean from the best of the best within this industry would be an incredible experience.

  • Pat Porras

    We have offered to help our county fire foundation create a social media plan to raise awareness and donations for firefighting equipment. The equipment will help the men and women who respond first when our parent is sick, when we crash in the rain, or when our neighborhood is on fire. We want to use every appropriate outlet available to help them, because ultimately, having fully funded fire stations helps everyone in our community.

    SMMW14 will help us to identify and incorporate social media options that we may not have considered, and to pick the brains of the masters!

  • Haley Lewin

    Hi Mari, Pat, and Mike!

    I just stumbled upon this conference today, and I can hardly contain my excitement! I am a college student studying to work in social media marketing. Following my graduation in May, I am moving to San Diego to start my career. The funny thing is that the dates of this conference land within my school’s spring break. I cannot imagine a better way to spend spring break than go to this conference to meet and listen to social media pros from all over the world!

    As a student, I worked for my university’s social media accounts. One of our biggest social media marketing challenges occurred this past October. My school is located in Maryville, Missouri. As you may know, Maryville was hit with a lot of national press regarding a high school rape case. The Kansas City Star wrote an article detailing how the accused rapist’s charges were dropped, allegedly because the rapist’s grandfather was a longtime area political figure. The hacktivist group Anonymous grabbed this story and began to attack Maryville online protesting for #JusticeForDaisy. This attack also targeted the university even though Northwest Missouri State was not involved in the case at all. Our accounts blew up with a tremendous amount of hate comments. It was a really tough public relations situation to tackle.

    Once I graduate, I am interested in being a social media analyst. This conference would be extremely beneficial to me, and I thank you so much for your time and consideration.

  • Chantal Bechervaise


    This entry is not for me. I would like to win the ticket for someone else. That person is Kate Nasser. Kate is a people skills coach that I met through Twitter. She hosts a weekly twitter chat that I started participating in last June. We formed a connection through this chat and became friends. Kate is a generous, warm and giving person. Her twitter chat provides weekly inspiration. Kate has a G+ group and just launched a Facebook page too. Besides sharing her knowledge she is always out there learning and trying to discover new ways to grow and market her business. I know that she would appreciate this opportunity and absorb as much as she could from the experience. I would like to pay it forward and put this entry in for her as a thank you for everything she has done for me.


  • As luck would have it it’s February 12th the very last day to enter to win a free ticket to the conference! I was searching online for social media marketing tips and found myself reading a great article called “How To Use Social Media To Promote An Event” ( From there, I found this awesome conference and immediately knew I needed to find a way to attend. I work for PCB Entertainment as the Director of Creative Services and develop all of our digital campaigns and promotions. Right now we are trying to promote our festival Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam (a country music festival located in Panama City Beach, FL). This is our second year and we want to blow our first year attendance out of the water and completely sell out. What we learned last year is that nearly 50% of our festivalgoers heard about our event through social media. We have a specific market we are going after and want to turn our festival into the COUNTRY equivalent to Bonnaroo. It’s now my responsibility to engage our current fan base and convert them into ticket buyers as well as grow our following. I’m fresh out of college and have a HUGE responsibility in the success of our company. Attending a conference of this caliber could take our festival to the next level. Learning from industry professionals and networking with fellow social media marketers would truly be an opportunity of a lifetime. If I were so lucky to stumble upon this great conference in a time of desperate need for some social media guidance and then win tickets, it would mean the world!

  • Michele Schwartz

    My biggest social media challenge is easy, “You don’t know what you don’t know!” The more I listen to SME Podcast and read my feedly the more I realize I don’t know A LOT! In just the past two weeks I have learned about canva, hubspot’s content generator, IFTTT and how it can help me keep track of articles to share. It’s enough to make my head spin about how much more knowledge I know I need to soak up! I have just enough “enlightenment” to believe in my small business & my ability to make it uber successful? I have an excellent niche, a well-defined audience and a pride in my unique voice.

    But, it is always a challenge to spend time trying to keep up with learning the variety of ways to socialize/market, build content and community or to actually DO marketing, write content and engage in social media! SMMW is an opportunity for me to fully embrace that “which I acknowledge I don’t know” and learn it aside others who, like me, probably spend time building a rapport with others sitting in a bath robe behind a computer screen!

  • Fay Schofield

    Has a winner been picked yet? #Excited!