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What I Learned from #WLW14: The World’s Largest Webinar

Elizabeth Crawford Written by: Elizabeth Crawford |

What I Learned from #WLW14: The World’s Largest Webinar

In 2011, HubSpot set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest webinar, an event that gathered over 10,800 attendees. On April 23 2014, HubSpot attempted to break that record with another webinar, Secrets to Success on Social Media.

Using #WLW14, the webinar immediately began trending on Twitter. The conversation between thousands of people thrived as experts from the world’s leading social media platforms gave advice on best practices.

The panel included:

  • Dan Zarrella, HubSpot Social Media Expert
  • Jed Clevenger, Head of Channel Marketing and SMB at Facebook
  • Russ Laraway, Senior Director of SMB at Twitter
  • Scott Engelman, Head of Consumer Marketing at LinkedIn

While I’m not sure that the panelists really shared any social media “secrets,” their insights about their respective products did provide some actionable ideas for improving any business’s social presence.

Twitter Tips

  • 40% of Twitter users follow a company to hear about new products, and 39% follow a company to show support. Adjust your Twitter strategy to reflect what your followers really want to hear from you.
  • Hashtags are like a structured search. They help start conversations with people you aren’t even connected with. Use hashtags to drive on-Twitter engagement like @replies, mentions, retweets, and favorites. Avoid using hashtags if you want to drive off-Twitter responses, like if you want people to click on a link. You want to focus users on your CTA, not your hashtags.
  • To drive engagement and hype, businesses can create their own hashtags and offer incentives for people to use them.
  • You should get good at Twitter organically, and Twitter Ads should act as an enhancer. Advertising on Twitter shouldn’t be a solution for gaining more followers—it should complement your efforts.

Facebook Tips

  • Use post targeting wisely. The more of your current connections who engage with your posts, the more impressions you’ll get. Drive those impressions with hashtags.
  • Facebook Ads can be targeted using tools like Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences. Custom Audiences let advertisers find the connections they’ve made through other sources on Facebook. Lookalike Audiences let you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to an existing customer list.
  • 20% of Facebook’s users access the site through mobile devices, so optimize your ad experience to appeal to the mobile audience.
  • Jed said that the number 1 mistake businesses make on Facebook is that they’re not human enough—so sound like yourself! Add some personality to your posts.

LinkedIn Tips

  • Most LinkedIn users are there to learn how to be great at what they do, so be sure that whatever you contribute adds value in a professional context.
  • The most effective kind of articles to post on LinkedIn are quick, shareable best practices, industry trends, and tips.
  • Build your authority—and by extension your company’s authority—by participating in relevant industry conversations and building relationships with thought leaders and educators.

Although a lot of the tips the experts gave turned out to be explanations of their new products and services, their insight into how to more deeply utilize their respective social media platforms was valuable. As one panelist said, it may be inbound marketing, but there’s still value to advertising as long as it’s targeted and measurable.

The final overarching tip given by Dan Zarrella was Always Be Testing. Social media is constantly evolving, and one single strategy won’t last for long. Managing a social media plan means measuring, testing, and adjusting.

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Orignially published on May 13, 2014, updated on November 28, 2016