Have you dabbled with promoting a blog on social media and received sub-par results? Succeeding in social media is trickier than many first-timers think.

It takes endless reaching out, engaging content, the right photos and a little bit of luck. However, if your market is social-media-savvy, it is slightly easier.

Are you a Social Media Failure?

The worst part about social media is that people often underestimate the difficulty of the medium.

Posting a photo or status update on Facebook? Sending out a tweet? Pinning pictures? You do that all the time, what’s so hard about that?

The truth of the matter remains that using social media personally is extremely different from using social media for blog promotion.

Social Media Success

Everyone has a hit and a miss sometimes. It’s learning from mistakes and successes (yours and others) that can help create a better second round.

Check out these online business owners who made social media work for them.

  • Ruffle Social Media

Feather Your Nest is a small business based in Eureka Springs, Arkansas that specializes in vintage-esque homemade gifts — think the Etsy crowd as the target market. Owner Gina Drennon is well aware of the confined, non-social media savvy population in the town. She had to look beyond her local customer base to find success.

Drennon is active on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s the Feather Your Nest blog that really helped her tap into her customers far and away. She built relationships with other bloggers, committed herself to great content and kept an eye on the analytics. Utilizing Google tools, she knew how many hits she was getting, where browsers were staying and where she stood in sales.

  • The Social Media Blog-Cum-Business

Not all success stories start with an online business. Sometimes a blog is popular enough to generate a business for the blogger. The phenomenal success of Cake Wrecks and White Indian Housewife created a platform for the bloggers. Book deals and blog-related retail swag followed.

This is an example of what a great blog can do. Creative, digestible and unique content coupled with stunning photos (especially with Cake Wrecks) created an online community that was irresistible. Encouraging readers to participate helped build a following. The importance of content here was critical.

  • The Social Man

Personal coaching demands great social media connect. If you have a charismatic personality and that’s your selling point, run with it.

Jonathan Christian Hudson, founder of The Social Man, knew exactly what his audience wanted. Relatable, enjoyable discussions on topics that really mattered to his followers were the key.

Video is a big player in marketing and crosses over to the social media realm. Hudson recognizes that the most important factor in his success is the personalities of his team.

Sites like YouTube have helped make a bevy of coaching businesses successful from a wide variety of sites, from Hudson’s to makeup tutorials.

  • Jarvie Digital Photography

Photographers are nearly required to take full advantage of social media. Gone are the days when stunning portfolios on personal web sites were enough to drum up business. Scott Jarvie took the social media platform for photographers to another level. Of course, it helps that Jarvie is an outstanding photographer.

He uses his web site, but it’s on Facebook and Google+ where he really shines. Jarvie knows the importance of engaging his audience. Sharing his tips and resources as well as building different engagement strategies for different platforms is what made him so successful.

 Social Media Lessons for You

The fact: social media is exhausting, time consuming and always evolving. It is not easy.

However, social media is also absolutely necessary in the online world today. What’s the first thing you do when you hear about a cool product or service? Chances are you get online and look it up!

Establishing your social media foundation is generally the hardest part. People often think that implementing social media will be easy, and then get discouraged when they’re not seeing the results and engagement that they expected.

The best thing you can do when coming up with your social media strategy is to think about it as if you were a consumer. When you’re on Facebook, what ads are you attracted to? Similarly, which ads annoy you? What is it about a Facebook post that makes you click “like” or share it with your friends? All of these things can help you come up with engaging content for your own blog.

If you aim to have as much interaction and engagement as big-name brands like Coca-Cola, you’re going to be disappointed. Keep your goals reasonable.

The amount of people who “like” your page on Facebook could only be 30 people, but as long as those 30 people are purchasing your products or service, social media works!