Social Media Secrets | Takeaways from Worlds Largest Webinar #WLW14

Social Media Secrets

I spent an hour with about 34k+ people on a webinar put on by HubSpot. It was being dubbed the World’s Largest Webinar, or #WLW14 for short. They had some pretty high profile individuals from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn sharing some of their thoughts, tips, and new tools to their social platforms to reach and grow audiences.

I was curious with how much could be covered in an hour, which is not long. My worry was that it would cover some really fluff stuff, which they did at time. I was pleased though to come away with some new takeaways. Not sure how much I’d classify as ‘social media secrets’ but it was good information nonetheless.


  • They have a new profile set up. I actually ran across this a number of hours before the webinar. Looks a bit like some hybrid of Fast Company’s web design and Facebook profile. With that your information and your IMAGES (you’ll hear about this a lot) are more in focus. There is also some ‘pin’ing of posts to your profile which is new. Can show off best content to new stalkers followers. You can see my updated profile @gavoweb.
  • Make easy to find you, compelling image & not a crazy twitter handle.
  • Be sure to put your hours, web address and other pertinent information for your audience.
  • It isn’t so much about the size of your audience but the engagement of. You want the right people (hear that a few times).
  • Look for engagement from tweets. 40% follow businesses for new products, 49% to show loyalty/support, higher percentage for those wanting to keep up with trends or professional development.
  • Can’t just tweet stuff you’re selling. Use the 80/20 rule, 80% is conversational/sharing etc. 20% can be for selling. Selling all the time is lame.
  • Tweets that include photos get spread twice as often.
  • Tweet about relevant industry topics to build relationships
  • Used hashtags correctly. I abuse this because I see this as some subliminal or sarcasm thought inserted into many of my tweets. But I like the distinction made of “giving value to a hashtag”. When we had conversations about @UMCLead we talked about whether anyone was tuned into the #umclead hashtag or had it become irrelevant. I was under impression that you could easily take back a tag that is poorly used. Giving value to a tag can build your authority. Make tags easy to understand. Build the momentum on a tag, giveaways or promotion/share of some nature.


  • Create a Facebook Page with complete & accurate info because that stuff is searchable. That wasn’t news to me, but searching for hours and business info isn’t something I’ve tried. Have however gone to business pages to find that info before. Will be interesting to see what search within facebook is usable. If it is just search engine search they are referencing then I am not sure what benefit is in the FB page over the website.
  • Test different post and spend time insights to determine what is most effective. Now, I have a problem with that because they have changed their stuff over and over again. Not to mention they have all but killed Facebook Page organic reach. Still it can be a powerful traffic and buzz tool. Can’t ignore it, yet.
  • Great profile pics & cover photo. I suppose that is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Post engaging content and get in the right conversations. Don’t spend time on conversations that are not promoting or building. They also used case example of a shop that would post out photos of new inventory and get people talking about it.


  • Consider the professional nature. Items that you are posting on other platforms might not fit the professional nature of LinkedIn. So reconsider doing the autoposting to all your platforms at once.
  • Professional development content is best. Being a professional social platform people are trying to better their business and skills. Sharing content that promotes that for people is more actively engaged with.
  • Include strong images and links. Use images as well with your posts (which is funny because HubSpot social tool doesn’t allow for images onto LinkedIn. Might want to work on that.). 


  • ‘Don’t waste money, how to advertise smartly’ was the start of this section. A little quotable was something like ‘advertising without data is like driving blind’ which I totally get. Quick gist is that all these platforms have some new, and pretty neat, advertising functions.
  • LinkedIn you can use sponsored updates to amplify your message as well as the LinkedIn Ads. Their ads can allow you to target and exact audience. The sponsored updates work well on the tablet & mobile platforms. I was somewhat surprised to hear this. Not because I was un-aware of their ad potential, they have sent emails for months asking to take advantage of that stuff. I am not sure I have notice any mobile ads on their mobile app. 
  • Facebook: Use direct response ad set up, this is what feeds in looking as newsfeeds ads (at least this is how I heard that distinction). Their advertising is the best targeting platform because people use real information on profiles (mine is pretty dated by about six years though). There is a strength in demographic targeting (except for the 12 year olds who join up saying their 95). Coolness factor kicks in when they get into custom audience development. You can insert your own email or phone list to advertise to customers you have and want to keep (that’s a little rule it’s cheaper to keep current customers that gain news ones). I am intrigued to look into their website custom audiences. Apparently you can put a little FB code onto your website and facebook will connect them going to your website to their FB profiles to create more custom audiences. That’s kinda cool big brother stuff. They also have a ‘look like audience’ tool where you can take some audience you are advertising to and they will create a new audience that share many similarities, these folks just are not already in your wheelhouse. That’s pretty cool. Tracking is improving to help build more results and build custom audiences.
  • Social Media Secrets. Anatomy of a TweetTWITTER: Campaign copy should work for you. There are limitations to Twitter (140 characters sort of being the biggie) so considering the language and how you are doing copy is important. You will create campaigns much like you would email marketing, creating and refining interested parties/lists to advertise specifically to/for. Twitter followers are your initial list. Tweet out bite sized tips that link out to same content, don’t repeat the same tweet over and over again. Go through the anatomy of a direct response tweet have call to actions and clear links. Image within a tweet gets 2x engagement. Notice the big trend to have a twitter pic/screen capture from a link as well as a link to something.  Do not put in distracting content on offline actions. Twitter has also rolled out their ‘online conversion tracking‘ for ads which does some equally cool stuff as facebook adverts.


  • Be human, talk to people the way you would talked to them in person.
  • Post pics of the team to FB page, that builds a trust for people looking for your type of business.
  • Use ad best practices
  • Connecting with interests of people
  • Username targeting
  • FB will tell what type best ad for your campaign if you are unsure
  • Power editor (new tool seemed really excited over) to get scale needs of campaign
  • Use cool images (this image thing seems more and more a theme). Use increased size and resolution.
  • Normal voice. No one cares for Shakespeare (though yesterday was Talk like Shakespeare Day)
  • Too broad audience will end up with an ad not getting performance, refine and refine some more.
  • Refresh ads periodically, 2-4 weeks depending on size of reach and audience.
  • Test different bids across diff campaigns, see what is most profitable
  • Always be experimenting, never know what is going to hit bit.
  • Be authentic that images relate to your stuff.
  • Posting frequency is diff according to platform so posting connected account might not be helpful. Respect the diff cultures.
  • Do Follow me CTAs on websites and emails to build audience.


Here’s screencast of the webinar. Audio is pretty decent recording, the broadcast audio had a bit to be desired. The webinar does go silent a few times as it just freezes on me. But I jump out and jump back in, so shouldn’t be a huge point of discomfort to you.

Lying to ourselves in Social Media

I was again amused by the publicity campaigns of who has made news recently for kicking out some 30,000 ‘members’ of their social media site. Last time they did that they claimed it was because people “let themselves go” after the Christmas/New Year holidays and the ‘beautiful people’ were complaining that the site had let their standards slip. This time they are claiming some virus/hack that no one has heard of has added these un-savory people (publicity stunt).

Truth is, we all lie.. and we all participate in lying at some level in our social media presence.

Gavin Richardson

My Profile Lie

Case in point for me. The photo I use for all my profiles is me and it isn’t altered in any fashion (except cropping) but it is a photo that captures me in a not so fat or sloven look that many others can do. Not to mention I’m reading a book in that photo.. I don’t think I ever actually finished that book & most of the time I read off the Kindle or Kindle iPad app these days, which doesn’t look nearly as studious. Truth is, that pic is something I wish I was a little more of.

I am that at times, but most times I am a bit to heavy that if I think about it I feel less than my best. Reading & being all studious smart happens when I actually have enough energy left at the end of the day of work and parenting to do without falling asleep.. which is rare these days.

I wonder what the world of social media would look like if we all spent more time, maybe not lying, but telling a full truth about ourselves. Would social media become more of a therapy than a social setting.. Do we change the name to ‘Therapy Media?’

Maybe, we really do not want to get so involved in each others lives to handle a ‘therapy media’ culture?.. I suppose if we want that we can pick up the phone and actually talk to someone about what’s actually going on their lives..

How Good is Your Church Facebook Presence?

I get to call some really creative people all over the world my friend. I’m so blessed that way, but not so far away is a super group of creative types that I hang out with as our Hendersonville Geekbreakfast. Once a month we all meet up for breakfast, talk some shop, make fun of somebody and plan collaborative projects. The in between times we’ve become a real solid group of friends. One of my ‘geek’ friends is Jason Elkins. Jason has started doing some really cool things with his media company, Transparent {social} Media, on facebook. They are helping all kinds of businesses, and churches, leverage facebook for to reach their clients in an open and relational marketing.

I asked Jason a couple of questions

1. Where do you see most churches going wrong on facebook?
I see most churches going wrong with Facebook in the way they view communication. It’s not a one way street:

1) They are utilizing Facebook like a traditional media outlet. They think of it like a flier or pamphlet with information that they are getting in front of their congregation. In fact, it’s a platform for communication/interaction and engagement. For example, instead of posting your favorite bible verse, perhaps you should ask your Facebook audience what their favorite verse would be.

Instead of saying “we had a great time at the youth event”, you are better off asking “what did you think of our youth event?” or “How could we make it better next time” or “Tell us what you loved about the youth event”.

“Praying for our congregation” is good. “Click ‘Like’ if you need a prayer today or send us your prayer requests” is better.

“Listening to Skillet” is good… “What is playing on your iPod right now” is better.

Announcing service times/cancellations/upcoming events is a great use, but engage with your audience.

2)Two things you can do with Facebook now that are new/unique:

1) Incorporating a podcast of your sermons online is a revolutionary feature in Facebook. Using a custom tab combined with Soundcloud (a hosting application) you can serve up your sermons on Facebook and people can share them with their audience. Because of the way we are developing these pages, an administrator can upload the latest sermons to Soundcloud and they will appear on a custom tab.

2) Other things a church could do on a custom tab would be to incorporate an introductory or testimonial video, show pages of a sermon or a book, take donations for a mission/tithe and incorporate a form to build an e-mail list. The Lifebook page is a good example of utilizing all of these features

thanks Jason for taking the time!

Here is part of an example of Transparent {social} Media’s latest work on a church here in middle Tennessee.

They set up the standard fan page, but tweaked out the welcome to have a matching graphic layout to the ‘profile pic.’ It doesn’t show up, but my cursor is floating over the sermons active link page. I think that is pretty cool.. but it gets better..

At the bottom it has email / contact info capture capabilities. You don’t have to wait for the person to show up in the pew to fill out this form. They can do that over facebook. Not to mention, your parishioners can donate through this facebook portal. Pretty darn cool. They have the rest of the page tweaked out with those things that are pertinent to a church body.

So how are you using facebook for your church? You might want to contact my friend Jason and see what all is out there.

So the Bible is just a mass of Tweets & Facebook Status Updates

This posting originally written for Sticky Sheep

I’ve been reading this article by a Jewish Rabbi about social media, its impact on youth culture, and what the bible has to teach us about participation in social media.

(I read)”..much of the narrative element of the Tanakh as a series of facebook or twitter posts. Frequently, the biblical narratives come not in long flowing prose but in short burst – often, dare I say of less than 140 characters a passuk. One of the great joys of the brevity of the biblical narrative is that it leaves much room for commentary. We are left to guess at the motivations at the contexts. And we do.”

A couple of things I’ve gleaned from this Rabbi’s thoughts.

  1. Never thought of the bible as a mass of Tweets and Facebook Status Updates strung together, but when you do string that stuff together you can get a glimpse into the life of that person.
  2. There is an embarrassing side to sharing everything. Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder doesn’t get into the fear factor thing of, employers are going to look at your drinking pictures and assume you are bad, type of thing. But instead takes a bit of a higher ground in suggesting, David’s story was a bit of an over share.. Same with Abraham. Surprised didn’t mention Amnon.. <Awkward!>
  3. The short ‘missives’ leave a lot of room for interpretation. Sometimes we do that intentionally. But when we want to truly be understood. Or when others, more importantly, want to be understood we need to know we operate in this short text world. Instead of interpreting what the story is from folks, take that extra moment to listen more deeply and understand more clearly. That is remarkable
  4. Apparently this guy wasted his time.. God already did it.

“History is written by the winners” or so that quote is said. In today’s world, we might as well change that as “History is written by the players” (or those who play social media).

Makes one think of how people perceive us through our social media interactions (or the lack of interactions). We are able to write our story, but it ultimately is rewritten by those others we might call critics, customers, congregations, friends, family, & more.

Now I’m wondering what the bible has to say about texting?…

making a splash in social media : its okay to loose control

i liked this little ted talk presentation on social media, in part, because it is short and tells a simple story. the learning point that i would suggest my church tribe needs to take a hold of is, “its okay to loose control” and that “no longer does the message come from the top down.”

we can all think about how ‘the world is flat’ and everyone has an equal voice to traditional media institutions and powers & that was really scary to them a number of years ago (might still be). but if you embrace that others are talking maybe not just about you, but with you, then they are people to lift up and share the genuine voice/face of your ultimate cause.

but, the control factor comes into play.. ‘what will they say next?’ etc.. well, as someone who comes from a religious background, we say that one needs to have ‘faith’.. yes, novel concept, but a good concept when one practices it. my experience though is that people really only have faith as long as it falls within their boundaries of human control. with that, we miss out on the possible beauty bound up in the mystery of individuals and community. i hope for a day when my tribe’s structural institutions that helped it to get a certain status and size, see the way to get out of the way and have faith in its community to do something remarkable.

chris brogan & trust agents : stories & philosophy of social media

today i spent my morning (and greater part of the rest of the day) with chris brogan. if you do not know who chris is, my quick description would be that he is the mayor of twitter & one of the most recognized people in the world of social media 'who gets it.' i stumbled across his blog some years ago and have been a constant reader since, many times sharing his postings via google reader or twitter. he's good stuff. so good, i even payed a decent penny to attending this sucker.

anyways, he has a new book out called 'trust agents' and was in nashville as per a promise in a psuedo book tour live web event. a crew of local tech geeks & other business types showed up to hear from the guru for a special 1 hour pre-web conversation with chris & then got to be front and center for the rest of the web event (which was an interesting thing to be a part of).

here is the footage i took from that 1st hour with chris. its on my mini tripod, so the angle is something you might have to get used to, but its doable. with that said, he's tall, but not nearly as gigantic as he looks in video.

Chris Brogan : Trust Agents conversation : Nashville 2009 from Gavin Richardson on Vimeo.

you can follow the twitter stream of thoughts and conversation by visiting #cbnash at twitter search. check in next week for some expanded thoughts off some of the footage i have from his live web session.

theology of twitter : spirituality and social media

emergent conversant, fellow social media friend, steve knight put together this presentation on a theology of twitter. it has some great content. maybe the greatest content is him quoting me from my spirituality and social media series i did with matt cheuvront.

the persona of gavin richardson : filed under cool stuff


one of my hendersonville geek buds, darren crawford, tipped me off to this quick piece of coolness. basically its an mit project that compiles the various persona's associated with your name on the internet. it was really cool to see some of the stuff i've written, been mentioned on showing up in the collection. neat stuff.