social media reviews*** WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT ***

Congratulations to the winners of the Social Media Marketing World Free Ticket Contest 2016. Our two winners were selected from over 280 entries by judges Lou Mongello, Carlos Gil, and Rebekah Radice.

Danyelle Felchner (@danyelleparker) wins the grand prize–a ticket to Social Media Marketing World and free hotel stay–for her creative entry comparing the daunting challenges faced by a new social media marketer to the heavy challenges faced at the gym. Check out her winning entry here.

Todd Davis (@toddsocial) wins a ticket to Social Media Marketing World for his inspiring entry describing how a change in mindset and belief in himself, despite the naysayers, will help him succeed in social media marketing. See his entry here.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Free Ticket Contest!


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

Social Media Examiner has been working hard to bring you our fourth annual physical conference.

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

First, what is this event?

Social Media Marketing World 2016 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.

social media marketing world 2016 speakers sampleMore than 100 of the world’s most respected social media marketing experts will share their strategies with you – and you can meet them face to face.

Imagine chatting with Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt, Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Amy Porterfield, Mark Schaefer, Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, Michael Stelzner, Brian Solis, Cliff Ravenscraft, Darren Rowse, David H. Lawrence XVII, Derral Eaves, Dorie Clark, Ian Cleary, Joel Comm, John Lee Dumas, John Jantsch, Jon Loomer, Kim Garst, Marcus Sheridan, Michael Port, Mitch Joel, Neal Schaffer, Pat Flynn, Peg Fitzpatrick, Robert Rose, Viveka von Rosen – and many, many more.

See a complete list of speakers here.

Your presenters also include top social media marketers from brands such as IBM, BMC Software, the San Diego Chargers, Adobe, Cisco, HSN, Experian, SAP, Priceline, Cox Business and Dell. These world-class experts will be sharing their in-the-trenches knowledge and experience from a variety of industries and types of businesses.

You’ll choose from 100+ pitch-free sessions and workshops presented in 7 social media marketing tracks (you get access to all of them). We’ll cover all of the newest techniques to help you excel on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, content marketing and beyond.

social media marketing world conference guide

You’ll also discover how to expand into video, visuals, blogging, podcasting and live video and explore the tools you’ll need to dive right in.

Our all-new workshops will help you gain hands-on skills and practical knowledge in marketing fundamentals like copywriting, presenting and graphic design. You’ll walk away with skills that will immediately make you a better marketer!

social media marketing world networking party on the midway

One of the best parts of Social Media Marketing World is the opportunity to network with 3,000 fellow marketers. We’ve built networking right into the schedule, with dedicated networking times after lunches and keynote sessions, an enormous Networking Plaza where you can connect with experts and peers between sessions, networking walks and runs, and two networking parties including the Opening Night Networking Party aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.

We expect to sell out before the event starts on April 17, 2016. People attending represent large and small companies just like yours, and some attendees are flying in from places like Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, India, Venezuela, Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Nigeria, Jamaica, Poland, Canada and the United Kingdom.

How can you win a ticket?

enter to win free tickets

Win Free tickets to Social Media Marketing World 2016.

We’re giving away two free tickets to the conference (retail value $1,497), plus the opportunity to be promoted to more than 430,000 of your peers!

There are two tickets up for grabs. Here’s how you can enter to win:

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

Our judges will select two winners. The grand prize winner will be awarded a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2016, two free nights hotel stay, PLUS a mention in the Social Media Examiner newsletter (430,000+ subscribers)!

social media marketing world 2016 conference promo graphic
The second-place winner will be awarded a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2016 and a mention in the Social Media Examiner newsletter.

The judges – Lou Mongello (host/producer, WDWRadio), Rebekah Radice (founder, RadiantLA and CMO, PostPlanner) and Carlos Gil (global head of social media, BMC Software) – will select the winning entries. Their decisions are subjective and final.

What you need to know:

  1. Enter by leaving a comment below. Write about your biggest social media marketing challenge and why you should win a free ticket.
  2. The entry deadline is Friday, February 12, 2016 and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
  3. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, no worries. If you win, we’ll either give you a refund or you can give your spare ticket to someone you really like.
  4. No purchase necessary to win.

We look forward to seeing your comments. Good luck!

smmw16 free tickets

Enter to win your free tickets to Social Media Marketing World 2016.

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  • J PayPerClick

    I’m pretty savvy when it comes to social media. My biggest social media marketing challenge is figuring out how to put all of the social media tools at my disposal together into a cohesive structure so they work together and build a buzz for whatever product or service being premiered. Taking it a step further, I’d also like to learn how to schedule and automate much of the process for optimum effectiveness. I’d have a million to spare if I got 5 bucks for every time I’ve heard going to conferences excels your learning curve substantially when it comes to online marketing; yet I’ve never been to one. Why? The usual suspects…distance, prior engagements, financial burden etc. I should win a free ticket because I’d like 2016 to be the year I take the next step and actually attend my first online marketing related conference. We live in the age where everyone wants to take a pill or drink a juice and overnight become skinnier, stronger or younger looking but life doesn’t work that way. Attending a conference like this is one of the few times in life you CAN potentially get instant results overnight; not in money earned per say but in knowledge gained which directly leads to money earned. That’s why I would like to come. Thank you in advance for reading and thank you for creating an opportunity like this for folks trying to reach up. #MINDSHIFT.

  • Austin Hawkhead

    1) Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge – Without proper appealing content from client, gaining more relevant followers in all social handles and ROI from that base.

    2) Why I should attend the Event/win free ticket – I don’t know even 1 of the speakers from the list above, to get to know each one of them and to get myself updated

  • Richelle

    The biggest social media marketing challenge I face is not actually managing the platforms or ads but convincing clients which platform they need to be on and why. One client (a locals casino in Vegas) told me their audience is 49+ females so there’s no reason to put any time or effort into Twitter or Instagram and their audience is online only on the weekends so they only want posts to go out fri-sun. Convincing those execs why other platforms are important and how increasing the amount of content they are putting in the social space can help build their customer data base and brand recognition has been a tough uphill battle. -Richelle @mrsrichellerice

  • I’ve been in the social media space for about 5 years now and the biggest challenge for me is using social media to humanize a brand in the financial industry. There’s a lot of red tape, rules and regulations and I must admit, social media can sometimes be your worst enemy in this sector.

  • George Wilkinson

    In all my four years working on Social Media, my biggest social media marketing challenge has been creating content that has the right balance of being socially shareable and still resonating the brand’s goal and objectives. As often as I have done it in the past, it’s still a challenge each time I sit to create or curate.
    I think I deserve to win because in all honesty, I can’t afford it! I am actually considering raising funds on Twitter to attend, because I know how important this conference is for any social media professional. But I don’t hope to win a ticket by running on sympathy lines. I believe this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be incredible for my career as a social media professional and will totally affect not only me but hundreds of other budding social media enthusiasts in Ghana who I hope to share the skills and experience with when chosen.
    From the countries participants are coming from, I noticed Ghana was not mentioned. Ghana deserves a mention and a place (with my selection 😀 ) as I hope to share with fellow attendees how Ghana is not being left out in this great social revolution.

  • Lisa Greathouse

    Have you ever lost your spark? Your passion? My biggest social media challenge is that my flame has been dwindling. I’ve lost the spark to just GO FOR IT. For my own goals – to be a speaker, consultant, work for myself. As the marketing director for a web company, I work long hours day in and out putting my heart and soul into their branding… their social… their growth. 2016 is MY year, Slowly I’ve started carving time away to start making myself a part of the conversation, but I need motivation. I need my spark back. My passion. My challenge is simply that I need motivation to reach my full potential. Working in a small office (the same place) for 9 years can put you in a rut. I need a jolt. To put myself around the best and brightest. To let their passion strike the flame inside me that has slowly burnt out over the years. Sure, I want to learn more tips and tricks. But it’s more than that to me. I want to participate. Connect. Soak it in. And follow my dreams in 2016. I’d love the chance to surround myself with the best-of-the-best, to bring out the best in me – and this is why I should win the trip! Can you help me light my spark?

  • I think our biggest challenge right now is scaling our social media presence to an “enterprise size scale” with “mid level” social media tools. We are not big enough yet to warrant the budget spend on an enterprise class social media platform, however, we have out grown Hootsuite. We are using a mid level platform and trying to get the most out of it that we can, but it is still cumbersome and does not provide the analytics, tracking and integration we need across all of our social media accounts to help us get to the next level.

  • Hitesh Singh

    Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge – Humanizing the approach to interact without sounding like a company / brand / Organization . Most people say it that we speak one on one with customers via social but I fail to see anyone being human enough to be called “one on one” communication. Also with organic reach almost dead on social, more and more people tend to “push” communication which somehow does need to change to a more “organic” or human approach.

    Why Should I Win The Free Ticket? I am a huge follower of Guy Kawasaki and admire him as a leader in digital marketing, I would love to learn more in terms of how does he constantly innovate in a sea of ideas. I am young and would love to interact and hopefully take away some in-valuable knowledge from him.

  • Eman H. Darwish

    My future depends on a good comment! Great, In Arabic? No? another language? OMG, Great too :D, That’s life, No sail on the shore, So enough kidding and Let’s talk about my biggest social media marketing challenge, Which is .. is, Oh, Who put this Question?! :D, All what I know is I’m daily visitor to this remarkable website, Every day I get a huge experience from every article you people write, I can’t imagine how this event would turn my life up side down, not just my own life, It’s my company too.

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is creating strategies for hyper local businesses and event marketing for conventions in my area. I work closely with many small businesses in my area and it’s a struggle to show them that it’s not quantity over quality. They want numbers and I want to show them results from true engagement with the community and their customers by using their authentic voice.

    The other struggle is event marketing for niche conventions. In Atlanta, there are conventions every weekend, it seems, and many of them are not doing social media on a consistent basis. I’m involved in many conventions in my area and would love to do more for them than what I do now. I feel there’s something I haven’t tapped into yet.

    By winning these tickets and being an immersive weekend of learning.. I can bring this back to my community. This is my home and I want to help it prosper.

  • SociableMedia

    The future of social media is exciting, as a life long learner who loves a challenge – this conference will be mind-blowing for me. The learnings from this conference will make a significant impact to our communities, economy and society in a positive ways for attendees. The challenge will be making meaningful interactions with people and creating emotional/productive connections – putting the “social” in media. That’s my challenge and always will be.

  • Tracy Wisneski

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is that I cannot SIT for long periods of time. I worked as a teacher for over 11 years and I’m not much of a “sitter.” Working predominantly in social media management requires hours and hours of sitting, as well as a bit of a struggle educating clients. In all my various rolls, I most enjoy engaging (in person, as well as online) and teaching. Attending this event could be instrumental in helping me to work with more clients as a trainer, thus allowing me less sitting time. I just recently earned my MA (at 44 y.o., 23 years after earning my BA) in Mass Communications with a strong focus on social media. I believe strongly, and I can point to an abundance of empirical research, that shows that what users want most from social media is authentic engagement — a direct method of communication with principals. In my informed opinion, even principals employing social media managers (or large teams) should still be highly, directly engaged with audiences. And certainly, start-ups and solopreneurs can benefit greatly by engaging with their audiences in authentic, two-way conversations. Attending this event would help to position for training principals to bring their goals to fruition.

  • Ruthann Campbell

    1) Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge – As a team of one working
    at a non-profit with virtually no marketing budget it is paramount that I
    connect with other professionals to learn and grow in the industry.

    2) Why I should attend the Event/win free ticket – I should win the free
    ticket because my ability to learn and stay up to date in the industry
    impacts the lives of our customers who are looking for jobs in the
    Rochester area. I try every day to connect people to opportunities using
    social media and would love to be able to learn from industry experts
    about trends and tools that can help me to improve results for our

  • Brittany Gadient

    I would like to rephrase this as my biggest social media marketing learning opportunity rather than challenge. I’ve been a social media marketer for four years in agency and corporate settings. I can honestly say I’ve seen it all – highs and lows. But every single “challenge” I’ve had has led to amazing insight on consumers and how they interact with brands. My biggest social media marketing learning opportunity has been with Facebook advertising. As Lou, Rebekah, and many of the people commenting on this know, it can be little stressful creating Facebook ads. I was doing the social media marketing for a well-established weight loss company. They were a great company that helped customers lose weight in a healthy way. Creating weight loss ads on Facebook can be very touchy; you need to make sure you’re being very sensitive. After creating, what I thought, was the perfect ad, I soon found out Facebook didn’t agree. Due to so much negative feedback on the ad the entire ad account got completely shut down. I was mortified on how I was going to tell the client and my boss. I found open communication was the best option and they were accepting of my honestly. I found the only good way to utilize social media advertising for a weight loss brand was to boost various posts that aren’t directly related to weight loss. And to my surprise, they did even better than the previous ads! Oh, and I needed to start a completely new ad account with a new credit card. (Talk about a pain!) Anyways, it was a huge learning opportunity for me and I happened to get another weight loss client and knew how to handle it this time! It all worked out great.

    I’d be thrilled at the opportunity to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016! I have been following the event for months and begging my leadership to let me go. Unfortunately it’s not in our budget so this seems like a great opportunity to score a couple tickets. I love learning about the ever changing social media marketing world and the presenters this year are out of this world.

    And getting out of MinneSNOWta for a couple days wouldn’t be the worst. 😉

    Thank you for presenting this exciting opportunity! Best of luck to everybody.

  • Tara McKinnon

    My biggest challenge as a social media marketer has been working with an employer who doesn’t believe that social drives business into brick and mortars. I started working with a franchisee about 3 months ago who was not interested in driving online sales since they don’t see any of the profits from purchases made on the website because it’s run and managed by their corporate office. Thus, I was tasked to use social to bring customers into the stores which may be easy but has proven extremely difficult to track. Additionally, the franchisee was spending upwards of 50k a month on radio advertisements and endorsements and it wasn’t working as well as it used to within their markets. The hope was that social would be able to replace radio and the overall sentiment was skeptical to say the least.

    My solution was to segment all of our locations into 4 test markets; 2 markets were groups of stores with no radio advertisements; 1 market was a group whose advertising was solely done via radio; 1 market that was a combination of both radio and social advertising. I ran ran fairly aggressive boost campaigns for two specific products for the markets not on radio, tracked my reach and engagement and spent about $5k for the month of January. The radio markets had their own ads at a cost of $47k for the month of January. The end results were incredible.

    $5k in Facebook advertising brought in over $102,000 of in-store sales for those two products ALONE in my test market stores for the month of January. $47k in radio advertising brought in about $75,000 of in-store sales for the markets on radio. The ROI discrepancy speaks for itself.

    The main takeaways I learned from this is that 1. Social media marketing works for driving business into brick and mortars even if you can’t actually provide a metric to prove it and 2. Social media is an EXCELLENT, if not the best way for B2C companies to promote their business without spending an arm and a leg on advertising via other channels. As an employee and freelancer, the confidence gained in seeing this first hand is invaluable.

    Thank you for your time and consideration! I hope to be one of the lucky ones to attend this awesome event! Best of luck to everyone!

  • Danyelle Felchner

    You know when you walk into a gym for the
    first time and you get a little intimidated by the equipment and the people and
    realize that you may not be as in shape or as fit as you thought?
    Social Media Marketing is the same way…Being the first ever Social Media
    Project Coordinator for a company kinda brings the same feeling. I know what
    I’m doing along the surface but still feel like others are definitely in better
    shape than I am. It is absolutely necessary for me to connect and talk to other
    marketers who can mentor me along the way….a “Social Media Marketing
    Personal Trainer” if you will. It’s been challenging talking to clients
    about taking SM to the next level. I primarily work with financial institutions
    that are usually pretty conservative and, let’s face it, usually
    always behind the times when it comes to technology because of compliance
    concerns. It’s a huge hurdle that a lot of other social media marketers are not
    faced with. They need an expert (me!) to provide value to all social media
    platforms. Being able to take my skills to the next level and learn from true
    industry leaders would be an incredible opportunity, like nailing a huge lift
    at the gym! Learning how to create better content to reach more people and
    create increased engagement across all platforms just the workout I
    need. #pickme

  • Paige T

    This is such an amazing opportunity! My biggest social media marketing challenge is trying to come up with new and exciting ideas and content for the industry that I’m in (heavy equipment). I have ideas for types of contests to run, social media ads, discussions, etc. but it is making these more appealing and finding ways to post these things in different ways to attract new audiences and keep current audiences coming back for more. I am constantly searching out new information on social media marketing and management and I would absolutely love to be able to attend the Social Media Marketing World 2016 to gain further insight and knowledge. I should win a free ticket so I can make a bigger impact in my company, my industry and my life.

  • Ben Gothard

    My biggest Social Media Marketing challenge is building a hyper-targeted, extremely relevant community. I have a Social Media Marketing company, and we manage and grow different accounts for our clients. We are proficient at growing their accounts, but converting growth to leads and leads to sales are what we are starting to focus on now. As a startup, I don’t have the cash to attend this incredible conference or send my team even though we all need it! The opportunity to meet, talk to, and learn from all of the people at this conference would be an invaluable asset to my company. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • alexwebs

    I think my biggest challenge right now is scaling our social media presence.

  • Krista Mahan

    I know a lot of what to do and what not to do, but putting it all together is definitely my biggest challenge. Making sure I do this for FB and that for Twitter while staying in my brand’s voice can be overwhelming at times. I would like to learn how to best figure out where our ideal customers are (which platform) and how to best reach them in a not-so-hit-them-over-the-head approach. I would love the opportunity to win tickets as I am fairly new to the whole social media world. I am an elementary teacher by trade who is now the Community Manager for a startup education company. Like many of us, I am learning day by day and I know I have learned so much already, but have SO much more to learn. I would love the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest in this rapidly growing marketing platform. I learn so much from the podcast and articles already. I can’t imagine how much I will be able to soak in if I get the opportunity to attend the conference as well! Thank you for the opportunity!

  • My biggest social media challenge is learning how to automate all the tools so my brand message stands out. Another challenge is using these tools to effectively reach my target audience, and find out where they hang out most.
    Why should I win the ticket? I have never been to an event of this sort, and the skills and connections made would help transform my mission to reach others through helpful online content.

  • As the social media manager for a government agency in the healthcare industry that is just now building its social media presence, our main goal is to develop a social media framework and long-term strategy, which means to first build an audience. Building up an engaged community on each platform is definitely a challenge and a long process. However, the biggest challenge in working in the healthcare industry is generating a steady stream of captivating content that resonates with our audience of well-educated IT leaders and medical doctors.

    Regulations on protecting patient information and ever-changing policy surrounding our main topics make it especially difficult to develop stories that connect with our audience. Further, I am basically working as a one-person social media team with few additional resources to help in generating ideas and producing written and visual content to drive our social media efforts. To that end, I also find it challenging to get more people across the organization to keep social media top-of-mind. I would love to learn more about how to get people in my organization thinking about how social media fits in with their day-to-day work to ensure there are new ideas for engaging content.

    I’ve been to a few small conferences, talks and panel discussions on PR and marketing, but have never been to a major social media marketing event due to the associated costs. Though I have worked in social media in some capacity for about seven years, I have never worked at a major corporation or brand with the budget to send people to major industry events. I truly believe in the value of lifelong education and I know this conference would not only benefit me personally, but that it would also benefit my organization from the knowledge I would bring back with me.

    Thank you for reading and for the opportunity to attend this event.

  • Joshua Alan

    My biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge is the fact that this challenge is constantly changing every single day. Challenges are not meant to be easy, especially when the challenge is improving and expanding its capabilities nearly everyday. I love Social Media Marketing because of this challenge. This is a challenge that I may never master, and I’m ok with that…

    I currently handle the Social Media Marketing for a company called M1 Data & Analytics, based in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area. We specialize in a variety of data that marketing/advertising agencies use to help with their marketing, advertising, email, or even phone marketing campaigns. As I mentioned before, my biggest challenge is being able to adapt to the constant change in Social Media Marketing. This challenge is much more difficult when you don’t necessarily have a tangible product that you are marketing. With M1, I am marketing the quality of our Data and the potential it has to help grow your company or brand. With that said, I have to establish that our data/analytics can and still will be valuable, no matter the changes that have occurred in Social Media Marketing.

    Challenges only make you better. Especially when that challenge is changing and evolving daily. Social Media Marketing may never be mastered. In conclusion, my biggest challenge is not only the reoccurring changes, but being able to still maintain the integrity and quality of your brand/company after those changes have occurred.

    Thank You –


  • My biggest challenge is staying on top of this “lightening speed” industry. I need to find ways to streamline what I know, and be more productive, and general more leads. I should win a ticket because I love to learn, and want to find ways to share my wisdom from 20 years of English teacher with more people. Love your website!

  • The biggest issue I have is that I work at an agency that has a strong focus on search engine optimization and PPC. They are very data driven and some don’t see the value in social media so when pitching to clients it’s difficult to bring up social media to them because some others in the Agency don’t “believe in social”.

  • Catherine

    I provide social media services to a department within a larger public university. Our department is a front-facing entity which provides co-curricular programming for our students and larger university community (with professional development coming). Additionally, we are a conference and symposium venue for conferences we originate as a university as well as host through other organizations where we provide location-only services up to co-sponsored event management services. The challenge we face is multi-faceted: 1) typical ‘advancement’ marketing programs do not answer the mail on our immediate marketing needs 2) promotion of a sub-brand within the educational market to attract the general public 3) conferences and symposia with changing themes within an academic year cycle 4) decreasing budgets by the state with mandatory cuts in-house despite rising costs of salaries, benefits and services… In a nutshell- our challenge is doing more with less – automation, building and maintaining a coherent strategy, flexibility to create more engagement – track conversions, etc.. So, I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity through a commercial entity though some of the training you guys offer doesn’t quite fit our model either – I think it’s closer than what the folks at CASE, for example, offer. Beyond that, it’s always the same challenge – the right content, the right market defined for the event and the right platforms and mix for those messages… all doing this solo… so I’m requesting the free training so I can get some much-needed help that I believe will benefit a large audience – internally serving this university community (to help market our events for greater reach) but also the larger external audience in attracting them to support or attend one of our events where they’ll get great opportunities to meet top experts with extraordinary experiences to share for their own personal or professional development. Thank you.

  • My biggest social media issue is time. Just finding the time to pull everything together! Ugh! I would LOVE to learn more from this event and come out feeling powerful, with new tools and sense of purpose so I can REALLY start making a difference!

  • Kat Barnes

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is that I wear so many hats in a tiny nonprofit that I don’t have time to spend on proper social media. No time for planning, no time for posting – they just get thrown up whenever I have 2 minutes. I’ve still managed to grow the Facebook likes by about 5% in the past six months, but Twitter, Instagram, and the others are withering on the vine!

  • Patrick Bain

    I am a new real estate agent struggling to get by. I have basically been giving my time away for the past three months and have yet to make a single dime. I have spent way too much on internet advertising just to get my name out there with hopes that it will translate into revenue. I am doing something all wrong and I am not sure what it is. So my biggest challenge is turning traffic into leads. I should be given this opportunity because all I am trying to do is pay my mortgage and child support and am doing absolutely everything I can to get this business going without any luck at all.

  • Katie Young

    I would say that my biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge is finding balance and trying to determine which platforms should take priority. Being a social media manager for a small business can pose challenges because there is the want to be on every platform. Being that it is just me managing all channels that causes some conflict! So being able to FOCUS on a few platforms is so important. I would absolutely love to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016 because I believe it would provide me SO many tools that I could use every single day. There is so much information out there that I would love to learn and having the opportunity to be surrounded by such amazing people with incredible knowledge would be a tremendous opportunity!

  • Christine LaBelle Toulouse

    The biggest social media challenge I have is integrating other social media platforms in our planning with successful conversion. I work with a group of charter schools and preschools and we have had great success with FB but find the other platfoms not as successful in capturing intent to enrolls. We need to learn how to maximize Youtube better as this is a top contender for us. I deserve to win tickets because the use of social media in primary education is just starting to emerge and be accepted.We want to be as successful as possible on more than one platform!

  • Laura Wilkinson

    I have been doing social media marketing and managing professionally since 2010. My biggest social media marketing challenge is convincing the non social media savvy people why its an important channel and the “voice of the customer” for communicating with the public. I can list at least 10 more, but this one always tops my list. Being selected a winner to attend Social Media World would allow me the opportunity to learn from other social media professionals and continue to perfect my craft.

  • Rebecca Robinson

    The biggest challenge with Social Media Marketing is learning how to promote your products the right way, and how often. Being in the cosmetics industry and joining a Social Media Team within the past year, I’ve learned it is very time-consuming to find the right images and content that will entice our followers to buy, like, follow, etc. I would be so honored to win tickets so that I have the opportunity to grow and learn new trends and strategies. Being able to hear from the industry’s best and learning how to work efficiently and smarter-not necessarily harder-would be extremely beneficial. Thank you for your time!

  • I’ve taken numerous courses on marketing and social media and just can’t get the interaction on my social media sites that is needed. I own a travel agency and with all the online companies its a hard market to get people to pay attention to. I don’t do much for promoting sales for travel, just give people articles on subjects that they need to know about. PLEASE allow me to come and learn from the best!

  • Cassidy McClellan

    Maybe we shouldn’t admit when we’re intimidated by something, but social media intimidates me. It is constantly changing, I am constantly changing and adjusting the different aspects for each campaign and client. It’s hard to know which client could really benefit from which platform. I am constantly taking part in webinars, reading the articles from you guys and so many other social media gurus. Managing over 30 different social media clients has it’s perks, but mostly it’s hard to curate the correct content for every audience.

    I should win one of these tickets so that I can better understand the different industries that social media can impact (all of them), and can better provide content for my clients that not only benefits their social audiences, but benefits their business. I want each of them to have an engaging audience that actually is interested in what they [we] are saying. I can’t even begin to imagine the benefits this conference would bring into my own life. I can only grow from this experience, and I hope I have the chance to do just that.

  • Lisa

    I think the biggest challenges is resourcing all the channels and that because everyone can be on social media, attaching the value to doing it well can be challenging… it looks easy so it must be.

  • Maribel Bedoya

    I have three biggest social media marketing challenges:
    Measuring success
    Producing and curating content
    Finding time and resources
    I want to improve my social media skills and be the best in social media marketing that’s why i would love to participate in this conference that for me is the best in this country

  • Kelsey

    I work for a high-end luxury magazine called Modern Luxury Orange County. The biggest challenges for our social media include posting content that is aligned with our brand and gaining traction with our followers. We want to be able to engage with our readers but don’t know how to leverage their interest in our brand! I would love to go to Social Media Marketing World to increase my knowledge and skill and to increase brand awareness!

  • Dana Goodrow

    My biggest challenge is a bit different, because I work with non-profit organizations. We’re not selling a product per se; rather, we’re promoting healthy choices, seeking donations, and mobilizing communities. Figuring out how best we can use traditional social media models and information can be a bit challenging sometimes, and reaching a bigger audience is always a goal.

    I should win the tickets because I represent a different sector than a lot of others, and because I live in San Diego and could save you the cost of the hotel! I’m also available to volunteer for things like registration, room monitoring, etc. I have a lot of experience with conferences, both in the for-profit world and the non-profit one. Thanks for considering me!

  • Family Christian

    Being a solo “team” is my biggest challenge. There is just one of me. I am the only one that does our social. Trying to keep on trend, create quality and engaging content and the other day to day tasks keep me hopping. I would love to come and learn from the best of the best and get some much needed time to chat with those also immersed in the Social Media World….which is why I should win 😉

  • Beth Ross

    My biggest challenge is time. So I hired a sales manager who has absolutely no social media training and have tasked him with learning everything he can to be the go to Social Media / Marketing guy for my company, Carolina Pines Realty, Inc. I wanted a clean, fresh and unbiased person with absolutely no baggage of old learnings and thoughts to help our company grow with personalized content, professionalism and truth. Not a copy of what every one else is doing! With that said, we are a very small real estate company in South Carolina and I would love to get the ticket to send him so he can become adept at this ever changing world of technology that we live in. But, I can not afford to buy it this year, so please consider Steven Neeves for receiving one of the winning tickets and I will get him there some how or another!!

  • ChristiAnnNaceTV

    Perhaps one my largest Social Media Marketing challenges here in Charleston, SC is simply finding clients that see Social Media as a value. Although we have many happy clients, our warm referrals typically don’t see the value and would rather not spend money on anything other than print marketing and perhaps a website. These clients (although they are in our idea demographic), tend to rely solely on tourist season. So, my company’s biggest SMM challenge would be: Showing Value to the Skeptical Business Owner.

    Why should I win a ticket? I freelanced back in Tennessee for 3 years providing Social Media Marketing and then setup shop officially in Charleston, SC in September of 2015. I have one employee that works with me and we are building from the ground up and can use all of the advice possible!

  • Robin L. Eschler

    @lisa_greathouse:disqus Boy can I relate! I’m a marketing consultant and have been for over 30 years. What does that mean? I started in Silicon Valley in high tech, did great, then started a family which slowed me down a bit. Worked 12 years in nonprofit while raising my family which completely derailed me from anything in high tech. Made my come-back in 2009 when I taught myself Internet marketing. It’s been a long haul not being a Millennial to whom the Internet is just another aspect of self. 🙂 However, I’m loving every minute although it does stretch me to keep up. That’s my biggest challenge. Keeping up with all the changes and staying on top of it all. I pride myself on having a creative mind and seeing possibilities where others take a while to see it, if they ever do. For me, social media is the juice, the vitamins for successful online marketing. A daily dose may seem routine but the long term results are great! I’m a member of Social Media Marketing Society and love the resources. I’m ready for that mega-dose of vitamins by attending this conference. Plus I’d love to meet Mari Smith and Michael Selzner, both of who I have admired for years and watched them climb to the top. My fingers, toes, ears and eyes are crossed hoping to get this.

  • My biggest social media challenge has been to generate engagement for HVAC and home services companies. They are definitely not the most glamorous of industries, but I’ve had such a great time trying to find the posts that work, analyzing engagement, and developing plans with tools I’ve gathered poring over this website. I’d love to learn everything and everything. I’m a one-woman wrecking ball at my agency, which services small-to-medium businesses. I’d love the tickets because I definitely can’t afford them on my own, but I want to bring social media know-how to small businesses that don’t think their company can succeed on social. It’s a game everyone can win, we just need to tools to do it!

  • Steven Liu

    The biggest social media challenge that I face today is clarity of brand. Being at an agency, making sure that the client is clear and committed to their voice is imperative to insure that a consistent voice is expressed on the different social media platforms. When a brand is willing to commit to a voice, that is uniquely their own that is soaked with the personality of the founders and culture of their team, this ensures a strong point of view. Without this, it is too easy for your content to get buried under all the other companies fighting for viewership.

    To be able to sit in and listen to the leaders of social media would give me an opportunity to take my understanding to the next level, so I may be better equipped with new insights and ultimately become a better storyteller to insure the impact I make is authentic and useful to the masses.

  • cameron oehlers

    I have been managing a few social media accounts for the last 2.5 years. While social media comes naturally to me as an early adopter, I am aiming to make a difference with small businesses. The biggest challenge that I see is constantly knocking out content on a small budget. The presence of a business on social media seems to be another check in the list of steps a consumer takes when doing their research on a company and deciding that they want to use them or purchase from them. Not to mention that there are terrible providers of social media management who have previously promised massive returns on their investment overnight. This leaves them in a spot where they spend too little on paid traffic to see any substantial results.

    This is why I would like to attend the event. I want to know how to do more with less. In the long run, I just want to provide value for my clients and not waste my personal time trying to make up for a small budget.

  • Emmy Hermes

    Hi Social Media Examiner Team — My name is Emmy, and I am a brand new Social Media Manager in the sustainable travel industry. With being so new to the corporation side of social media, I think that my biggest marketing challenge is difficult to pinpoint – mainly because I’m not sure what the options are as of yet! While generally tech savvy and competent in overall marketing efforts, it is clear after only two months that social media is a completely different animal in comparison to my previous marketing experience in membership/consumer services. Our association also has twice as many social media outlets due to the fact that we cater to both our trade audience as well as consumers. The first immediate accomplishment that I am looking to successfully acquire is to increase follower engagement and to reach a point where we could take advantage of advertising opportunities, sponsorships, contests, and more! I’m driven, ready to succeed, and read Social Media Examiner fairly religiously. #PickMe and I’ll be sure to deliver!

  • Corey C Walker

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is planning ahead and scheduling things. I tend to do things real time for many of my clients, which is great for them because it is timely, but it makes me feel very disorganized. I would love to go to #SMMW16 and learn some better ways to manage my social media for multiple clients, as well as hear the latest and greatest about ad buying on Facebook and Instagram. I have yet to go to a big social media conference, and I know if I go to any of them, this is THE one. I follow SMExaminer/Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki, Peg Fitzpatrick and Sue Zimmerman on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I have also met quite a tribe on Instagram that I would love to meet in person in one of the greatest cities in the world. In short, pick ME!

  • Jackie Abramian

    My biggest social media challenge is showing the value proposition of social media sites to my clients – and the momentum it builds for their brand. I know the speakers will guide me through this to become a savvy social media maven….
    I should win the ticket because the very purpose of Social Media Marketing World is to take marketing professionals to the next level of proficiency so that we can better serve our clients – and that’s what attending the event would mean for me.

  • Erica Rebollar

    Dear Social Media Examiner’s,

    Hello… It’s me. I was wondering what I need to do to be surrounded by marketing gurus that can sharpen my dull, outdated tactics. I have some college under my belt, but I wasn’t able to afford the finish line. I would love to not only network with your best of the best in the country, but really take that knowledge to further my small business. I’m thirsty for marketing knowledge right now! Will you be my ticket to success?


    Texas Girl thirsty for knowledge

  • Christoph Trappe

    Biggest challenge:
    People focusing on the wrong things. What’s the next shiny object? Why aren’t numbers going up quicker? Etc. etc.

    Just focus on being relevant and sharing good and authentic stories that people actually want to consume.

    I would give the tickets to somebody who would appreciate them.


  • Manda Perkins

    As a social media marketer for a research-intensive graduate school at a state university, my biggest challenge is running successful campaigns that resonate with our many diverse publics and using analytics to justify ROI. Because the academic world moves at a glacial pace, our office was late in the social media game. Before I joined the team a year ago, several social media accounts were made without specific goals or an audience. Since I took over all social media eight months ago, we’ve identified our publics and have created channels to reach each (graduate students, faculty, industry, etc…) and have formed in-depth plans on sharing and creating engaging content for them. We’ve become proactive and not reactive in our content. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint what is really working. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism, so I’m not well-versed in many aspects of putting analytics to good use. However, I excel at social media marketing because I’m quick to learn and eager to fail. I’ve led several campaigns that garnered zero traction or response (which is quite embarrassing). But with each campaign our reach improves and unique interactions are made. I’ve subscribed to Social Media Examiner and several other resources to strengthen this skill; I’m convinced they’ve been key to success. While there are many social media marketers with more experience and training than I, I’m a forever-student who’s constantly learning. If I were selected for a free ticket, I’d bring my student mentality to soak up as much as I can from the pros. Since I am a recent graduate constantly searching for new opportunities, I’d also use the experience to network like crazy as I learn from the best. I think I should receive a free ticket because, as a recent graduate working in a non-profit industry lacking the funds to send non-essential employees to conferences, this is an opportunity I may never have otherwise.
    Thanks for your consideration! I’m forever grateful for the resources Social Media Examiner provides.

  • Tina Crouch

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is not running out of curated content for my niche and B2B clients – I guess figuring out way to re-purpose that more than I already have been doing would be amazing.

    Keeping up with constant changes – and convincing clients they need to, as well – is probably my second largest challenge. I’ve watched a few SMMW conferences come and go, not being able to make it out there but watching content coming off of them, and it has been helpful every time… Being there in person would be amazing!

  • Viktoriya Maya

    Hello, I would love the opportunity to learn from this conference! As someone who`s new to online marketing, I am researching and learning everything I can get my hands on about building a strong online presence and creating an engaged community. I am kind of obsessed with learning, so as a result I spend hours researching blogs, watching tutorials, readings books, taking notes, etc. I find it fascinating, but feels like information overload with the amount of strategies and technical tips out there. I would love to learn how I can filter the most relevant information for my business and organize it into a practical, step by step marketing plan. It would be amazing to attend this conference to learn the most up to date information from experts in the field and exchange ideas with other multipassionate entrepreneurs. Thank you for considering me for this event! 🙂

  • Monica Infelise

    My biggest social media challenge is gaining a high organic reach on Facebook. I’d like to learn more about best practices and what strategy I can implement to help engage our large audience more effectively. I especially would like to hear what Holly Homer has to say in her session “How to Create a System for Organic Facebook Growth”. We are also venturing into the video world more and it would be very beneficial to learn from experts how to create noteworthy videos and how best to use them in my social media strategy. Please send me to Social Media Marketing World because I want to learn from all the panelists so I can become a Social Media Master.

  • Paul Mcconnell

    The biggest challenge I have faced, so far with my marketing campaigns
    is making sure I hit the social media rush hours. The for sure times
    someone is looking at there Facebook. It’s just like rush hour traffic on the
    streets, there are best times to make your posts hit, so you can make sure
    everyone sees it during the ambush of posts that happen during those best times of the day.

    The reason I believe I deserve a chance to win the tickets is I have
    been working on multiple strategies on how to have social media even
    more of an extension of experiencing the outside world. I would
    use my time at the convention networking on how to get your brand viewed even more legit, and not another internet scam in the best ways possible, since the
    world is becoming even more skeptical with anything that is published on the web.

    Humanizing social media I believe is the main goal of any campaign you
    want to run personally. I firmly believe using it with your Public Speaking, can cause better audience participation to keep them captivated on what you are trying to introduce them to. So why not make their social media outlet part of your presentation. I have alot of ideas on how to make the link of the internet world, and the outside world one in the same in some respects.

    I definitely hope I stand a chance to win one of the two prizes, so I can bring back whatever knowledge I gain, and utilize it to the fullest with my Consulting/Services organization.

    Thank You For The Opportunity
    Paul J. M. McConnell

  • jwie86

    I’ve faced a tough situation in which an account team I was working with made a slight error with the community which erupted into a huge firestorm of arguments and attacks against the brand. I’d love to win a ticket to find out more techniques and experiences that others have experienced as well as impart knowledge from my experiences as well.

  • RevolutionWed .

    I am dying to go to this conference!!! Every year I try to do at least 1 professional conference or workshop (I’m a wedding DJ). This year the normal conferences I would attend are looking super stale (Wedding MBA, Mobile Beat…and we just lost the Vegas DJ Show). Since I live in the San Diego area, this would be awesome! I’m working A LOT this year on blogging and Pinterest as my marketing mediums….Hope I win. Fingers crossed!

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is figuring out how to stand out on Pinterest when it is saturated with wedding pins. Brides are so inundated, so creating quality content is NOT enough. The pins must be attractive, clever, catchy, unique, and of instant interest to the busy bride (or groom).

    I should be the winner of the free ticket because: 1) conference tickets to the shows I normally attend are (Mobile Beat, Wedding MBA, Vegas DJ Show) are in the $300 range so this is WAY out of the price range I have budgeted, and 2) I write for Book More Brides (a company that helps wedding vendors market themselves better), and they have told me if I go to your conference I can report on what I learn to the BMB/wedding vendor community. I would write like a 6 article series including photos I take at the conference and so on. So a vote for me means the conference content gets shared with not just one person or one company but a community of thousands (yes!) Wedding vendors earn, on average, $30k-$40k/year (regardless of whether they are photographers, cake bakeries, DJs, make-up artists, etc). So our community is in dire need or learning more about how to market themselves for free (or low cost).

    Thank you for your consideration!

  • My biggest social media challenge is finding the correct sequence of social channels, mix of content cadence, and professionals to connect with to stand out in such a noisy space. Authoring really great content on the right publishing channels, speaking at industry events, and engaging at a highly personal level has earned a respectable level of influence, but hasn’t quite gotten me over the hump.

    I come from the perspective of promoting a personal brand while also working closely with clients. (as many of the speakers at SMMW have done and continue to do to grow their brand) I want to attend SMMW to put a personality to many of the people that I have met and engage with online e.g, Dorie, Jay, Brian, Pam, etc.

  • Kara T

    Time management is the most challenging aspect of social media for me. I manage all of the digital marketing for my company, as well as MANY other tasks that aren’t related to social media or digital. I lay out a calendar every six months with content ideas, campaign launches and try to squeeze in taking time to read, research and learn more about the social media landscape because it is so ever changing. It’s difficult to stay ahead, and not fall behind. Sometimes I find my calendar missing marked off days because there is simply not enough time to deal with it all. It requires a lot of critical thinking, organization and creativity. Luckily, I am up for the challenge! This conference is an opportunity I haven’t had thus far in my career and I would love to come back to Indiana with a plethora of new knowledge to share and some great resources to guide me toward the future. I think it would also create more buy in that social media marketing can make a difference for our company. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Sam Phillips

    Social media is an ever evolving market. It’s difficult to stay on top of the trends and changes to keep my audience engaged and gain new audience members. Over the past two years, our social media has only grown minimally and we’ve just expanded from only using Facebook to adding Twitter and Instagram. Each platform has it’s own ups and downs that I have yet to master. By attending this seminar I would feel that I gained knowledge and experience that I will not be able to receive from any other event.

  • Geneuvieve Thibault

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is catering to a bilingual audience. Up here in Canada, there are two official languages, which makes everything SO complicated. It’s twice the work, twice the budget! I own a small distribution company and represent several brands. Multiply the Facebook posts, tweets, newsletters, promotions, Instagram posts… by the number of brands, by two! I really need some tools to help me get the most out of my marketing efforts. Spend my money on the most effective tools, too! And money, well… with the US dollar being so expensive, there’s no way I can afford to pay to go to your wonderful event even though I would LOVE to (even Facebook Ads are costing me a fortune!). I am a HUGE fan of Amy Porterfield and Jon Loomer, how wonderful would it be to meet them in person! Pick me, pick me! 🙂

  • Diane Gribschaw

    SnapChat is my current biggest social media challenge. I believe it’s positioned to blow up like FaceBook and be THE go-to platform for the under 35 set – a wide open field for marketers at the moment.

    Going to Social Media Marketing World would allow me to directly access experts who could help me fine-tune my skills and really make an impact on this emerging platform.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Tim Gossett

    I work for a church as well as with a nonprofit board of directors. The staff and other board members have a wide variety of comfort with and dedication to social media. The biggest challenge I have is to get everyone to think of social media not as an afterthought to everything else we are doing, but a core communication strategy that can tie into our traditional methods. (And of course, working for and with nonprofit organizations means our budget for social media and training is way too small, which only exacerbates the problem.)

  • Rachel Moore

    My biggest challenge as a social media marketer is training other users in the best, as opposed to worst, practices in using social media effectively. As I provide social media services to clients, I’m beginning to lose count of the number of clients who come to me with stories of how they hired a social media professional to handle their accounts for them, only to be left in the dark about what their profiles were posting and why they were posting it. Even worse, they’d often be sent a monthly report with no explanation of how to interpret the results and how it impacted their marketing efforts and overall business. Instead of being shown the magic of engaging authentically and tangibly with their customers, influencers are being left with a bad taste in their mouth about the amazing and unique resource social media can be for their purposes.

    Today we need seasoned social media marketers who care not just about the money they are being paid to wield social media but also about the clients they are guiding into the overwhelming world of social. I’m so thankful for resources like Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World, both of which provide solid tactics and knowledge to today’s social media users in the hopes that all of us can do social media well – together.

  • Debra Berg

    I have social media clients and am always looking for ways to make my life and theirs easier! Staying on top of the latest trends is so important and I would enjoy hearing and having access to the speakers to ask my questions.

  • Jessica Allen

    Hello – I’d love to be considered for a free ticket! I work for a major public Canadian university in the prospective student marketing team, and my biggest social media challenge is sort of a doozy: how to effectively and authentically build relationships with prospective students over social while straddling the line between helpful/friendly and academic/prestigious.

    Our university brand is friendly, but some students are hesitant to reach out to us because we represent an intimidating dynamic: a large university + one student. As a social media coordinator, I want to show the human, friendly side to our school while also showcasing the best parts (academic and otherwise) of attending – sometimes this can be very tricky!

    Why do I feel I deserve a ticket? The valuable knowledge and skills I’ll earn at the conference will translate into better quality connections with our prospective students. 🙂

  • Sophia Bello

    My biggest social media marketing challenge was creating content for a condom brand in Nigeria. Here in Nigeria, people aren’t always so open about discussing sex, parents and schools hardly teach sexual education, and any public “promotion” of the act is frowned upon.

    I had to find a way to promote the brand without exactly talking about sex.

  • Steven Neeves

    Help! I am 52 years old and have just been hired by a small real estate company to increase their presence in the social media world. I have fought to stay away from social media even though I have three kids who use everything, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on. All I have ever used is Linkedin. So I need help and education to find my way in this new universe set before me. I need to know how to make since of the many options and how to use them to help my company to position itself for the future. I need to catch up! Going to this conference could set me on the right path.

  • Sabrina Saada

    The biggest challenge I face is managing the sheer number of clients our magazine promotes and simultaneously trying to keep engagement levels high. It’s a difficult balance between informing our fans of local events/promotions and also not over-saturating the news feeds on social platforms like Facebook.

  • Tim Gregory

    OK here goes. I am starting my life all over again at forty-five. I recently became a licensed real estate broker in Oregon. I have worked in food and beverage my whole life. My biggest challenge with social media is selecting the right tools to use. I know there are so many that would be beneficial. I also know that there is so much untapped potential to assist me with sales. With all the dues and fees I have had to pay recently I really can’t afford something like this but I also know I can’t afford not to attend because I while heartedly believe social media is what will explode my business. So if your looking for someone who will take full advantage of what your offering please look no further. Thank you for taking the time to read, Tim Gregory

  • Kristen Sigmon

    The biggest challenge I find on a daily basis with social media marketing is time management, finding the best software that meets all the social media marketing needs we have as a company, and explaining to my management and co-workers that do not understand social media how the reporting and engagement work and differ between platforms.

    I wish to win the free tickets because I would like to attend this particular conference, my boss wishes to find something on the east coast instead. After working in social media for 12 months I don’t feel the people or conferences I have attended have fulfilled what I wish to of learned. I would like to meet other people like me who are new and learning. Final reason to get the opportunity to listen and learn what is working for other people in social media because it ignites my thought process of how to grow my companies social media marketing.

  • Yvonne Bennett

    I am older and trying to make it in a young world . Doing pretty good in that I keep up with our office social media. FB, twitter, instagram ! But I could really use a cup of creativity, a moment of learning as to how to brand our insurance office without using a gecko, a duck or a Flo look a like. I could use an education without going back to school. I am excited and fun; I just need a little bit of help from new millenials, gen Y and X and who ever is up and coming as I am a baby boomer. Really interested in learning what’s trending, hip, groovy, in and cool to bring in business , customers, followers and serious interest with my social media savy tactics. Thanks and I hope to attend this incredible event since it is just miles from our office. It would be like winning lotto!

  • My biggest challenge with the social space is still convincing (local to me) business owners that they need social media marketing in their arsenal. I’ve been a SM manager for 5 years now and still am so challenged with finding GOOD clients who “get it”. I believe that I can help just about any business succeed with social media, but to get them, my prospects, to see that is often another story. I give them results and testimonials, but they’re still super “old school” and don’t see it. That being said, they continue to come to me asking to advice. Such a dichotomy. I have your conference on my 2016 vision board, and would love to win the grand prize ticket. I’m unable to afford the event at this time due to the financial place I’ve gotten to because of not having enough clients, so winning would be just the ultimate stroke of genius from the universe. An actual, “thank you for what you do” kind of thing.

  • Casey Mardell Nielsen

    My biggest Social Media challenge is staying up to date with everything. That’s what is so great about Social Media but also the main challenge to it all. There’s always something new coming out, or new updates to existing platforms. These updates are normally always a plus but it can take a lot of time to study and stay up to date on the latest trends. That seems like it can be a job within itself.

    Why I should win a free ticket? That’s a great question. I don’t know if I really deserve a free ticket to something as great as this event but it would be really great to attend. I stay up to date with Social Media Examiner and it helps me solve my main Social Media Challenge, which is to stay up to date on the latest in Social Media. It would be an honor to make it to this event.

  • Chandler E.

    My biggest challenge is showing the worth social media can bring to my organization. In my current role as a digital marketer, it sometimes feels like I am easily overlooked because the higher ups don’t understand modern, social, communication. They think Facebook, Twitter, etc are important but not imperative. The reason I would like to got to Social Media Marketing World is simple. I want to learn more so I can share more. When it comes to social media, I have been exposed to so many great ideas and great ways of conducting business. I want more. I want to be around and learn from people that see the value in social and have solid strategy and ideas to show it off. This opportunity would open the door to having an honest conversation with my boss (and her boss) about the raw potential social media has.

  • Dayna Williams-Hunter

    I handle social media for many clients and my challenges include content curation. Developing content for clients with widely different strategies, goals and agendas. Being pulled in so many different directions makes it hard to manage. I need to learn more about content strategies as well as listening software. I also need to become more involved with conferences so that I may grow, learn and share with others like myself.

  • Kayla Marie

    The biggest struggle that we face is engagement. Our primary audience is approximately 40% Boomers, 25% Gen Xers, and 35% Gen Yers who are highly educated and work in higher education. We’ve found that the posts that get the most attention are those that we share from other customers. Most of the original content that we post gets much higher traffic if it is posted on our website or blog than it does on most social media.
    We think that a lot of our customers are hesitant to follow us using their personal Facebook pages, so most of our traffic comes from other pages. I’m curious how others have dealt with similar situations.

  • Ashley Gonzalez

    I work for a very small publications company with two people updating 10 monthly or bimonthly magazine websites and posting all of those articles to social media. To save time and effort, we automate when and where we can but don’t believe it’s effective in helping us reach our audience. We need to learn how to utilize our time, learn better strategies for creating posts to the multiple platforms and learn to utilize LinkedIn, and get our technical articles to those who may benefit from them the most.
    Winning free tickets will help us learn to navigate better in the social media realm and take our publications to the next level.

  • passthesushi

    Currently struggling in explaining why social media is so important to my boss. Explaining the ROI.
    As for why everyone should have a ticket. I’ve been listening to the podcast for years and always wonder if I am the type of social marketer that should attend the conference. Its only been in the last few months that I have realized that DUH I am toootally the type of person that needs to go!

  • Heather Miller

    I’d say there is always opportunities to improve social media marketing. We’re currently gearing our client campaigns towards content marketing and feeding it into social media as the main content for the duration of the campaign. I think there’s an opportunity to learn to balance it well with the other content so the channels don’t become campaign heavy. You don’t want to focus solely on one audience and lose the others; still appealing to your entire audience is the whole point of social media. I think learning more about content balancing for campaigns and making sure the message still gets out there without overpowering the other content. Another opportunity would be balancing the blog content and which channels to push it out in the most. There are so many social media outlets out there that sometimes it’s hard to focus on which one will benefit the content/campaign the most and also receive the most engagement.
    We already learn so much from the Social Media Examiner articles, I can only image what we’ll learn at the conference!

  • Jula Pereira

    By biggest social media marketing challenge is creating effective Facebook Ads which result in more followers and potential customers. I find that it takes repeated exposure and lots of testing to get the maximum exposure. But my question is how does a small business do this with a limited budget? How do you engage with people you don’t know? It’s one thing to have a great following with people who adore your business, yet it’s completely another thing to attract new followers who trust you. I know there is no secret formula, but there are definitely better ways to capitalize on this huge potential.

    P.S. I am such a geek when it comes to social media that I would die happy if you chose me to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016. I am currently one of Social Media Examiner’s biggest brand ambassadors and would forever indebted to you!

    P.P.S. I will FedEx freshly baked pecan-coconut cookies to your team if you pick me. No joke.

  • Lori Appleman

    I am reasonably sure my problems are not unique. Like most people in the startup space, I don’t have a team built and must run marketing by myself. This means that time, and the efficient management of said time, is my biggest problem when it comes to social media marketing. I also need to have great metrics so my precious time is going to those items that deliver the best results. This can be challenging with a new company and newer profiles that need time to build a following.

  • Anne

    So how do you pick just one social media challenge? So if I have to pick just one it is getting my clients to understand they don’t need every single social media platform and that paid advertising on social media works and if the best way to reach the target demographics they are looking for! Maybe if they just tried they would understand why they hired me! 🙂

  • Marissa

    The biggest challenge that I face when it comes to social media is consistently coming up with creative content that relates to our company’s annual event. It is difficult to find the balance between promoting the event but not always resorting to push advertising.

  • Melissa Bourgoin

    My Biggest challenge in a small organization is finding the time and tools to get the job done right!

  • Jaime Arend

    The biggest challenge I see is wading through all the “helpful tips” and “great information” available out there. Is it really coming from an industry leader or just a recaptured article? This business is constantly evolving and as a new social media manager, getting a foot up or even a foot in is challenging. I would love the chance to learn from the many professionals at this event.

  • Kara Macdonald

    The biggest social media challenge I have is turning my skills into money! I actually work for a company that pays me well to develop business for them and I utilize social big time to do that. I also teach my potential clients how to use it so they will feel compelled to use my company when they need our kind of service. That part is working well but I would love to get some paying clients that I can coach on social.

    The reason I should win is because I am coming anyway and I would love to save the money!! And the exposure I would get by winning first prize would be insane! I am faithful listener of your podcast and I talk about your site all the time to my clients as a place to further their knowledge. Winning would mean the world to me and bring me so much closer to my current goal of speaking on a national stage about social media for real estate! It’s my passion and I’m already teaching locally and everyone loves my classes! Rubbing elbows with Kim Garst and the like would mean I was one step closer to achieving my goal!!

  • Josiah Smith

    I am a 19 year old freelance photographer and a budding entrepreneur, trying to make it in a world filled with professional photographers and high successful start-up companies that have the same ideas as I do. Other then my age (which I rarely put on social media so my clients don’t think I’m inept in any certain way) and lack of a higher education, my one BIG problem with marketing on social media is the fact that I can’t my name and my services as a photographer out in the world. A world that makes kids younger than me “Insta-famous” solely for the fact that they have 10.5K+ followers on Instagram, and no where else, and for no other reason. And these kids, ranging from a very young age, to there mid-twenties, all want to pick up a camera, and become “photographers”. This not only is frustrating for me on the note that I am practically a nobody in the social media world, as well as the photography world, but it is a big c-block for me in the marketing side of social media. I have, for the longest time, only focused on the creative aspect of photography and business building, but that only got me so far after a couple of months. Now I am at this point of reading books upon books about marketing both IRL and over social media, because I can’t afford to take a simple marketing course at a community college. And the biggest disadvantage to that is the fact that I can’t bounce ideas and strategies off a professor or classmates.

    If I was given this opportunity to make it to this event for free, I will have a front row seat (possibly quite literally) to hearing social media marketing experts, and be able to get significant feedback to my marketing strategies, and even walk away with new ones or a hybrid of the two. If I am blessed with this opportunity, I believe it can help me not only in the short run as a photographer, but in the long run of building my own start-up.

  • Getting people to fill out more information on a contest or pop-up. In a franchise set-up, it would be great if people would be willing to fill out their location. The way I am doing it now makes it hard to send leads to the right locations, with just email information.

  • marcia bench

    Biggest social media marketing challenge: getting more engagement on my posts – it’s up from before, but not where I’d like it to be!

    Why I should win a ticket: I am writing a book on online marketing – on a shoestring budget/no advance from publisher – and want to talk with/interview both the speakers and many of the attendees at the event for the book. I’d return the favor by gifting books to those I interview – just need to get there!

    Marcia Bench

  • The biggest challenge I face is two fold…first, reaching a group of consumers who have purchased a timeshare and for whatever reason want out—these people are embarrassed about what they did. Secondly, if I do find them or vice versa they are so scared and embarrassed about what they did that they are loathe to spend any money to hire me as a consultant. I want to help, yet I don’t want to go broke doing it.

  • The biggest challenge I face is having enough time to keep up with best practices, trends and success tips (especially from Social Media Examiner!) all while obtaining new clients and managing current projects. Attending the seminar would help me get all of the information I need to kick off a successful year all in one shot!

  • Siobhan O’Neill Meluso

    The biggest challenge I have found is this: the more things change the more things stay the same. I mean this in the most innovative and exciting way you can take it! I am in awe of how fast some trends take off and how others fall short. The constant is staying true to the brand and reaching the soul of the consumer-making that connection. The struggle is to catch the wave at the right time and hop off before that wave crashes to keep the momentum going as well as continuing to stay fresh and exciting. Opportunities like Social Media Marketing World obviously work well to sift through the trends and helping those (like myself) who connect with the consumer and greater public to connect on an even deeper level. Making some great connections with others in the trenches is an amazing plus as well. I would appreciate this time, knowledge and opportunity. I have already learned so much from your great website as well as this discussion thread!

  • Pierina Risco

    You may ask yourselves why her? Oh right she’s trying to make a point of why she’s different than everyone else….
    Well let me begin my little story. I graduated college with a marketing and communications degree. Then, I went to getting hired at an IT Operations Consulting Company to be part of the TECHNICAL Consulting branch. Let me just say that it was a very challenging training. As I finished the technical training the company actually decided to move me to Marketing. I started in marketing making brochures, then content, infographs, posters, communication plans, email campaigns, illustrator banners, social media, and now my hands are touching a bit of SEO. As you can see there’s been some variety in my job. The reason why I mention all that is because I actually do not have a role. Let me explain how this brings me into my social media CHALLENGE.
    As I have been asked to perform many duties I have also been asked to become the expert at social media….which can be a little tough to do (but not impossible) while performing all other tasks. I need this conference to give me more knowledge (more than what i’ve been reading on articles) on what other companies are doing. I will be able to see up close and get more training, as I imagine many people will be sharing their lessons learned, and success stories. I actually REALLY NEED this TICKET! Let me mention last that the marketing department at my company is made up of my boss and I. We need this or an expert at social media so our company can become known a bit more in the social media world as our generation is moving more towards social media.
    Take care,

  • Lidia Koppel

    My biggest challenge with social media is representing a brand within all the facebook private groups. People are giving kudos or voicing complaints in the many many private groups instead of on the companies facebook page. What’s the best way to find and respond? Facebook pages/brands are not allowed to join groups.

  • Rissie Demeritte

    Why should I be considered for the grand prize? Hey, why not? It’s the Golden Globes of Social Media, it’s the biggest opportunity of the year for great creative minds to come together for something we are pretty passionate about, the ever changing, the apex of marketing, the enigma itself Social Media. Attending this event is pretty much like slipping into my finest ( insert some fancy fashion designer here) gown and dazzling the crowds with glitz and glamour. Which leads me to second part of my submission. My biggest problem is finding uber creative ways to dazzle an audience without boring them. I want would like to get my Beyonce on with social media. What’s my Beyonce like? Serving my audience with a big ole helping of consistency and creativity and giving them something to always look forward to. So in the famous words of Meredith Grey from “Grey’s Anatomy- “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” Ok so the love may be a bit much, but you get the gist of it 😉

    Happy choosing!

  • Lauren

    Hello! I am a nineteen year old college student—Graphic Designer and Social Media Marketer in-the-making. 🙂 My dad is an experienced, self-employed graphic designer, videographer, animator…you name it, he does it. My dream is to “join forces” with my dad, making it a family business. However, finding enough work and enough clients has been our problem. We have started up a Facebook page, but we feel like we’re missing something. Our promotions seem insufficient and our business is simply not getting traffic. We are confident our services and products could greatly benefit our target market! I have subscribed to and read lots of Social Media Examiner’s newsletters and listened to your podcasts. But my dad and I are ready to push harder into Social Media Examiner’s wisdom. We won’t be able to afford our own tickets because of our struggling business. I thank you so much for your consideration of this enormous gift!

  • Audrey R. Seykora

    My biggest challenge is staying inspired and learning new social media marketing tactics as a one-woman team. I’ve been working full-time for four years, so while I’m a relatively new professional, I often times find that I’m the most experienced team member when it comes to social media marketing. This can be challenging, as I’m still in a formative phase of my career and I’m eager to learn from more seasoned colleagues. For this reason, I rely on sites like Social Media Examiner to teach myself essential skills and to stay ahead of the curve. I recently accepted an opportunity to lead an award-winning development company’s digital marketing efforts, and I’m really excited about what’s on the horizon. If I’m given the chance to attend Social Media Marketing World by winning a free ticket, I would further tap into the network of resources available and continue to apply what I’m learning on a larger scale. Thanks for this opportunity! If selected, I assure you I’d take full advantage of it. I appreciate the work your team does and look forward to hearing who’s selected.

  • Roxanne K Turvey

    My biggest challenge is branching out into other content types. My boss is in personal development and while the blogs posts are going great I don’t know what to post on social media other than inspirational and motivational quotes.

    I should win because we have a really great message to share and the work my boss does helps people accomplish their dreams also, I’m brand new to social media marketing. I signed up for SMSS15 and I follow everyone I can think of from Amy Portterfield to Social Media Examiner. I save blogs and videos to watch and read later but I never seem to have time to get through everything. (643 web clippings saved in Evernote!)

  • paigemil

    My biggest challenge is increasing the ROI for social media. My clients sell products online and also get paid to endorse products (the more eyeballs, the better). They are very social media savvy and provide a steady stream of posts, ideas, etc, and they are open to trying anything. (They are great to work with!)

    My job is to identify the right audience and ad type(s) that will render the highest revenue-producing results. I spend lots of time tweaking copy, audience definitions, timing, etc. to improve results and lots of time comparing ad statistics with sales results to see what produces and what doesn’t. Sometimes the results are amazing. (Of course, the process starts all over when an application changes its algorithm!)

    I would be happy to share/present the insights if I were lucky enough to win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2016.

  • shannon

    My biggest social media challenge after building my department from the ground up for the past 3 years is how to move past keeping up and executing, to really posting some great results. We’ve seen definite growth and improvements over the past couple years, but I know we can do more. Every single year I’ve tried to win tickets to the event….I live in San Diego so it’s a crying shame I haven’t been able to attend. My company is relatively small and my budget goes entirely into advertising at this point

  • Chantal

    Hello everyone!

    Running a food business here in Austin is a pretty competitive thing to do. People have so many other options to choose from! And all of us are on social media, present at almost every platform simultaneously, fighting to get and stay on top of our customers’ minds. I believe however, that collaborations, affiliate marketing and sharing will bring us a lot further! So my biggest challenge is to convince my ‘competitors’ (or my ‘comcolleagues’ how I prefer to label them) to work together on this! In my concept, everyone can double his or her exposure and engagement within the same marketing budget. Now I need to convince everyone else too!
    And why I should win these tickets? I’m from Holland, just moved here with my business from The Netherlands 5 months ago. I’m pretty seasoned on our ‘own European’ social media behavior and culture, but this conference would certainly enable me to get a deep dive into the American side of the story.

    Have a wonderful day y’all!

  • Jude Questa

    Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the youth we are trying to reach! These kids just exiting high school and entering college are on the cutting edge of every social media outlet. We have great programs to help them access higher education with less debt and possible loan forgiveness – but sometimes we fall short of catching their attention. The kids seem to pick it up with no effort whatsoever and our efforts are left in the dust! We want to make sure their talent doesn’t go to waste – we want to provide them with opportunities – but if we can’t get them to pay attention to us how can we do that? Your conference would be invaluable to us. Questa Foundation.

  • Tanya Williams

    This Aussie digital princess is always updating her knowledge and skills in the social media space (an area of passion for me) which is why I love your podcasts so much. One of the biggest challenges I have is getting clients to understand how to use social media to get an ROI so they can convince their managers and C level execs to get active in the space. Getting to attend SMMM16 would transform my business and allow me share my digital passion to a larger audience of like minded entrepreneurs. Never let anyone dull your sparkle!

  • Maureen

    As a noob to social media marketing, of course my first client is that elephant in the room client that you shouldn’t take on. Selling something that nobody has heard of, in a boring genre, in a way that nobody understands. The first problem isn’t selling the product but convincing the client to change everything so that the product is saleable. It is isn’t that I mind the work but pricing it so that I am not completely losing my shirt would be nice. That’s why I should win a free ticket.

  • Jana

    The biggest marketing challenge that I face is how young I am. I recently graduated from college and immediately placed in a position of marketing responsibility that I dove into head-first with my history of copy-editing, copy-writing, and graphic design skills. I have thrived but at the same time it is difficult to get the experience necessary to be taken seriously as a marketer. I believe that this conference would do wonders for me as a new voice in marketing. I always strive to learn and become the best at everything I do and I believe that being able to go to this conference will be completely life-altering for someone who is stepping into the field

  • Heidi Cookson

    I’d say that my biggest challenge is learning the best way to expand our brand to different Social Media platforms. I’m pretty good with Facebook, but still trying to learn Twitter, Instagram, blogging, etc. And then, how to get our customers and fans to follow us, as well as gain new followers & customers. Why should I win? Why should any of us win?!? I will be able to better market our company with the tips, tricks and fresh ideas that I can learn from y’all, as well as make valuable network contacts.

  • Brian J. Bornes

    “No, I can’t recommend you post that.” “Yes, you should respond to, and engage with, people who speak to your brand.” “No, you can’t call someone a jerk because they wrote a negative comment on your Timeline.”

    Some of the biggest challenges I have in social media is explaining best practices and why it’s important to engage with your audience during both positive and negative situations.

    Another challenge is explaining the difference of the platforms in a way in which a client understands. “Twitter is just Facebook except it has less words.” Ummm…no. And please, please, please, post native content to a respective platform. Facebook posts are great — for FACEBOOK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of integration; but if your only tweets are fed from Facebook, let’s revisit your strategy.

    To bring it all in, I think Social Media Marketing World 2016 could greatly increase my education, which would then make it a boat-load easier to explain social media marketing and advertising to clients. Plus, even though I try to read relevant news daily, I’m sure I don’t know even half of everything that’s going on and I would love to be further educated in industry trends!

  • Rachel J Newman

    I have had ALOT of social media challenges over the course of 10+ years (since the days of MySpace) handling social media for brands/organizations/public figures – but my biggest challenge was 4 years ago when I started working for a parks and recreation (local) government agency. They had just gone through a challenge with their summer camps registration when I was hired and the agency didn’t know of my social media expertise (my supervisor at the time had no social media experience). Day one on the job, I faced over 100 angry tweeps regarding the registration system crashing. That was Feb 2012 with 1800 twitter followers. I spent the next few weeks responding to every single tweep, finding out what happened, alerting the camps office, helping as much as I could, but most importantly being responsive (which the agency had not been doing). And then changing the entire face of the agency’s social media – retweeting folks who posted (that was not being done), creating twitter town halls and grass roots/guerrilla campaigns, involving divisions/managers to help resolve a tweep or FB followers issue, etc. We are now 11.7K twitter followers strong. Presence on Twitter, FB, IG (alot on all 3), a pretty decent Klout score, FourSquare, Pintrest (a little bit) and with over 80 centers, 30 aquatic features, 375 parks, 90 playgrounds, etc. – I brought the skills that I had to the table and took the agency from doing a mediocre twitter job – to robust twitter, increased FB and our IG is growing by leaps and bounds. I was never given/approved for any marketing money or real outreach – so everything I did involved engagement, engagement, engagement; paying attention to our sister government agencies, partner organizations, etc.; and anytime we were aligned with a major event, conference, etc – I stepped up engagement. 1800 to 11.K – all through tweets.

    Why I should win a free ticket? – The bottom line is two-fold: a) that my organization puts no money behind social media or social media conferences and b) it seems like such a wealth of information will be offered at this conference, that I feel like, if I’m lucky enough to win the ticket – I can bring back some of the learned best practices to my agency, and they in turn will see the value in putting support behind/paying for staff to attend this and other social media conferences. I have been the primary on social media for 4 years – and so I handled all the portals (and attempting to build FourSquare, Pintrest, etc.), along with my other duties (I’m in the Communications division) here at the agency. My agency has been recognized by our chief technology officer as one of the top 5 agencies, and so I’ve been the lead on a few Mayoral initiatives that involve social media; I’m often asked by sister agencies or the Mayors office for input/opinion around how I handle social media (striking that balance of fun, being informational, and when its an issue, being sincere and helping the tweep); I created the content and ran (with a team of two co-workers) our first twitter town hall; my agency was listed as the Top Ten of “10 Examples of Social Media Updates You Need to Make” by Active Network, and listed in the top 10 of “Top 50 Parks & Recreation Twitter Accounts to Follow (and Imitate), by Active Network; we were recognized for our SMEM during a major storm in 2013/2014; and I would really like to take this to the next level at my organization.

    Thank you sooo much for offering this opportunity!!! #LoveIt

  • Macy

    The biggest challenge that I face is that although I have recently been given the responsibility of revamping my company’s social media, it is very hard to get new and exciting content out because we work in laser eye surgery business and we are very regulated in what we can and can’t say. Because of this, it often takes time to get approval on posts or responses, which I feel really hampers us in providing the real time experience that people come to social media for. This is also my first real job, and I am trying to learn everything as far as what best practices are using social media for business rather than my own personal use.

  • Cody Garvin

    I would say our biggest social media challenge is convincing our clients that they need to be inspired but still original. Too many people want to take the easy way out by simply copying what their nearest competitors are doing, which in many cases gains them very little traction.

    I would love to go to social media marketing world to learn more about the future trends and the ways that I can channel what I have learned to help the clients that we work with leverage social media to help them be more successful.

  • Tena Moore

    I’m a social media coach in Asheville, NC and have been doing social media for years, even before the advent of Facebook! I started as a guerilla online marketer in forums for companies like Fox, Miramax, Microsoft and Handspring. That was a million years ago (okay, like, 15) and these days I train small biz owners on understanding and mastering their own social media.

    My greatest social media challenge is staying current with the latest and greatest up-to-date new info and all the exciting things happening within my industry. Of course I read everything I can on SME and listen to your podcasts (you guys are my lifeline!), yet right now I work alone (home-based) and it’s challenging not to be networking with my peers and #brandcrushes (I’m looking at you Amy P, Mari and Sue B)!

    Why should I win? I should totally win because my winning will not only benefit me and give my biz an incredible shot of inspiration and excitement – but it will benefit all of my clients in such a huge way. I will bring back that excitement and put it to work immediately for everyone I come in contact with! Plus, I’ve been looking at the SMMW page on your website every day, putting it in my cart and imagining the ticket in my hand. I just know I’m going to make it there. It is imperative!!!

  • Mandy Manley

    My biggest challenge is that I manage social media for a national brand and I’m a TEAM OF ONE! I could really use some guidance and resources from other folks!

  • Erin Heisler

    Besides ever-looming content creation for multiple platforms, my biggest struggle lately has been continuing engagement after moments of semi-virality (I say semi, because they are viral by our standards, but we are a small shop). We have had a few posts/campaigns that have caused a decent jump in our Facebook followers and post engagement, but the virality of these posts has relied slightly on their time-sensitive nature so they are difficult to recreate. When the campaigns end, I notice a dip in the engagement levels on our posts (to lower than what we were experiencing pre-viral moment) that I would love to know how to address: is it the post content or a diluted audience? Is there campaign targeting I can use to counter this?

    I should win a ticket to Social Media Marketing World because I’ve been following this blog for many years and consistently implement things I learn. I know that I would learn immensely helpful tips that I could put to use right away, but I work in non-profit and cannot get the budget approval to pay for the ticket.

  • My biggest social media challenge is researching for a wide-range of clients to maximize their online presence. One client is an auto body shop, another is a real estate agent, another is lawyer, still another is a hair salon, etc. How do I find the time to plan for such a diverse client load and make a social media editorial calendar for each client in a way that really impacts their niche and isn’t just going through the motions? Because I work with small businesses and non-profits instead of just one large corporation, I deal with smaller budgets. I want their ROI to be resounding.

    Why should you choose me for this amazing opportunity? Because I’m a risk-taker who left the agency scene to strike out on my own. I formed my own LLC and am already seeing huge success. I’ve obviously tapped into a space that is needed. However, there’s no way I could afford a conference like this at this point in my journey but I would use the skills and knowledge I take away to have a huge impact for the clients I serve. As well, I’d blog about my experience and use my own SM platforms to help broaden YOUR reach to freelancers just like me. I could be a powerful statement that these types of events aren’t just for the big agencies but can benefit small operations like mine!

  • Dorrian

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is figuring out how to stand out in a sea of sharing. I am a private person by nature so I tend to get overwhelmed by the constant need to create an online personal brand worthy of “following.” I know the importance of building a tribe from some of the speakers who will be at this year’s event and I am slowly doing that one social interaction at a time. I should win the free ticket because I will put the information shared to great use toward building my brand and connecting with other likeminded positive digital marketers. I already follow a number of the speakers scheduled to appear and I know that they will attract other positive, visionary people to hear their presentations. I look forward to hearing the speakers and interacting one on one with other attendees who share their core values about the right way to use social media to build an online brand.

  • Margaret Browne

    I’ve been a marketer for over 10 years and the changes that social media has brought to the marketing world are truly amazing! The biggest impact that I’ve perceived is the ability for small businesses to be seen and heard, cost effectively, and the opportunity for big business to be relatable at a customer level again – all through the power of social media!

    I’ve worked in house for multi-million dollar organisations, and more recently as a consultant to small businesses. The biggest challenge that I’ve faced in both spheres is confusion and fear of social media. Businesses both large and small know that they need a social media presence, but they have no idea what to do with it. They either want to jump in, set up accounts willy nilly and just start posting something … anything, or they’re too scared to start because they’re worried they’ll make a mistake, and so they do nothing, and miss out on the amazing opportunities that social media can offer.

    What I’m passionate about is helping these companies – especially small businesses, where the owner is typically doing everything – to come up with a strategy for their social media activity that aligns with their overall business objectives. It is such an amazing feeling once we’ve worked through the planning process and produced their objectives, the strategy, an editorial calendar and have put together a pile of great content to get them started! Their relief and gratitude at feeling in control of their social media is so rewarding for me!

    I am so passionate about the impact that social media can have on a business; so the opportunity to hear from the greats – Kim Garst, Amy Porterfield, Michael Stelzner, Sue Zimmerman, Guy Kawasaki … and so many more (!!!) would be truly amazing! But, as I live in New Zealand, it makes attending the conference with the cost of flights, accommodation and tickets – not to mention the shocking exchange rate, out of reach.

    So if I was to win a ticket … well, that would make the impossible, possible! It would explode my social media knowledge, and have such an impact on my business and by extension, the businesses of others … so I’d be the happiest social media marketer there!

  • As the founder of an emerging company who has completely built our business on social media in year 1, the biggest challenge I face is understanding all the tools available and knowing which are best for our industry. I’ve found it difficult to balance educating consumers on the benefits of our body scrubs, sharing fan pictures and maintaining high engagement. In a rapidly growing and changing industry such as social media, I know there are so many options that would help us to build a bigger buzz for our products across all the various platforms without having to use a different tool for each site. Understanding of best platforms for our business and how to pull various tools together could help our company position itself for great success in 2016! There is so much untapped potential in social media that could assist us with sales – we just need to find them!! The opportunity to listen to the amazing speakers as well as interact with other attendees would be course changing for us! Our business is completely & personally funded and as such is very limited at this time on conferences, events, shows that we can participate in. Winning tickets to this event would provide invaluable industry knowledge, reignite the driving passion needed to soar to success and get our creative juices flowing!

  • Sean Swentek

    I don’t think I’m alone in my assertion that content (what type, when to post, how often) marketing is one of our biggest social media challenges.

    Organizations are increasingly being seen digitally as an amalgamation of real humans, not just a corporation with a pretty logo. The content we share, whether owned or third-party, is a reflection of the unique personalities of our team–and our company as an extension.

    Just as most of us are cognizant of how we speak to others IRL, brands are increasingly under pressure to predict the response their content marketing efforts will elicit. In my experience, the best way to do this is by testing and analyzing the results.

    I don’t know that there is any reason “why” I should win a ticket over anyone else, but I can tell you that I would be an exemplary attendee: bringing as much as I can to the conversations I encounter, and soaking up all the knowledge I can handle.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  • I’ve been involved with social media marketing for over 6 years now. My biggest social media marketing challenges is discovering ways to increase are following, managing it all properly for ourselves (as well as our clients) & learning how we can use FB ads more effectively. I’ve always heard that attending a conference of this magnitude would transcend our knowledge extensively. I wish to make a greater impact in our small business of 3 and our clients companies as well. I believe that this conference would help us immensely. If I don’t win, I still plan on raising funds by crowdfunding so that all 3 members in our company can attend Social Media Marketing World. This way we could divvy up the seminars between the 3 of us and discover more easily. Good Luck to All, however, I hope that I’m the one that wins! LOL!!!

  • My biggest social media challenge is staying on top of all the constant changes, the ever-growing list of tools, etc. I’ve worked in social media since it’s inception and I’ve told my employees that I will never know everything there is to know about social media, they will never know everything there is to know about social media. One person will never know all there is to know about social media. So we rely on eachother, our different areas of expertise, industry publications and events like SMMW. It’s these sources that allow you to narrow down the “best tools” out of the thousands that exist, based on recommendations from experts and others you trust. Working in this feel can be intimidating and overwhelming, and staying abreast of everything is certainly a challenge. SMMW helps greatly with this, so thank you for allowing us a chance to win!

  • Lisa – I totally understand and currently feel the same way! It’s easy to get burnt out in this career – and conferences like SMMW certainly help re-ignite the passion 🙂 I hope you get a chance to go!

  • My biggest challenge? Doing it for myself! My 30 year career to date has been in consulting. I do it for others. I’m fearless and confident and informed, and the results (if I may blow my own trumpet for a moment) have been really not so bad (I’m orginally English,can you tell?) . But doing it for myself! Erk. So hard. I’ve followed you for years, attended SMMW virtually last year and learned heaps, sucked up all the info I can get. But acting on it? That’s my challenge. So 2016 is the Year of Doing It For Myself. I see it’s the Chinese year of the monkey .. so maybe it’s time to get that blasted monkey off my back and make it happen.

  • I think one of the biggest struggles when it comes to social media is figuring out what each audience wants on the various social networks and then giving them that so as to increase engagement. Engagement is key, but hard to nail down. There are some pieces to this puzzle that I feel that I miss.

    Why should I get a ticket? Because I’m a working mom of two that is surviving on coffee and a love for marketing. This conference is one of those things that I know would be life changing! (Just being honest here.) Plus, being able to go to the conference also means that I can treat my family to a vacation :).

  • Nell Shuttleworth

    I am fairly new to the social media scene. I used to own and operate a small business and used digital marketing as best I knew how. It turns out, there is SO MUCH MORE to know. Now I work for a digital marketing agency and would love to be able to attend this conference, absorb as much information as I can and help this small business grow and succeed. There are only 5 of us, so our challenge is being able to provide the best service possible to our wonderful clients, while keeping within our budget.

  • Irma Holguin

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is trying to maintain a cohesive structure for all the social media outlets. I have done some research on different platforms but still unsure of how to best use them. I believe attending the conference with all the available seminars will help me in having a more effective online presence, give me a better understanding of ROI. I want 2016 to be the year I make more of an impact as a Social Media Manager. Give me a chance.

  • Pat Rhoads

    My biggest challenge is that I work for a small but national nonprofit (foster care and adoption field) that has no budget for social media spend That means I can;t boost Facebook posts, sponsor tweets, anything like that. Therefore I have to be even more creative and effective with my content decisions, and an expert on maximizing timing of posts for best (organic) reach.

    Why should I win the free ticket? Two reasons. First, it’d be a great way for SME to support the work of the nonprofit I work for, as it reaps the benefit of the knowledge I could bring back. Secondly, I not only love connecting with other people, but in doing so I love to share what I know and engage in exchanges of ideas. My willingness to share what expertise I do have with others ultimately enhances the experience for everyone else, helping them feel like they got a lot more than just what the great speakers provided. That added benefit adds to the value of SMMW for everyone.

    Thanks for considering me!

  • Adrienne McLean

    The single most significant challenge I have experienced with marketing with Social Media is getting a person who sees my posting and programs and getting them to contact me. People see the social media but it takes a huge step for people to take action – so converting the viewer to a customer is the issue.

    I’ve been using Social Media since 2010 , I’m on many platforms, I love the implementation of video and using video as a marketing tool – social media gives so much connection with the wider world – nationally and internationally – I’ve learnt so much – due to social media.

    I am passionate about helping small business prosper – helping small business be connected with social media can really help their profitability –

    Why should I win a free ticket ? Simply because if I can learn more about Social Media – if I can be even better with the use of Social Media – I can help Small Business prosper. My attendance at Social Media World 2016 – will help the wider business community to use Social Media better.

  • Le Spleef

    I am 25 years old and recently started my own Social Media Consulting Agency. While I know a lot about social, I did grow up with it after all, I know less about the analytical side. Most of my clients pay me for my branding expertise as I have no problem translating a brands ethos’ to a social campaign. I feel that more and more social is going towards analytics and I would love to learn as much as I can on how to incorporate that into my strategies. I have played around with a ton of analytics programs myself, but I find it very easy to get lost in the shuffle.

    I think the social media space is an amazing one and with a deep analytical knowledge I can bring both data and branding expertise to the table to help my clients reach their target markets most efficiently.

  • My biggest SMM challenge is engaging with an elderly audience, convincing them that SM can help support their charitable work, and how they can engage with SM to stay connected. Bridging the generation gap is my biggest challenge. My second biggest challenge is convincing people of an older generation how important it is to invest in SMM – it’s not going away!

    I believe I qualify for a free ticket because I have no funding, so I rely on events like these to build up my expertise (since I can’t afford the courses and networking time on my own). I am eager to learn what I can’t teach. Also, since I’m a freelancer who works at home, I am usually the only person in an organisation working on social media, so I don’t get to bounce ideas around and expand my knowledge with others in the field.

    Thank you for considering my application!

  • Dawn Sholders Delarosa

    I think Social Media Marketing World 2016 will be the EVENT OF THE DECADE!!!

    My biggest challenge with Social Media is how to use the same content across different platforms – and establishing some guidelines as to what kinds of content SHOULD cross platforms and content that should be platform specific (assuming this is true). I would also like to learn how to better manage content, how and when it is published and the best way to measure results.

    I run my own consulting business from my home in Temecula, California and am the dedicated mother of 5 AWESOME kids. I should win a free ticket to the show because I will make great use of the incredible information and my business will thrive! It would be better than winning the lottery!!

    Knowledge creates wealth!!!

    Thanks for your consideration!

  • Courtney North

    I’m just joining the social media space after some heavy convincing with my current company that this should be a focus for our business in 2016 and beyond! I’m highly passionate about learning and I know the knowledge and tools available at my fingertips from the event of the year would be invaluable and hopefully launch my career and help me learn to boost our company awareness to new levels! So my current challenge is nearly everything – YIKES! 🙂

  • Anita Smith

    My biggest social media challenge is working for an Australian Not For Profit organisation (Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia) and not having a budget to work with, so I am relying on organic growth ONLY! I need the tools to succeed and the facts and figures to convince the board they have to give me something to work with and succeed. In the meantime it is trial and error and being creative. I have a strong advertising background and needless to say would love the chance to learn from the best, however there is NO way I would be able to get a ticket via my work.

  • Katie Burton

    My biggest social media challenge is learning how to expand into using live video to continue to grow a brand’s social prescense.

  • Shiffon

    Hi there Well for me I’m just starting out here on the social media world so-to-speak. I just created my blog and I’m so excited about it. Also I just created a small start up coaching program to assist clients in business who are just starting out in their businesses. My desire, plan, and goal, through my experience and skills and training and now how… is to release what is blocking them. So I think I’d be a great candidate for your grand prize, winning a ticket and hotel stay… My biggest challenge is how to monetize my blog and coaching program so it become my full-time income… I think your event will teach me and help me know how to do that. This would be my first time attending your event… The key is learning how to do things expertly and professionally.. I think that is what you guys have. And , that is what I desire to accomplish. I think that A newbie like myself would show how much your events and program can work for anyone… Not just those who have experience, or who are more Savvy. I think the newbie person needs to start off on the right foot, and the best way to do that and save years and years of falling down and possible giving up on their dreams, is to get the tools in the shortest amount of time possible. And, shorten the learning curve from years to only a few months so one can get up and running out of the gate… The greatest joy for a newbie like myself would be to say, owning your own business and doing what you love really does work… And you really can get paid for what you love to do… This is why I think I’d be a great candidate for your grand prize. Thank you for considering me as one of the prize winners

  • Shiffon

    Hi there Well for me I’m just starting out here on the
    social media world so-to-speak. I just created my blog and I’m so excited about
    it. Also I just created a small start up coaching program to assist
    clients in business who are just starting out in their businesses.
    My desire, plan, and goal, through my experience and skills and training and
    now how… is to release what is blocking them. So I think I’d
    be a great candidate for your grand prize, winning a ticket and hotel
    stay… My biggest challenge is how to monetize my blog and coaching program so
    it become my full-time income… I think your event will teach me and help me
    know how to do that. This would be my first time attending your event…
    The key is learning how to do things expertly and professionally.. I think that
    is what you guys have. And , that is what I desire to accomplish. I think
    that A newbie like myself would show how much your events and program can work
    for anyone… Not just those who have experience, or who are more Savvy.
    I think the newbie person needs to start off on the right foot, and the
    best way to do that and save years and years of falling down and possible
    giving up on their dreams, is to get the tools in the shortest amount of
    time possible. And, shorten the learning curve from years to only a few
    months so one can get up and running out of the gate… The
    greatest joy for a newbie like myself would be to say, owning your own
    business and doing what you love really does work… And you really can get
    paid for what you love to do… This is why I think I’d be a great candidate
    for your grand prize. Thank you for considering me as one of the prize winners

  • Nancy R. Fortune

    Why do I need to win a FREE TICKET to the conference in San Diego? 1) I walked away from corporate America approximately one year ago to go it on my own but I’m still lost when it comes to social media. 2) I’m in a tailspin with what to do next, so much information out there. 3) I have family in San Diego and haven’t seen them in a long time. BONUS: I can stay with them so I don’t need a hotel room 🙂

  • Tracy Kennard

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is affordable stats tracking to show effective ROI.

  • Simona

    1. My biggest social media marketing challenge

    I’ve been hitting a brick wall for couple of weeks trying to optimize advertising on Social Media and delivering the right message to the right audience keeping existing budget, increasing the conversions and decreasing the bounce rate of a certain online fashion store. Don’t get me wrong, I bring conversions, I use segmentation and doing all sorts of A/B testing in terms of ads display ( mobile IOS vs mobile Android vs Desktop ) . To sum up , my biggest challenge is how to get to the right audience, the ones that would bring conversions and how to get rid of the visitors that bring a crazy high bounce rate. My reports and results show that ads displayed on social media on mobile are not that effective compared to ads displayed on desktops and but social media platforms choose to display ads on mobile and encourage this. So this brings me to the 2nd point

    2. Why I want to participate

    .. Because I want to find out more about the what challenges different companies are facing in terms of Social Media advertising and how they feel about the future of ads placement on mobile ( if they see a real value in it in terms of conversations or it will be mainly used for brand awareness)

  • Sue Ann Muller

    My biggest social media marketing challenge in a non profit advocacy organisation is teasing out timely, concise and effective messages from the other staff members which I can then communicate out in a way that will engage our followers and friends. I should win a free ticket because I work for a non profit organisation (paid) and pro bono for a charity (for free) and I also live in Australia. While I could pay my way with the airfare to LA I cannot afford to attend with the additional cost of the ticket and accommodation.

  • Nicole Montgomery

    My biggest challenge is teaching SEO in profile optimization and content creation to a bunch of eager college students! I am a college professor striving to learn all I can about social media (and stay relevant!) in order to teach young adults that are super saavy when it comes to social media. I have read countless blogs and books and watched more webinars than I can count. But, spending a couple of days with the brightest minds in social media would be an invaluable experience that would foster my learning for years to come. I sm privileged to have the greatest job in the world, and I want to give it my very best. Social Media Marketing World would help me get there!

  • Kari L.

    1. The biggest social media challenge hindering myself and probably many other brands is that a heavy social ad budget is required now to even capture the visibility of an audience nowadays. The competition for a piece of the pie on a social newsfeed is very fierce. This is very unfortunate for many brands that don’t have the budget to harness this once organic platform. While quality content goes a long way on social media, having an ad budget takes you even further.

    2. I would like to win a ticket to this event because I’m always eager to learn the latest and greatest in the social media realm. I want to be able to use my knowledge to help my clients thrive on a potential platform that gain new brand enthusiast. I love social media because it’s the new era soapbox; always evolving to tailor relevant content and exposing users to different ideas.

  • Dana Hitt Sanchez

    1. As a marketer in a small town in the Mid-West, my biggest challenge is keeping up with new trends & tools and staying passionate about Social Media. (I’m the only one I know that does this in my area and that can feel isolating at times.)

    2. Reason you should pick me? I will apply what I learn. Attending this conference will be a game changer for me and I’d be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn and connect with others who do what I do…and probably do it a lot better than me. (Iron sharpens iron.)

  • Taylor Bartels

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is growing a local audience on science communication based social media channels, to a community that is highly disengaged with science, without having any budget available for the process. The channels previously went viral overseas and have a large following in other countries which continues to grow, but organically the channels continue to serve information to those following overseas, and not to our local target audience. Working at a not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to the tricky task of science engagement and communication, results in a very stretched budget and severely decreased professional development opportunities. Winning this ticket would allow me to more effectively spread the importance of science to our future, and enrich the lives of our local community. I would appreciate the opportunity to learn and develop my skills through SMMW!

  • veronica rajandra

    My biggest challenge is streamlining content and getting a singular message across to the global market in which we operate in. Being a national tourism board with little help from state governments, it’s a huge challenge to put us on the map with rich content and information accuracy. Learning from global players that have already mastered this would be a great opportunity to not only learn but elevate the brand i work for in the social sphere.

  • James Weber

    1) Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge – My biggest challenge is positioning our brand and creating a voice that engages our audience but is appropriate to the institution that I work for (ie an academic library).
    2) Why should I win the Event/Free ticket? – Namely, I can’t afford to go. The cost of the conference, plus travel and hotel far exceeds the amount of money I am allotted for professional development. I’ve spoken about social media at conferences in the past but it was never the focus of the conference and I would love to be able to take some of this knowledge back and share it with others in my field.

  • Brenda Kyle

    My biggest challenge is to apply all the social media marketing concepts into a training program for the niche area of Etsy sellers. I need the best ways and techniques to deliver the education and resources with time limits in mind. No fluff training, content rich without small business owners spending months learning. Students will have the option to pick the areas they need help with or full programs for new shops, beginners, intermediate business skills to advanced levels. I need to take it to another level beyond just breaking training into modules Al a cart. That will take connecting with experts that have already experienced this and can share insights and resources to help me formulate an effective plan and utilize the right tools to accomplish it.

  • My biggest social media challenge is probably not unique, but it’s driving me absolutely bonkers. I have a great following, but I’ve managed to hit the wall with my growth and reach. I’m still growing, I’m still reaching, but it’s at a snails pace. I don’t have a problem with paying to promote my posts on Facebook, for instance, but I would love to receive instructions on how best to do this for my goals.

    I’m a dog nutrition blogger and write about raw feeding. I believe that dry dog food is terrible for my dogs as evidenced by a dog that had a laundry list of health issues until I transitioned him to raw feeding and – voila! – he was healthy.

    I started writing about raw feeding, because of my experience transitioning my dogs to a raw diet, seeing how difficult it is to find information on the diet without feeling pressured to switch, and the struggle to find affordable resources. The pet industry is a +60 Billion Dollar industry – there are dog owners all around the world who are interested in raw feeding. They’re finding my blog on a consistent basis and I want to see that traffic increase on my social media channels (primarily Facebook and Pinterest) as well.

    What I need is a social media game plan to help map out what I need to do from day to day to help build an audience, expand my reach, and shout to the world that RAW FEEDING IS AMAZEBALLS and actually have them hear me.

  • Jim Calabrese

    My biggest challenge is finding clients! I’m changing careers from a touring musician to a social media manager. I can’t seem to get hired at an online marketing firm because I don’t have the years of experience required, even though I’ve been handling our bands social media since MySpace. So I decided to go freelance. I would love to win a free ticket because it would literally change my life to learn from the best in the business. Everything I’ve learned so far has been self taught and going to this event would jump-start my next career. Thanks for your time!

  • Saní

    This is a great opportunity and on behalf of all entries, thank you for taking the time to read our comments.

    *My biggest social media challenge is ‘breaking into’ the Industry…

    During undergrad, I did not major in this field, because I was on a predetermined path, therefore it wasn’t until I was working on my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology did I recognize a different career journey I would like to travel on. Although challenging, it is very exciting to make the transition and I am confident social media Leaders will identify with my potential (looking for Mentorship).

    *A handful of reasons why I feel I should win the free ticket and hotel stay…

    1) I am eager to learn from great minds and personalities.

    2) Random facts: I LOVE Disney, chihuahua’s are SO adorable and I enjoy listening to Fetty Wap on my way to eat CFA. 😉

    3) It would be lovely to stay in a beautiful hotel for the convention.

    4) I have many innovative ideas on multiple levels waiting to be implemented by the right team (RE: Social Media Examiner newsletter).

    5) Lastly, through social media, anything can be achieved and engaging our community for the greater good (social responsibility) is near and dear to my heart…I need to learn as much as possible.

    Thanks again and have a good one!

    ~ Saní (@BesoSani)

  • Edonë Kilaj

    -Trying to grow organically fanpages with German audience…
    -At the end of the day I always end up here reading your stuff, so I would love to experience it live.

  • Filip.Frankl

    Hello / Pozdrav 😀

    My name is Filip and i’m 19 years old. I started working on the 11th of january this year (my first serious job) in a large chain retail store (EUROPE) with a lot of potential, and i’m the first and only one in charge for social media. This is a new chapter in the store, and so the director gave me the title of social media manager (at 19 years of age?!?! :D) I’m not afraid, i am excited as f++k, i was given the opportunity, that not a lot of people are fortunate to experience. This is the future and i want to be in the circle of people best at it!! I would never had such a great start without socialmediaexaminer, i was on the website in the first 2 weeks every day so i could read every article, so that i could make i little sense when i’ll present my plan to the director… He was amused and asked me how on earth did he find a person that knows so much (digital media was neglected in the company, they are using old techniques, dont get me started on social media…) It was easy, i just worked all day on social media examiner and making notes, it wasnt strange if my computer froze because i had so many tabs opened haha 😀 I made my plan of social media posts and strategies just like you told me, presented it to my director, and he was like; Filip, only the sky is the limit, work everyday, work hard and enjoy working and you’ll never work a day in your life… BUT WE WONT HAVE SNAPCHAT!!! They just don’t realize the true power of social media yet (and i really want SNAPCHAT for the company :D) You opened a whole new world to me!! My BIGGEST CHALLENGE is to be the best at it and know the right way to use it in my region, and at this rate we WILL be!! Thats my goal! While i’m writing this i am listening to Oliver Heldens HELDEEP RADIO YEARMIX ( He is 1 year older than me and successful as hell). My point is if people my age group are successful, why shouldnt i be?

    Why should I WIN the ticket?

    It’s not about how i should win the ticket, i just want to fill my head with all kinds of information and be successful at it, it’s about how much the experience with people that know what they’re talking about and listening to them will benefit my further social media path in life and thinking about it makes me so excited that the phrase only the sky is the limit makes sense! 😀

    And the next time i’ll present an idea, i will backup it by saying that the whole social media world thinks so and it’s about time that we use it! 😀

  • My biggest social media challenge is consistency. Putting together all the tools and platforms and delivering consistently.
    Why should I win? I’m in Italy, I’ve been following Social Media Examiner and most of the speakers CONSISTENTLY 😉 since 2009 online. It will be a huge opportunity for me to meet all of you in person.

  • JocelynALoza

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is having my clients understand the importance of reaching the Hispanic market genuinely. Content cannot be merely translated from English to Spanish. Content has to engage and relate with this market. Also educated clients on the difference between Hispanic and Latino and how many Spanish speaking countries use different words to describe the same things. So you see literally translating doesn’t work. Perfect example, my last client, did the literal translation of their tagline to Spanish. It made no sense. Once I revised it, sakes in the Hispanic market where the displays were increased. Why? Because it showed that the company too the time.

    Finally winning these tickets will help put Hispanic marketing in the map for companies. We are a growing community therefore we need a voice in marketing. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Mordecai Holtz

    As a founder of a digital marketing agency, I understand the industry and my clients are happy with their results. The real challenge is scaling the growth of engagement as the pages grow.

    Why pick me? I’ve been following, engaging with, and conversing with so many of these great thought leaders and I’d like to have the opportunity to meet in them in person- the actual ROI of social media- bringing online efforts into offline success.


    “Biggest” Social Media Challenge? – Having a clear concise understanding of ALL social media tools available in the market & then knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each tool and how to use different tools for different clients to get maximum ROI of reach and engagement for that client’s budget. No small challenge, I assure you!! 🙂
    Why Should I Win? – Because there are so many entrepreneurs and small business owners who I will be able to help and bless with the information I get from this conference. I like to think of it as the “ripple” effect. I attend this event, learn more about social media and meet amazing resources. I then take all that back into my Fort Lauderdale community and pay it forward! What could be better than that?!!

  • Sanne

    I really enjoy the Social Media world, I am a big Instagram fan but struggle with twitter and the ‘new’ Snapchat. We organize summercamps in the UK for international students (age 9-17) to learn English and play sports (high level coaching). As we do have a wide target group, students and parents, basically all over the world I find it so hard to find the right content for these groups and what channel to use for who. As I find that Social Media should all be done properly it’s another job on top of my actual job as a Operations Manager, I would like to find a way to do Social Media as good, sufficient and time effective as possible so more people will find are summercamps. I hope and guess the Social Media Marketing World can help me with this big time!

  • ikonoTV

    As a social media professional, I am always interested in learning about the newest technology and tools to promote my freelance clients brand and products. I sometimes found difficult to navigate through each tool and to stay abreast of the latest social development, but growing followers or reaching to new audience is perhaps the biggest challenge I faced today. As Social Media has never that powerful in our modern marketing world, I believe this conference is unmissable and will enable us all Social Media enthusiasts and experts to unlock keys to our answers while being all connected.

  • Stephanie McClain Boyd

    My biggest challenge currently is proving to my organization the value of investing in social media. I would love to come to this conference to learn more about ensuring our company has the appropriate presence for the industry and ensure I am reporting appropriate information to enhance the value of overall social media marketing efforts.

  • Biggest challenge for me is time! How to manage my social media while working full time for my clients! I have not found the rigth system for me so far.

  • Kathleen Donovan

    Doe my social media challenge have to be just one challenge, because I could write a list. First of all, I still have trouble getting the leaders of the company to understand that, if used wisely, social media is a valuable marketing tool. I agree that conversions that reap $$ are important, but there is also value in engagement. Unfortunately, it’s difficult also to track dark social where conversions may be happening and we don’t even know. If I could choose another challenge. It’s resources. I’m the only game in town for our social media efforts and our budget is close to $0. Creating brand-approved images and videos is difficult without resources. So, as you can see, I really need that free ticket to Social Media Marketing World. It fits well within my $0 budget and I know that I can learn so much about how to show the value of engagement, digging into dark social and maximizing the limited resources I have. Pick me!

  • My biggest social media challenge is also tied to the reason why I should get to attend. It’s all about #BeYourself. My challenge was a mindset change that has transformed me into why I social. In the beginning the challenge was whether I believed in my methodology, trusted the process in how to scalle and was patient and courageous enough to work for myself. believe in my vision. Everyone around me thought I was crazy or simply just going through a phase. The first outlet for me was social media examiner. Coming from a retail and business planning background, everything about social really challenged my psychology of marketing and its impact or influence on people. It’s like seeing the change in front of you happen in real time. So I immersed myself into to learning everything I could from everyone I could so I am a true student of the game. I took many jobs who professed they were building a social media departments and i was the first to champion best practices, platforms to adopt and so on and so on. And every time social media marketing world would come around, i would get so close to being able to go via my job and then for whatever reason, they would pull the plug. The closest I got was my last JOB. Tickets paid for. hotel booked. flight booked. days before the event and the boss pulls the plug because there was an apparent change in the suits( I call the hierarchy) and thus anything associated with them was cancelled. I offered to pay for ticket and was denied. That was the last straw. I vowed to never let anyone stop me from being social. So this was the next chapter, one I call stepping out in faith. During my time in social I had built up a knowledge base and resources but always on behalf of my business and never really myself. I am an avid reader and researcher so now I wanted to dig deeper. So i just simply started reaching out to people and I remember reading something that Ian Cleary wrote about attending SMMW with a goal of connecting with certain people which I believe in connecting with people and building relationships so I believe in the same thing. So I started doing it with the goal of eventually coming full circle at SMMW. I have gotten some great advice and encouragement from people like Brian Fanzo, Ted Rubin, Melonie Deodaro, Neil Patel, Dave Kerpen and Mark Schaefer but one which really meant something to me was from Cindy King( RIP). See my story is unique like everyone else but in the sense of knowing my voice and fighting to be heard so I have been on this kick about writing and had reached out to her because my goal and dream is to contribute to social media examiner. her words were kind but specific and I realized in that moment that from now on I either need to be like Nike and just do it or stop breathing. Because I live social. The passion, the purpose, the risk, the reward. For the love of social I have lost many things in life but gained many friends, awesome insights, a sense of purpose and grounded in my faith. There is no other place that makes sense for me. I know where I belong. At SMMW. I will continue the good fight despite whether I get the free tickets or not( But trust me if I won, you would not have anyone more happier, grateful and honored because it is falling around the time of my new office opening because now I am going “All In” on launching my social media company) and I will meet my destiny of making it there and connecting and building relationships with all those I have connected with online as well as others in the community. I am determined to not turn back. Favorite movie : Pursuit of Happyness. That describes my journey. I would be humbled if you help me in my pursuit. Stay Awesome!!!!!

  • ★ Social Solved

    I’ve been running my own small, social media management business for almost eight months now. The largest challenge that I face is curating good, relevant, often local content for each of the businesses I manage. I also struggle with processes; the most efficient means for not only posting but managing engagement. The emphasis for my business is definitely “keeping the SOCIAL in social media” but scaling responses and shares is difficult. There are many things that I do manually, individually, which I suspect could be streamlined. I would certainly learn a LOT from the experts presenting at this conference, and I hope to win a ticket!

  • Eslam Medhat

    My Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge is how to get the bes use of organic social media marketing and not just paid one! Of course ads are a great tool to boost your business at Social Media, but I believe that if you did well organically, you will find it much more easier with ads!

    Thanks anyway that you let people express all their biggest challenges so we can all browse them! 🙂

  • Cindy Baccus

    First, let me just say how much I LOVE Social Media Examiner. You have been my ‘go to’ resource for many years now. I was one of your first followers and biggest cheerleaders.
    One of my biggest social media marketing challenges is finding the right tools to manage clients’ entire web presence. Having the time to demo every tool that we hear about and taking the time to find them has been exhausting. We know that your writers and speakers are the best and in the trenches using some of the best tools.
    Why should I win? Not only am I one of your biggest cheerleaders, but we have attended your virtual Summits for years. Attending would only ignite the fire even more and it would give us an opportunity to meet everyone in person. My extra funds have been taken by my son in college and daughter who is about to graduate high school. Winning would be so AWESOME! My head might explode from soaking up all the information and meeting everyone. My camera & social media would need extra memory from the many selfies, photos, and social posts.
    Social Media Examiner….. You have always been my support, resources, and training partner for years. My entire network would be so excited to see me at the conference live. Thanks for the opportunity to win this year. GIANT HUGS!

  • Just Sayin’

    Being in the corporate world for 25+ years, first starting in IT then moved into Marketing, I’m looking to reinvent/rebrand myself. As a result, I’m bridging what I know from corporate and putting on my entrepreneur journey hat with the sole focus of social media.

    I’ll go from a different perspective than others and focus on myself for the first question. The biggest challenge is to not be so broad in social media. You don’t have to be on every social network. You need to do one thing well, then move on to the next if it makes sense on who you are targeting. You have to be laser-focused. Don’t be a “jack of all trades, master of none” type of person.

    Why should I win a ticket? Well, this would seriously jumpstart my journey by being able to network like crazy, build relationships and seek out those interested in being in a mastermind group.

  • Amy Smith

    I received my business degree in marketing when social media was still in its infancy, and I am just now learning how to use it for business. At this point, I’m not even sure what I DON’T know, which makes it difficult to know what to ask. My biggest challenge is using social media to find the customers that we want at Petsitter Plus. The software we offer is top of its class, but our target market is very specific. Attending Social Media Marketing World 2016 would give me the opportunity to learn from the leaders in social media marketing and to connect with others who are on my same level.
    p.s. Can someone please explain to me what Snapchat is?

  • Biggest Social Media Challenge for me is making a commitment to video. I know it’s important. I know it’s ‘necessary’ and yet, I procrastinate. Is it the ‘girl’ in me? Partly. We girls like to have our makeup and hair just right, and have the right outfit and a million other things. But, it’s more than that. The challenge is in knowing I am creating the right video content. I don’t want to be a talking head. The people I watch on video, the Kathleen Gage’s, the Michael Hyatt’s, the Michael Port’s, and others, are all relaxed and approachable. That’s what I want to achieve. I want to be comfortable in front of the camera. I am a co-founder of a large and growing pet community, and we hold a yearly conference, and I speak at it, but I am still afraid of video. I am afraid of speaking anywhere but to those dedicated pet folks who I KNOW love me. Ah, the fear of speaking in public. It’s there for many of us. If I could only conquer video, and become comfortable in front of a camera, I would be able to deliver better content, more efficiently. What do I need to do to both lose my fear of the camera and make sure my content is useful and valuable to my audience? No doubt, I would learn that at Social Media Marketing World. It seems inherent in the experience.

  • Meghan Spaulding

    I have been working on our Parks and Recreation social media platforms now for the last four years. I have developed it from just one platform to managing all four platforms. In our city government I have been a very big voice on how to use social media in a positive manner to get the word out about our events but also City events. My challenge is now how can I keep growing our interactions on our sites but how can I help and train our city officials on to create a more community engagement page across all social platforms they use. I do feel that social media can be used in a very positive manner if used correctly and if a person is trained correctly. There is so much more you can learn by attending an event like this such as networking with professionals in the field but also learning the materials first hand. Online seminars can only teach you so much information before one becomes disengaged. I want to take our small city from NH to the next level of social media marketing.

  • TJ Nelson

    As a women of a certain age, I love saying that who recently gave birth to twin toddlers I’m amazed at how much I don’t know about being a mother. This lack of knowledge gave birth to the concept of Parenthood-101. I live in Harlem, New York City. I’m neighbor to young, ill-informed, low income parents. My call to action, Educate. My Challenge: Reaching my target audience who will Google the latest fashion trend, watch reality TV, and follow Celebrity lifestyle before researching the best way swaddle a baby or be concerned with a rash or fever. How do I reached them, where do I find them when associated search words don’t apply?

    To put it simple I’m on my own and I need help. I need the support and guidance of an informed community to propel me forward and succeed in helping mothers and fathers raise healthy and happy children.

  • Louis Martin Jr.

    I’d say my BIGGEST SM challenge is content creation. With all of the changes in our (SM) world, putting together creative/crafty, relevant/sharable content can be quite tricky. Delving deeper into metrics and analytics to weed out what’s resonating with me and my clients followers has been my approach for some time now and has worked to some degree. However, I get this feeling that there are other techniques I could be instituting to have a more fluid flow of content ideas.

    What I DON’T want to do is get comfortable with the “norm”. Because we all know Social Media is FOREVER changing and shifting gears, we need to not only be WITH the times but ahead. What I have noticed is that rich-media is becoming more prominent. GIFs, Infographics, Video, etc., will be (in my opinion) the standard going forward.

    My area of opportunity would be having a set content-strategy in place for ALL of my clients that will build my confidence knowing that any given week I can push out EPIC posts. I do understand that some things will remain the same and you can’t reinvent the will (or can you?). What I do know is of UTMOST importance, is providing our communities the BEST content possible – whether it is self-generated or curated.

    Why I think I should be chosen to be a winner? I’ve never been and have always planned (in my mind) to go. I think this opportunity will allow me to be exposed to things I’ve never experienced before during my entire Social Media journey. It’s one thing to read your favorite SM Marketers Tweets but to witness them LIVE, in-person would be an eye opener and such an encouragement to come back home and be the absolute BEST Social Media Strategist I can be. Plus, it would be fun to fill my IG feed with cool pics of my SM family around the globe (kidding about that last part).

    Thanks for considering me and congrats to whomever wins!

  • Marchae Grair

    My biggest social media challenge is operating with absolutely no budget. I work as the social media manager of a church denomination. I’m really proud of what I do because this church is inclusive, affirming to LGBT people, and actively works to fight racism, sexism, poverty, and environmental waste. (And those are just the things I can name off the top of my head. We do so much more!) One of the disadvantages of doing such work is that we don’t have much money to spend on social media ads. We want to reach as many people as possible with our positive messages, and that requires me trying to find innovative ways to reach people without boosting posts, running ads, or paying for clicks.

    I would really love to come learn about ways to get our message out there without spending money. Churches like ours help people realize they are valuable and worthy, no matter who they are. That message saved my life, and I think it has the potential to save many others.

  • Shalynn Ehrhart

    My biggest challenge in social media marketing is determining what types of content are right for my audience and which metrics are actually meaningful. Being in a luxury industry, many of the members of my target audience are older (people with more disposable income) that don’t necessarily fit the norms of your typical social media user. Being in a luxury industry also means that my target audience is very well-defined. I don’t want to broadcast my message to the entire world – I want to focus on reaching a very select group, and doing this effectively can be challenging.

    I should win the free ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2016 because I am very passionate about social media and it’s impact on the marketing world. As a member of the millennial generation, an undergraduate marketing major, and a leadership MBA student I see how technology and particularly social media can significantly impact the bottom line of a business and would love the opportunity to learn from the experts in this industry. As a social media intern, I have near complete control of and responsibility for my organization’s social media accounts and therefore I have just as much interest in this topic as many directors and even CEOs. The difference is that I don’t have the budget to be able to attend this event on my own. I sincerely hope that you will consider me for this ticket!

  • The biggest social media marketing challenge is providing value, not only to customers and prospects, but also to internal decision makers. Let’s face it – marketing is generally seen as a cost center. Social media marketing still has not earned a seat at the grown up table because of how challenging it is to quantify. Tools and technology and a clever social media manager can certainly make a strong business case, but at the end of the day, it is still struggle to connect the dots between your reach on Facebook or Twitter, and potential impact on revenue. In a perfect world, ROI is less important than ROE – return on engagement. Providing informative, helpful content is, to me, the best way to start conversations with consumers long before they enter the sales cycle. When it’s decision-making time, your brand will be top of mind because of the softer, non-sales approach.

    As for the ticket to Social Media Marketing World – remember that clever social media manager I mentioned earlier? Staying frosty and sharing ideas with other social media professionals is key to social media success. I am always looking to learn more and find out what successes/challenges others have faced. Also, many of the influencers I follow on social are presenting (Kim Garst, Ann Hadley, Mari Smith, Jay Baer, just to name a few). Thanks for the opportunity!

  • I have worked as social media manager for sometime and am moving into consulting. My greatest challenge has always been how to communicate ROI to business owners who are entrenched in years of traditional marketing experience.

  • Tracy Malone

    Thank you Michael for
    this opportunity. This is my fourth year I have been to the Social media
    Examiner conference and I owe my career to the knowledge I gain each year from
    being at this event. A big part of attending a conference like this (which is
    the best event by FAR!!) is building your own tribe, getting to meet people
    that ‘do what you do’, or better people that ‘want to do what you do’.

    I not only get to call many of your speakers “my friends” but I have met people at this
    event that “I help and mentor” and in doing that “helping
    others” I also learn. I love to teach social media to my clients, I love
    the look of joy on their faces when it works! My challenge is as
    everyone’s is – staying up to date on new technology. Finding that time to
    explore new ideas. In just a few days at SMMW you get to do all that – meet people, engage, learn secrets, learn new skills, build community, and reach for the stars. I look forward to seeing my friends and meeting and getting to know other new friends.

    I am a successful social media and marketing gal and if I can say to anyone who is entering this
    contest to win free tickets – that if you are not chosen but you are serious
    about social media – get to this event it will change your life… plus there are
    snacks J

  • Shannon Carducci

    As a social media marketer for both private businesses and a non-profit (church) I feel most challenged by convincing (aka proving) the powers-to-be that advertising on SM platforms is necessary if they want to grow their audience. It seems they all expect to have overnight success with a high ROI as soon as they sign up with a social media consultant/expert. I am having a hard time educating them that social media is a “strategy” and takes time and effort (which includes advertising dollars). And bottom line it’s my birthday this week and I have been unable to attend in past years and would LOVE to attend and here from so many experts I love and follow! Thanks!

  • I have recently taken over a vacation home booking – with this has come the expansion of learning Airbnb and VRBO and how your booking and features are to show up – how to get more people to find your beautiful vacation home – the one that I represent is in Folsom, CA – it was built in the 1890’s and used to be the town hospital – this victorian style home has been renovated and is now a vacation rental.

    I do a lot with social media – but I also delve into the background of setting things up to better enhance your internet presence. Utilizing WordPress and the great plugins like “next scripts” to sync and link your blog posts to your respective networks.

    However, taking on the vacation rental for one of my clients has put me out there in the outside the box zone. I really need the help with promoting and setting things up correctly – I need help with getting in front of the right audience and how to promote with social media – I want to learn where to go, what would be applicable to my venue and create the type of social media marketing plan that will really put this vacation rental on the map.

    I am a member of the Social Media Examiner and I do listen and watch the trainings and participate on a low level – I honestly feel that this event would be the catalyst to bringing this beautiful vacation home to the forefront of Northern California’s vacation home searches.

    The AMGEN event is actually coming into Folsom – on May 20th – and it does end in Sacramento – the men’s stage 6 and the women’s stage 2 will be in Folsom – I want to capitalize on all of this – this is a huge event – and Folsom is actually the center of things – with Tahoe an hour and a half away – or our famous Amador wine country – to Historic Folsom on Sutter Street with the great shopping, restaurants and small unique theatre – to the bike riding trails, kayaking and canoeing – Sacramento airport is about 40 minutes away – and Sacramento downtown is about 30 minutes. San Francisco is approximately 2 hours – we are the center of so many great day driving venues.

    I love new challenges – and I honestly believe this event would be the answer to all of my concerns listed above and more.

  • Michele Gottlieb

    ROI and content hands down. Justifying ROI within a corporation has been a long standing conversation in more recent years and continues to be a struggle in defining metrics and laymen’s terms that executives understand. And of course quality content, not just frequent but quality content that defines and tells the brand’s story in an engaging way. There are now so many options for content creation but choosing the right form for your audience and delivering it in a way that breaks away from all of the noise that’s only going to continue to get louder.

  • Mary Lee Williams Tierney

    I do social media for a small business and two small non-profits. The biggest challenge is staying on top of the continuously changing world. I try to determine what formats are appropriate for my businesses. I follow several social media programs (Social Media Examiner is great!) but it is hard to keep up! Also, since the businesses are small, not all of the new changes are available to them right away.

  • tallmisto

    My biggest social media marketing challenge? Phew I’ve got a cauldron brewing right now. I’m a small business specializing in managing/consulting social media for restaurants. One of my biggest walls is convincing clients that you need to pay for social media. Whether it’s paying me (see also: why I should win a free ticket), or paying for ads. Connecting ROI with social media and restaurants is something would desperately love help with. I have so many ideas running through my head about social media that I am craving people and an atmosphere to help put those in motion in a creative and efficient way.

    I think I should win a free ticket because I’m so eager to put all of what is being shared at this conference into place. I’m motivated to share my knowledge and skills to help out local restaurants and make life easier for them. AND like I said, it’s just me grinding away at my business. The money just isn’t there yet, or perhaps I just don’t feel comfortable allowing myself to spend that sort of money. I know the information given is just amazing and the connections made there are invaluable, but the cash just isn’t present to make it possibility.

  • alexandra kujawa

    Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge: Learning from scratch. And I mean scratch! I am a trained pastry chef with almost no previous computer or smart phone skills. I had never used Instagram or Twitter prior to 2 months ago. I am now the General Manager of a quickly growing brick and mortar set (3 locations) of natural parenting retail stores. We have online sales and plan to grow that part of the business substantially over the next few years. The owners, who also have no experience with social media, have put me in charge of all social media, including graphics, events, complimentary merchandising-after seeing my strengths lie in visuals (hello, cake decorating!), more so than producing staff procedures and ordering supplies. I am LOVING the work but am obviously very under qualified to have a full business relying on my limited knowledge. I am scrapping for knowledge every spare moment I have. The owners believe in me and I want to be able to have this business grow to the potential I know it can have, especially with a great social media presence. Thank you for reading!

  • Sandrine

    The biggest social media challenge for me is to « sell » democracy. I work for the Chief Electoral Officer of a province in Canada, and I have to find new ways every day to talk about voting, the importance of citizen participation, the importance to make your voice heard, to get informed about politics and to participate in elections. Democracy is a really important and interesting topic for some, however for the majority of citizens it’s not as easy to « sell » as beauty products or beautiful travel destinations. It’s hard to make the conversation about democracy relevant, fresh and young and also accessible, while explaining why it’s important to care about it and why it does affect every aspect of our world. It’s also hard to talk to people about democracy without talking about this party or this platform or that idea, because we have to stay neutral. So, finding new ideas to « sell » democracy in an interesting, fresh, social and neutral way is really a challenge for me. I love, love, love my job and I feel like I really make a difference by having one-on-one social conversations with people about where and how you can vote. But I also want to change the world by explaining not only where to vote… but why it’s so important that you make your voice heard and take time to express your opinion by putting a ballot in a box.

    I would like to win a ticket because I would like to be able to attend Social Media Marketing World and learn how to be a better social media manager. As we are an organization and not a company making profit, I can’t afford to go to this awesome conference (and the Canadian dollar doesn’t help either!), but I would really love to take this opportunity and learn from the best, to truly make a difference in the world. Democracy is really important, and money shouldn’t be the thing stopping us from making the world a better place.

  • Veronica Lujan

    Biggest social media marketing challenge and why you should win a free ticket.

    Biggest challenge is keeping up with what’s the new vibe or way tool today!! Every speaker is there because they broke that code and managed to ride the wave every day…and it’s not stopping!! So Its my biggest challenge but a true tenacious entrepreneur will be willing to accept that challenge and have fun beating it everyday!!

    I should win because the time given will be used for exactly why this conference was created.

    To share, challenge, teach and grow the social media community. I am A new entrepreneur thats and A tenacious mom of 5 beautiful daughters. (Lots to prove) Recently left corporate after 15yrs to go full force and with a budget i cant afford all the courses offered. These speakers have helped me self teach myself FOR FREE on how to be successful in our everyday changing environment… trust me! If it’s new one of them is periscoping it!!
    Would love to mingle with them, thank them, learn more and see where my hard work will one day bring me. MOST of all one day I know i will be able to give back and sponsor a women like me to attend a life changing event …

  • Janelle Albukhari

    The most challenging thing I’ve ever had to work with, bar none, is finding out a way to use social media to help brands shape their voice. As a social media marketer and brand strategist I’ve worked with many a startup time after time – startups that recognize a need for content marketing and social media but don’t know how to effectively utilize those resources. They need a voice and are yet hesitant about investing, with the most commonly frequented question being, ‘but where is the ROI in social media’?This is one of the greatest benefits I see social media providing for brands: it helps bring them to life in terms that go beyond mere ROI. It’s taken me years of trial and error, a little push and shove here and there, but learning how to channel a brand’s ideologies and values into an online presence, into a brand voice, is by far the most rewarding aspect of my career as a social media marketer.

    I’d dearly love to go to the Social Media Marketing World to pay homage to Social Media Examiner and all those influencers that worked so hard to create the content I used to teach myself how to grow with. I want to see the industry in all its grandeur, meet influencers, immerse myself in the culture.

    I want to grow by leaps and bounds in terms of my skill set, and I think attending Social Media Marketing World would be the most wonderful way to do so I can think of.

  • Steph Asher

    My biggest social media marketing challenge has to be… clients. In my region, everyone and their dog thinks they can do social media marketing – they think that if they can update their own social media accounts, then why pay a professional to do it for their business? This is my biggest frustration and challenge. For many clients, it’s an uphill battle showcasing, convincing and teaching them the power of social media, the intricacies of the profession, and the epic results that can be achieved for their business. But it’s worth it – presenting the results achieved and converting these clients into social media marketing believers is a great feeling.

    I’d be over the friggin’ moon if I won these tickets! I live in Aberdeen, Scotland which seems like a little isolated bubble in the world of marketing. We aren’t nearby any major conferences (the most major thing here is the majorly awful weather!), so it feels like an impossibility to ever get to go to one. I’m so passionate about my work, and it would be so incredible to be surrounded by thousands of others that are too and learn from them all.

  • Diana DeBrohun

    I started a social media coaching and consulting business in November 2015 called Silver Surfers Digital Media; my target audience is boomers and seniors (individuals and business owners). My biggest social media marketing challenge with this demographic is keeping it simple. There are small business owners in my target demographic who have limited computer skills (and they don’t really want other people to know that!). They’ve managed to run their businesses without a lot of technology. They know that times have changed, and they are behind the curve. But it seems so complicated to them. And when I look at all the sessions available at Social Media Marketing World, I know that it can be complicated without quality, professional help. I need that free ticket so I can learn what’s best for my clients. I want them to have successful businesses and connected lives without too much complication. I want to attend Social Media Marketing World to make sure I know how to KISS.

  • Kavita Jain

    As a novice in the world of social media marketing my biggest challenge is keeping myself up to date on the constant changes and updates. I also find it hard to filter through the noise of solution providers. Every other day someone is talking about a new company, providing a new solution and it is hard to know what to spend your marketing dollars on. Which is why a conference like this will be so useful for me!

  • My biggest marketing challenge is that I live in a small community. Helping independently owned and operated small businesses to succeed using the power of social media is my passion. I believe that when these businesses thrive, so does our entire community. My long-term plan is to take what I learn about helping these businesses in my local area to similar businesses in rural towns nationwide. The challenge is that these particular types of business owners typically do not have a lot of money to spend on any type of marketing, and often times do not have a clue about how much of an impact social media can have for them. Yes, I could change my target market. But this town and these people are my passion. I should win so that I can bring home what I learn and change the world – one small business at a time.

    I began my business just over a year ago and left my corporate job, after 15 years with that company, in May 2014 to take it to the next level. I have invested heavily in my own business development by enrolling in courses that are run by the best of the best – including Amy Porterfield’s Profit Lab and Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy – which is why I cannot invest in an event ticket on my own this year. I am also a single mother of two teenagers, one of which is autistic.

    PS. I am a raving Social Media Examiner Fan and Social Media Society member. So thankful for the wealth of knowledge and support that your team has brought to the industry. <3

  • The biggest social media challenge I face is consistently coming out with fresh content that speaks to my audience and doesn’t make me sound like everyone else in my industry. I want to be able to provide my audience with posts that are totally useful, either by being helpful to their business or motivating. But I want to sound like myself and stay original. I don’t want to just fill my feed with crap no one cares about just for the sake of staying active. I want to drive engagement to my posts and that seems to be very difficult.

  • Jacqueline in Atlanta

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is simply finding the time amongst all the other demands of my life to make a real job out of it rather than just have it be “web surfing and posting nonsense for fun”. As a longtime nonfiction freelance writer, my life has gone from the typewriter and print media to the internet’s forums. Audiences are mobile. Attention spans are short. My own life is hectic and getting hecticker. (May I make up words?) I would like to win the package to come and turn my writing biz into a bona fide net savvy marketer for businesses in my area who are too busy doing business to handle the business of social media.

  • Scot Breithaupt

    The biggest social media marketing challenge I have is finding the proper platforms and content to utilize for my audience. Our demographics are all over the place and no one or two platforms with solid seem to be delivering proper value to our audience, at least enough to get a good portion of them to consider registering for one of my company’s many events. Working in the endurance event business, it’s become increasingly difficult to prove ROI on what my team and myself do day in and day out within the Social World. The one KPI our management uses is registration #’s. How many people sign up each week based off what we’re doing through social media. I’ve been able to prove long term results but have an absolute struggle proving week to week results.

  • Cheryl Osler

    My biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge is getting followers and getting the ones that I do have to engage. I’m good at scheduling my posts and if I do get any comments I reply right away but there just aren’t that many. I know that to grow my business I need more followers so I am also planning on starting a podcast in the next month. As I listen to the podcasts of the majority of your speakers, I’d really be thrilled to meet them in person and here them speak live! I was fortunate to attend my Social Media conference this past year when I attended Kim Garst’s Boom Social in Chicago. I learned so much and I know that Social Media Marketing World is the largest one around so I would love to attend it!! I am a big fab of every one of the speakers!! Since I lost my full time job last year and was unemployed for 6 months I have struggled to make ends meet and have now found a new job but I’m playing catch up from those 6 months so can’t afford to come on my own. Since I live in Northern Orange County, CA, San Diego is just an hour and a half drive for me so that makes it even more exciting!!!
    Thank you for considering me and whether I win or not I wish you all the success in the world for this year’s Social Media Marketing World!!!

  • Biggest Social Media Challenge: When you sprinkle fairy dust, make unicorns appear in a desert, and become the most interesting brand in the world. Then a client asks, ok so did I earn any revenue from that? That, my friend is the the biggest challenge. As a team, you can turn a rock into gold, you can create the most compelling content that anyone has ever witnessed, you can drive traffic and create the best engagement (even with a high signal/follower ratio). Yet, the client still may never realize what impact social has on their brand. Why? Antiquated sales processes, a poorly designed user experience, do not understand ROI, the buyers journey, or the value of an engaged audience. This is the challenge, that everyone here must face on a daily basis. You juggle lightening, and make it rain (in a desert)….yet it appears to be nothing to a majority of business owners…even when they are harvesting.

    Why I Would Like To Win: Simply, I want to go or send some of my team. I have been to SMMW before, and loved it. The learning, sharing, networking is a top notch experience. We would benefit from partners, deeper relationships and one day potentially become speakers.

    P.S. I will bring a fairy dust covered unicorn with me.. that would look great on the aircraft carrier.

  • Chris Woodburn

    I’m a married father of three children who is the only income earner in our happy household. My wife and I are privileged to be the parents of twin teenage girls in high school as well as a son who is in university. With all of the expenses involved in taking care of three kids as well as paying for university, I am busy working full time. My biggest social media marketing challenge is finding the time to create and share valuable content in order to build a successful social media marketing company. When you are just starting out there is a lot to be done in order to provide value to your followers. I guess my question would be, for those of you who started out in a similar situation to mine how did you find the time to develop and grow your business? I would be very appreciative of the free tickets to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016. As you can imagine with only one household income, and many expenses the only possible way I have of attending is by winning. Thanks to all of the team at Social Media Examiner for running this contest and offering someone the opportunity to attend this life changing event.

  • By now, local brands and entrepreneurs here in the Philippines are already aware of the impact social media can do for their business and careers.

    Unfortunately, only the big brands and entrepreneurs who got the deeper wallets get to tap into the benefits of social media because they can’t afford the services offered by the agencies. If I’ll be given a chance to attend this conference, I will ‘pay it forward’ by helping the ‘real’ small business owners and entrepreneurs to understand and benefit from social media for their business to grow.

    At the moment, I am already providing quality but cost-efficient services for local small business owners who don’t have the budget. Attending this conference will not only help me, but a lot of local small business owners in our country.

    Thank you!

  • Santiago Hidalgo Jr.

    My biggest social media challenge is finding away to start down the path of this growing business of social media. The reason it’s been challenging has to do with the little time and knowledge I have in my life. Father of two with a full time job it’s hard to find time. Most of the time I find my self waking up at around 3am with this site up and me booking marking where I left off at so I can pick up at that point the next night. So after seeing this post about the changes to win a ticket to one of the biggest social media event I know it was time to see if this was the year I gain more knowledge about this growing field if not for me then for my kids.f

  • Zach Dilworth

    We are just a new startup, but we are happy enough to have landed a few clients. Just like any other new company, we wanted to create an impact, slowly but surely, so we take to digital marketing, specifically social media, to spearhead our branding and marketing efforts.

    Our biggest challenge with social media is not with a particular platform, nor does it apply to time management, content, strategies, or sales leads, but with audience growth. We are struggling to grow our organic audience. Despite following expert insights to the detail, we don’t seem to see any sign of growth.

    We ask friends to like our pages or follow our official accounts. We follow other accounts in hopes of getting a “follow back” and comment on posts made by other pages. We have even tried paid advertising on Facebook, which so far was the only way we actually grew our initial audience. Ridiculous right?

    Without audience growth, how can we possibly build a more engaged community?

    The upcoming social media marketing conference in San Diego will be a great opportunity for my team to ask the experts how we could overcome such a challenge for startups. We want the experts to expand on the step by step guides behind their advice. We just don’t want to listen to them – we want to engage them too. After all, this is what “social” is all about.

    We want to attend the conference not only for the great information but most especially to exchange in active dialogue with the experts. I believe this will benefit both us and our clients.

  • Jen B Social

    Personally, I struggle with information overload, analysis paralysis, and shiny object syndrome! With so much noise on Social Media, I am grateful that I have one source, I know I can trust in Social Media Examiner. I know this (social media) is where I am supposed to be. I have skills that are hard to find and a work ethic unlike most. With a few clients now, I am ready to start believing in myself and achieve what I am capable of! I have worked VERY hard to network and connect with some of the industry leaders online utilizing Social Media (Blab, Periscope, Twitter), many of these connections will be speaking at the event. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with a few of them but have not met any of them in person. I am confident the opportunity to meet and network with these leaders and mentors such as Kim Garst, Sue B. Zimmerman, Steve Dotto, is a necessary step to take this career path to the next level. I am not name dropping to increase my chances but to support the diligent work I have already put into this path, the drive I have to succeed.

    I am entering the contest because I know my real potential and believe I am worthy of earning a ticket. I honestly believe I am on the path God has set forth for me and with a bit of mentoring and further guidance I can learn from the best and improve the lives of others through my work. My attendance would be a life-changing opportunity and networking blessing. Nurturing relationships and collaborating with the brightest minds in our industry. I will take the knowledge and apply it to the success of those I have the opportunity to work with, showcasing the value of your investment in me through the gifted ticket.

    Thank you, Mike, for all you and the team do at SME! Thank you, Lou, Rebekah, and Carlos for your time and believing in me! I can’t wait to gift others with such blessings as I grow in accomplishments!


    Jen Butler

  • My biggest challenge is I am one of a kind social media marketer in our area! Being from a rural India, I have no chances to share my skills and imbibe from others the same way as folks in a city can do. I am not complaining my rural background, it’s what has made me who I am today, I am saying if a guy from an era where most houses don’t have an internet connection can do this much on his own, imagine how much a pat on the back from the experts can make him do.
    Winning free ticket will help me brush my shoulders with the best in the social media industry and learn from them, needless to say the ton of exposure and connections I will make there. 🙂

    This will do nothing but take me a step further, and polish me and send me back to add value to small businesses by teaching them the right methods. This is how I can give my community back from what I learn at SMMW. 🙂

  • Andy R

    My biggest social media challenge is keeping up with the latest and greatest platforms and strategies and tying them all together. Just when you think you know it all, you find out you don’t know anything. Winning a free ticket would change my world by learning from the best and thanking all of the people that have shared their knowledge in the books that I read. Information is fast and furious in this digital world and to get on the cutting edge for once would be unreal! Thank you so much for the opportunity and it is so kind of you to giveaway this prize.

  • Midhun KV

    We are in a research on the topic best practices in crisis communication and to expand and extend the conversation to include social media. acknowledge potential limitations and describe steps for further
    development of the model through research recognizing the powerful and paradoxical role of social media in the crisis management process.

    I hope I win so I can feel the awesome of the conference, meet the industry influencers to discuss the challenges in the real time tracking of the crisis data for our upcoming project.

  • My biggest social media challenge? Who Trains the Trainer?

    Free tickets to Social Media Marketing World would be all about “Training the Trainer.” My real job is running a digital media company providing web design, social media management, and video production. In my free time, I am a collaborator with HarborActive which is a new digital learning program in northern Michigan (launched in January 2015). We provide hands-on training to community leaders and business owners on subjects like Facebook for Business 101, Facebook Advanced, Tweet Like a Pro, and Using Mobile Apps for Marketing. We have no funding for our program – yet – so I coordinate and promote classes in my free time, I train myself via online resources, and I am paid a nominal fee per session based on how many students took a class. (FYI – we have filled each and every class we have offered!) Our program gained recognition from Connect Michigan and they asked us to present our program as panel speakers at their Broadband Conference in October. We also competed for program funding and took second place with a lively presentation: Get Digitally Fit – Be HarborActive!

    We want to grow this program and continue to offer new classes that our community leaders are HUNGRY for. Free tickets to Social Media Marketing World would “Train the Trainer” – me – which is desperately needed for our program. I would then be able to teach everything I learned at SMMW to community leaders who take future HarborActive classes.

    Thank you! Marcie @harboractive

  • Theresa Dodge

    The biggest social media challenge for me is starting out and setting up a career, including social media, at 55 years old. I want to roll into my 60’s knowing I’m keeping up with the world and being the best I can be. Sometimes I feel there are not enough hours in the day to catch up on all that needs to be learned. I am grateful another volunteer at a non-profit I help directed me to Social Media Examiner. You guys are amazing. Attending the conference will condense months of researching and time browsing into what I am sure will be invaluable information. Learning from the best and having a little fun doing it would be a gift I would get to keep forever! Thank you.

  • Hergeir P. Vang

    I would love to win access to this conference, as I’m located on the Faroe Islands where very few appreciate the power of Social Media Marketing. This could boost the way of “attacking” the market, by having cutting edge knowledge and an amazing new profesional SoMe network.
    Unfortunatly the remote location makes the total cost of trip and conference tickets too highg at the moment, and this would enable me to get closer to budget.

  • Tarver Reeder

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is finding innovative ways to implement marketing strategies into my context. I am a recent college graduate with Communication Public Relations degree. I am now working as a Social Media Director in a multi-site church. In addition to that role, I also consult with other businesses and churches in regard to social media. I live in Mississippi and there aren’t any local conferences and events like this for social media learning. Even though I have a PR degree, social media was vastly ignored, therefore I conducted my senior research on it. Everything that I know is self taught and learned through teachings, blogs, podcasts, etc. My biggest challenge that I face is having the knowledge to be innovative in a frontier that hasn’t implemented much social media marketing. Social Media Marketing World is an event that I’ve wanted to attend for a while now, but don’t have money and resources to go on my own. This would be an incredible opportunity for me.

  • Amanda Keller

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is keeping social content fresh and fun while staying within the confines of a voice that’s appropriate for a government agency brand. My agency (and region, I’ll get to that) would benefit greatly from my getting to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016. I work in local government—an environment in which we must (rightly so) be able to justify even the smallest of expenses because we are funded by taxpayer money—so the chances of me getting to attend this conference (one I’ve aspired to go to since I started doing social media professionally four years ago) without winning a free ticket are minimal. If I am awarded a free ticket, I will bring the knowledge I gained back to share with other social media managers in the Kansas City region, through our local Social Media Club, as well as our Regional Association of Public Information Officers. Surely through my knowledge sharing, other social media professionals in the Kansas City region will recognize the value of attending the conference and put these costs into their budget for 2017 so they can attend next year. Allow me to be your brand ambassador!

  • The biggest social media marketing challenge right now for my small business clients is understanding the incredible impact that a robust, well planned social media strategy can have on their brand. In supporting them through my role as digital brand strategist, helping business owners gain the confidence to develop and implement a results-driven best fit strategy while honing their authentic brand voice and message for their evolving business, is a big part of my daily work. Devising systems in collaboration with clients to help integrate their social media plan seamlessly into the overall marketing effort for the business and ensuring consistency over the long term while incorporating social listening and engagement is also an area where they seek support as this can present new challenges.

    Based in London and as a long-time subscriber of Social Media Examiner (frequently quoting from the SMM Industry (Bible) Report at speaking engagements for small business groups) I know this conference is unlike any other we have here in the UK for social media marketers. The outstanding roster of presenters, schedule of hands-on workshops and networking opportunities are SUPERB. Not to mention doing business at the beach (wow!) in what I can only imagine is a stunning location. Winning a ticket would be an amazing opportunity to attend this awesome conference and learn from the industry leaders live, that I have avidly followed and whose content I have devoured over the years. Known for my endless enthusiasm and boundless energy, the small business community will be excited to hear about new and innovative best practice insights when I bounce back across the pond to share fresh expertise throughout the coming year and at pre-planned social media marketing post-conference seminars. AO

  • OceanArtist BobTimmons

    With opening up a completely new online fitness business that will change the way fitness is handled today it seems very hard to grab an audience to believe. Need to know how to direct readers with proper #hashtags, status updates, social media channels that are currently active, etc. I am juggling all of this while we aim to launch our Live Interactive Fitness Classes just after this conference April 22nd – Earth Day giving all our profits to registered nonprofits. So connecting on hot social sites in the proper manner is my challenge to make sure I create a buzz, a following, and buying of my fitness services with my certified trainers. Thank you!


    Mastering Instagram and Pinterest via lead magnets. I’ve been using a number of guides but…is the content wrong? Is my tone incorrect? What are the best hashtags? How do I find them? Are promoted pins something I should invest in? I would love to get these answers at the conference!

  • Sydney Nolan

    I love entering this contest every year! I’d love to attend #SMMW16, but as a very new young professional to the field, it’s still a bit out of reach financially. That being said, my biggest social media marketing challenge continues to be struggling to gain a better understanding of who exactly our audiences are on each platform and what they’re looking to us for in terms of content. As a communications assistant for a mental health nonprofit that works with several distinct groups of people, ranging from individual consumers to families to professionals who have been in this field and worked with these issues for years, I feel as if I’m constantly guessing at who’s approaching us where for content — and how to effectively reach and market to these different groups. I’m doing the basics when and where I can using native reporting analytics, but am stuck beyond that. I’d love to network with others to get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to efficiently and effectively reaching the right audiences with the right tools! As for why I want to win a free ticket, this truly is my passion — but it’s an expensive one! As someone who just graduated in December 2014, the realities of full time “adulting” are sinking in quickly, from student loan payments to rent in an expensive city and more. The nonprofit I work for also doesn’t have the budget to support conference expenses, but would benefit greatly from knowledge gleaned through this opportunity. Thanks in advance for consideration for such a fantastic opportunity!

  • Sydney Nolan

    Love the gym analogy you used! I went to a different social media conference this past fall after feeling very similar to the way you described, and loved it! So beneficial just to talk to others who speak the same “social” language. Good luck!

  • Sydney Nolan

    I work in a similar capacity for a mental health organization and often face the same challenges you described with protecting patient or client information. Valuable and important to respect without a doubt, but does make storytelling difficult like you said. Such a weird contradiction and constant struggle — good luck!

  • Sydney Nolan

    What an interesting field to explore using social media with! Sounds super interesting. Good luck!

  • Luci Timblin

    I’m a woman in my mid-40s in the process of starting a business. I have limited personal experience with social media, mostly just FB for family and friends and watching some YouTube videos. A large portion of my target market will be millennials and I need to learn how to reach and connect with them. I was quickly told that “FB is for old people like my mom” and that Instagram is the place to be, among others.

    I know that in order to start and grow a successful business, a strong and well-planned social media marketing strategy is critical. I have been reading ebooks and articles, listening to podcasts, watching webinars and participating in workshops (Guy Kawasaki, Peggy Fitzpatrick, Nathan Chan, HubSpot, SCORE, etc.). The amount of information is mind-boggling and learning-curve is intimidating.

    I plan to launch my business in May. By then, I also have to create my product and packaging, complete my business plan, create marketing and business plans, forecast my revenue growth, acquire financing, and on an on. “I have a long way to go and a short time to get there!” See, I am “old”. ha ha.

    Unfortunately, as a start-up in progress, I don’t have the finances to travel from Maine and attend this conference. As it is, I’ve been told “don’t lose the house.” 🙂 A ticket to Social Media Marketing World would be an amazing boost to my knowledge, success and confidence. Of course, the newsletter shout out wouldn’t hurt either.

    Thank you for offering this fabulous opportunity. You’re amazing!

  • Alex Solano

    Hi everyone and thanks for the opportunity to chime in ?

    After being in the Music Tech industry for 10 years my wife and I saw a need in the market for brands to optimize their social presence so we started our own company to help them develop a strong brand presence online.

    Our biggest challenge is to convey the value of our service to companies who have been in the industry for 30+ years and are used to more traditional marketing.

    Why I think we should win? Why not?!? LOL!!! No, seriously I feel we’re in an optimum place to offer value in the market.


  • Christine LaBelle Toulouse

    Thank you! We offer a unique opportunity for parents in the public school world-language immersion. What we have done has been very successful but want to up our results! 🙂

  • I attended the conference for the first time last year and it reinvigorated me for my business. I was writing blogs and new website copy on the plane on the way home! I learned so much from Sue B, Jay, Marcus, Jon Loomer and Andy Crestodina that I implemented when I came home. And my business grew and thrived because of that new excitement. I am so disappointed the Canadian dollar has sunk so low that I simply cannot make it happen this time.

    Last year I focused on attending sessions of people I knew in some way already and on the platforms I knew I needed to learn to use better and more efficiently. I neglected to attend the sessions on ROI and measurement and now I’m spinning my wheels because of that. Sure, I can provide the basic metrics, but like so many small business owners, I am still trying to find a tried and true way to track social efforts to overarching business goals, and a great way to present that information affordably (unicorns anyone?). If I were to attend again, I would definitely attend more of those sessions. And then I would have to come back next year to make it three in a row!

    So, my biggest challenge is proving ROI and making it easy to understand for my clients. Why should you pick me? Because Florida can’t be the only place in the US that wants to be nice to Canadians, eh?

  • Upright Communications

    The biggest social media challenge my team and I face is understanding the algorithm Facebook uses to disperse posts to newsfeeds. It’s been made clear that Facebook will only push out information to the users newsfeed if the information is what the user wants. In other words, if the posts have a lot of engagement or reach then it will continue to disperse the material. However, there have been posts that get low engagement with high reach and low reach with high engagement. This trend has been documented across our diverse list of 50+ profiles our team manages ranging from automotive, commercial window cleaning to professional signage. A better grasp on the algorithm that Facebook uses will help social media professionals create and distribute material to acutely reach the ideal persona.

    Winning a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2016 would result in more conversation about Facebook’s algorithm and search theory with key industry professionals. Together, we can all converse about the best practices to distribute material on social media to become better inbound marketers for the accounts we represent.

  • Sydney Nolan

    That’s awesome! Do you do much bilingual content, then? That’s something I’m looking to expand for my org as well (though not related to education). I know you mentioned YouTube in your original comment as well – lots of great possibilities for multilingual content with video, I’d imagine…

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is driving engagement. As a small team, our local business is doing amazing with driving potential customers to our website, however, we’re really struggling with getting them to engage. Our Facebook posts (with thousands of dollars in paid advertisements running in the background) are only reaching about 3% of our audience and we’re still only getting an average of 1 like per Facebook post. I do everything I can to research, generate fresh, new content, and write in a human-tone, but no matter what we try, it seems as though our audience will never engage with anything we post. Since Facebook is one of the first places a potential customer comes to look (after the actual website), it’s frustrating that we seem like a business that doesn’t care for its social media presence (which may mean it doesn’t care for its customers) when its actually the exact opposite. Going to this conference will definitely help to open my eyes about maybe what our team is doing wrong and how we can improve our social media strategy which will then improve our overall eCommerce business and, in turn, our number of generated sales in-store.

    In this day and age, there are very few brick and mortar, family-owned furniture stores that are trying to take over the digital world like we are. Help us reach our goal of becoming one of the only who can double as an eCommerce store and do it well.

    Thanks for letting me apply, and good luck to everyone else!

  • I’m young, creative and a bit of a wordsmith. I try writing with an engaging and unique style, but it has been a struggle to obtain the right audience. Sometimes I feel the industry (B2B) is just too difficult to rank, that I’d have more luck marketing for a B2C product or service, and other times I feel that my lack of success may just be a result of a terrible job done. Yet, when I look over my work, I don’t exactly feel disappointed. The startup company I work for has built a library of resources with my labor and dedication. Now, that we’ve got all of this content aimlessly floating throughout the deep and complex World Wide Web, who’s going to read it?!

    Why is it so difficult to obtain an audience? And most important to my employer, an audience who can eventually become successful, profit-making leads.

    Ever sat in front of the computer screen for so long that your eyeballs go numb? Ever find yourself talking to yourself when trying to engage on social media?

    Fellow content creators can understand the frustration and heartbreak of building hours upon hours of resources just to find that only one or two (extremely appreciated) audience members have looked at your work. Maintaining an audience and building a connection are my biggest struggles in social media marketing.

    I want to win these tickets because it’s important for me to hone my talents into a career that will continuously challenge myself and enrich my personal growth. In order to do so, I need to continuously learn and taking notes from the experts will only add to my mental library of tips and tricks of the trade.

    I want our clients and audience to really connect with our brand… but I think I need some expert intervention.

  • hfklaw

    My greatest social media marketing challenge is to convert my social media presence into tangible and measurable sales and revenue. Over the last 5 years or more, I have created a recognizable brand within the commercial real estate market. The trick is to expand my audience by continuing to provide entertaining and educational content while convincing a “somewhat behind the curve” industry of the value of social media. While I feel comfortable providing cutting edge content, including live, online, interactive video and audio content, such as Blab, I always feel like I am dragging the rest of my industry with me, while they kick and scream. It is no use blaming the industry for not being as advanced as I. Instead, it is my focus on doing a better job of bringing them all along.

    I have a difficult time feeling that I “should” receive or deserve a free ticket to this event. I can only state that after pouring most of my savings into my business, (CRE Radio & TV) I can hardly afford the, out-of-pocket cost of attending this conference despite the hope that I will greatly benefit from it. I feel that I provide to my audience valuable content that improves their personal and business lives. My hope is that the more I learn, the better I will be at generating revenue from my efforts so that I can continue to provide quality and valuable content and enrich the lives of my audience.

  • Megan Kellar

    I’m currently starting up my own business which includes supplying social media marketing to other businesses. I’m also working for a business providing social media marketing. I am self-taught and utilised various guides and tools on the market to improve productivity, which is when I found Social Media Examiner. My biggest challenge at the moment and from the start has been working out exactly what to offer my clients and how to report back to them. What details need to be passed to the clients to prove the work I am doing is making a difference and bringing in sales.

    I would love to attend this event and have been looking at how I can get the money together, but unfortunately I am only in the start-up stages and don’t have the savings to attend. Winning the free ticket would benefit me greatly as I would get to see great speakers and attend hands-on workshops, I’ll be even more inspired and can actually meet some of the speakers that I have been following and getting advice from since I first started learning what social media marketing is! At the end of this experience I would be able to finalise my business plans and have better knowledge to help other businesses.

    Thanks for all your hard work putting these events together and providing such great podcasts and articles!

  • Lane Danielle

    Hello Social Media Examiner team and wonderful fellow contestants!
    Thank you so much for this special opportunity.

    My name is Lane, I am the Social Media Coordinator for a cultural arts center/artspark in South Florida and I absolutely LOVE IT! I am also currently pursing my Master’s Degree in Global Strategic Communications in hopes to become an overall better digital communicator. Digital communication is a prominent part of both my personal and professional lives, so it is my goal to master both the art and the science behind it. I have learned that social media is not only a skill of mine, but it is also something I am actually passionate about.

    Currently my biggest social media marketing challenge is creating an instrumental digital tone and voice for our brand. Our center is truly a hidden jewel of South Florida, so coming up with tons amazing things to say about it is never a challenge. However, since we are a city government entity, there are a whole heap of parameters that our digital activity needs to follow. Hopefully through this conference, I will learn how to establish a powerful social media presence that stays true to our brand without breaking any rules.

    With that being said, WHY should #SMEpickLD to participate in this exciting educational event? Truthfully, I NEED to be there. As a young aspiring mover and shaker of this industry, I need to learn from the best to eventually become one of the best. I firmly believe that attending this conference will only serve as a benefit to my journey to becoming a top communicator as well as a well-respected and influential global community leader.

    When I graduate this December, I will become one of 10,000 bright individuals who have mastered this remarkable graduate program.

    – Going above and beyond by connecting with and learning from key industry leaders. There is no better place to do that than #smmw16!

    To wrap up- I WANT TO BE THERE. I am asking to participate in an opportunity that will boost my chance in becoming as great as I know I can be. I will take full advantage of every moment spent there and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a social media professional. Ideally, I will also be able to share some of the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years and inspire growth in other conference attendees. Let’s learn, grow and build the future of this industry TOGETHER!

    Again, thank you for your time and consideration!

    And don’t forget #SMEpickLD for #SMMW16!

  • Elizabeth

    Biggest social media challenge – balancing best practices with what actually seems to work with engaging our customer base. Our product is unique and our fan base seems to not follow any of the standard suggestions presented by social media marketing professionals.

    I should attend because you’ll be right in my backyard and I think my company’s unique experiences and challenges within different social media channels could bring up interesting questions and points of view at the conference.

  • Sandy Sandler

    Social Media is always changing, just as I think I have figured it out the latest, “game changer,” a new “game changer” comes along. My biggest goal is to keep on top of the new with out getting lost in the deluge of options when there are only 24 hours in a day!!

  • Mrs Adele Spurgin

    Hi there guys! Wow how awesome to be eligible to win such an awesome prize – thank you for offering it. LOVE LOVE what SME offers in terms of value. You may laugh at this description but here goes anyway….my biggest social media marketing challenge right now is getting traditional “dinosaur industries” interested in SoMe and warm to the idea of doing relationship building in a whole new way. Talk about paradigm shift.
    I currently live, operate and work amongst businesses based in the Australian Outback, so think mines, farming, manufacturing, engineering etc! Yet with emerging markets based in the East, changing the way business traditionally was done is vital for sustainability. This sounds practical and logical – however reality is whole new ball game. Hence the ever so slow acceptance of Social Media Marketing and what it can do for their business. Picture a dog being taken to a vet (one who doesn’t like vets) and that is kinda my problem right now when it comes to Outback businesses.
    I would love to attend in San Diego – so that I could serve my “dinosaur” buddies even better.
    Thanks again. Keep rocking on with the stellar value SME. Cheers

  • Cassidy

    My biggest challenge right now is figuring out the right balance of sharing my own content and other’s people’s content. I want to help drive traffic to my site but also help my readers/followers learn more and be inspired. I’d love a ticket to SMMW to learn how to make the most of my time on social media both for my benefit and my readers.

  • Luisa Dorman

    I come from the food science background and we are starting our own local business. My biggest social media marketing challenge is finding the confidence in what we are doing. I have been trying to learn and get as much from these website, but actually seeing and doing it based on a local buisness where the age group is retirees, my challenge is how to start! How to entice my non-tech savy target market? Facebook and marketing is a whole new world that is exciting and would love to learn, learn and learn some more..

  • The biggest social media marketing challenge? Good analytics. Too many Social Media marketers accept poorl analytics at face value. Twitter engagement data is universally aweful in third party tools due to API limitations. Even the best social media tools provide dismal sentiment analysis. Marketers don’t know how to benchmark using social data. I’m on a mission to change this… and two tickets to Social Media Marketing World will help me do this.

    Reading the challenges that others have posted, it’s uncanny how many
    Social Media Marketers are struggling with analytics, adopting and
    integrating platforms, and making business decisions with confidence
    using social data. I’m committed to changing that.

    I teach an MBA social media analytics class at St Kate’s University in St Paul, MN. I’m building a network of social media marketing professionals that
    want reliable, dependable, and standardized analytics and methods for
    social media benchmarking. We’ll share the results with all social media marketers and we’ll encourage the leading social media analytics/monitoring platforms to improve the accuracy of their base products instead of chasing the newest, shiniest features.

    With two tickets, I can bring a student — Or pay for my own ticket and bring two students. They can learn from social media innovators… while I work to improve the core analytics we all depend on.

  • Marcos Gomes

    My biggest challenge in social media marketing is to get new students to my institution during this time of crisis that Brazil is facing.

    For the same reason I should win the ticket. For us Brazilians, dollar is costing more than 4 Reais and the only way to participate in the Social Media Marketing World 2016 would be winning the ticket and accommodation.

    If I win, I will post on our social networks, helping to divulge in Brazil

  • Marcos Gomes

    PS.: I will pay my plane tickets 🙂

  • Danyelle Felchner

    Thank you! I’m so excited for this potential opportunity to launch myself further into my career as a Social Media Marketer!

  • Sean Slattery

    As an in-house Social Media Manager I am relied upon to promote my company’s brand voice while also aligning with the corporate guidelines. Coming from managing social accounts for car dealerships, where simply posting a sexy photo of a car would usually reach about a 10% engagement rate my biggest challenge is to replicate those results with a company that is selling automotive websites and software. I knew coming into this role that obtaining the results I was accustom would be a challenge however I didn’t imagine it would be this difficult. My biggest challenge is getting fans and targeted audiences to engage with the posts I am publishing. Our current or potential clients are car dealers which in general are not the most tech. or socially savy individuals. Like most companies ideally we’d like to start increasing the ROI for social but we need to start with increasing engagement with an audience that barely knows what Facebook or Twitter is.

  • Sarah

    I work as a marketing coordinator in tourism, and my greatest challenge is getting my business on board with video and a more energetic social media strategy. Most of the marketing staff is older, and having difficult seeing the benefits of video, or any visual assets beyond print. They need numbers, examples, and a reason to use video and social media to target new audiences. They’re sitting comfortably with their older audience which is dwindling, and they need to grow newer, younger, and more diverse customers. They have some social accounts, but I believe that they could greatly benefit from putting more energy into them, user fresher material, and exploring video. These are not frivolous endeavors, and save a significant amount of money over print and tv. A ticket to your event would give me more credibility in speaking with management, and let me reference knowledge beyond my own experience and schooling. Help me to change the dialogue we have with our customers.

  • Teri Valentina

    My biggest social media challenge is creating content that beats the other comments to win a ticket for this year’s event. I seem to share the same challenges as everyone else, but with all due respect, I’m constantly challenged. Being that I first learned about social media at last year’s conference and bought all the books, attended as many sessions as possible; my biggest challenge is putting all that information that I learned to use. I’ve come a long way since then. I was so overwhelmed by all the materials, that I enrolled in Graduate school at Florida International University to pursue a degree in Marketing & PR. Getting accepted into this program was not easy, but I’m determined to learn everything that I can about social media marketing. I’m thankful for the inspiration given to me at last year’s conference, it gave me the motivation to make this a career and for that I’m thankful.

    I should win a ticket because I would make a great spokesperson for this event, I’m a great marketer and people trust my word of mouth. Also, because I used to live in San Diego and moved back to Miami this August so my daughter could finish her schooling and be close to family. I need any excuse to go back to San Diego and as a student and having a student as a child, I desperately need this ticket!!!

  • Teri Valentina

    If I won a ticket, I can just imagine the publicity FIU school would give this event. The Master’s in Marketing & PR is a new program at this school, I’m one of the elite 40 who got accepted. It would bring great exposure to this event amongst the students, since the basis of this graduate program is social media. It’s a WIN-WIN for everybody, I think I should WIN. Thanks again.

  • Monica Montanez

    My biggest challenge when it comes to social media is finding that fine line between maintaining the professionalism of a brand but connecting with the audience on a fun, personal level. I avoid posting straight up marketing messages that will drive people away from the brand except when it’s campaign specific and is a real value to the audience. You can’t go full comedy either because then it detracts from the strength of the brand as a serious business, but there is a sweet spot somewhere in the middle that varies from brand to brand but I just wish there were an easier way or a quicker way to decipher it without so much trial and error. I often think that there might be clues I’m not picking up on or tools that I’m not leveraging and that is why I would love to go to Social Media Marketing World.

  • Filippo Decotz

    Every time a new company, a small business or a Kickstarter project starts their social media presence, they want/need to look professional, powerful and influential. We all know that social media success doesn’t happen overnight, and if done on a small budget it requires continuous effort.
    I noticed that even by following every single social media tip, there is no success unless something major happens (article on a mag, or mentions by influencers).

    So here is the challenge:

    You are a genius and are building the most life-changing product on earth. Becuase you are so committed you only have nerdy friends who won’t be of any help when it comes to social stuff. You are about to launch your product, but with your money left you can only buy ramen noodles. Everyone around you says you should have a Facebook page, and Instagram account and so on. They don’t know you already have them, and although you have been following all the best practices to make these accounts excellent, no-one is looking at them, and no one is noticing your product. How can you grow your low-budget social media account(s), organically, without having a pool of remarkable friends willing to share your new posts?

    So why should I win this ticket?
    I think I developed a viable short-term scalable solution to the challenge I just described above. I would truly love to share it with the social media world and see if they can break it, aw, I also can make excellent risotto. 😉

  • Karma Social Media

    The biggest social media marketing challenge is getting people to acknowledge that a good marketer and a good manager are highly skilled and valuable resources and that they should be treated as such. I run into so many potential clients that have the most absurd ideas for what they think of as fair compensation for managing the social profiles and marketing strategies of their company. There is still the thought that social media is a thing for teens therefore they can get away with trying to pay you anything they think is fair or sometimes not at all, insisting they are doing you a favor by letting you work for them.

    While I know the value of my work and constantly try to learn and get better, I think I should win a ticket because going to the conference would present an amazing opportunity to learn from people world wide and even meet some that have found success in a path parallel to time.

  • Artesia Holloway

    My biggest social media challenge is convincing my firm that I need to attend events like these in order to grow our online presence. I manage the 3 social media platforms we’re on and have come to a stand still on gaining more followers and engaging my audience. For the last 11 years, I’ve handled the AP/AR for my firm. Now, I just handle the AR and our social media. The audience we have is due to the efforts I’ve made and while my firm appreciates it, I believe, they don’t feel spending money in social media education is worth it. “Too expensive relative to what we’d expect the gain would be from improved social media.” was the reason provided as to why they wouldn’t pay for me to attend. Now I completely understand ROI, but having an accounting background limits me in social media. I’m all for learning and experiencing new things. I even built our company’s new website. I want to take my firm to the next level with live Twitter chats and such. But simply, I don’t know what I don’t know. I would like to win a ticket so I can gain the skills and confidence to do the social media marketing side of my job better, much much better.

  • Lane Danielle

    Love your post! I attend FIU as well. I love their graduate program! Good luck!

  • My biggest social media marketing challenge is getting my community to talk with each other.

    As we build our audience and following, we know it’s important to help facilitate conversation outside of all the things we are doing and posting.

    We want people to have conversations with each other around our core topics, as we feel this type of engagement drives passion, exposes problems (that we can solve), and encourages sharing and additional exposure for us.

    So for us, it’s about creating passionate fans out of the weak (starting) connection that is something like a Twitter follower, or Facebook like. We are always looking to start conversations, especially by asking questions, but we don’t always get responses.

    So our biggest challenge is finding the right people that want to engage with us and with each other around specific topics, and then asking them the right questions so as to begin in-depth discussions between our community memberes and ourselves.

  • Malini Mohankumar

    Challenge #1 Expecting ROI from social media #2. People engagement #Define and Design one solid social media strategy

    Why i should win free ticket – #1. Knowledge gain #2. get captivated by speakers insight #3 Networking and communicate with fellow social media consultants and experts #4 Ofcourse celeberate!!

  • Teri Valentina

    Thanks Lane 😉

  • Andrea Wilson Woods

    I’m a former social media manager so I understand the technology. However, I have two separate lives when it comes to social media. I have my own coaching and consulting business that I just recently launched after being a freelance writer so there’s a major rebranding underway as well. But I’m also a liver cancer patient advocate and I haven’t had the necessary resources to take our social media accounts to the next level even though I have all them reserved. Figuring out a way to balance these two aspects of my life and use the right social media accounts effectively and productively is a challenge. I would be honored to attend the conference, which otherwise I would not be able to go to due to my current finances. Plus, I lived in California for 24 years so it would be nice to see some sunshine again. But that’s just an added bonus! Thank you for your consideration. Balancing these two equally important aspects of my life is so important to me. I know it can be done. I’m just a bit flummoxed as to how to do it. Thank you. Sincerely, Andrea Wilson Woods

  • Lindsey Feldpausch

    Balance and boundaries. My biggest social media marketing challenge is keeping balance while drawing boundaries. I desire to live a balanced life myself. If each of us social media managers/marketers were honest, I think we’d confess that this job can take over our lives if we let it. I have found that when I draw intentional boundaries with my work time and give the proper time to my family, I am better at my job. This is however a weekly struggle to keep social media and the superb privilege that it is, in it’s proper place and time. We all want to do it well. It is the biggest challenge to find the perfect balance between the burn-out and beauty. 🙂

  • Angela Gonzalez

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is proper measurement. It’s difficult to tell what is important to measure. Sometimes management is impressed by likes or clicks, but is it what should be measured? I need to learn how to make a strategic social media marketing plan based on the baseline data and goals. I also need to learn about making an effective and user-friendly editorial calendar for content.

    I work at a non-profit in Alaska. I should win a free ticket because great trainings and conferences are harder to come by in Alaska because of the distance and expense of travel.

    Thank you for your consideration. Good luck everyone!

  • Michele Secondo

    Nowadays, any company wants a social media presence: you need a Facebook page, Twitter profile, or “to be cool” Instagram or even Snapchat. At the same time, most of companies don’t allocate a large enough budget to marketing, especially online.

    This year it would be my 4th time at SMMW, and year after year my biggest challenge keeps being the same: staying on top of all the stuff that happens in one year! During SMMW (if you don’t get lost in the enormous amount of info you get) you are on track with the latest tools and strategies, starting from the following week you are not anymore. In this world, knowledge gets obsolete real fast; and after one year you are like at the stone age. Reading SME helps a lot, but it’s not the same.

    Why I believe I should win? Because in the past 3 years I have been a huge advocate for SMMW and SME with my friends and colleagues, and I know for sure some of them read SME regularly, not to mention one is discussing with his company to make them pay for his conference.

    Secret perk: selfie with Mike from last year 😉

  • Lauren Marty Golden

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is staying in front of all of the changes across various platforms and the introduction of new social opportunities for digital marketers. Each day I set aside time for professional development and it inevitably gets trumped by a busy schedule of addressing client concerns, posting, scheduling, replying; strategy and planning; and efforts for new client acquisition. I left a company to have more flexibility to work from home and have more time with my two young kiddos, and being a one-woman show has made it difficult to stay at the forefront of an ever-changing industry.

    I would love to win the trip to Social Media Marketing World because I want a vacation away from my family in sunny San Diego. All kidding (sort of) aside, I’d love the opportunity to surround myself with other creative, ambitious digital marketers who can catch me up where I may have fallen behind and give me a kick in the tail for continuing to infuse professional development into my business.

  • Biggest social media marketing challenge is TIME.The digital and social media landscape changes daily and I need to stay abreast of it for my clients. How does a soloentrepreneur keep up to date with changing technology, current best practices (by read social media examiner of course!) plus then make time to create strategies and campaigns for clients using these best practices. It all takes time – and loads of juggling of time. SME keeps me up to date on best practices – any chance of a time machine to give me a few more hours in the day?

  • orkhanrza

    My biggest social media challanges:
    1. We had startup called Manads app (mobile ad platform). I managed to reach 10% of Azerbaijan android users within 6 months. It was record download number in Azerbaijan. I used only Facebook app install module and used it accurately for spending less money and getting record download.
    2. Friends launched video CV platform VitalCV in 2013. For nearly one year they managed to register 1K users to the platform. And one day they was invited to “Startup Turkey” event. But they said 1K is very low number for that event. They asked me to help them. I had 45 days and I managed to reach registered users to 10K till the day of event using Facebook and Twitter. They can’t believe even today how I’ve made it 🙂

    I’m anterpreneur and digital marketing expert in Azerbaijan. I want very much to join to that event. Because I love this platform. When I advise to students useful platforms about social media, Socialmediatoday and Socialmediaexaminer is the first platforms which I advise.
    But I can’t buy ticket and participate there, cz we had devaluation about 50% 2 months ago, price is very expensive for me. But I’d love to join that awesome event. Waiting for the results.. 🙂

  • Alan Riley

    Because I love social media and marketing. It’s a perfect marriage. I truly eat, sleep and breath this stuff. I only sleep because I have to. My greatest challenge? I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I am unable to keep up with the emerging trends, latest apps, and best methods to combine all the digital age is offering on each new day. I NEED, MUST HAVE and can’t think of any way than 100% IMMERSION with 100+ experts in one place just to help me catch up until next years conference. NOBODY WOULD GET MORE, and RETURN MORE in the future from this conference than myself.
    Why me? Shifting gears to do what I love. A start-up with limited funds. Need help. Please heeeeeelp!

  • It’s noisy out here. Really, really noisy. When you write for a primarily female audience, it can sometimes feel as though you’re running out of legitimate, actionable ways to be sure you’re heard. And, honestly? It’s even harder once you have their attention to be sure what you have to say hasn’t been said in just the same way over and over again. I mean, how many ways can I show you what to do with a Mason Jar or put your child to bed or make extra money from home? It’s not as easy as just creating great content and it’s frustrating to hear that it is. I need some SEO verbs I can eat for breakfast everyday, and a map that’s not leading me in circles.

  • Liat Behr

    The biggest social media marketing challenge I face is converting traffic to ROI. That’s not to say that there aren’t other challenges, just that this is the biggest. I should win a free ticket because I would be flying out of Israel to attend – which is another place you’ll be able add to your list of places people are coming from to attend.

  • As a Social Media Strategist and Trainer, it is imperative that I keep myself updated with the latest trends, how to’s, what strategies are working currently so that I can give my clients the “creme de la creme” of social. Due to its constant changes and updates, I don’t want my clients to stress or waste any precious time looking for the solutions to their problems. I want to be the “Go to Expert” and knowledgeable to provide the necessary value that they are looking for.
    Why I want to attend #SMMW16? Because I’ve been following Social Media Examiner for years, attending their virtual summits and SMMW virtual too, I know the value that I get from it however I want to be able to meet “face to face” with so many experts in so many different areas and LEARN so that I can educate my clients whenever possible.
    I want to share with you my first Vision board that I have done January 2016…you might recognise some pictures in there from Social Media Marketing World. YES it’s in my vision and this is my mission…

  • cardscashrewards

    I have no problems writing big pieces of content such as articles, SlideShares, and blog posts, but it can be challenging at times breaking those big pieces of content down into engaging social posts that propels me deeper into the social sphere. Winning a free ticket to Social Media Marketing World would enable me to attend an event I otherwise would not be able to attend this year because of budgetary constraints. Even more, winning a ticket would help position me to draw from the wealth of practical applications I strongly expect to flow from some of the most successful practitioners of social media you will find anywhere. And, because I will be listening intently for insights to improving my content’s ‘engage-ability’, attending this year’s event enables my professional growth immensely.

  • Teresa Heath-Wareing


    I’m one of those people who love what they do and most of the time I feel like I eat, sleep and breathe Marketing & Social Media!
    I can’t help but be entertained by a quirky advert, sharing an engaging social media campaign or be persuaded to buy something because of its beautiful, well thought-out and targeted packaging.
    Since gaining my BA Hons in Marketing, I have spent over 11 years working in a variety of roles and business sectors, from my first role as a marketing assistant sending fax campaigns for local SMEs, right the way up to managing Corporate Marketing for internationally renowned brand, Land Rover. I have worked across all marketing medias.


    My biggest challenge is keeping abreast of the ever changing world of Social Media.


    I work really hard to keep on top of the latest trends and developments and in the UK we are lacking strong Social Media leaders who can bring on the industry. Being able to attend this prestigious event will enable me to develop connections and relationships with key Social Media contacts.

    Fingers Crossed 🙂

  • lara

    Managing more than 60 social media accounts and more than 80 social media staff, I find it a challenge to ensure consistency across the board. As I work in the nightclub industry there are many limits in terms of advertising guidelines etc and a lot of creativity is required. I am taking the company from a sales focus to a marketing/content focus which is a huge challenge in itself for a company with more than 3000 employees.

    I should win a free ticket, because it would be extremely insightful and would provide a lot of information for me to take back to staff and my employers to continue to push a change in direction in the way we market our products/services. In addition to that I am willing to fly over from the UK to attend the conference!

  • Dawn Renee Keller

    I’ve been working in social media marketing for over 5 years and have set this event as a goal as long. I’ve had personal set backs that have kept me from meeting it; but it hasn’t kept me from studying everything that Social Media Examiner and event speakers have been putting out over the past few years.

  • Sean Smith

    My biggest Social Media challenge is reaching a market that has been made afraid of Social Media.

    I have spent years working to change the conversations around Social Media in our Education systems, but have had very little success (until recently) in being heard over the chorus of “Social Media is Bad”. My target has mostly been teachers, administrators and school board officials, most of whom have little or no presence in the Social Media space. The success I have had is a result of targeting parents to drive the message, but, even then, parents are hesitant to push any change because they have also bought into the Social Media is bad for their children concept.

    It is especially difficult to get the message to the top of the chain (the Government) as they are primarily “send” rather than “receive” Social Media users, paying very little attention to the casual or targeted Social Media conversation or marketing.

    In every case, where I have had the chance to teach the effective use of Social Media to youth, I have been able to change kids conversation and use of Social Media and Social Media platforms in a positive manner (in many cases, even reducing cyber-bullying issues, in schools). Yet those successes, in my small community, are drowned out by the message pushed out by those organization marketing the negative side in the larger communities.

    I know that the best way to get the government (and the school boards) attention is to create a following of parent and teacher advocates, that will bring the message up the chain to the decision makers. The challenge is HOW to get that message heard out there, over the well funded and influential organizations that push the Social Media is Bad message.

    Attending Social Media Marketing World means I get the opportunity to not only get to explore some new ideas, when it comes to marketing my message via Social Media, but I get a chance to potentially brainstorm ideas and approaches with thought leaders, professionals and parents from around the world. That can only result great things happening in my effort to educate coming generations of Social Media users.

  • james

    My biggest challenge with social media and what do next is?…….. How do we do social media for a medical issue? Over 5 million people in the united states have Hep C. 75% don’t know it. Hep C has a huge stigma attached to it like AIDS did years ago. If you have ever had a Tattoo, blood transfusion prior to 1989, shared drug needles, or straws even just once, been inoculated during the military you might have hep c. Hep C deaths passed AIDS deaths in 1999. Hep C is a silent killer and lays dormant for years. Its imperative we save lives. The coolest thing about all this there is a CURE in the last 2 years. There is not at this time a “pink” ribbon for this disease. We need this help in a social media campaign that can become world wide For every $100.00 the government gives to AIDS, Hep C gets $3.00. With social media we can create awareness on a large scale for not much money! Our newly formed non profit believes that we can get a national campaign going to end this epidemic. Let the Social Media Examiner site/show/ @michaelstelzner a part of saving thousands of lives. You wont regret being a part of a life changing campaign.


  • Miranda Plyler

    What’s my biggest social media marketing challenge? In this incredibly dynamic field where things can literally change overnight, that’s a tough question… But I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, so here goes… I was hired as an online marketing director for a very competitive company with no training, just trust- as personal friend to the owner, he told me this was my baby and to make it fly. After about a year of observing online & social media marketing- while trying to learn the insurance industry at the same time (eeek!)- I feel like I have a very clear understanding of how this animal… or beast, might I say… works in theory. Problem is, being this self-trained yet highly capable person, the struggle is putting all of the pieces together to turn this one-man band into a harmonious symphony. I believe social media marketing is the future of marketing as a whole, and coming from a demographic where little is known about it, I am ready to go ahead and take the plunge and attempt to pioneer this thing. With a little more guidance, depth of understanding, and access to resources that Social Media Marketing World can provide, I have all the confidence in the world I can put my company on the map, improve the quality of life for myself and my son, and continue to help develop my community. I believe I should win a ticket to this event because I have more than proved my tenacity by being a single working mother that put herself through college with limited financial resources all while graduating at the top of my class. If adversity is a mountain, I wake up and scale it every day- and mastering social media marketing is the pinnacle. Give this hard-working underdog a shot! Who knows… I could be your next keynote speaker 😉

  • Natalia Crawford

    As a Social Media Manager, the most challenging thing I come across is getting engagement from the community. I have applied various different strategies (such as asking questions) but still seem to have a hard time. I am still able to build a good following and generate leads but I would love to have more engagement with my community. I should win a free ticket because I LOVE social media and am always looking for new ways and opoprtunities to grow. Attending Social Media Marketing World would be this girls dream come true! 🙂

  • Tony Huynh

    My biggest social media challenge is finding, maintaining and developing a highly targeted, passionate audience base that engages with our unique niche product. I have some ideas and tools in mind, but I have trouble organizing everything into a concrete strategy and effectively implementing it.

    I should attend SMMW because I think being in a workshop discussing with other professionals (rather than just reading articles online) can prove much more valuable for my social media experience, and I think our company’s challenges could bring new questions to the table. Also, having the opportunity to network with other professionals will open the doors to collaborations and developing enriching win-win relationships for our small company. Finally, I was born and raised right in San Diego and can suggest the best places to eat!

  • Gary Bledsoe

    A) Biggest Social Media Marketing Challenge – Learning How To Effectively Target and Attract Leads For My Home Business Using Social Media.

    B) Why I Should Attend The Event and Win FREE Ticket – Because, Once I Learn (A) I Can “Pay It Forward and Teach Others.

  • Desi Belew

    Hi Jennifer and SME staff!

    I was recently hired as the Social Media Marketing Manager for the Bistro Group. We oversee both McAlister’s Deli and TGI Friday’s. With 26 Friday’s restaurants and 5 for McAlister’s Deli, it’s been quite an adventure trying to keep up with all their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, especially since they are spread out all across the Midwest (Good lord, each of them have their own MARKET!) In addition, I recently graduated with a degree in Marketing and have little experience. only person in the company who oversees and orchestrates the marketing department.) It’s been a dream–and a challenge–to have such a position fall in my lap. With that said, my absolute biggest challenge has been storytelling through my marketing. It’s not just about promotions, it’s about the people that work with us and for us. Our guests know our food, now we want to tell them the history and experience that Friday’s and McAlister’s Deli aim for.

  • Rena Goldman

    I’m currently in the middle of my biggest social media marketing challenge. A month ago I joined a company as marketing manager. The company actually has two separate brands that require social media marketing. I am the only current employee with a writing background and knowledge of how to use social media to create brand awareness. Before starting a social media strategy, I delved into the websites for both brands and discovered they were outdated and contained mistakes in the copy. I’ve been completely rebuilding the sites to have strong content that backs up a social strategy. That’s part one. My other issue is that social channels for both brands were managed by multiple people, including people who were not fluent in English. There has been no consistent voice and some of the posts contain clear grammatical errors. I also have to address negative reviews that have gone unanswered and reflect poorly on the company. Do I wipe the pages and start fresh or delete only the most poorly-constructed posts? This is my current debate. I love content and the different ways in which we have to share it. I know that social media is a world that is always evolving and I want to always stay sharp and relevant. If I win the chance to attend this conference, I will make the most of every minute. I will soak up new information and advice from seasoned professions and apply it to my daily efforts. For me, it’s important to be constantly learning and growing. I have not been able to attend a conference before due to the pricing. My budget has always been very tight since I’ve either worked for small companies or as a freelancer. Thank you for your consideration!

  • Susan Bredau

    My biggest challenge as a social media marketer is keeping up with all the new platforms, changes and how to best use them. I manage a Facebook page for a client and would really like to expand my skill set and get my savvy on!

  • Cathy B

    I have worked in the Social Media industry for several years now. I have received my Master Certification in both Social Media and Mobile Marketing from Market Motive. As you know, Social Media is an ever changing industry. Since I mainly work solo for a small handful of clients, I do not have the budget it takes to attend this conference. Attending this conference would be a dream for me. I have always been interested in Social Media and all that it has to offer the world. I am always looking to expand and grow my craft and meeting so many creative and influential people would be amazing. Giving everyone a chance like this is great and I thank you for the opportunity. Ginger says, “Please choose my Mommy.” #PayItForward #OnceInALifetime #SoMeRocks #SMMW16 #NoShameInTheGame

  • Michelle Renee O’Neill

    My biggest social media challenge is continually engaging my audience at a high level. I want each person that lands on a page that I manage to be excited, feel sucked in by the content and culture. The likes are awesome, but I also want deeper engagement.
    I want to win a ticket to this event because I know how impacting these events are for those who attend, both personally and professionally. I follow many of the speakers and really want this experience to adsorb and learn from them.
    Social media is my passion, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work from home as a mom to 4 and go after my dreams. I believe this conference is the difference between playing small and really creating a business and impact.

  • Marius

    Hi. I’ve been working hard for the past few months to launch my online business. My goal is to launch it on February 29th. Because I’m starting from 0, I have no email list and no followers on any social media. My biggest social media marketing challenge is how to leverage the power of Twitter and Facebook in order to attract my ideal customers.

    Why should I win a free ticket? Well, one of the people that I admire (and work for), author John C. Maxwell, talks a lot about the power of proximity. I believe that being in proximity of the 126 speakers that together share 7,845,884 followers on Twitter alone (as of this minute, and yes, I counted all of them manually 🙂 ) will give me the insights that I need in order to get my business off the ground. Thank you for this opportunity to win this ticket and chase my dreams!

    PS – If I didn’t convince you yet, that means that my sale copy was not strong enough, which is another reason that I have to attend the Social Media Marketing World 2016 in order to get some advice from Ray Edwards 🙂

  • Liam Batch

    My biggest social media marketing challenge also happens to be my career highlight so far, so it naturally brings a wry smile to my face writing about it. In my previous role as a Social Media Officer at a university in the UK I was told on my first day that my challenge during my time there was to achieve status as the most influential UK university on Twitter within a year. Naturally, I panicked. This seemed unrealistic considering the activity on Twitter at the time was non-existent. Think tumbleweed through a desert, that’s the most accurate depiction I can give you.

    Anyway, I was determined to achieve this, so I quickly went about working with the PR team to source as much engaging content as possible, and also attempting to convince the team to tweak the style of content to lend itself more to social. I quickly realised that posting just twice a day was just not reaching our audience, after all, students in particular have a inconsistent schedule so it was crucial to post at all different times through out the day. By analysing what times students were online, what content they best engaged with and also by tweaking our content accordingly to be more conversational, our social influence score began to rise.

    When I started the challenge, we had the 25th highest social influence score on Twitter of all UK universities. Within 3 months, the university had risen to the top spot in the rankings. I couldn’t believe it. It was the most rewarding experience in my career. To know that my instincts to spend unprecedented time looking at analytics, to fully understand what our audience wanted to see was the correct approach was humbling. To take a middling university with little prestige in comparison to the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, to the top of the social influence rankings in three months seemed impossible, but by utilising everything I had learned about social strategy, we achieved just that.

    I believe I should win a free ticket because it would truly be a dream come true to travel to San Diego from the UK and have the opportunity to discuss my passion with some of the most influential thinkers on social media in the world. I still have much to learn, but I believe by attending this conference will prove priceless to my development as a social media professional and will allow me to learn even more skills to help clients produce cutting-edge social activity.

    In the world of social media it’s important to never rest on your laurels, I learnt that the hard way! Visiting this conference would be pivotal in my development and something I would be unable to do if it weren’t for competitions like this.

  • Taylor Sprenkle

    I work in a financial institution and my biggest challenge is grasping the attention and appeal on social media platforms of our customers and perspective customers. It’s difficult to make a financial institution to be an exciting company and with millennials (I am one myself)with them not focusing on there finances with an exception of small percentage social media platforms are the only form to really connect as well as speak with them. This age group is our future if no one reach them what how will companies grow.

    To have to the chance to attend this mega conference would allow me to grow in my knowledge and allow me to increase my financial institutions deposit customers and really connect with the customers using the cyber world. Also I would love to build my own social network and meet incredible people in my field and possible find a mentor to truly guide me in my current and future career.

    Taylor Sprenkle

  • Schröder Kevin

    1) I’m seeing a lot of long comments bellow, this goes against my biggest social media marketing challenge : Keep it short.
    2) I’m working in a creative agency where we see the need of starting a conversation with customers in 2016. I gona play the game of putting the question differently: Why do you think should a young digital ad man from Belgium win this ticket ? I hope to be there to answer the question with you in person.

  • I’ve been a social media professional for about 4 years now, during a time where changes have been happening to platforms and networks on an almost-daily basis. Keeping up with the changes haven’t been nearly as tough as the markets and industries I’ve been privileged to work in: Healthcare in the past and currently Higher Education/Finance. That being said, my biggest social media marketing challenge is talking about touchy subjects in a way that resonates with our audience and getting this language through tough advertising filters. About 75% of ads I try to publish on Facebook are turned down because we talk about student debt and student loan repayment. The sad thing is that the company I work for is a tool that helps borrowers with legitimate repayment options and wants to get student loan repayment as an employer-offered benefit.

    I should be the lucky one to get a free ticket to the Social Media Marketing World 2016 Conference because I am working on spreading good messages of help for millions of people. I know there is so much I can take home with me that I won’t be able to come close to learning from behind this computer screen. I have a passion for social media and an even larger one for always learning, and I know that this free pass will not be wasted on me!

  • Sydney Nolan

    Would love to learn more about social media in other countries, especially places not usually thought of at first glance, like Ghana. Did a bit of research on international usage in college, but haven’t given it much thought since unfortunately. Sounds super interesting — good luck!

  • Heather Manocchio

    I have been in the social media industry for many years. A few years ago I started as an SEO Specialist for a digital marketing company. My company now offers social media and marketing products for our clients and I of course moved into that role. Our clients are local car dealerships around the country.

    The biggest challenge I have is getting shoppers to engage with car dealerships at a local level. I work in a very niche market and each client is very different. Shoppers might follow the national brand on social media, but it proves to be difficult to get shoppers to follow their local dealerships, especially in a competitive market. Attending this conference would mean that I could gain the knowledge I need to help my clients promote there social platforms in their dealership and engage shoppers once they reach each platform.

    Right now my company offers Facebook posts, Twitter posts, Google+ posts, and blog posts. I would also like to be able to expand our offerings to other platforms, specifically YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Before we can expand to these platforms, I need to understand how I can used these platforms specifically for my clients on a local level.

  • Lindsey @ I Run in Heels

    My challenge is that I’m transitioning from the corporate world (national retail chain) to a private university, from one streamlined social media effort to nearly 100 unique accounts representing the
    school in various forms. How can I bring cohesion to our social media marketing
    while also adequately representing the many facets of the school?

    Why should you give me a free pass?

    To go all Liam Neeson on you, if you are looking for the entrance fee, I can tell you we don’t have it in the budget. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a
    (somewhat) long career. Skills that make me a dream for people like you. If you let me attend the conference, that’ll be the end of it. I will jump up and down. I will do cartwheels. But if you don’t, I will look for the hashtag on Twitter, I will find the presenters’ videos online, and I will learn everything I can from home.

    I heart Social Media Marketing World!

    From the silly songs to the seriously talented speakers, the San Diego location to the incredible networking opportunities, it’s my favorite conference by far!

  • Elena M.

    I feel that my Social Media challenge is much like my submission for this contest: There are so many good submissions that mine will be buried in the masses and go unnoticed by the judges.

    I currently manage the social media channels for a PreK-8th grade private school in Northern Virginia. Social media is a very new marketing tool for private schools. The goals for our online profiles are to promote the school and show the school’s values, as well as keep our current parents well informed about the school’s activities. We also use social media to promote our summer camp and share educational activities with the community.

    Unfortunately, there is a skeptical myth about private schools that “Social media will not help the enrollment efforts.” Why? Because the belief is that all schools have similar values and offer similar programs, so the social media marketing itself is not helping to bring prospective parents to the school since everyone is promoting a similar message.

    I understand that digital marketing and communications trends move fast, and independent schools are often confronted with more obstacles than most other organizations to keep up with these trends. Since subscribing to your newsletter, I have implemented many new tools and strategies showcased in your articles, and the data is beginning to prove that there is great potential in these new marketing tools for schools. But, there is still so much more to learn!

    As a former Spanish teacher, I know that while you can learn a lot from online resources, there is nothing like being in a classroom filled with eager-to-learn peers and a knowledgeable instructor.

    This is why I hope the judges will consider my submission for a seat at your upcoming conference. I would love to have the opportunity to attend the conference and come back to the school with a collection of strategies and new ideas and be able say to everyone: Si se puede! – Social Media can help our Enrollment Efforts!

  • Erin Willeford

    My biggest challenge as a social media strategist in an agency setting would be to create genuine connections with the people most important to my clients. Encouraging people to let their guard down and chat frankly with a business is something I aim to do on a regular basis, but unless there is a prize offered it’s difficult.

    I would love to win a trip to Social Media Marketing World for the opportunity to learn about accurately tracking Facebook advertising efforts with custom conversions, tracking pixels, and Google analytics.

  • My biggest challenge as a Social Media Marketing Agency owner is showing the ROI from the efforts of building a loyal community & raving fans. It’s challenging to get small business owners to wrap their mind around the long-term impact when so many want results quickly at the beginning. We’ve been able to show positive ROI when implementing lead generation strategies, but if we are not generating leads, it can been difficult to see a positive ROI and get them to understand the importance of building up their platforms.

    I feel that I should win a ticket because of the sweat and tears I have been in to building my honest and heart-centered marketing agency. I am blessed to have the clients and team that I do, but I would love to take it to the next level so I can give back even more and make more of a difference for an increasing amount of small businesses. I just moved to San Diego to be more in the hub of the social world, but with the move it has set back my marketing budget so was not able to invest in the event this year. This would be a dream come true!

    With the strategies I can learn from the conference and implement, I know that their will be a positive impact in those I serve. I appreciate the opportunity to go to this amazing event!

  • cf2929

    “We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges!” Social media marketing can be a challenge for all of us at times but constantly learning and innovating only makes your brand better. I’d love the opportunity to learn more at this year’s Social Media Marketing World!

  • Laura Bauman

    One of the biggest social media challenges is trying to reach a market where social is not the norm. The market that I work in is not up-to-date on social media, especially Twitter, and trying to promote a client in this lackluster market is very challenging. I believe that I would deserve a free ticket because I’m just starting out as a professional in social media and could benefit from the extensive knowledge that I could gain at Social Marketing World.

  • Rob Hollander

    My biggest social media challenge came when leading marketing at a non-profit that had a paltry 4000 followers at the time. The mandate was for a half million followers across multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, G+, YouTube) but the budgets for SM with which do this were negligible. While I succeeded in growing the following to over a million after 3 years, at least half the growth came from paid vs. earned. The strategy I implemented was a combination of original video and editorial content with a hefty amount of curated content to drive thought leadership, with subject matter experts on tap to provide informed POV and responses. The challenges? The company’s mission was aspirational and lofty and the timelines very long resulting in sporadic, at best, newsworthy news that was ownable. The SMEs’ time was hard to come by. And the stakeholders’, whose budgets, financed the SM efforts were analyzing what their ROI was for their spend despite the agreement that the SM effort was intended to benefit the organization as a whole, not the sum of its parts. In the end, much of the heavy lifting was done by the curated side of the content, which, while valuable in its own right, wasn’t optimal in elevating the company or driving as much of the organic growth as I would have liked. What I would hope to gain from SSM World would be more strategies around earned SM growth given more and more companies are looking to limit spend in SM, despite high expectations, as well as strategies to justify funding to an organziation in a channel that we all know holds extreme value for awareness, engagement, community and advocacy but doesn’t realize a traditional ROI.

  • SC

    Our biggest social media challenges is getting more traffic from facebook without paying for promoted post h would like to learn from the experts

  • Monique

    As a Gen Y graduate student, I probably have the least amount of experience out of all the contestants here. My biggest social media marketing challenge is to land a career in the digital marketing world. This may sound like a little whine or complain to most individuals who already have had years of experience as social media managers and executives, but as ironic as it sounds, I have been a social media user, enthusiast, and explorer for as long as I can remember. Maybe its where I live or the opportunities that I have missed, or my lack of experience in the field. I use social media on a daily basis, and it is pretty much a lifestyle I grew up with, but I just can’t seem to land a decent social media entry-level job, or internship even. So this, I would say is my biggest social media marketing challenge- not being able to market myself to land a job or career in an industry I am so passionate about.

    Why should I win a free ticket? Pricing. Even though I can’t afford to buy a ticket, a ticket to go to one of these events is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me- its worth priceless. I will make the most out of everything I have to learn, experience, and offer for both myself, and to everyone at the conference.

    Thank you for reading my post!

  • Almost 6.5 years & I am roaming in the world of Online Marketing. Countless destination and at every stage several of the challenges I have faced. Here I would like to share one challenge I have tackled for a social cause in the City.

    It is a #AhmedabadRain.

    During rainy season many of us from Ahmedabad were struggling with problems to get informed about water logged, traffics and roadblocks in the city. I saw a Medical Van was stuck in that traffic and it was difficult to attend medical emergency that time. That was an awful moment for me and thought “If I can help organizations to reach more and more to their targeted audience via social media, then why not to share & get people informed about real time updates from different areas of the city during rainy season.”

    In year 2014, I and friends came up with an idea of #AhmedabadRain to inform people for water logged, traffics and roadblocks from different areas in the city and help medical emergency to save lives. We (4 people) have started tweeting with a #AhmedabadRain tag and shared real time updates.

    People from my network and from the city joined us and started tweeting to share and spread the word about affected areas and real time updates from the different areas in the city with #AhmedabadRain tag. In the year 2014 (approx 1.5 months), we reached to 2700+ people with 35+ active members.

    We have continued the same in year 2015 and this time people joined us and active members count increased with 265+ on two social media platforms (Twitter & Facebook). The good things we picked up and people are started appreciating this act to get real time updates.

    Not only people from Ahmedabad but also Media (Local Radio Stations & News channels), Print Media & Ahmedabad city councils appreciated our efforts and promoted into their network to take part & share live updates from their areas with #AhmedabadRain.

    #AhmedabadRain become popular among the people from the city and they started getting real time updates & planned their travel accordingly. Human helped another live to stay safe and attending medial emergency was became easy in rainy season.

    That was a surprising moment for me, were a little thing can help a huge number of people from the city to stay safe and help other people as well. And sort of my work attests my abilities towards to the social media.

  • Jennifer Brosnan

    Would love to win a ticket to Social Media Marketing in San Diego, because the presentations, publicity and promotions will be immense, so attending Social Media Marketing World makes advertising sense.

  • Kevin Raetz

    My biggest challenge is to measure the real ROI and show the client how much he really earns using social media marketing.

    I should win the ticket, so I get the opportunity to improve my skills and network with important people that can help me get further in social media marketing.
    Also I want to become an influencer in this field, which would be helped by this event

  • a. I live and work in Lagos. Here, social media awareness is pretty high and businesses use it for goals such as awareness, engagement, sales and so on. My biggest challenge in social media marketing, therefore, is the difficulty that I encounter in trying to convince the C-suite executives, other senior executive and decision makers on the Client side that social media marketing achieves better result when there is a structured, well-coordinated process, driven by a strategy that works and a tactical plan that helps achieve the strategy. Part of this is the difficulty in trying to get them to understand the role of content in social media marketing and how it can be used in various forms to attract and engaged a target audience to achieve goals such as thought leadership, brand awareness, leads generation, leads nurturing, eventual sales, and so on. The lot of the executives here think that social media marketing is about hiring a young chap who is quite savvy with the computer, knows how to browse through the internet, can swivel round social media pages looking for follows, likes and shares, by simply just sitting down from morning till evening writing up anything that can fill spaces in the name of posts, even if that means dropping quotes from Einstein or Lincoln or Heraclitus from time to time. In most companies, rookies, freshers and entry-level geeks are mostly the ones that man social media pages for brands and companies – and in most cases with no coordinated strategy. Changing the mindset of these senior execs is the big challenge for me.

    b. I deserve to win a free ticket because I am the founder of Nigeria’s pioneer content marketing agency, Candella. Knowing, therefore, that social media is a very important distribution channel for created or curated streams of relevant content, it is my desire to learn from the global experts. The Social Media Marketing World 2016 looks like an awesome opportunity.

    Many thanks for the opportunity to express my views here.

  • Elizabeth Mauldin

    When I graduated from college with degrees in painting and French, I never imagined that I would soon become the entire creative marketing team for a national nonprofit. In the past two years, I’ve gone from administrative assistant to creative director, and the number of skills I’ve had to teach myself along the way has been overwhelming. I am responsible for everything from creating digital and print materials, to designing apparel, to analyzing data, to writing web and email content, and beyond. On top of that, I am also responsible for recruiting and team management for some of our fundraisers.

    Needless to say, I have to wear a lot of different hats with this job. Learning how to wear them properly has been a difficult and exciting challenge. My biggest challenge of all, though, is efficiency. Our organization has grown rapidly from something small and grassroots, to a million dollar pancreatic cancer charity in the span of five years. As our organization grows, so does my workload. I should win this ticket because I believe that the training offered, along with the many networking opportunities, would be invaluable to my organization and me. Social media marketing is crucial to what we do, but extremely time consuming. With some real training from the best in the field, I can master an efficient system for maintaining it all, allowing our organization to reach more people, raise more money, and spread more awareness for the cause – beating pancreatic cancer.

  • Lane Danielle

    Wow. Very creative entry! I would agree that creating a high ROI producing strategy is a bit of a challenge for us as well.

    Good luck btw!

  • Lane Danielle

    Need some additional reasons why you should send @LaneDaniellee to #SMMW16? Just search the hashtag #SMEpickLD on Twitter!

  • Yamarie Grullon

    Hi, there- My name is Yamarie Grullon and I have been helping B2B and B2C brands with social media since 2008. Currently, my biggest social media challenge is being able to quantify the value of social media beyond direct attribution. I work in a B2B setting that is very acquisition focused and our product requires a significant upfront investment from customers which makes the business model a little bit more complicated than most businesses. Even though platforms like Facebook have been effective in driving direct results for us in terms of increased web traffic at a low CPC and increased leads at an attractive CPL, I struggle to quantify value beyond the first touch. Because of this, and because as many of us know, most social/content leads are not going to convert at first touch, our social channels are not being prioritized and are seen as GSP’s ‘red headed step sister.’ How does social media fit into a wold where CAC, Churn and LTV are the norm? How can I prove that the 70K+ targeted users I drove to the site last year are valuable and did in fact impact storefronts? These are the questions I constantly struggle to answer on a day to day and are hurting my credibility as an online marketer. You asked why I deserve to win tickets to SMMW. The answer is simple, my livelihood depends on it. At first glance this might sound overdramatic, so please, allow me to explain. Perception is reality. I worked hard over the last two years to shift our company’s mindset about social media and for a while it worked. If I was given a goal to increase traffic with social media, I crushed it. Same with increasing targeted leads at a cost efficient rate. However, my inability to tie this back to indirect storefronts has hurt the credibility of our social channels. In fact, despite the significant traffic and leads that Facebook drove in 2015, our senior leadership actually stood up in front of our entire company and stated that Facebook was not a valuable channel for us, because, let’s face it, like most people, they are blinded by the bottom line. It is crucial that I learn how to better quantify and qualify my results, not only so that I am seen as a valuable asset at my current company but also because I aspire to have my own social media business in the near future, and let’s face it, this is one ‘problem’ that is never going away. I’ve read countless blog posts and listen in on more podcasts than I can count and still this is an area I struggle with. If I can’t figure this out now, how will I be able to prove the value of my efforts for clients when I completely go off on my own. I know in my heart that going to SMMW and being able to tap the brains of industry innovators like Jay Baer and Mari Smith can give me a leg up on this conundrum and put me in a better position to achieve my short-term and long-term professional goals. So for me SMMW is more than just an awesome marketing conference, it’s a chance to boost my professional credibility in a way that will put me down the path to financial freedom as an entrepreneur. Best- Yamarie

  • Seth Westhoff

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is just getting my foot in the door. After years solely pursuing community development in the U.S. and abroad I decided that my career needed greater scope in order to have greater impact. One career would enrich the other and vise versa and more people’s lives could be impacted for the better.
    While finishing my masters in intercultural studies I got a job in social media for a small start-up. Seeing how much crossover there was between community development and the work I was doing, I committed to pursuing a career in social media marketing. I was 32.
    Consequently, I lacked many of the necessary hard skills as well as the experience most of the jobs required. As a recent masters graduate with little means, I began taking online courses through UCLA Extension, Codecademy, acquiring certificates in Hootsuite and HubSpot inbound marketing, creating a blog and acquiring small freelance jobs. Through it all I’ve been relentlessly applying to positions. Yet, I’ve not been able to get make the right contacts and get my foot in the door.
    Winning the grand prize will give someone who’s been fighting hard from behind an opportunity to make some great contacts, learn from industry leaders, maybe even lead to my first formal job in the field and make a greater impact in international community development!
    Thanks for the chance to win an opportunity to make a greater impact in people’s lives and at the very least a median to share my story!

  • Emily Alonzo

    This subject has given me a lot to think about. Out of all the challenges that have been streaming through my head (and there are a *lot*), there are two main ones. One is a personal challenge, while the other is more of a client-facing challenge.

    To start with, this is a complete career change for me. I have spent years in my comfort zone. Information Technology came easy to me. Much like in High School, I did not have to work hard. I am not used to having to “try.” It is scary and uncomfortable. I have always been attracted to “creative” things (like writing books) but again, they are scarier to me than other types of work. Getting a math problem wrong simply means you do not get it or you made a mistake; not going in the right direction with something on the creative side of things feels more personal. I am scared to fail at something that will make me feel like my thoughts and ideas are not good enough… okay, that is enough sharing of something quite personal 😉

    Now as far as an actual challenge with social media marketing specifically… I would like to see my work not only be a successful marketing campaign and/or brand recognition success, but I would like to see it change modern-day customer service. For years I have preached how customer service has gone completely downhill. Mostly due to technology, we have lost that personal touch. Now (also due to technology) I think we can get it back. I would like to use Social Media to bridge that important relationship between consumer and company. To build brand loyalty like it was in the past. To make customers feel special and “heard.” I believe it can be done and some companies do it well. I would like to change the face of today’s “customer service” to a modern interface with the positive feelings of the “old days.” I think this will be my biggest challenge.

    I am just starting off and cannot afford to attend this conference at this time. I do not want to wait until a later year. I feel I can be a positive addition to the world of social media marketing. I have much to learn, but I also have much to offer. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • Hello, I’m Maya, Russian born who lives and works in the Netherlands. I work for myself, as an Online Marketing Advisor for small business. Speaking about Social Media challenges – oh, yes – they keep coming. Although I got a marketing education in Holland, there is still a lot to learn. Luckily, there are great resources available online: valuable LinkedIn page of Carlos Gil with all those useful posts, WOW and Social Success Academy of Rebekah Radice and her amazing blog, highly entertaining and beneficial Blab sessions with Michael Stelzner. To be honest, I got more practical information from them than in University.

    Now comes a new challenge – how to share these knowledge and let Dutch entrepreneurs know what they can achieve with Social Media Marketing. For that, I desperately need to go to the Social Media World. With all those brilliant keynote speakers I will learn fast how to give presentations, what to highlight in my speech, how to engage with the audience etc. I feel Europe is ready for Social Media Marketing high-class! And I want to bring it here!

    Winning a free ticket to the conference would make it possible for me to organize an overseas trip to sunny San Diego.

    Thank you for your attention,
    Stay awesome,

  • monica pondiccio

    Our biggest challenge is just getting started! There is a very large and steep learning
    curve and it is difficult to become proficient in Social Media Marketing while
    launching a new business simultaneously.

    We are a new small business whose mission is to help other
    small businesses grow and acquire more clients/customers. Our services include back office duties such
    as accounting. Payroll, HR and marketing.
    As you can imagine, as a new business we are strapped for capital. If we win this contest, we plan to use the
    new knowledge we gain to help expand our business and help other small
    businesses do the same.

  • Lindsey Feldpausch

    1. Balance and boundaries. My biggest social media marketing challenge is keeping balance while drawing boundaries. This is however a weekly struggle to keep social media and the superb privilege that it is, in it’s appropriate time and space so that I can give my very best to my family as well. I’d love to learn how to be more efficient with time and tools. I believe this conference would help me achieve that.

    2. I’d soak up every moment of my first social media/networking conference and my very first time in the state of California! I would follow through with what I learn and adapt the ideas to my social media managing… (and I’d do so with the most enthusiasm possible!)

  • Ta’Tanesha Spears

    My biggest social media challenge is that what ever I do I will be setting the bar for my clients in regards to social media. Majority of my clients are new to social media and are depending on me to set the level of expectation. I choose their platforms, develop their presence, and curate content sometimes out of thin air. This is exciting and yet a challenge all at the same time.
    As I know that is the case for a lot of social media managers.
    The challenge is ensuring that we are using all the right tools, automation, platform and developing the right content. Social media is still new in a lot of forms and is ever changing and although social media will be completely different in 10 years, the framework I develop today will be the blueprint that my clients build their social media presence on. Even with books,blogs etc. that doesn’t count for the hands on knowledge I will receive at this years conference. I believe attending this conference will give me the needed tools to propel my clients into success for the next ten or twenty years. I know that I need to be at this conference I really hope you pick me.

  • Santosh Pandey

    I waited till last and read all the comments. Some of them think humanizing the approach is the challenge, some take handling all social media as challenge, for some it’s just creating strategies. After being an addict of Social Media for years, I turned myself into Freelancer Social Media Analyst and Strategist at the age of 17 and after 2 years of experience, for me the biggest social media marketing challenge is designing different frames for different worldview through the same platform. I have challenged myself to become a successful campaigner who would not only work for corporate but use social media marketing to save lives, save humanity, same originality and the mother earth. I am a student of an underdeveloped country- Nepal where social media hasn’t been a good platform for marketing as people are still following the traditional marketing approach. For me, winning the ticket is most to change the marketing pattern of the country and to take me to my dream of becoming ‘Successful Social Media Expert’ in future.

  • Adam Erickson

    Biggest social media challenge: How to catch up when your competitors are so far ahead and moving so fast. I work for a mid-sized QSR and our social media presence to this point is 10x-100x behind our competitors in all social platforms. The challenge is that it’s much more difficult to get ahead than it was a few years ago. Our competitors are much better equipped to fine tune their social media strategy since they’ve been working at this for years.

    We’re in the beginning stages of a digital transformation at the company and social media will be at the center of this change. We need to take what other people have learned and incorporate those learnings quickly so we can begin to close the massive gap we have. Just this year we’ve brought our social media and digital responsibilities in house and have built a small team of three from the ground up. We’re just getting started but we’ve got big goals and big results to deliver.

    Not only will we benefit significantly from this event but our customers will as well. Our primary customer uses social media heavily and it’s imperative that we engage with them in a more meaningful and impactful way.

  • Liza Ollila-Guikema

    The biggest social media marketing challenge that I face, and it’s one that we all face, is just trying to keep up. In an industry that’s constantly evolving there’s always something new, something changing, something to learn, something to test, etc. One of the reasons I love Social Media Examiner is because it makes my job just a little bit easier. It puts the information I need at my fingertips and with a few minutes of reading each morning I feel like I can stay current. Winning this contest would give me the chance to immerse myself in the social media world, connect with like-minded individuals and get ahead of the game. Fingers crossed that this will be the year I’m able to attend!

  • Jeremy Rivers

    1) My biggest challenge is I am a one man show. There is so much great stuff out there, and I’m trying to figure out what would be best for me to use for our organization’s goals and how much I can handle while being excellent.

    2) I’m a young family man uprooting my family and moving from our home in Dallas to COLD Chicago to accept a Media & Marketing Director position for a non-profit. The move is difficult for us, but the opportunity allows us to finally grow our family! I feel the conference would give us a great jump start into our journey and provide me with resources and contacts to make me successful.

    Thank you!

  • Jeremy Rivers

    I agree with balance and boundaries. Definitely a challenge!

  • Chelsea Lund

    Facebook came out when I was a sophomore in college. I remember seeing a friend using it, wondering what this new thing was. Little did I know that ten years later, I’d be working in a field where that’s what I do all day. Paid to be on Facebook? Woohoo! I’ve been working in the social media field for more than seven years of my ten-year marketing career, and by far the biggest “challenge” is the ever-changing state of social media. But on the other hand that’s what makes social media so exciting. Things that stay the same? That’s so….well, boring! The other thing that’s a “challenge” for me is that I’m live and work in a small community where I don’t have a chance to learn much about social media at local events, because I often have more experience in social media than my peers. I take every chance I can to learn, but often it’s online…and sometimes it’s nice to do things face to face even though social media is inherently digital!

    In my ten-year career, I’ve been lucky to work for a variety of organizations: a public television station, a bank and currently (though it’s my last day) a healthcare facility. Now it’s my turn to set out on my own as a (gulp) freelance marketer/social media guru/stay-at-home mom. I’ve never had the opportunity (read: lack of funding) to go to this event though I’ve always wanted to do so. Starting my own new business means I definitely won’t have the chance to go–at least not for the foreseeable future. I’d love the chance to learn from the pros, meet my peers and emerge myself in social media for a few days! And did I mention I live in Minnesota, where it’s currently a chilling 6 degrees, and I’d love a chance to experience some warm weather for a few days (even though it’s not until April)?

    Thanks for putting on this awesome contest.Whoever is lucky enough to win is a lucky, lucky person!

  • Beth Nelson

    Hello, and thank you for this opportunity!

    I’ve been working with social media for three years now and find that my biggest social media marketing challenge is breaking through the clutter and connecting with my target audience. I have narrowed down my niche, but am having difficulty connecting with the people in that niche who are actively engaging. I also want to better understand the effects podcasts are having. I would really like to work my way toward creating my very own.

    Why should you choose me? From what I have been told, this conference has the best speakers in the industry! I would love the opportunity to sit down with them and gain the knowledge that they have to move myself in the right direction. I also want to network with the people who attend this event to gain a wider perspective on other challenges people face. Perhaps I could even help them with their challenges. I really hope you can help make this happen for me!

  • cf2929

    Thank you!

  • Mollie Elizabeth

    Through the use of Facebook’s geo-targeting feature, we have set up a system which allows distributors of our product in each country to post and interact in local language. My biggest challenge is getting participants both inside and outside of the organization to contribute to our global Facebook channel in a positive and meaningful way. My second biggest challenge is inspiring them to create quality content, not sales driven blasts.

    I would like to win the ticket so I can give it to one of our distributors. Though this person’s job isn’t social media, he provides continual support between our corporate office and all Latin and South America distributors. He is always kind, considerate, and eager to learn more about social spaces. He genuinely cares about the customers, fans, and the success of both the company and his team members.

  • Michelle D.

    My biggest challenge just came up fairly recently. I accepted a new position at a multi-million dollar company in a highly regulated industry that has virtually no digital presence. While I am experienced in digital marketing, it’s very overwhelming to try and set up both digital and social media marketing for this company while convincing the upper levels why it is important. It has now fallen to me to create a full social media calendar for the year full of promotions and posts, on top of a full digital marketing schedule. There is no one here to help or bounce ideas off of, and I am in definite need of it, especially with trying to navigate all the regulations.

    Social Media Examiner has been a huge help in learning thus far. (THANK YOU!!) I know there are others out there who have been in my shoes, and being able to connect with them at the conference would be amazing! What better way to really learn social media marketing than being immersed in it for a weekend?

  • Daniel B

    My single biggest social media challenge is knowing exactly where to concentrate my efforts, especially when it comes to driving engagement for my agency’s clients. There is certainly no shortage of campaign and strategic suggestions bombarding my inbox everyday. Likewise I am never at a loss for ideas. That’s just it—there is such an incredible amount of information out there, things to try, eBooks to read and absorb, changes in the platforms themselves… it is all too easy to become overwhelmed and stick to the same patterns and habits. Even when I do try new strategies, content types/areas, it is rarely so easy as to see immediate improvements, or to know concretely what is working and not. In summary, my greatest challenge is to hone down a content strategy that works, every time, for each particular client in their respective niche.

  • Jo

    Hi everyone, I love social media. I’d like to get better at it. I’d like to know more about planning social media strategies for myself and my clients. I’d also like to know more about how to interpret the analytical side of social media to enable me to fully understand what works and what doesn’t and how I can improve social media reach for myself and my clients. Thank you.

  • While working for clients who are on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, my biggest challenge is balancing automated and off-the-cuff content that, when combined, create a full story. For my the Instagram account I manage, my biggest issue has been finding the right content tilt to take this account to the next level.

    If I were at Social Media Marketing World, I would be taking a (large and much needed) step outside of my comfort zone to network with and meet people who share similar interests and ambitions I do, and who could talk social media as well, if not better, than I can.

  • Lilit Abrahamyan

    What is the biggest challenge of someone sailing alone in a huge ocean on a boat without a proper compass and an ocean map? They know the fundamentals of steering the vessel, they know their destination point, however there are so many nuances they are not aware of, so many underwater rocks they should beware of. They wish they had a crew of experts in different fields they could consult to safely reach the shore, and keep steering perseveringly, doing their best to learn on the go.

    That’s my challenge: a comprehensive and sound system of knowledge and know-how in different spheres, a clear outlook to confidently sail in the huge digital ocean at full speed. “Rockets don’t fly themselves” wrote a man I admire in his book “Launch” 😉 My rocket needs fuel – the advice and guidance of experts I have been following. I know some of the speakers of the conference thanks to their books, blogs, podcasts or webinars, and I can imagine the thrill of listening to them live, grasping the wealth of information and knowledge they have in store for the attendees of SMMW 2016!

    “There are masses of people just waiting to do business with you once they are so inspired” was the first sentence of the book I love – “World Famous”. Couldn’t agree with the author more. Digital is just entering my little country, and we need a good agency to help businesses. I think you guessed what my dream is 🙂 To make it come true I need to be confidently inspired, the confidence coming from knowledge. It would be an honor and a great experience to listen and learn from all the speakers of the conference.

    I so hope I will be able to do it in person, but if I don’t, I would like to thank Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner for this wonderful opportunity and all the hard work, great resources and help they give their readers. As well as all the speakers of the conference on behalf of their readers and followers: thanks for your passion and knowledge! Wishing everyone good luck and a great start of the year!

  • Biggest social media marketing challenge – How to transition from a person who has over-studied social media marketing for the past two years, to a daily, positive-action taking entrepreneur/blogger that makes quantum leaps in building an engaging, online community and email list where I can assist them in solving problems they already know they have.

    Why should I win the ticket – I want to reach massive amounts of moms by walking them through the process of how to develop their child’s love of sports with actionable strategies and inspiration, so at the end of each stage (elementary, middle, high school) their seeing massive results towards their child receiving a (almost) full scholarship. Most parents don’t know that the “college funding dilemma” can be solved by developing our children’s natural talents through sports, arts, and other avenues…not just having the best grades. I’d also like to help sports moms stop neglecting our own wellness by having lively, ongoing challenges (with prizes and giveaways) that will promote our own fitness and fashion goals as we see our athletes obtain their goals. The video, visuals, podcasting, and live video tools training would be a tremendous help in teaching me how to demonstrate to our online community the specifics of using certain equipment and tools at each stage of development to reach our goals …and have laughs doing it. Connecting in person with other fired up and focused marketers improves the likelihood of me joining with mastermind groups so that I can stay committed during this process and accomplish great results for the sports moms and my business.

  • Lisa J. Sottile

    I work in the Adult Entertainment industry for a small film company. My biggest challenge is two fold. I have to balance the managing of content to fit in with the various terms of service that each social platform requires. I also have to work within a company that doesn’t see how working with social media accounts can be profitable and drive traffic to the membership website. I am unique in my industry as very few are willing to take the time to embrace social media in every aspect like I have. I have made a big impact for my company and I am glad to say that I have helped competitors learn to use their marketing in better ways by my actions.

    I have created a presence for each social media platform by starting with nothing. Thru trial and error, I have created solid, robust entities that drive traffic to the membership site more each day. The challenge is that I have to carefully understand the terms of service of each platform while using a heavy hand with the company on getting the content I need to post. It’s been a educational process for everyone. But I am quite proud that I have taught myself how to convert adult content into G rated counted for social media with little violation of the terms of service.

    My other challenge is constantly educating my small company to not be so set in their ways with embracing new technologies. I have to work against archaic marketing ideas to prove each platform works. So after almost 3 years they are slowly coming around to being slightly more proactive. It’s also reminding them that fans are thirsty for even G rated content and if you give the fans what they want then they become customers.

    Embracing social media is the future for my industry and they are slowly coming round to it.

    I want to attend the convention to learn to expand my skills and make a even bigger difference in my industry. I also want to connect with like minded ppl. My company is very small and I want to use what I will learn to help them grow.

  • Amee Kent

    Can we only list one challenge because the list seems endless at times 🙂 From keeping up with the changes of every social platform to getting our employees to share socially. Not to mention how to evaluate if a platform is right for us or not. By far, my biggest challenge is prioritization and balance. I believe my organization is on the right platforms, but how do we balance giving each the attention it deserves and utilizing the platform to best meet our needs.

    I’m the Marketing Director for a SaaS startup. We’ve grown steadily in the last 4 years and should grow exponentially in the next 2 years. Our strategy thus far has been baby steps and doing what we can manage. I now have a team of 4 total + a vendor for social media. Our internal team guides the vendor with messaging, visuals and owned content.

    For example with LinkedIn, it’s a perfect platform for our B2B model. How do we balance being active in groups, posting on Pulse, sharing content as the company, getting our employees to share, guiding our employees on best practices for personal engagement . . . with being active on 3 other channels?

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a ticket to the conference. Your conference has been on my radar for 4 years but out of reach financially for our young startup. Attending the conference in person would be a fabulous. To hear the speakers live, network with them and meet peers would be priceless.

    I love the podcast and blogs! Keep up the great work!

  • Kimberley

    My biggest challenge is – credibility. Yep, some of us suffer from it here in Australia.

    It’s a mammoth task to trawl through the endless threads of information online to keep ahead of the social media landscape, taking time to trial and error which tactics fit in my social media toolbox and then gain buy-in from a client without having that elusive *formal* degree in social media

    I love those days when I can have breakfast with the ever-chirpy Mari Smith who is demonstrating ways to use Facebook Live; watch the latest #TechTipThursday video by Guy Kawasaki and cook spaghetti bolognaise for the family whilst listening to Jay Baer’s weekly Social Pros podcast.

    It generates light bulb moments of how I can implement some of these expert tips into a client strategy. But that fast track to success is stalled by clients own googling efforts of less credible sources. Yep, journalism + web design + five years social media experience still doesn’t equal credibility when you have Google.

    By attending the world’s largest social media marketing conference, I will be able to open my social media toolbox, pull out some credibility and tell my clients that this best, new way is from a face-to-face workshop I attended by the world’s top social media experts. I’ll also be able to take away the barrier of a computer screen and discuss challenges and opportunities with 3,000 fellow marketers.

    To WIN a ticket to the Social Media Marketing World conference would mean I don’t need to convince my team (aka family) that *borrowing* some pennies from our landscaping budget and flying 40 hours from Australia to San Diego for a social media conference is an investment in better relationship building with clients which in turn will generate more business.

    (P.S. Client’s April social media schedules are done, I’ve organised a passport and already bookmarked a few websites on recipes for nutritious frozen family meals JUST in case I win a ticket to the Social Media Marketing World Conference or my numbers come up in this week’s PowerBall draw.)

    (P.P.S. If I don’t win a ticket, do you think you could visit us here in Australia? Our weather is sensational plus you can hug a koala!)

  • Michael Quinn

    My biggest social media marketing challenge is mastery of the different channels when they are so ever-changing. I train real estate agents on social media and as soon as I have mastered one channel, I feel like it either changes or a new one comes along. That’s why it is so important to me to attend Social Media Marketing World. I left my job in late 2015 to follow my lifelong passion of starting my own business and, as part of that, I committed to choosing one conference to attend this year. My choice – SMMW! My entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been easy, but I have received so much inspiration and knowledge from Social Media Examiner and so many of this year’s featured speakers which has helped my business. This would mean the world to me and my fiancé, not only for the knowledge we will gain, but as a reward for all the sacrifice and hard work we have put in over the past six months. Thank you for your consideration and I can’t wait to see you in San Diego. -Michael Quinn

  • ML Troman

    Entry deadline shows as 2016-12-14 above but there was a tweet today, soooo….just in case….

    #rebranding #ohmigod #whatdowedo #paniccausesoveruseofhashtags #SMMW16 #helpme 😉

  • Hi Danyelle. This is Jen from Social Media Examiner. Just wanted to let you know that the judges loved this entry and you have WON – FIRST PLACE in the Free Ticket Contest! Congratulations! Please send me your email address and we’ll get you set up with your free ticket to Social Media Marketing World and hotel room.

  • Hi Todd. This is Jen from Social Media Examiner. Just wanted to let you know that the judges loved this entry and you have WON – SECOND PLACE in the Free Ticket Contest! Congratulations! Please send me your email address and we’ll get you set up with your free ticket to Social Media Marketing World.

  • Congrats Danyelle!

  • Emily Alonzo

    Congrats Danyelle. Enjoy! I am kind of in the same place “fitness-wise” with Social Media… I hope the conference brings you to the next level!

  • abelniak


    I have two social media challenges that I’m wrestling with. The first is systematically taking a ton of user-generated content and turning it into actionable advice. We do this know at my company and with our brand (Alignable). I’m looking to network with other peers to help do this at scale, faster, and better. The second challenge is to be a better educator of this space. Our community members are constantly looking to us for advice on all things small business, and marketing is one of those topics. As a 6-year social media practitioner, I feel like I can offer them quite a bit (plus, user our UGC!), and I’d like to find ways to package that learning that makes it engaging.

    I feel I should win the event because I know its a fantastic place to network with sharp peers. I attended last year, and loved it! However, I’m at a startup now, and discretionary funds for things like conferences aren’t plentiful. I know I’d put what I learn to good use.

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter, and I know whoever wins will love it, and be deserving to win!

  • Hi, were the winners ever announced? Thanks!

  • Geneuvieve Thibault

    I was wondering the same thing!

  • Emily Alonzo

    You probably noticed by now but the winners are now posted in the article above. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Michelle Renee O’Neill

    Were winners ever selected?

  • Lee Simpkins

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