social media reviews**UPDATE**  We have announced our two winners. The winner of the comment/blog portion of the contest, receiving two tickets to the Social Media Success Summit is Kaarina Dillabough, read her comment here . The winner of the Twitter contest is Billings Info Tech, an information technology service in Billings, MT. Thanks to everyone who participated in the event. We look forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks!

Want to win a free ticket to the largest online social media event of the year?

Social Media Examiner has worked hard to bring you our third-annual Social Media Success Summit. This is our best event ever! And we’ve come up with a fun way to get you involved.

First, what is this event?

Social Media Success Summit 2011 is a large online conference dedicated to help businesses master social media marketing.

More than 1400 businesses have already signed up, including Microsoft, General Mills, Honda, Tyco, IEEE, SAP, Wells Fargo, Warner Music Group, Timex, Junior Achievement, SAP, LexisNexis, Stonyfield Farm, Cisco, Mayo Clinic, Coca-Cola and hundreds of smaller businesses.

Twenty-three of the world’s most respected social media experts will share their strategies with you. Hear from Jeremiah Owyang (Altimeter Group), Guy Kawasaki (author, Enchantment), Brian Solis (author, Engage), Frank Eliason (Citigroup), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Erik Qualman (author, Socialnomics), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner), Dan Zarrella (author, The Social Media Marketing Book), Andy Sernovitz (author, Word of Mouth Marketing), David Meerman Scott (author, Real-Time Marketing & PR), Jay Baer (co-author, The Now Revolution), Hollis Thomases (author, Twitter Marketing), Steve Garfield (author, Get Seen), Mario Sundar (LinkedIn), and Ann Handley (MarketingProfs)—as well as experts from Intel, Cisco, Timex, Boeing and Verizon.

Presentation topics include developing a social media strategy, finding and engaging your target audience, measuring success and customer service (just to mention a few!). Check out all the sessions.

At last year’s summit, 96% of attendees said they’d recommend the event to a friend and attend again.

smss11How can you win tickets?

We have three free tickets to the summit, valued at $597 each, plus the opportunity to be promoted to more than 65,000 of your peers! And remember, this is an online conference—so no travel is required to participate.

Two ways to win: There are three tickets up for grabs and two ways to win:
retweet this

#1: Twitter entry

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

I want to win a ticket to Social Media Success Summit (via: @smexaminer ) #winSMSS11

You can tweet up to two times per day. Each tweet is an entry to win. We’ll randomly draw the winner of a free ticket. All tweets must have the #winSMSS11 hashtag included.

#2: Written entry

The winner gets two tickets PLUS a mention in the Social Media Examiner Newsletter (65,000+ subscribers total)!

Simply write about your biggest social media challenge and link back to this page (please link to your post in the comments box below) OR submit your entry by adding a comment to this page.

The judges (Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith, co-author Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day) will select the winning entry. Their decisions are subjective and final.

What you need to know

  1. You can enter to win either or both prizes.
  2. Tweets must contain #winSMSS11.
  3. The deadline is Friday, April 15, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
  4. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, no worries. If you win, we’ll either give you a full refund or you can give your spare ticket to someone you really like.
  5. No purchase is necessary to win.

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

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  • I guess it doesn’t hurt to spread the word about one of the greatest events of the year..yes I will retweet it..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • The biggest social media challenge I have is investing the time in understanding how the various “tools” interconnect. It is easy to sign up for anything, whether that be facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc., but the supporting tools and apps that create seamless integration create quite a learning curve and a significant time requirement. Not so simple to just click and be done with it.

    That’s why the training, information, support and “tying together” of information is so necessary, and so expertly done by Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith. Your information helps to see how things mesh together.

    I see a real need for someone (winkwink) to take a hand-hold approach to walking someone through a process of building a seamlessly integrated social media presence.

    I see it somewhat like a recipe. There are lots of ingredients out there. But to create a really good outcome, you need to know what ingredients are most applicable to creating the result you want to achieve.

    I’ve spent countless hours simply learning about one component, but I do see it as an investment, not an expense line. I don’t know what people do who do not take the time to fully understand the implications of things they’re signing up for, clicking on and adding. Perhaps it’s the lifelong learner in me that wants to not just “know”, but to understand.

    So my challenge is: understanding how things work, not just independently, but how they work together. Just like people!

    Keep up the great work here: you’re my go-to sources for building that understanding. Kaarina

  • Needlesahsa

    I would say something about social media but I am totally in the dark about it. With business slow I feel it may be a way to step things up but haven’t a clue as how to start and maintain a program. Have my fingers crossed. Thanks

  • I have a new online business selling fashion reading glasses and sunglasses and my main competitors have a huge presence in Google but either little or no presence in social media so I can see great value in getting ahead of them in this relatively new area. I am based in Turkey and travelled to London recently at great expense to attend a social media workshop. Unfortunately, the agenda was not adhered to and I came away disappointed, much poorer and none the wiser as to how to integrate Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and my WordPress blog as part of a social network marketing strategy for my business. I have learnt more from Social Media Examiner than I learnt on a so-called ‘hands on’ workshop and am so grateful to you. Although I am learning (I have all the social media marketing platforms mentioned above in place) I am finding it to be a very slow, and on occasions frustrating, learning curve.

  • Tracie

    As a Virtual Assistant, my biggest social media challenge is two-fold. First, since I have multiple clients and my own SM tasks to think about, it is has been hard for me to develop a strategy that works for each client. So far SM has been a small part of what I offer clients, but as it is growing, they want their participation to grow as well. Most of them are very excited by the prospect of being SM savvy, as am I, but it is too much for them to handle. They then turn to me. I am working to stay on top of everything and create customized plans for everyone but with new developments each day it is very time consuming. Most disheartening is that I never have time to work on my own SM tasks.

    On the flip side, some of my clients know they need to be on SM sites but want to have absolutely no participation or engagement. This makes my task doubly hard as I have to convince them, which is best done by showing results, which are difficult to get with no engagement. Add to this the fact that there are many other, more pressing tasks (in their eyes) that I also need to accomplish for each of them and I feel like I am spinning my wheels.

  • As a founder of scial media bootstarup who lives out side u.s.a my big chalange
    is how to get to the u.s.a users and built with them relationship.

  • As an online marketing consultant learning strategies and applications is mandatory for sustaining my global business. Trying to figure it out on my own for the past year produced little results; i am fortunate to taking Amy Porterhouse Simple Social Marketing training program (a dynamite course!); she comments often on any and all materials/trainings offered by Michael and SME…I’d be over the moon to win and attend the SM Success Summit 2011! Twitter, twitter I go.

  • Norma

    To Cindy King and all parties who make Social Media Examiner a success, Hello!

    Thank you for sending this announment to me. I am submitting a comment on this page so I can win a ticket to The Social Media Summit Conference.

    There is so much techy information out there along with the fast pace of new techy things being introduced its hard to know where to start. Attending this online conference should give me some direction and tools to kick start my social media presence.

    Thank you for selecting me as a winner of one of the coveted tickets to Social Media Summit 2011!

    Norma Sachar

  • Thank you Antonio!

  • Thank you for your feedback Kaarina! Yes, the learning curves are huge and can become overwhelming when you’re right in the middle of them. I do think things do get better when you master them as communication tools and also get used to the environment of change… and we can learn from others who have come through on the other side.

  • You’re in the right place Needlesahsa!

  • Lindsay Sydenham

    I have posted my written answer here:

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  • So true Cindy: and like the lyrics of the song…”life is a carnival”, there are so many rides, distractions, and exciting adventures to be had on the learning curve.

  • Thank you for the feedback Marie! Glad to hear you are getting value out of Social Media Examiner. As I mentioned to Kaarina above, we all go through the learning curves, but they do get better. With regards to your business, congratulations on seeing an opportunity!

  • Oh my, the biggest challenge(s) I have faced with social media. I have discovered I am not doing many things correctly and have had so little responses to what I have done in the past, I am way ready to do what it takes to get going in the right direction.
    I have had tons of followers on previous facebooks, friends and those with different groups & networks. I didn’t seem to have anything to offer them or get their attention. I fell by the way side as they pursued other interests and companies to follow. Twitter & other social media I used wasn’t much more successful.
    After a friend shared information from the webinar you offered, I realized I have lacked in so many areas and need to change directions and improve everything I have been doing. Thank you, thank you for pushing me in the right direction. Now I need to learn what it is I must do to go forward and not make the same mistakes.

  • My biggest challenge with social media is finding the right tools that interact nicely with our drupal website and have user friendly api’s for our community to link to their various accounts to drive traffic to our site and keep them on our site. The ever changing interfaces are hard to keep up with.

  • Caufdemberge

    My biggest challenge with social media is convincing attorneys and executives that it can help them find new clients and promote their book of business. I am referred to as a “twitterhead” by an executive because he doesn’t understand the necessity, complexity and value of social media. Yet, I forge ahead in this daily battle, gaining ground little by little and fully embrace social media and all it has to offer. The attorneys and executives will always be my biggest challenge but I will not give up. I will win them over!

  • I love the way the free tickets are being given to SMExaminer’s readers. innovative. I don’t consider myself as a social media guru but in recent times i have spoken to couple of SME’s and the feeling is very negative. SO that’s my challenge to convince the commoners out their that sm can help. the second challenge has been engaging people. it’s most easy thing to say but becomes really tricky when you have to do it as human’s are the most interesting species. what may click and what may not no one can tell you. Right now these are my main challenges and i believe you learn from people,books but sm is experimentation and to fall further. no one can tell you this can work and that can’t, you have to do it on your own and keep trying out all possible ways.
    Over to you Cindy 🙂

    Prasant N

  • we learn by our own mistakes @Tikva, i am also on the same boat but ready to experiment. I guess that only works for sm. what say ?

  • Thoroughly enjoy your work! Just posted something on my blog about your latest report:

    Keep up the great work!

    Biggest social media challenge (and opportunity): Communicating well to clients about their understanding of ROI when it comes to social media (i.e., expanding the conversation in order that they may have a more holistic perspective).

  • congrats Norma 🙂 yes the sm is an ocean and one will sink in if he fails to curate and streamline things. over a period you will be in a position to curate your things and take what is requires. don’t you think so Norma

  • My biggest social media challenge is finding the right tools to measure ROI for my clients. The tool must be reasonably priced and easy for the client to understand.

  • My biggest SM Challenge is knowing where to begin! I have happened into this world of SM via my employer and assisting my husband & friends with their new businesses SM launches. I have been contemplating doing this as a paid gig, but want to feel more confident about what I have to offer new clients. SME has been a life saver over and over again, and if the funds were in my account I would have been one of the first to purchase a ticket to this upcoming Summit! SM is there to harness and I’m ready to go full speed, just need a little more help planning the trip :o) Thanks so much for the opportunity to win a Free Ticket!

  • My biggest challenge is convincing clients that Social Media marketing is a long term investment in your target community and not advertising. Small and midsize companies don’t seem to have the financial resources to launch a proper listening strategy that will lead to an even more effective managment strategy…I guess that’s a personal challenge. It’s still a good point either which way. Thanks!

  • Chehalem Ridge Innkeeper

    My biggest social media challenge is that most of the information out there is written for medium to large companies. I am my company, an Oregon Wine Country B&B and I wear a lot of hats. I need things that I can easily do without much monetary commitment.

  • Thanks Charles! Would you mind linking to our page with the report, rather than the PDF?

  • James Gross

    The biggest challenge? Finding ways to accelerate the research process to determine where on the social web to focus social media efforts.


  • Jean Butzier

    My biggest social media challenge is trying to convince upper-management and executives that social media can not be measured based on patient acquisition and the return on investment is not as clear-cut as SEM and advertising. Social Media is about building relationships, especially in my industry of cancer care, and building trust with the community; providing followers with useful and informative information to make their cancer journey easier to understand and hopefully with reduced side effects.

  • I share it bei Facebook and Twitter, is a great event, i won´t pass it.

  • Melinda Young

    The Biggest challenge….getting people to realize that you do not have to be a computer wiz to use facebook, twitter or LinkedIn..

  • Barb

    We have two social media challenges:

    1) We have been actively involving our company in the world of social media for under a year so our marketing team is still getting the hang of how to utilize each unique avenue. We want to provide content that is unique and relevant to our target audience, but also understand what our audience is seeking from each individual site.

    2) We are a multi-faceted fitness equipment company – involved in domestic commercial direct sales, international commercial distribution and direct sales, and just entering the worlds domestic retail direct sales and distribution. Our goal is to be an savvy resource to all these customers, but as you can see it is difficult to target such a wide variety of mainly B2B customers, especially since they come from very distinct markets and have varying needs.

    I would absolutely love to virtually attend/participate in the Social Media Summit, but our business is a start-up and cannot allocate funds for marketing like this just yet. The State of Social Media webinar completely sold me on the importance of investing time and energy in social media and I am itching to learn and apply more!

  • Cjhammond

    The educational attainment rate in this area is of great concern. Through inter-institutional collaboration and a concerted effort, we should explore social media as a means to help market local certification, professional-technical programs, bachelor degree options, and graduate programs. Critical to the economic success of individuals, families, and communities is a well-trained workforce. The challenge is to inform. Social Media is a viable platform. What are the best practices?

  • KraftyJen2002

    Hi Mike,

    I have quite a few social media challenges and maybe in a unique situation. Here’s the first. I’m a book author of Blue Fingers Brass Knuckles, I was self-published in February, 2010. I only have a handfull of books on hand, the rest need to be ordered online either via publisher or Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc. The problem is if I advertise to sell the books after I’ve run out of my own stock, I make less money on the book through ordering online. I don’t have the funds currently to order more books to keep on hand. So I’m not quite sure what to do with social media at this point about my book. I’m feel like I’m at a cross-roads.

    My second biggest challenge – how to write viral & attracting content to get more fans to my facebook pages ( I have slowly gotten new fans over a 6-8 month period of time and have encouraged my current fans to tell their friends about my page, but not at the faster pace I’d like it to happen and there’s nothing in it for them to do so. I don’t really have anything to offer that I can see???

    My third biggest challenge – The fans I have on my author facebook page ( have been loyal since day 1, however I want to keep them as fans and want to be able to offer them something for that, but not sure what I can offer since I’m in a bind with being self-published. At which when new fans join I’ll have the same dilemma. The end goal is I want my fans to convert to paying customers to and to read my book. After all I did write the book to help others.

    I’m still relatively new to YouTube and would like to learn all the endless possibilities on how to properly utilize it for social media marketing purposes. And…would also love to learn from the experts on the best way to create and edit video to become a leader in the industry.

    Twitter, I’m doing pretty good at. I’m constantly getting new followers every day and they seem to be attacted to the content I put out there. But what I’d really love to learn more about is HootSuite and all the fundamentals of the program and recently heard about Hootlet within Hootsuite. I can’t get it to work for me.

    I’m sure you will cover lots of great stuff in this summit and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE the chance to learn more, but I simply can’t afford this wonderful opportunity you are putting on, due to my current financial situation. Thank you for allowing me to put comments on your page.


    Jennifer Martin
    Author Blue Fingers Brass Knuckles
    Founder of Extreme PR

  • At Global Marketing Solutions, our biggest challenge is finding the right people to provide social media services for our clients. The tools change, and we can keep up with that. The ROI measurement is evolving, and we’re doing well with that. Our clients love what we do for them, so that’s great. But it takes very special personalities to provide what I consider excellent SM services, especially in fields that involve heavy consumer contact. We’re always looking for ways to improve what we do and the efficiency of how we do it, but at the end of the day, it’s the personalities of the people doing the work that has mattered the most for us. I’d love to hear about success stories that you attribute to the people behind the pages.

  • Fawn

    As someone new to social media marketing, I am overwhelmed by the options, methods, applications, and information. I have attended some seminars on social networking, but they have only raised more questions. I would love a comprehensive guide to the maze of social media and am excited to have found (quite by accident) this website and opportunity. Thank you!

  • Najam

    Lots of data available on the internet about Social Media Marketing from ‘so-called gurus’. My biggest challenge is to know exactly how social media marketing can help a business in a simple and straight-forward way.

  • I’ve always loved social media and consider it as a huge part of my success and for my clients as well. As a social media specialist, I do what I preach and my clients know that I strongly suggest activities that worked well for me. For the past years, my biggest social media challenge has always been the fact that social media is ever-changing and no matter how good you think you are with how to leverage the use of these channels to build buzz about your business, you simply can not call yourself an expert. I honestly think that for a medium that changes lightning-fast, we become newbies whenever something new is introduced. The hard part is that it’s difficult to keep up with all these advancements most especially if they tend to be more technical or should I say complicated. There is a need to constantly update yourself with the latest in social media. An example would be the introduction of iFrames for Facebook pages. I was aware that it would be gone by the end of 2010 so I really had to learn since my clients depend on me. You need to live up to the expectations of the people who need your knowledge.

    After you have learned something foreign, next thing you know a new concept is introduced. Social media requires your dedication to learn, for without it, you will just be struggling to learn just because that’s what everybody is doing. So it’s a challenge because there is a lot to learn every day and even if your clients consider you as a social media expert, deep inside you know you are not (and it could be hard to admit honestly that you are not an expert). We just need to take on this challenge that we constantly face. And of course, we have to do it like we mean it (learning new trends) and not just because it’s the trend.

    Social Media Examiner is like my social media bible that I read everyday. It always keeps me in the loop. Thank you Cindy for this post. I almost shouted for joy when I got this email from SME about this new post. I’ve always wanted a free ticket since this Social Media Success Summit would be of great help. I would have purchased if I had the funds but this chance to get a free ticket is just awesome. My clients definitely need this and I’d do anything I can to learn more so I can serve them better.

  • LERROS_renka

    My biggest social media challenge is identical to my work‘s only challenge – which is:
    To bring the brandawareness of LERROS in Slovakia (brand we are distributing) to the level where common people would recognize LERROS as known – in extremely small company with 4 employees – no support from mother company and almost no budget. My only chance is social media.
    I am prepared to work hard to achieve this in the period of 1 year. Please support my challenge and show me how it´s done.

  • My biggest social media challenge is in educating my customers. Many see Facebook as a place for games and Twitter as a waste of time – since they don’t use it, they ‘understand’ it to be for egotistical people that feel that every move must be logged for their friends to see.

    I have learned so much from online webinars and my own work and research that I can usually describe benefits and SEO applications. However, challenge number two rears its ugly head:
    1. How do I show them ‘instant’ results
    2. How can I create a dashboard that is understandable to clients and usable for me as a web developer
    3. How can I guarantee that social media analytic programs I find online do not breach any non disclosure agreements

  • Jeremy

    Thanks for the contest and the great work you all do Mike, Mari, and Cindy. I’ve just been hired to work at our family business which is retail home centers (12) back in Louisiana. With over 600 employees and virtually no web presence I have my work cut out for me! Thanks again and look forward to participating!

  • Robert

    My biggest social media challenge is trying to develop a comprehensive strategy (on a shoestring budget) that will satisfy the needs of two distinct camps within my company, a nonprofit dental provider: an innovative CEO who believes we need to do whatever we can to spread our message to encourage donations and new patient admissions, and a leadership team who are hesitant to embrace social media because they perceive it as something “nice” versus strategic. Inherit in this is our operating budget. Since a majority of our funding comes from state and federal healthcare reimbursement, while the conference sounds ideal, my reality is that $597, or even $300 isn’t going to be possible.

  • jm

    As the sole marketing/pr/sm person at a non-profit organization, I am overwhelmed by all the tools now available to communicate with constituents. I set up all the pages, but don’t have 1)strategy 2)dashboard to manage all pages 3)clear understanding of how to integrate sm into fundraising efforts 4)time to figure it all out! Help!!!

  • Rhonda Brantley

    As a start-up website designer and social media strategist, we see thousands of real estate agents in our local markets who have been 1) exposed to the idea of social media, 2) are promoting their brokers and offices but not branding themselves 3) have all the technology offered 4) but, can’t quite get them to grasp the current failure of costly print media, signage, newspapers ads. It is as if “old school” is lingering like a ghost and their message has been, “just get a Facebook page”. We have to try and embrace that culture and at the same time point them toward a total social media experience to help drive traffic to their sites. Are looking for news ways to articulate the advantages to professionals who have always handled marketing a different way. Hard to change a pup’s spots, but we are constantly looking for better ways to communicate this message. Trying to improve the housing statistics, one housing market at a time. Thanks, you guys are great!

  • Rachel Strella

    I have several social media challenges. You can view them here:

  • Dklevick

    Excuse me -‘Social Media’ did you say? What’s that? Sounds like a social disease now, don’t it?
    Oh, that’s that new form of connecting with people, right? You mean like talking to people?
    Well, I know how to do that. Been doing it all my life.
    Oh – you mean it’s talking to people ‘on-line’? Ok, can do that too. Used to have a party line once ya know. Got to talk to lot of people then, we did.
    I know – you really mean on this thing called the ‘Internet’ don’t you?
    Well, that’s a little different now isn’t it. See I’m and old dog, downright ancient by most cyber standards.
    How old you ask? 50’s? (chuckle) Don’t I wish. No, need to tack a few more numbers on to the high end of 50 to get to me. Oh, I’m on the Internet and trying like the dickens to use it too.
    But challenges you ask? Where does an old dog begin with Tweets, and blogs (nasty sounding word isn’t it?) and RTs, WWs, FFs, Hashmarks, widgets and gadgets and apps and donkeys, horses and mules for crying out loud! Challenges? First challenge is to learn a whole new language now wouldn’t you say? Ain’t English that’s for sure. Oh, forgot, this is a ‘World Wide Web’ isn’t it? Need to learn a lot I guess.
    Problem is, every time I learned something here they all go out and created something one. Can’t keep up with it all – that’s the second challenge for sure. Who can? Maybe these young whippersnappers can who sit there all day getting calcified thumbs and all, but for sure this old dog struggles.
    You see the whole business starts at a level of understanding that us old dogs aren’t at so we’re always behind the 8-ball, playing catch up. That’s the third challenge.
    Is there a fourth you ask?
    Oh yeah, sure is, cause now we have to tie them all these ‘Social Media’ things together. Connect the dots you know. Blog to Tweets and Tweets to Facebook and Facebook to Linked In and Linked in to websites and gee now I need to learn a whole new language again. This time it’s URL’s and RSS’s and Wi Fi.
    Whatever happened to the good old days? Anyone see my typewriter?

  • Michaela

    Dear Mike and Mari,

    My biggest social media challenge is having the time to get fully immersed in it. I know I need to and I want to, but setting aside the time is challenging. I very much want to attend this event and winning a free ticket would ensure that I do, as I don’t have the extra funds right now to do so.

    I do a lot of consulting work with nonprofit / social sector organizations and health care organizations and I know what I would learn in the Summit would be of great value to be able to share with these organizations.

    I have attended Mike’s in-person White Paper Summit (a few years ago) in San Diego and also the Copywriting Summit (a couple years ago). Having personally experienced these events, I know they are very useful and a great value for the $. I follow you both on Twitter and know this event will be comprehensive, educational and inspiring.

    I would be very willing to tweet before and during the event to spread the buzz, as I know my network, largely marketing and communications professionals, would find it of interest and value.

    Should I win the two tickets, I would like to share the second ticket with a nonprofit — perhaps it could be raffled off to raise $ for a good cause. I would discuss this with you to see what is possible and amenable to you.

    Thank you for this opportunity.


  • My challenge actually has to do with managing 3+ clients across Twitter, FB, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google Adwords, Facebook ads and the like. The time necessary to keep each going is staggering. I have very regimented updates and campaigns but frankly it is taking a lot out of me. I also am having a hard time grasping all the analytics. Each channel has its own measurements and standardizing them so that my clients understand the impact is tough.

  • Olson

    The biggest SM challenge is to get 50- and 60-something business people who don’t use the Internet to understand that in today’s world most everyone or someone advocating in their behalf, that is, prospective clients or customers DO USE the Internet to search for the services and products they need. Therefore, small businesses need to have an active Internet presence/footprint to lead prospects to their doorstep.

  • Czach Hidalgo

    Straw Hat Restaurants Inc (dba Straw Hat Pizza restaurants & Tower 27 Yogurt) has committed to embracing social media and hired me specifically for that reason.

    Because the decision to hire a social media manager was a middle-of-the-fiscal-year budget line item added after the revelation of how it important social media is in communicating with new and existing customers, my department is not in the financial position to benefit from such an undoubtedly profound event.

    It is my goal to end up on the front lines of the campaign for positive communication and engagement with fans of Straw Hat Pizza and Tower 27 Yogurt shops and the “Social Media Success Summit of 2011” held by the Social Media Examiner is an excellent spring board in accomplishing that goal.

    With this, I submit my name as a candidate for winning the prize to gain free access to the Success Summit of 2011.

    Respectfully submitted,

    – C. Czach Hidalgo
    (a definition of integrity I like to practice)

  • Jdunson

    The challenge faceing my company right now is how to create engaging content to elicit a response from our readers. Our subscribers, followers, and likes have risen by 600% since I have begun spearheading our online marketing efforts, and our active monthly users and article views are also up over 458%, but still our comments, engagement, and resharing is almost non exsistant. I love this newsletter and find it’s information invalueable in helping with my social media marketing efforts. I would love to attend the summit, but can not afford the registration. I would like to submit the following article for consideration for your give away. Thanks for providing such great articles and information!

  • Hi Cindy! Thank you for this opportunity to participate in the Social Media Success Summit 2011.

    I have posted my biggest social media challenge at

  • My biggest social media challenge is getting my clients to totally commit to providing me with frequent info that I can then turn into content for them. They love the idea of SM, love that they’re getting good feedback on my efforts for them, but frequently I have to wait days for feedback on a specific questions. . .I know they hired me because they don’t have lots of time, but I get frustrated. . .

  • My biggest SM marketing challenge is understanding the stats and what I need to do with them to tweak and change my marketing strategy. I am learning about “new” things all the time and that “this” is the latest and greatest. I need help discerning which is the best for my business.

    It would be a great blessing to win admittance to attend this Summit so that I may put that money back into my business by getting the technology that we need.

    C Harrison

  • Carol Lloyd Neill

    My biggest challenge is maintaining an engaging social media presence for products (financial services) that are not conducive to couponing or discounting or buy-one-get-one offers. Educational content is good but it’s not fun daily consumption material.

  • Jason

    My biggest social media challenge is to be able to understand how to use Facebook, and LinkedIn for promoting my business and especially to be able to accomplish that in the little time/day that I have available. In other words, how to be able to do that efficiently.

  • Klaudia

    The challenge I am facing right now is the big number of tools we can use (and I don’t want to say it’s a problem) — I am worried that I won’t be able to choose the right one nor find the one which is the best for me (because of the number of tools).

  • The ASCRS Foundation supports the Robert Sinskey Eye Institute (a full-time eyecare treatment clinic with a staff of ten including two full-time local ophthalmologists, opened 2005) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, treating over 10,000 eye patients in 2010; we’ve just started funding four anchor ophthalmic (eye surgery) training centers in Asia; here at home we award ten (10) first-step ophthalmic studies annually ($5,000 each); and educate the public and press about cataract and LASIK surgery options. ASCRS stands for American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the foundation is the charity arm of this non-profit.

    The foundation’s first stand-alone web site went live Feb. 14, 2011 ( and our Eye Surgery Education Council (a committee of ASCRS Foundation) put up its common-man educational web site in Oct. 2010 ( Someone you know or who is related to you (father, mother, grandparents, etc.) is contemplating cataract surgery right now. We urge you to go right now to the site and learn about eye surgery options, especially cataracts.

    Over 3 million cataract surgeries were performed in the USA in 2010. The Eye Surgery web site is a non-aligned, non-branded educational site that is built in the language of the common man. The technical and medical lingo has been kept to a minimum.

    Even though the foundation has been around for quite a while (35 years) and our accomplishments are many, we still have almost no Social Media presence (has anyone heard of us?). We are desperate to break into Social Media Channels to tell our story of humanitarian eyecare in third world countries; fund more first-step studies to advance ophthalmic care to patients and educate the public & press about cataract and LASIK surgery options. Almost all of our donations are spent on our projects.

    We adminster all of this with a staff of one part-time director and me. Understandably, I would like to attend this series of webinars, so that I can jump-start my Social Media IQ and this year use Social Media as one of the important tools to tell the world about all of the good work the foundation does here & abroad.
    One more cataract fact before we leave: over half of all blindness in the third world is caused by cataracts.

    P.S. If I am fortunate to be chosen, I would love to write a blog series on this site about the steps we take along the way to build the ASCRS Foundation’s Social Media presence. Considering we’re starting from almost ground zero (we haven’t even activated our blog tool on our web site, yet), this would be a great how-to (and what not to do) series for small businesses and almost all small to mid-size non-profits.

  • The biggest challenge I have is simply finding time to manage all of my accounts and my clients’ accounts. I’m always looking for ways to automate, automate, automate. Social Media Examiner is my #1 go to source for info on the social media industry and it saves me a lot of time by only serving up the good stuff! And you can quote me on that!

  • My Biggest Social media problem is organizing all of my different venues!

  • Tony Sanchez

    I am part of a non-profit called Leadership Concepts Inc. (LCI). Our mission is to develop and enhance interpersonal skills which enable young people to better serve their communities. In addition, LCI provides learning opportunities that encourage personal growth and empower to young individuals to become leaders, through the use of workshops, retreats, and week-long camps.

    My biggest challenge is the core of the group is very traditional and in the last year I have been trying hard to convince the board to allow me to utilize Social Media to increase our exposure and enhance current relationships. LCI’s board is very traditional and I have been working desperately in piecing together a presentation to convince the board that our audience uses Social Media and should be a platform we should be utilizing.

    Social Media Examiner has been a wonderful resource. I need to win the tickets because I am confident that the answers I seek is in the Social Media Summit and can be the string that ties my presentation together. LCI has a great program and I will continue my uphill battle in convincing LCI’s board to start utilizing Social Media as a platform to spread our word. I would be very happy just to win 1 ticket – just like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It only took one golden ticket to make his dreams come true.

    Keep up the great work that you are all doing here at Social Media Examiner and thank you for allowing us to share our story to win a golden ticket to your 2011 Summit.


    Tony Sanchez

  • The biggest challenge to me is finding enough time to read all the great resources that there are out there – e-books, white papers, blogs – argh!

    I have to say, though, that Social Media Examiner is one newsletter that I make time to read each time – seriously! Love how succinct you guys are and very on top of everything that’s going on in the social media space. Great job!

  • Wilson Raposo


    I was recently diagnosed with a form Cancer on March 17th 2009 after having minor Maxillofacial Oral Surgery in late February 2009 on my right palate in the sinus region next to my nose. Two small cysts like formations ( Atypical Squamous Material) were removed measuring 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.4 cm that came back positive with features favoring a well differentiated Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cancerous cells) for this horrible disease. Although it may not be known exactly why it was triggered, it was believed that the aggravation was caused due to an ongoing abbess tooth that wasn’t taken care of. This infection had deteriorated the surrounding area causing destruction and erosion to the Alveolar and Palatal bone which according to the dentist that tried to get drainage, that one could stick the end or their thumb into. C.T Scans showed that there was a boney loss of the left anterior maxilla that demonstrated an irregular and aggressive margin. An area space of 3.4 x 4.0 x 4.4 cm of growing tissue, later to be recognized as a tumor in my sinus area left my face swollen inside and outside making the teeth in the region loose and displaced which had to be held by a temporary wire till surgery. On may 4th 2009 I had a 12 hour surgery that was only supposed to be 6 hours. The area space that was infected was larger than anticipated. In the process they removed teeth from the two in the front to the back wisdom on my left side. All the bone that the teeth were rooted to was removed as well including the tumor itself. From what I was told, anything that is infected has to be removed or shaved back 3-4 cm to clean the area. I was subjected to my left upper jaw removed from the roof of my mouth up and forward out the front of my face. Major Facial reconstruction and plastic surgery took place with a secondary operation on my arm to take out bone, tissue, artery and other elements to graft into the area to replace what was removed. To be safe lymph glands in my neck were removed to be tested for the cancer as well. That required an incision from the back of my ear down to my Adams apple for the extractions to happen. Due to the swelling I needed a tracheotomy so I had an alternative means to breath. For nearly a month I could not move or talk. Just a pen and a piece of paper. This surgery lasted a whole day and I was admitted at 5am. I spent a month in the hospital followed by 30 grueling sessions of hard radiation which ended on August 12th 2009. About a month later of suffering through the side effects of radiation and getting better September 9th 2009 came. I day I won’t soon forget…this was the happiest day of my life. A week before I had gone to get a C.T scan to see the result of my radiation treatment. I am happy to say as of now nothing is showing up on my C.T scans and tests. Although I through the side effects of the radiation such as the swelling of my sinuses, under producing saliva glands, and affected taste buds including a little bald spot at the back of my neck, I’M ALIVE!! I am now happy to say that i am in remission and the cancer is gone and I feel great.

    MY DILEMMA: Here is the thing….I had everything taken away from me! I had no insurance. Dealing with the misery of trying to make money and surviving was a challenge. All i had was disability money and the cash I made from selling all of my worldly possessions. In my line if work it was image based. Face to face sales meetings and presentations. Little do we know the value of image when it comes to doing business from a company perspective. Interview after interview based on my resume I landed the big management job, the territory rep job, or the regional manager roles that were being sought after. These were 80k base + commission jobs. I was qualified on paper but when it came to the interview and they looked at my face they saw no teeth and scars. My health was questioned and it always turned into an interview with a Cancer patient rather than one with a potential candidate for a new job position. Later I found out through some sources the reason I did not land some of the jobs I went to was because of health and image. Do you really want someone selling you something with no teeth? I had to think about it and it hurt so bad i was not motivated to look any further.

    SOCIAL MEDIA DISCOVERY: I had to at least find something to keep me afloat financially. Something flexible with time as i needed check ups at the hospital. Something somewhat of my own business. Something where I did not have to be around poeple where i was being judged superficially. Home based internet is where I was heading. I started with a product was was in Multi Level Marketing. I had trouble marketing my product to all my friends and family and was slowly hitting a dead end with no return on my investment. I took to the internet and google MLM “leaders” MLM “advice”. Soon I entered the world of making money and generating traffic with social media.

    SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE: In life we are all faced with challenges. Some big, some small, and others life changing making everything seem easy. Mine was a combination of everything. The will to live helped me to survive. The will to survive pushed me to learn. The will to learn got me here on this page today telling my story. My challenge was trying to learn sooooooo much as fast as I could so that I could start generating money. So much to learn so little time where does it all end? I found my self learning more than just doing what i needed to do to generate positive cash flow. I also found myself managing my time poorly because I thought my greatest accomplishment was to learn the most i could in the shortest amount of time possible. How could I possibly do this with so many NEW things happening? I would sit on my computer at home from 10am periodically though the day till about 3 to 4am sometimes 6am. I would read, listen to webinars, watch videos and so much more. When would it end I thought. Reality check!!!! it doesn’t end. I had to learn all i could do for my business online for free to generate traffic to a business I had with no income. I had a small start up business that folded because of my condition that I needed to revive and I also had this new MLM business I was trying to make successful. So much in so little time and the clock was ticking and so was the amount of time left before my bank account was at zero. My biggest challenge was managing my time. Time for self development, time for business growth, time for myself, and time for my family. I was consumed with one thing instead of spreading it out through the week to just get it done. Do it now lets make some money and get people in your face to see your products and services I told myself. My challenge was also letting go of being the one man show and learning that I also have to eventually outsource so that I have time to do what I needed to do and that was making money. I had not time to waste, I had no support, no help, it was all me and to this day it is all still on me.

    SYNOPSIS: Today I still struggle with making ends meet but I am doing okay for myself enough to be happy. I love Social Media and am determined to make sense of it all to become that much more successful. It is because of sites like Social Media Examiner, blogs, facebook, twitter, and so much more including the friends that i have which have enabled me to harness the little knowledge i know. All i have to say is that Surviving Cancer was bigger than all there is to learn about social media. Everything seems smaller now and more attainable. My biggest Social media challenge was time management with all the ongoing and new info there is out there. I also had a financial challenge to overcome while going through cancer. I’m glad now I am slowly overcoming these obstacles but I’m always hungry for more. My best advice is manage your time effectively to run you business, learn new strategy and most of all have a life away from all of it. You only get one crack unless you have a second chance at life like I did. Make the most of what you have and whats out there for you. You don’t have to spend much to make it happen. After all…If i can come back from all this and make a little ripple in the pond…I’m sure someone will see the wave and follow it to my landing page lmao All the best to all of you. Love peace and happiness to everyone. There are far less fortunate people out there. Share what you know, teach what you have learned and build relationships for life which will translate into business dollars.

    Wilson Raposo

    Follow Me on:


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  • My social media dilemma is this, marketing to the generational differences that exist in today’s marketplace. For the first time in workplace history there are four generations that exist, the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, the NetGeners, and the Millennials . The task at hand, to appeal to each of them in a manner that is interesting, captivating, and informative, is confusing at times and always challenging. I have attacked this situation by group sharing information that is pertinent to each individual group. Another challenge that arises, however, is the overlap that occurs at the end of each generation and the beginning of the one that succeeds. I have been using various forms of social media, including SME and Hoot Sweet, to infuse my learning capacity and keep me motivated to solve this dilemma. Mike @ MAXimum Authenticated Solutions

  • Sandra

    Social Media is so important to businesses now and encompass so many different avenues. It is hard to keep up with all of the constant changing technology. But luckily there is someone to the rescue, called Social Media Success Summit 2011. This training can be taken on the computer so no need for travel which makes it convenient. Training is taught by other professionals who are successful with social media. They discuss their pitfalls and what they did to remedy these. It is always great to learn from other’s experiences such as your own.

    I know for me it is a matter of enough hours in the day to get it all done. As they say, so many promises, so little time. I would like to learn to be even more efficient with the time I have using it towards the best avenues for my business.

    Sign up now for Social Media Success Summit 2011. It will be the best money you have spent in a long time.

  • Hi my friends at SME.

    My biggest challenge is actually not to see Social Media as an challenge, but rather as an opportunity.

    My biggest opportunity working towards the Hotel Family is to get Social Media passing the gatekeepers.

    Traditional marketing have long and deep traditions in this niche. And getting them to understand that Social Media is valuable asset in combination with traditional marketing channels is another great opportunity.

    Another great opportunity is provide Social Proof that validate valuable outcome as a result of Social Media.

    Plus another awesome opportunity is to connect the dots between engagement and turning consumers into champion advocates for the Hotel.

    And the most awesome opportunity I just love with Social Media is to just have fun, and enjoy the ride with some awesome friends and people.

    When you have passion for what you do, and show it through your hearth challenges will turn into opportunities.

    Cheers… Are

  • jennifer altimore

    My biggest challenge??? Well lets start with the company I work for… Industrial Manufacturing. In case you’re unfamiliar with what that is, we’re the guys that make the tools that go on the equipment that makes the stuff, that gets sold to the stores, that you the consumer buys…. and in other cases… we are the company that makes the tool, that gets put on the pieces of eqpt that helps make the world a better place, road milling, well drilling, wind mills etc. So really do I have to say anymore? Of course I do. My typical customer still LOVES to receive catalogs, that’s right paper catalogs, 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, bound together, typically weighing at least 5lbs each! (I don’t even want to get into the cost of this) No, I’m not kidding, so you can imagine the challenges I have in getting these guys involved in Social. I would like to make a little disclaimer at this point…. There are a few of us forward thinking individuals in this “world” and we’re out there being Social on twitter, linkedin, even facebook, but we have a far way to go. My theory is that in these economic trying times, in these small mom and pop machine shops, owners are recruiting their kids, nieces and nephews into the family business and these kids have the social know how, so how to we capitalize on this, and then how do we get the other old school folks intrigued by it? If there was enough time to meet with every single one, and sit down and show them the benefit they can receive from adding Social into their Marketing mix, relieve them of their pain points of time and privacy we would be there. But as reality sets in that is not going to happen. I’d love to win tickets to this event so that I could learn from some of the leaders in this space, talk with others that may be faced with the same types of challenges, and really bring the world of manufacturing into the next era of marketing. Manufacturing these days is all technology driven….. their marketing efforts should be as well! Thanks!

  • I struggle with knowing how to “brand” myself on social media – consistent graphics, pictues, etc. and maximizing that “brand” for potential readers.

  • Oh, I so want to “Go” — I followed from afar last year, longing to participate in the over-the-top content and value. Why? Because everything is a challenge right now! If I could just put on my comfiest jammies and brew an endless pot of coffee, I would learn so much!

  • I’ve spent 20 years in the nonprofit sector and I currently work/volunteer for a nonprofit animal services group. Times aren’t easy for nonprofits now (as if it ever was) and I make next to nothing. As much as I’d like to participate, I couldn’t buy the tickets if I wanted to. And I’d cut off my right arm to go except that I’d probably only get a quarter for it, considering the current economic situation.

    Jennifer Talansky, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, for the Nonprofit Finance Fund wrote that in the third annual survey for 2010, 77% of nonprofits reported that they experienced an increase in demand in services in 2010, and 49% reported that they were unable to meet the demand for services. 85% expect further increases in demand in 2011, and 54% do not expect to be able to meet the demand. Nonprofits coped by reducing and eliminating programs and services , and partnering with other organizations–programmatically and financially. For many organizations, additional programmatic, financial, and staffing changes are planned for 2011.

    My nonprofit group has been pretty self-sustaining for the past 11 years, but we finally had to have our first major fundraiser last week. (you can donate at We’ll be OK, but that doesn’t translate to much salary to me at this time. Winning free tickets to this event would be beyond my wildest dreams.

    Despite the current global state of affairs, and what I’m experiencing personaly, I’m an optimist . . . everything ebbs and flows and all I have to do is my part. And my part right now, in spite of my lack of funds, is to do all I can to help others. I’m launching and next week to provide free and affordable web and other services to nonprofits and those that care.

    Winning the tickets could help me to help many, but I must share with you that no matter what, The Social Media Examiners emails already have aided me immensely, and in turn benefit others. Yours are the first emails I read – I appreciate you guys and what you’re doing. Thank you

  • Europe says hi, folks ! 🙂

    I’d love to listen to all those incredible people you have on your list !

    My biggest challenge right now is to build a friendly presence on the web for the restaurant I’m currently in the process of opening.

    This restaurant means a lot to our familly. With it I’m trying to kill one bird with a stone : it’s a way for my wife and I to invest our hard won money in something hopefully successful, and most of all it will help my mother to get out of state support for illness. She is the perfect manager for that kind of restaurant (healthy fast-food) and the project has already put the sparkles of life back in her eyes again ! 🙂

    I’ll obviously open a facebook fanpage and a twitter account for the restaurant, and though I won’t be onsite of the restaurant every day (it’s in another town) I’ll manage the communication and marketing sweeties.

    Can’t wait for it to happen and take on that big challenge !!

    Arnaud (aka Bubblybull)

  • Will do!

  • Jan Wong

    My biggest social media challenge is to educate others about social media – including businesses especially in an environment (e.g. my country) where traditional marketing still triumphs. The level of acceptance towards ‘new media’ as part of a business’ official strategy remains low as doubts on issues such as tangible ROI, transparency, maintaining a professional image and etc continues to flood the minds as compared to traditional media which is said to be tested and proven.

    How do we convert / educate these businesses? How ‘ready’ do they need to be to be ready for social media? How can businesses open up their doors to social media? How to improve the level of acceptance among businesses (btw, many businesses ban the usage of social media at their workplace over here)? That, is definitely my biggest social media challenge.

  • Sunil Gandhi

    Problem 1- Attract
    Problem 2- Making them Act
    Problem 3- Some quick Result

    I am able to attract ppl to my blog though low. But participation is low and action is yet Nil.

  • I am a social media officer in Jordan, the challenge I face that social media is new in Jordan, so it’s hard to make the people interactive and hold conversations with them, also I have a problem using the tools, and make accurate analysis and ROI for the clients.

  • Bonnie @

    I love social media. I love to interact on a more personal level with potential customers and friends of my brand. My biggest challenge is to find a way to change consumer behavior, to make them do something that they have never done and convince them of the value of doing it. I am finding that it is like being back in middle school where there is a new fashion trend and no one wants to be the first to try it least they look foolish–and then the popular student does it and BAM! a trend is set. I’m looking to see how social media can set a new trend.

  • My biggest social media challenge is that I’m not a business, I’m a blogger. Just a girl with a voice wanting to make a difference in the world and desperately trying to use social media to do so. My issue is I don’t know how.

    Everybody has the answer, the one true method at mastering social media but it’s overwhelming when 200 people are tweeting 200 different things; so I turn to Facebook and my feeds are all of their tweets! I don’t know where to begin or where to stop.

    The visual noise has become as deafening as a heavy metal concert during a migraine headache. I’m fighting the urge to go back to pencil, paper and snail mail. I’m fighting the desire to dig a fallout shelter in backyard and survive off canned goods and water but I have a vision of my future and that of my sons it can’t succeed without social media.


    Signed, Discouraged.

  • ITM Group, LLC

    As a Type A personality and a bit of a control freak who wants to be proactive and leading, my social media challenge seems to be the sense that I am always reacting and playing catchup and never knowing enough and that is uncomfortable. I love the learning process it takes to stay current but real work still has to occur more than listening to webinars and reading downloaded materials and visiting every guru site available.

  • My biggest challenge is increasing the number of people who become fans of my page. I am only starting out with my blog so I know it takes time. It is difficult when you can’t openly invite people unless they are your friends. I do have all my like boxes and links set up everywhere else in my network. Getting them to actually press the like button is challenging

  • Gina Couper

    Hi Cindy, Mike and co

    My biggest social media challenge is setting up a whole new social media strategy for a great pioneering New Zealand company in the health electronic communications sector. This company is blazing a trail developing innovative systems to exchange electronic patient information yet they don’t know where to start when it comes to marketing (or “unmarketing”) their services online.

    So I am thinking social media could be a really wonderful tool for them, helping them to attract and engage their audience of general practitioners and practice managers in primary care as well as building alliances with key influencers in government and industry, as this is a very political space!

    But – how do I help them engage their “business” audience using social media? We have all heard the success stories of B2C companies harnessing social media successfully, but the B2B case studies seem few and far between. Do Twitter and Facebook really work for B2B customers? Is it all just a waste of time for the B2B sector, or rather could this be where the real growth is going to be?

    I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience present in the line-up of contributors for Social Media Success Summit 2011. It’s going to be such an exciting event and I would just love to be there!

    Thanks for considering me and the difference I could make paying it forward by helping a company with a really worthwhile mission in the health space.

    Gina Couper, Auckland, New Zealand

  • The biggest challenge facing me in my efforts to maximize Social Media for our organization is effectively communicating to Executive Leadership the value of the relationships which can be created and cultivated using Social Media.

  • One of the biggest challenges I am finding is sifting through the multitudes of tweets/blogs/links all from ‘experts’…can they all really be experts? Even after spending hours per day & week, it seems impossible to get through all the advice to actually get the specific answers I need for me and my clients. The next biggest challenge is content generation that causes action by fans & followers…
    Thanks for hosting the contest and such an informative site!

  • My biggest challenge in Social Media was once that Havaianas brand asked me to plan an campaign to promote the brand lovers across the social media. I worked with sponsorship to fashion blogs that used a Havaianas Background for 15 days. Any user could click on a banner and download the same background for that social environments like Twitter, Blogs, Desktop, etc. At the end, we created a lot of buzz and more than 1200 users were using the Brand in there environments – that’s a huge declaration of love to a Brand.

  • My biggest challenge as the social media marketing manager at my company is convincing the big wigs to invest (money & time) in our social media marketing strategy. Social media is a new arena for our company, as well as our industry. I believe we are the first in our industry (Intellectual Property Services) to have such an active Facebook/Twitter presence, however, that is not saying much.

    Our main purpose for implementing social media into our marketing strategy is to create global brand awareness as we attempt to enter a new market, the US market. Our executives, all Korean natives, are familiar enough with social media to know that most of it is free of charge. This has been a hurdle for me as I try to convince them to spend more time and money on our social media strategy.

    What would make our executives happy is finding free/inexpensive effective ways to increase our global brand awareness through social media and what would make me happy is more information on why social media is such an important investment. More cannon fodder for my pitch to send me virtually to the Social Media Success Summit 2011!!

  • My biggest hurdle in Social Media is to be “out there”, but not in anyone’s face. I am good at engaging once I have someone’s attention, but I struggle with getting the specific people that are interested in what I have to offer. I will not pay for marketing, as in ads. I am on a mission to market my business completely organic and obtain traffic, readers and subscribers without the traditional advertising and pay for traffic routes. I truly believe Social Media will be the main source!

    Thank You for the opportunity to share!

    Brandy Orrange

  • figlesias

    My biggest Social Media challenge is coming up with a sound B2B lead generation and conversion framework for business and academia.

    Social Media provides new tools, most of them are still on a discovery phase by B2B early adopters so its hard to come up with the silver bullet, at least for now. My challenge is to evaluate the many tools and success campaigns so I may come up with a framework that could be successfully applied in business and thought in Business Schools on the many global, multi-lingual and multi-cultural business envirnoments.

    This challenge statement may be short, but I believe that it is shared by many, so I invite you to share your views and experience on this matter, and explore with me the many avenues and conferences available so Social Media adoption rate grows at a faster rate for business.

    One such conference that I wish to attend, since I am sure will provide many answers is Social Media Examiner´s “Social Media Success Summit 2011”.

  • This event very helpful for small Enterprise or small firm.This is very big chance to show your capabilities in this event or generate more business through event

  • Social Media Benefits:

    1- Get the Message Out Faster – and to More People
    2- Improve Branding
    3- Boost the Impact of Direct Marketing
    4- generated exposure for my business
    5- increased my traffic/subscribers
    6- new business Partnership
    7- helped us rise in the search rankings
    8- reduced my overall marketing expenses

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  • Tash

    To win tickets for this Social Media Success Summit would be absolutely out-of-this-world for my company.

    Our company is based in South Africa and it is just starting to introduce themselves to the world of social media. Our biggest hurdle is therefore to get our company ‘out there’ the right way- there is just always so much information and constant updates that at times it just seems to be quite overwhelming!! I have subscribed to the SocialMediaExaminer’s newsletter and frequent their site quite often as I find that your information teaches me invaluable lessons so to win tickets to the summit would help us dramitically!

    Thanks for such an awesome site and competition.

  • Social media has taught me all over again how important communication is to engagement and loyalty, the twin totems of effective and successful businesses in 2011.

    My greatest challenge in social media this year is to lessen my infatuation with its platforms, and obsess more specifically about the power of communication and how this can change the way we do business both on and offline.

    I believe social media has granted us the biggest opportunity we could possibly hope for: To understand our customers better. Now it’s up to us to convert the gifts our customers and prospective clients have given us – free and invaluable insights into their habits, preferences and experiences – into better products, services and end-user devotion.

  • Sam

    My biggest social media challenge is finding the right channel for the right message.

    As a public sector organisation, we have wide and varied teams who all have fantastic news and advice to give. But I’m conscious that social media users are already overwhelmed.

    Do I set up profiles for each team or does that dilute our brand? Or do I keep one profile but risk putting people off because there is such a variety of themes coming from it?

    And if I do have one profile – how can that be managed effectively with so many teams wanting an input?

    This social media is a jungle and I’m just hoping to find the right genie to show me the way!

  • Gerardo

    Hello Mike & Mari,

    “write about your biggest social media challenge”

    Ok, here we go!
    Our social network fanbase is approaching 100k!
    Social networking, We get it!
    Now what do we do from here?

    Help me Obi-wan Kanobi, Your my only hope!
    Help me Obi-wan Kanobi, Your my only hope!
    Help me Obi-wan Kanobi, Your my only hope!

    Cheers Darlings,
    Gerardo & Katy

  • The biggest challenge we have with Social Media is finding the right balance between personalization and automation that lets us keep our sanity while still growing. We’re small, and don’t have a lot of resources to work with, which means everything we do, we have to do ourselves. We’re trying several different tweet tools, but I want to stay personal and build relationships with twitter followers and Facebook fans. Doing that takes a LOT of time!! We are here to make a difference in the world, and winning tickets to the summit will help us do that!!

  • Judy_LockData

    Like Shadra, we’re in the balancing act, and providing our bosses with ROI proofs is an added task to getting the job done, and we’re hoping the Summit will help us learn new ways of measuring such.

  • Jenn Crowell

    The biggest challenge I have with social media is the time suck/balancing act factor. As a writer, I’ve got nothing to promote if I’m not actively and consistently spending time producing work, but I also can’t disappear off the social media radar completely while I’m engaged in a project. I tend to go in spurts in which I’m doing one of two things: getting completely sucked into social media, or pushing it away and ignoring it in order to save my productivity. I need to find a way to cut through the hype and devise a sensible, realistic plan for how I’m going to balance these two important aspects of my career.

  • For full entry:

    So you’ve succumb to peer pressure. You’ve created a Twitter. Now what? You follow a couple friends, start tweeting about Justin Bieber, Avatar, how much you love cheese fries, or whatever random thought is on your mind at the moment. But what’s the point, really? Does anyone care? You don’t stop hearing about how social…(read more of my entry here: )

  • James W.

    The biggest challenge i face is being able to effectively communicate the value of social media to clients. Many of them was to see an ROI with a $ sign. Many times we can do this through the promotions we run with promo codes and thins like that but there is another element of having a presence on social media that they often don’t get.

  • David

    The biggest social media challenge? Simple. Where and how to get started. We’re a small company and the employees are not the geekyist in the world. We’ve looked at hundreds of sites, read countless blogs, Tweeted to no avail, and tried a few things but we don’t have a plan or strategy, and even if we did we cannot hire a Social Media Manager so we need to do it ourselves. So we need a dance card that is NOT technospeak or does not assume that we have a clue about SEO or SEM or any of it. Simple how to get started and evolve from there. Without any assumptions that we have a clue since when it comes to social media we are clueless and confused.

  • #winSMSS11 Well stated Kaarina!

  • #winSMSS11 Know just how you feel! the Facebook Success Summit was soooo helpful and well done!! I have my fingers crossed on being able to attend this one!

  • Thanks Carolyn: glad you liked it!

  • My biggest challenge with social media??? Starting up a new business, where I am the owner, employee, social media director, secretary….you name it! Plus, owning my own business means: little access to professional development or brainstorming with other professionals, not enough time to learn everything I want to know, and maximizing my time (while still being the primary caregiver for two small boys.) I love the work that I do and would never want to go back to working for someone else. I just wish I had the knowledge of how to better reach my potential clients and readers so that other women would know that I am an easily accessible resource for them. I have the potential to be an incredible support system for new moms, yet they have to be able to find me….hence, the necessity to be a ‘master’ at social media.

  • Caroline Fong

    One of my biggest social media challenges involved working with a small gallery owner who wanted me to change the font color of her Facebook albums to red. Not only is it a bit tricky to explain the purpose of social sites to someone who didn’t even know they existed, I needed a pocketful of patience to explain the physical limitations or advantages – such as Twitter’s 140 character allowance – of some platforms.

  • Johanna BakerDowdell

    The biggest challenge for social media this year is the find the perfect platform/s in the myriad of options available. I need something that works for me, but is also where my clients and prospective clients are. Twitter and Facebook are in the lead right now, but I’m always open to researching new options.

  • Kath Roberts

    One of my biggest challenges is to not get infatuated with signing up for all the latest platforms ( I love shiny new concepts) and bring depth, focus and interation to a handful where I can make a real presence and build the tribe.Then I think its a question of balance-posting frequently enough to get your communications and engagement out there but not over doing it to loose relationships by inundating them. I think you’re point about getting your followers involved in interacting and posting thoughts and asking them is spot on so we sell what they want. To do this we just need to accept we haven’t always got all the answers or ideas and they won’t think any less of us for asking for input.

  • @robinsnest09

    The biggest challenge we face with social media is getting our customers to actively engage with us. As a medical facility, it is touch to create content that people are interested in. We do offer prizes and have contests, but not as often as we should. We get stuck in ruts of posting health related articles, which people find interesting, but they don’t need us to get this information. We do not offer discounts on services which makes it even more difficult to give people an incentive to follow us. Another challenge we continually face is making our executives understand the importance of social media.

  • I’m a first-time author and I’d love to connect with more people about my novel, “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever.” Anything I can learn about social networking would be a great help and I’d be happy to pass along the information to my fellow members of the Women’s National Book Association and California Writers Club.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

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  • …My biggest challenge is moving past the theory of what I’m learning and getting to the the how of what attracts and engages online. I believe learning this for myself and teaching it to other moms could lay the groundwork for a revolution of moms who work from home… my full entry is here:

  • Simone B

    As a recent PR graduate of Howard University, I am well versed in many areas of social media. I’ve been using it in my personal life for more than 5 years now, but the biggest challenge I face is transitioning my use of sites like Twitter, Digg, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon into my professional life. Now that I am using sites like these to learn more about PR, share my insight, and interact with seasoned professionals, I find it difficult to balance authenticity and professionalism. I don’t want to simply RT links and tweet facts. I want my personality to shine through , but not take away from the material that I am presenting. I have a surface level understanding of all these social media sites. I know how to use them, but I really want to properly incorporate them into my professional life.

  • The biggest challenge we are facing currently is how to track twitter and facebook referrals accurately? Given the fact that there are so many applications letting users tweet, Omniture referrals unfortunately underestimates these figures. Plus we have so many url shortners, each proving some basic to intermediate analytics of their own! Twitter is yet to come up with some solution to this. So tracking all of these is really a challenge!

  • Erinegay

    Greetings from the Silicon Valley Roller Girls! We face many social media challenges working in an organization with 75+ volunteers and not having much time to train our volunteers on how to cumulatively push out news, updates and information in a succinct and professional way. Our Public Relations Committee has very skilled individuals that I truly believe would benefit from an opportunity like attending the Summit.

    Silicon Valley Roller Girls (SVRG) is an all-female flat track roller girl league established in 2007 and represents what is known as Silicon Valley, California. SVRG aims to bring an additional exciting sport to the communities of Silicon Valley and allows women from all walks of life a chance to show their athleticism, intelligence, individuality, inner beauty and strength by participating in the subculture phenomenon of roller derby. SVRG is entirely skater-owned and run. Its dedicated members represent Silicon Valley’s mothers, professionals and students. SVRG encourages competition between other leagues and strives to represent Silicon Valley with sportsmanship and excitement.

    As a nonprofit organization, another focus of ours is to become immersed in the community and work hand-in-hand with other non-profit partners to bring this exciting sport opportunity to the community and be active participants in making San Jose a better place to live. SVRG is dedicated to giving back to the community. If we are able to better train our volunteers for our own organization, I believe that we could in turn also better assist the community partners we work with annually.

    Our 2011 home opener sold out to a crowd of 1,000+ and we are embarking on another sell out. We have a great base of fans now, but have much more potential. Large cities like Seattle and Denver have utilized social media avenues to increase their fan base to over 6,000 fans and we are hoping to bring our organization to that level.

    You can find more information on our organization online at: Thank you for your consideration.

    Erin Gay aka Death by Dollface
    Silicon Valley Roller Girls

  • Biggest challenge is getting senior management of my company to understand the benefits of social media. I head up our content development, but when it comes to marketing, we’re old school. Hope to attend or win (win#SMS11) a free ticket so I can learn how to get management to invest in social media / B2B marketing that will help them develop the business.

  • How great of you guys to do this! I will definitely participate as I would love to win this prize!! 🙂

  • sandyadam

    My biggest social media challenge is converting believers to buyers. I spend a huge amount of time understanding and applying techniques, but I live in a rather conservative part of the country where most companies are still blocking social media to their employees and see it as a time sink rather than a tool. I’m sure the SMS11 will be jam packed with great information to strengthen my selling points.

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  • The biggest SMC for a small business like mine is to build customer confidence and keep my potential customers engaged. Once a trusting relationship is established I have power to influence (huge asset in the interior design industry) and my customers get to cash in on my expertise.

  • Michael Jagdeo

    My biggest social media challenge is deciding, ‘Who to be’ when it comes to Twitter.

    I’m a financial advisor by profession…but first and foremost I’m a fun-loving guy that enjoys a great joke and am going to be trying my hand at comedy soon.

    My initial goal when thinking about social media was to create a brand that screams, “I can help you get out of debt and save for retirement.” But I soon noticed that my personality was screaming, “Ever notice what happens when a new lane opens up at the grocery store and people have to decide whether to stay in their lane or make the switch? It’s one of the most stressful decisions they’ll make all day!”

    So do I create two Twitter accounts, one for my business and one for me as a person? Or do my personal tweets help endear myself to my audience? Or should I look at my brand as being a financial guy that’s not your run-of-the-mill stiff-as-a-board financial guy?

    Twitter: @michael_jagdeo

  • Great to find you folks through Twitter. We offer two unique projects — the first one helps folks who are caregivers (of another person) become better and happier caregivers. The second project helps folks who enjoy reading positive and healthy encouragement about life connect with one another. Our usual age demographic is not typical for the average Twitter user — 50 plus — but we are confident that as more people in our age bracket enjoy social media, this trend will change. We would like to attend the conference because what we can learn from you will help us improve our communication with the people who would benefit from our projects. We want to be a major resource for our age group about social media. Thanks so much for creating this contest! We hope we win !! Elizabeth Hurwitz (@elizabethhurwit

  • The biggest Social Media Challenge we face is this:

    Many organizations are eager to move forward to meet their customers online but are unable to do so as their hands are tied with complex regulations and a slow-to-respond legal system. Meanwhile, legal entities are forced into a difficult position: there is little to no previous history from which to make decisions and a non-stop bombardment of unresolved, complex cases. This forces innovation in a remarkably traditional field; a field that I would argue is ill-equipped to innovate in the way required by our changing world.

    Meanwhile, the customer is growing more frustrated and angry by lack of response from companies who – in many cases – cannot even begin to respond.

    Thank you for the opportunity to enter!

  • Ngann

    My biggest social media challenge is trying 1) to get them all working together and 2) to get the people I need within my organization engaged. We are a major player in our industry, but our social media is lagging. I was hired to turn that around. One of my goals is to establish ourselves as thought leaders in this industry. At tradeshows and presentations, we already are. I need to get those same presenters fired-up and participating in our social media efforts.

  • Asking me to identify my biggest social media challenge is kind of like asking a Bedouin which grain of sand is the most important one in the entire desert.

    Every few months, for the last couple of years, I’ve decided that I would finally do this thing and “figure out” social media. I’ll develop a strategy, I tell myself, and I’ll follow it.

    But that is not working for me, because I’m lost. I’m not just lost; I’m lost in a completely foreign country. I don’t speak the language; I’m not even sure I’m on the same planet.

    This has nothing to do with my age. I’m 43, but my problems with social media are not at all about being too old. And it’s not about technology; I love technology.

    My problem is that I simply don’t like social media. It’s not comfortable for me. In fact, it’s extremely uncomfortable for me. I’m an introvert, and I mean an *extreme* introvert. In person, I can turn on an “extrovert persona” and come across as extremely outgoing. I’m good at that, and I like doing it. I can be great with people even though I’m shy and not particularly outgoing.

    Some introverts love Twitter and Facebook because they can interact from their own offices or living rooms and they’re comfortable.

    I’m NOT comfortable doing that. I don’t want to interact with people I don’t know. It’s not fun or interesting, and in fact it makes me want to run off screaming. I hate it.

    On the other hand, I know that there must be a way that someone like me can learn to use these social media sites well for marketing, because I’m fine with emailing strangers.

    I just don’t know how to approach this. I don’t know what to do. I can’t create a strategy because I don’t understand how this will work for me. I can’t ask anyone for help because I don’t even know what I need help doing.

    I need help getting help.

    At this point, if I don’t win tickets, I won’t be at the Summit. I simply do not have available resources to attend, and I wish that I did. I very much need the help. And if I do win the tickets, I will gift one back to Social Media Examiner to gift to someone else, or I will gift the other ticket to someone who needs it as much as I do.

  • Your first Social Media Success Summit is what turned me on to social media and made it so fun for me. Before that, I was completely intimidated. But, I took the advice of so many presenters, and started with one step at a time, focusing first on Facebook, then Twitter, then blogging. I don’t remember the exact date of your first summit, but I’m guessing it was about 18 months ago. Now, I’m at over 3,000 Facebook fans, thousands of people read my blogs on my site, I’m a hired pet-blogger on a site with over 15 million members, and recently a blog made it to the front page of Digg. Honestly, it was all because of starting with Social Media Examiner. If I hadn’t, I believe I’d feel scattered, lost and confused. A BIG THANK YOU!!!!

    I really want to win a ticket to the next Success Summit, because I am ready to take this to the next level. I have created a business by combining my two greatest loves, dogs and music. Through a Dog’s Ear is helping improve the lives of dogs and their people worldwide. I absolutely know that as I refine and improve my social media skills, I can get my music into the ears of more dogs, while calming their anxiety issues, and allowing us to donate the music to even more shelters.

    My biggest challenge is integrating Facebook fans into consumers. We have a lot of engaging conversation going on, but it’s mostly with people who already know and love us. All great and very rewarding and we’re able to learn about their needs, gather fabulous testimonials, and just have fun while speaking DOG. However, getting them to buy more products and also turning new fans into consumers would be extremely helpful. We really want to learn how to entice them into going from Facebook to our website, and have a clearer understanding of integrating our website with our Facebook page.

    Thank you for your consideration. If I win a ticket, I’d be so over the moon that I’d give back the 2nd ticket for Social Media Examiner to give to another deserving entrant.

    Lisa Spector
    Co-Founder, Through a Dog’s Ear
    Pet Blogger,

  • I’m in the same boat as some of the others on here and would only need one ticket, so if I do get chosen, I would love for you to give the 2nd to someone else 🙂 There are so many great responses 🙂

    I would have to say my biggest marketing challenge would be overcoming the stigma surrounding being a Psychic. My goal is to guide others to a fulfilling life where they live what they love and love who they are. 🙂 When people see that someone is Psychic, many have a feeling of apprehension since there are some out there who abuse that “title” and are just plain fake. However, I truly care about others and even give free sessions to those who need to talk to someone but can’t afford it; so finding a way to market which overcomes that initial judgement would be wonderful 🙂

    I’m excited to learn about all the different ways to utilize online to reach more people as well as optimize what I already have in place! The last few months have been the beginning of my new marketing push…and as much as I love my computer, I would love even more to figure out all the time saving tricks so I can spend less time in front it and more time out connecting with people. 🙂

    I feel like knowledge sponge right now and I’m excited to learn from everyone at the Summit! Much love,

    Psychic, Life Coach, Intuitive Counselor, Healing Jewelry Artist

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  • I feel the simple task of providing fresh content is the biggest challenge in social media. Read my blog to find out why:

    What’s the best way to get customers to contribute to an online conversation?

  • LuisaKoehler

    Hi Mike & Mari!

    My name is Luisa Koehler of Vancouver British Columbia and I REALLY WANT TO WIN tickets to this year’s Social Media Success Summit 2011.

    I’m a commercial real estate broker in a boutique shop by day, and a social media enthusiast the rest of the time.

    With a background in marketing and quite savvy on the computer, I took it upon myself to create a social media presence for our firm. I am quite aware of social media’s importance and its effectiveness (when used properly).

    My knowledge in social media and social media tools falls from day to day use; I’ve got a personal facebook account that I have used for years; YouTube; I’ve been a long time viewer of YouTube and a few years back I started contributing to it in several channels; we all at my company have LinkedIn accounts; and I also have some experience with a few Twitter accounts. I also do my share of reading up on social media news and technologies. On a daily I visit several websites: Social Media Examiner; Mashables; Social Mouths, MariSmith, Cisionblog, Kikolani to name a few. I’ve also read lots of books: Power Friending by Amber Mac, Engage by Brian Solis, How to Make Money with Social Media by Jamie Turner/Reshma Shah, and Real Time Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. I am currently reading: Facebook Marketing by Mari Smith (I cannot put this down!! I’m in Chapter 5…I got this book yesterday!!!), and The Now Revolution by Jay Baer.

    I’ve also gone back to school part time taking a few Multimedia course to keep me sharp in computer programs and systems and presentation deliveries.

    So now that you have a base.

    My biggest challenge in Social Media lies in strategy planning and executing. I have goals in place in which I’d like to achieve: Attract and engage quality customers; I would like to have a two way conversation with them, I want them to know that we (my company) are a free reliable source of information on anything commercial real estate related; I want to know what they are thinking and how I can help them.

    I know that the Social Media Success Summit is the last piece of the puzzle for me to be able to achieve my goals. I know that you guys came transform me from a socially social media user to a social media super star!

    By picking me to win the free tickets to this years Social Media Success Summit 2011 your efforts will not go wasted. I am extremely dedicated, focused, and eager to learn everything I can about social media and what better way then in a room (electronic conference) then with the top 25 leading experts?!!!

    Pick me!!!

    ps: Congratulation on Cision Top 100 Social Media Internet Marketing and SEO Blog of 2011…#1!!!


    Luisa Koehler

  • Judi Huck

    blog post: My biggest problem with social media:

  • Linda Morrison

    Hi! I started my company,Creative Sales Professionals (, this year to help hotels increase revenues creatively. One area that I have little knowledge in, but know it is important to my business and to my current and future clients, is social media.

    I left the hospitality industry in Sales & Marketing leadership roles after 20 years to start my company primarliy so I can spend more quantity and quality time with my family. I feel very strongly about creating a successful business and believe the knowledge I would gain from attending this webinar will help my company attract more clients.

    Thank you for your consideration!

    Linda Morrison
    Creative Sales Professionals

  • Mike and Mari

    My biggest challenge in capitalizing on the opportunities of Social Media is both to cope with the many challenges identified by others, which in my view are necessary but not sufficient for success, and also to figure out a larger question, which in my view is much more significant than surmounting the necessary challenges. Before addressing this larger question, I shall highlight the necessary challenges, which are not the biggest challenge. These include:

    persuading others/skeptics of SM relevance
    learning and mastering the various SM media
    generating sufficient SM activity
    attracting followers
    converting activity into tangible results
    integrating multiple SM activities
    integrating SM with other marketing initiatives and the rest of the business
    keeping up with all the new SM developments: your SM Examiner is great resource!!
    deciding which SM innovations merits investment of resources to learn
    continually rebalancing resources devoted to various SM activities
    fitting SM in with other business activities
    figuring out how to realize transformational outcomes with limited resources
    balancing both sides of the SM conversation: sending and receiving
    not allowing reading content to crowd out creating content…and vice versa

    These challenges, all important and all necessary, are, as stated at the outset, subordinate to a larger SM question:

    What will be the larger scale impacts of SM on culture, society, relationships, governments, the governing process, markets, organizations, properties, and our places?

    The answer(s) to this larger question is(are) more significant than the necessary challenges, listed above, which must be met and masterered. Absent addressing this larger question, we run the risk of replicating The Bridge on the River Kwai effect, whereby concentration on immediate issues may compromise larger level priority issues. So by answering the challenging question immediately above, the necessary context of SM involvement may enable those who are engaged in SM in various capacities to be more effective, productive, and rewarded for their good work.

    As you may surmise, I have thought deeply about this larger question. And, it continues to be my biggest SM challenge. Any momentum towards its answer shall be most welcome and appreciated. Already, I have benefitted greatly from both of your work. It would be most helpful to have even further exposure and insights at this time. And, with those i could share my answers and their implications with your larger audience, via contributions to your SM examiner.

  • Ciao

    My biggest social media challenge right now is finding locals who truly utilize the social networks on a daily basis rather than once a month. The challenge is finding quality participants.

  • My wife and I are realtors, we specialize in recreational real estate. Our online marketing has been one of the most important areas contributing to our success.

    As you know there are so many different internet options that are being presented as the best thing to grow your business. PPC, SEO, blogging, WordPress, backlinks, videos (Youtube), squeeze pages, and social media. This is overwhelming as an individual person trying to figure out what it best for their business.

    I have been following the rise of social media but again there are so many avenues. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter seem to be the big three. I hear the “experts’ talk about which is best or some state that you need to do all three.

    I have seen where large companies are using social media to communicate to their clients or individual people that have a large number of followers (3000 friends of Facebook, 2500 followers of Twitter, 5000 connections on LinkedIn). If I am not a celebrity how do you I get this many followers? Just because someone followers me, or becomes my friend – do they real follow me?

    Does this make business sense to put in time and not see the ROI. I still have not found concrete specific examples of how social media will generate business for us and ROI. Is it possible to track your ROI?

    I am willingly to learn but also need to be realistic of how much time I can spend if we are not seeing some sort of return on my time. I need answers!

    At the end of the day I would love to become an expert in Social Media which helps our business grow. If I became an expert and could justify the time and