Too Much “Me” in Social MEdia?

I tuned in to today’s HubSpot webcast on How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation. I fancy myself a bit of a HubSpot groupie – they do some really cool things (HubSpot TV, cartoons, etc) and manage to keep it “real” and have fun while doing them.

Well, let’s just say that webcasts clearly aren’t their strong-suit. Aside from major audio, video and slide issues, I was hoping for a good example of how a real company has managed the “social media led-gen funnel” from start to finish. Instead, I got 45 minutes of HubSpot commercials and maybe 15 minutes of valuable takeaways. I do want to give the presenter props – you could tell he was nervous and it can’t be easy reading your “critweets” while trying to present.

At any rate, once I got passed tech issues and zoned out the self-promotion, there were a couple good points on why social media can be an integral part of driving traffic to your site. Some points to ponder:

  • In the “old days”, traffic was generated purely by search. Now, social media should be on the same par of search in terms of driving traffic to your site. But the same challenges exist. Sure, social media might drive traffic, but how to you make sure it’s the right kind of traffic?
  • His advice on how to start? Listen (twitter/blog searches), follow the conversation, participate in the conversation, build a network, distribute your content and then hope it gets shared.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Blog, do podcasts, try video, publish photos – you can share all these things on social networks like facebook and twitter to help drive traffic back to your site (and increase search rankings).
  • How do you convert a website visitor to a lead? With a good call to action and an effective landing page. He nailed it when he said, “Don’t write about your products; address the customers’ needs.”
  • When it comes to measuring, don’t just track site traffic/referrals. Track the whole funnel PLUS conversion rates to know if the campaigns are truly successful.

Other pearls of wisdom (from HubSpot and twitterers):

  • “Social Media – just like going 2 a cocktail party – meet people, balance info you share & want to learn from people, and build trust!”
  • “Write about the needs of the target market not your product. If @zappos tweeted about shoes would we follow? Probably not.”
  • “It’s not possible to succeed in social media without a continuous stream of relevant content.”

HubSpot made some interesting points about using social media as a traffic-generator and how to convert that traffic into leads. And I agree that most companies engaged in social media are putting too much “me” into it. Meaning, just because you have hundreds of followers, not a single one of them is going to care or listen to you unless what you’re saying is relevant to them and not overtly salesy.

Though not without issues, I think today’s webcast was actually a good example of the point HubSpot was trying to make. Certainly people tune into a webcast hoping to learn something (and not be “pitched” a product). That said, the whole idea is to get people talking and paying attention to your brand. The twittersphere may have been complaining and bashing the webcast throughout the entire session (#hubspot), but show me another webcast that’s generated 2500+ live views and so much conversation on twitter (it made it to #5 trending topic)! I bet today’s webcast increased HubSpot’s site traffic at least two-fold, and no doubt some of those will convert to leads, and ultimately sales. Which – after all – is the whole point, isn’t it folks?

— Posted by Melissa Coyle


4 Responses to “Too Much “Me” in Social MEdia?”

  1. 1 Louise Desmarais July 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    You are quick Melissa! I tuned into the seminar, and you encapsulated it brilliantly. An honest critique of the good with the bad.

    I was having a difficult time keeping tabs on the presentation as well as the tweets that were fast and furious. I really felt for the presenter, and as you said, it couldn’t have been easy for him – but to his credit, he pushed on!

    I was also watching the number of viewers to see if people would drop off, but the numbers kept going up!

    All in all, it was a good story that could have been so much better but for bad nerves, technical issues and paper cue cards. But whether it does any damage to HubSpot remains to be seen. I doubt that it will. I’m still a fan – and I’m sure others are too.

    Thanks again!

  2. 2 Ellie Mirman July 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm


    Thanks so much for tuning in and posting your comments (so quickly!) here. We do quite a few webinars, but we decided to experiment with the format with this one – clearly it didn’t work out as we had hoped. We’re definitely going through all the feedback in order to improve the experience before our next webinar.

    You can actually see that our previous webinars are more polished 🙂

    We try to focus on delivering valuable content on our webinars and keep the “HubSpot speak” to a minimum. I hope we covered a fair amount of social media info (not HubSpot – we actually sell software, not social media sites or services) but I would absolutely LOVE to get suggestions/requests for the future!

    Again, thanks for tuning in and processing the content here on your blog. I definitely appreciate it!

    Ellie (@ellieeille) @HubSpot

  3. 3 Melissa Coyle July 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks, Ellie.

    I agree that today’s webcast wasn’t up to typical HubSpot caliber, but I enjoyed the conversation it sparked just the same. 😉 Looking forward to tuning in to future ones. One suggestion would be to have a customer take the audience through how they managed each step of the social media funnel. I think this would prove very interesting.

    Thanks for the comment and keep up the good HubSpotting!

    – Melissa

  4. 4 Dharmesh Shah July 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the analysis and honest feedback.

    Generally speaking, we really do try to keep the overt pitching of the HubSpot product to a minimum, but it slips sometimes.

    Rest assured, as Ellie said, we do listen to the feedback and use it to continually look for ways to strike the right balance.

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