Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil in a cage, watching the world of social media change as you’re stuck in place?

Are you looking for a solution to fast-track your social media marketing skills?

Understanding the underlying cause of your marketing friction can help free you to make real progress.

In this article I’ll reveal the five major challenges social media marketers face and a way to overcome them.

5 Reasons Social Media Marketers Struggle

Is social media a key part of your business?

If it is, then you’re likely very busy. Your to-do list is never-ending.

why social media marketers fail to innovate
Discover why social media marketers fail to innovate and what to do about it.

Just as soon as you check something off of your list, up pop a few more things. If you feel like you’re stuck in the Death Star garbage compactor without Chewbacca, you’re not alone.

Below are five major challenges every social marketer faces. Do you see yourself here?

#1: Time Appears Not to Be on Your Side

Your mission, should you accept it, is to answer every question, serve up all content and clean up any messes, all of the time and every time.

But wait, there’s more! You also need to know what works, where the future is headed and keep up with never-ending changes.

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How do you keep up with things? Image: Placeit.

There’s a lot to do, and it’s got to get done, by you!

And you’d best have that mobile phone in hand all of the time, because you need to be on call when the unthinkable happens. Mornings, nights, weekends, they all belong to the networks (insert evil cackling laugh).

Sound familiar so far?

#2: The Steps Are Coated With Ice

Because you’re not a rookie, you’ve got some processes you do daily and weekly.

At the beginning, the steps were easy to traverse. In the early days you could bang out your social tasks blindfolded and barefoot.

Facebook, Twitter and maybe LinkedIn were predictable. You knew how they worked, did your thing and focused on engagement.

But now Facebook seems to be this constantly shifting maze that changes just as you find your stride. Think you got the news feed figured out? Oh wait, another algorithm change. How is that Facebook page working?

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It’s tough to keep your balance. Image: Shutterstock.

And now things start getting really icy.

You’re not just managing Twitter or Facebook. What about Pinterest and Instagram?

And then there’s video. Live video! Oh, and images too.

So let me get this straight. Now you have to write, be a graphic designer, make professional videos, interact and keep up with all of the social networks. No wonder you’re a little dizzy.

#3: You’re Also a Detective

As if you needed any more responsibility, you’ve got to tame the analytics dragon.

You’re feeling the heat and you need to prove what works and what doesn’t.

The good news: Facebook and Twitter provide interesting analytics.

The bad news: Each network has different metrics.

If you feel like Indiana Jones navigating a puzzle while the floor drops out, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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There are a lot of demands for you to handle. Image: Shutterstock.

On the one hand you’re saving customers with your trusty whip while holding a torch as you explore the Google Analytics catacombs.

At least you look good in that hat!

#4: You Actually Like Being Indiana Jones

The honest truth is you love the adventure. Finding new social media gems is what you live for.

In an ideal world you’d take a sabbatical from your daily tasks and dive into an unexplored social network.

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Are you up to the adventure? Image: Shutterstock.

The thought of discovering new tools is very appealing.

Maybe you want to dabble with visual design or enhance your video skills.

Perhaps just running tests would engage that latent adventurer inside you.

But wait! There’s that huge boulder rolling right at you. Etched in big letters it says, “BACK TO WORK.”

You grab your whip and swing to safety just before the next disaster hits.

Sounds like that adventure might have to wait for another day.

#5: There Are No LEGO Instructions

Remember getting a box of LEGOs or giving one to your kids?

What’s great about LEGOs is the end result is clear from the outside of the box.

You know you’ll be provided a guide that shows you how to get the outcome you desire, time and time again, if you just follow the guide.

Wouldn’t it be cool if social media came with a LEGO guide?

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Do you know what you’re building? Image: Shutterstock.

Alas, we have to figure out everything as we go.

If only we were Hiro Nakamura, the character who can stop time in the NBC show Heroes.

Just image if you could squint and make the whole world stop. Heck, you could accomplish anything!

You’re expected to be a social media superhero. But it sure would be nice to have some secret powers that made your job easier.

Becoming the Superhero You Were Meant to Be

It’s true. The path of the social media marketer is not easy an easy one. But the rewards are plentiful for those who discover its secrets.

The Normal Path to Your Wings

If you’re like most marketers, here’s how you tackle the challenges of social media marketing:

First, you read as much as you can with what little time you have.

Second, you listen to podcasts (when you can) to discover new ideas.

Third, you track your competitors to make sure they aren’t too far ahead of you. And if they are, you freak out a little and try to adjust (been there, done that).

The ugly truth is you likely sacrifice sleep or family time to make sure you’re caught up.

And when you get around to trying something new, it’s often at the expense of something else. But if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t, it’s hard to know what to cut.

You know this path really isn’t sustainable for the long haul. And we can’t have you burn out!

But don’t give up hope. We’ve discovered something that helps:

The Path Less Traveled

So how do you become the marketing superhero?

How do you find time to come up with better systems, test new ideas, perform meaningful analyses and explore new networks?

The solution: Intensive professional development over short, sustainable periods.

You pick up tips and shortcuts that help you do your job better and faster, freeing up time to focus on new techniques that make you a hero.

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You can be a hero. Image: Shutterstock.

Imagine discovering what really works from people who are exceptionally talented.

In your mind’s eye, look around and see that you’re not alone. There are literally thousands of your peers going through the same live training as you are.

Then see yourself tracking your social media activities with great success.

When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can easily let go of the dead tactics and focus on new growth.

But the key to success is making sure you have good guides!

Finding Your Obi-Wan Kenobi

Wherever and whenever Luke Skywalker needs help, he calls on Obi-Wan.

In an ideal world you should be able to benefit from the wisdom of social media Jedi, from wherever you are.

Social Media Examiner has been working for years to build relationships with all of the Obi-Wans and Yodas in our industry.

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Find the high-level experts you need. Image: Shutterstock.

We bring them together in a boot camp designed to make you a social media superhero. It’s called Social Media Success Summit 2015 (our 7th annual event). It happens in your office chair in 3-hour daily stints over 4 weeks.

The Summit is NOT for everyone. But it is for you if you want to quickly discover the absolute latest in marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Google+, along with a deep dive into analytics, visual creation and video production.

It’s all online!

We bring together 35 social media pros in an intensive online training opportunity, where you’ll be joined by 4,000 fellow marketers in a live group learning environment.

Can’t attend all the sessions? No worries!

If you attend just five or six sessions that empower you to employ new techniques, the Summit can pay for itself.

Plus, you’ll be able to absorb the knowledge you miss anytime, anywhere, as many times as you need for the next year. We provide access to every session in multiple formats: video recordings, written transcripts, PowerPoint slide decks and audio recordings.

While we don’t provide LEGO guides, this is about as close as it gets.

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Group learning on your terms. Image: Placeit.

It’s a radical new way to learn: take in the content you want when you need it. Click here for details.

How to Avoid the Dark Side

Is Darth Vader whispering in your mind, “You don’t need to change… just embrace the dark side!”

Maybe you’re concerned that accelerating your learning is too costly.

The bigger question is how can you afford NOT to invest in your social media marketing growth? The alternative is continuing down the same path. And you and I both know that those who don’t change in social don’t succeed in social.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I already did some training a year ago” and wondering why you need it now. The truth is that every few months, all of the social networks go through significant changes. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone through training, you’re overdue.

You can’t innovate with out-of-date information.

One last thing. I know that time is your biggest concern.

“You multiply your time by spending time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow,” says Rory Vaden in his excellent book Procrastinate on Purpose.

By taking a little time off to supercharge your professional development, you’re making an investment that will yield heroic future returns.

How? You won’t need to guess what works. Instead you let our expert guides turn you into the superhero you were meant to be.

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Become your own hero. Image: Shutterstock.

“For two years in a row I have turned the knowledge I gained into money,” said returning attendee Kevin Forest.

“I’ve only heard about Social Media Examiner’s positive reputation, and when I saw a few of the AMAZING speakers on the agenda, I couldn’t miss it. I was also really intrigued with how the Summit is split up over a one-month period; I’m looking forward to trying this out, as it’s been hard to peel away from my work to balance social media needs,” said Carlee Wilson.

Still not convinced that the Success Summit will help improve your social media marketing? Try it risk-free for the first week. If you don’t find it valuable, we’ll refund your ticket price, no questions asked.

To overcome the challenges faced by every social media marketer and increase your chances for success, invest in an intensive, short-term professional development program like the Social Media Success Summit.

You’re now at a crossroads. Will you take the blue pill and end your story here? Or will you take the red pill and join us in the Matrix for your next adventure?

Slippery floor photoFedora and whip photo, Treasure map photo, Lego photo, Heroes photo and Hero with cape photo from Shutterstock.
Social Media Examiner and Social Media Success Summit images created with Placeit.
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