This excerpt is just a short sample of some of the content in “How to Make Money with Social Media,” by Jamie Turner and Dr. Reshma Shah. To download a free chapter, click Free Chapter. Or, better still, buy a copy right now on Amazon (affiliate link).

You were probably pretty fired-up when social media first started came along. It was an exciting new approach, there was a lot of buzz about it and everybody was eager to see if social media was going to be like paid search. You remember paid search — in the early years, it was so successful that it was the equivalent of printing money. Today, it’s a solid, viable medium, but in those early years, it was super hot.

And that’s what social media is today. Super hot. But somewhere along the way, there have been a lot of people who have stumbled. They’ve launched a campaign, sometimes with great fanfare, and failed miserably.

Our point is this – if you’re a company that sells paper or pet supplies or, God forbid, industrial widgets (apologies to the industrial widget makers out there), you’re going to have to reach out to the consumer and get them engaged with your social media campaign.

How can you do this? By creating a campaign that gives the consumer something of value that they don’t currently have. This can be give-aways and other special promotions that are relatively traditional. Or, it can be information that the visitor finds useful. Better still, it could be a tool that keeps the visitor coming back for more.

One of the best and smartest versions of these tools is what a company out of Boston called Hubspot has created. They realized that one of the best ways to create inbound traffic to their website was to create a tool people couldn’t do without. So they created an SEO analysis tool called WebsiteGrader and put it up on their website.

What’s an SEO analysis tool? It’s a sophisticated program that analyzes how Google, Yahoo or Bing see your site. The real stroke of genius was that the folks at Hubspot decided to include WebsiteGrader on their website. By sharing their tool with other people, they created inbound traffic, which ultimately converts to customers.

“A great way to get more customers using social media is not just to engage, but educate,” says Hubspot Chief Technology Officer and Founder Dharmesh Shah.  “We believe in this passionately at HubSpot and it has worked miracles for us.  We’ve learned that more people you make smarter by educating them, the more leads and customers you get.”

How successful has Hubspot’s WebsiteGrader been? So far, it’s generated grades on more than 2 million URLs. So on more than 2 million occasions, potential customers for Hubspot have visited, engaged and interacted with one of the tools it has on their site. That kind of traffic is mind-boggling, especially if you’re a company with only a few hundred employees.

Check out or next time you’re at a computer. You’ll get a clear sense of what they’re doing to engage people – and keep them engaged – with their companies.

Which brings us back to one of the key things a lot of folks are asking themselves right now, “If social media is such a powerful tool, then how come my first campaign failed?”

It’s a great question. So we did an analysis of the most common mistakes people make when they run a social media campaign and came up with the list below. Take a spin through it and put a check by the ones that apply to you. Don’t be surprised if you have more than one checkmark – the idea is to figure out where you’re coming up short so you can focus on fixing the problem areas:

___ You didn’t measure the results of your campaign: Interestingly, this is an all-too-common problem. We’ll discuss ways you can measure the results of your next campaign in an upcoming chapter.

___ You didn’t set clear objectives: Some companies create a Facebook page or a YouTube channel before thinking through their objectives. Is it to build awareness? To drive traffic to a landing page on your site? To give people a channel to make comments and record their frustrations?

___ You thought social media was only about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube: Of course, social media is about having many conversations across as many platforms as you can manage. The more opportunities you provide customers to engage with you, the more successful your campaign.

___ You didn’t know how to set up a landing page: One of basic models of social media success look like this: prospect à social media channel à landing page on website à new customer. If you don’t have a landing page on your website designed to convert prospects to customers, then you won’t be able to track your ROI. No ROI, no social media campaign. (Or, rather, no effective social media campaign.)

___ You didn’t re-market to customer prospects: Most prospects who visit your landing page won’t become customers. In fact, the vast majority won’t. But that doesn’t mean they’re never going to buy. It just means they weren’t going to buy at that time. Keep ‘em in your pipeline – you’ll get them someday, if you re-market to them.

___ You didn’t know how to turn a social media campaign into a sales and marketing campaign: Social media isn’t just about building awareness. It’s about turning prospects into customers. Don’t be shy about nudging prospects along the sales funnel. They expect it, to a certain degree.

___ You sat on the sidelines: True story – we were in contact with a creative director at a major advertising agency a while back who said, “this whole internet thing is just a flash in the pan and I can’t wait for it to blow over.” We’re serious. He said that. Our point? You don’t want to be that guy.

___ You downplayed the importance of social media: Some people don’t sit on the sidelines as much as they participate without passion. That’s almost as bad as sitting on the sidelines. You don’t want to be that guy, either.

___ You thought you could do social media in 10 minutes a day: Social media is a little like a marriage – you won’t have a successful marriage if you plan on spending just 10 minutes a day having a dialog with your spouse. The same holds true for a successful social media campaign.

___ You thought social media was like traditional marketing: There are a lot of similarities between social media and traditional media. But there are a lot of differences, too. Your job is to embrace those differences. Don’t be scared. Social media won’t hurt you.

We could go on and on about some of the ways your social media campaign might have failed in the past, but we won’t. Our job here is to show you ways to succeed with social media, not how to fail.

This excerpt is just a short sample of some of the content in “How to Make Money with Social Media,” by Jamie Turner and Dr. Reshma Shah. To download a free chapter, click Free Chapter. Or, better still, buy a copy right now on Amazon (affiliate link).