By Johnnie Campbell, Social Planner Recently I visited Dublin’s bustling tech city as part of a tour organized by the DMM Alliance . We ...

DDM – Dublin Tour - Day One - LinkedIn, Facebook, HubSpot and a Twitter No-Show

By Johnnie Campbell, Social Planner

Recently I visited Dublin’s bustling tech city as part of a tour organized by the DMM Alliance. We saw this as a great opportunity to visit the European headquarters of some of the biggest social networks, and general digital marketing providers. The tour was split over two days, with everyone from Facebook, to LinkedIn, to HubSpot to Yahoo offering their thoughts on current trends and future releases. Here’s a an overview of what I learnt whilst over there:

Day 1; LinkedIn, Facebook, HubSpot and a Twitter No-Show


I arrived at LinkedIn bright and early on Thursday morning, having been told ‘not to check in’ or mention our location online, due to LinkedIn’s wishes that their office remains hidden. However bizarre that seemed, it was the first of many covert and overly precautious measures that I experienced on the tour.

After being seated, we were taken through a relatively bog standard sales presentation, which, considering it was solely aimed at individuals who already work in digital marketing, seemed like it was preaching to the converted. Nevertheless, some of their positioning, and indeed the questions that resulted from the talk were very interesting.

“According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn is now responsible for 64% of all visits to corporate websites from Social.”

Stats like this are disposable in my opinion. However here it helped me realise how far LinkedIn are weighting their offering towards B2B marketing, rather than B2C. It seemed a large proportion of the audience were involved in some in B2B and therefore perhaps they tailored the talk in such a manner. However, they generally failed to explain the possibilities of their ad offerings to consumers, especially considering their fairly unique ability to accurately target individuals based on their position / household income.

Perhaps this graph to the left was the only real mention of how marketers should use LinkedIn to target high net worth individuals. Although they would go on to mention about 4 new targeting opportunities on the channel, including Career Crowds (Business Travellers/IT committee/Fortune 1k), Wealth Crowds (Credit Card Propensity/ActiveTraders/Mass Affluent), Followers of Industry (Finance/Marketing/Technology) and finally Degree Targeting (Masters/MBA).

In terms of their actual ad offering, it all seemed fairly similar to Facebook’s. NewsFeed ads dominated due to their higher engagement rates…and they also include a fairly strict approval process to ensure NewsFeed ads are engaging enough to be promoted. The also offer some of the more standard ASU style ads on the right-hand side. Finally, one ad offering was of interest to me. Inbox ads. Inbox ads can be incredibly intrusive, and normally I’d steer well clear of this type of thing. However, when considering a high-end, high value product, and the ability to target accurately against high net-worth individuals, this becomes more interesting. Using this tool you can send custom inbox messages, not only from a brand, but seemingly from an individual within the company. With a certain level of personalisation, I believe this could be extremely effective for lead generation.

After the talk had finished, a few interesting questions were banded about. The most interesting of these was:

“What steps are LinkedIn taking to help consumers find vendors, rather than vendors find consumers?”

This raised a good level of conversation amongst the audience and left our LinkedIn sales rep a little uneasy / unable to give a definitive answer. However, pondering this a bit more it seemed like a possibility for future marketing models. In the light of the digital age when the consumer holds all the chips, maybe Social channels should be doing more to encourage consumers to find the brands / products they need, based on where they are in the purchase ‘funnel’. That was all from LinkedIn.


I’ll try to stay positive about the Facebook talk.

Facebook again opened their doors for us like a secret volcano lair. Their office wasn’t as undercover as LinkedIn’s, but the NDA forms and chipped lanyards we had to wear (to get past burley Irish security) falsely encouraged us to think we were in for some serious insider knowledge. Instead we were told about Facebook’s ubiquity, and given slightly out of date user statistics. There was a small section at the end of the talk which focused on their targeting and ad models. In this section we were told about their work with SecondSync to provide ads that complimented TV spends. This is an interesting move from Facebook, having been a Twitter ad model for nearly half a year prior to Facebook’s pick up. But none the less for Blue Chip brands looking to activate on their TV placements, and effectively jump on ‘second screeners’ – this could prove to be a successful product for them. Frustratingly they offered no estimated timings for the release of auto-play video ads – which for me is make or break for the Facebook ad model, and certainly something I want to test for my clients. However, they did say that various small tests they have run in the US have proven ‘extremely successful’.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the talk again was the questions at the end. One chirpy chap who’d evidently been practicing his lines for a good while chimed in and asked:

“Can you tell us about the measures Facebook are taking to combat click-farms? Especially considering new alarming evidence that suggest the majority of bought ‘likes’ on Facebook are now defunct, due to being from fake accounts?”

This was the question Facebook were dreading. And unfortunately their response was equally as rehearsed:

“Facebook work tirelessly to identify and remove fake accounts on an ongoing basis”

Our Facebook man actually went on to say a lot more, but really it was nonsensical political manoeuvring to avoid the question.

And that concluded our Facebook talk on a fairly sour note.


HubSpot were an interesting one. I had never used the tool prior to this talk, and probably still won’t use the tool for any ongoing client work I do. The reason for this is that it’s largely aimed at users who run their own SMEs, or perhaps agencies running significant ‘inbound marketing’ for their clients.

Inbound marketing is a term that was coined by HubSpot founder Brian Hailligan, and relates directly to the concept of Permission Marketing – a Seth Godin classic.

Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms ofcontent marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be

HubSpot provided a really different take on digital marketing, using outbound marketing techniques to spread the reach of our content, this is something we are big fans of here at Gravity, Content is the key word here, and effectively this all boils down to the wider concept of Content Marketing. How to find content from your business, how to turn one story into multiple pieces of content (blogs, videos, images, slideshares etc), and finally how to make it easy for consumers to find when they’re in the right frame of mind to see it.

The tool seems pretty good at aggregating all of these different channels into one marketing platform. It serves emails, manages Social channels and helps with SEO. However for more complex client structures and databases, it’s perhaps not plausible to run through one platform alone.

HubSpot certainly helped me to form an understanding of inbound marketing, but perhaps the most useful part of their talk was where they shared free online tools to help with audience research and SEO. Here’s a few of the tools they shared, some of which we were already using, and some of which have proven to be extremely useful since:

Google Keyword Planner
Google Consumer Surveys
Google Trends


As the title suggest, Twitter experienced an unexpected illness from one of their key speakers and were unfortunately not able to speak. Update at a later date when they are hopefully feeling better ;-)

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