Social media secrets for businesses: Takeaways from #WLW14: Part 1

On Wednesday, marketing gurus from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and HubSpot presented #WLW14, billed as the “world’s largest webinar,” to share tips for businesses.

Many of the takeaways were notably pithy (a fortunate feature for a session designed to drive tweets  – #WLW14 was tweeted 41,000 times in one day):

  • Be awesome.
  • Use social media platforms as they’re meant to be used.
  • Share content people want.

Fortunately, they elaborated, and so shall we:

Be Awesome

But what, as HubSpot’s Dan Zarella pointed out, does “awesome” mean? It depends on your goals. Are you on social media for brand awareness? To extend your reach? Lead generation and sales?

Define your goals and define your metrics, and you’ll be able to define awesome. Asking yourself these seven questions can help you start.

Share content people want

Here’s a secret that should be obvious, but that businesses continually forget: People you want to talk to don’t want to hear everything you say. They have other things on their minds. So how do you figure out what’s most valuable? What interrupts their day in a good way?

According to Russ Laraway of Twitter, 40 percent of Twitter users follow a company to learn about new products, 39 percent just to show their support for the brand, and 36 percent to get information they can use. Feed those needs with best practices, industry trends and tips, Laraway says, but remember the well-trod 80/20 rule: Talk about yourself and your services only 20 percent of the time, and talk about industry topics, breaking news and other business- or sector-relevant issues for the other 80 percent.

And use your tools to track engagement – click-through rates, likes, comments, shares, and follows.

When you find content that’s driving engagement, push it farther! Repurpose a well-commented LinkedIn post as a series of tweets on the same topic. Or if you’re advertising on social media, use posts that generate organic engagement as sponsored LinkedIn updates or as promoted Tweets.

Always be experimenting, Zarrella says, because “marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

Use the platforms as they’re meant to be used

Not all content, however, is appropriate for every platform, a best practice known to those who have been around for a few years but still a learning curve for businesses just entering social media or expanding their presence to additional platforms.

Don’t be lazy and use your Twitter updates as LinkedIn posts. The professional audience on LinkedIn needs a different touch and tone. And check to see when your audience is active: On Twitter, advertising and consulting tweets get 69 percent higher interaction on weekends, while the hot day for retail posts is Thursday, according to Buddy Media.

Stay tuned for more actionable insights from this session on maximizing your business profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Image courtesy of HubSpot

Connect with Liz:

Phone: 212-584-5477
Twitter: @LizDeForest
LinkedIn: Liz DeForest