Hootsuite is an entrepreneurial success story, said to now have about 10 million users and 800 companies in the Fortune 1000 being customers. It’s a good product and a very useful social media management tool. We’ve used it extensively ourselves. Nevertheless, there is a point in the journey towards digital marketing maturity when it is time to say goodbye.
Digital maturity requires more than listening
Conceptually the decision about Hootsuite should be an outcome of a larger customer experience and digital marketing strategy. However, in our experience it is usually a reaction to discovering the pricing of Hootsuite Enterprise. That pricing is a “request only” amount and so it’s not possible to be definitive but feedback from customers consistently reflects a view that the costs outweigh the benefits.
What customers are looking for in upgrading is most often an extension of social and marketing tools to a wider base of users and to distribute publishing capabilities and reporting insights.
What they are also looking for is solid governance and audit capabilities that go along with the wider distribution of the access.
Upon reflection on those needs, and through discussions with other stakeholders in the organisation, an even broader requirement starts to take shape. It becomes apparent that marketing, sales, HR, corporate communications, customer support and the engagement of executives and employees all need to be supported and coordinated.
At this stage of maturity an enterprise social technology platform is needed.
Core capabilities have to be integrated
The step-up from Hootsuite requires integrated capabilities which facilitate at least the following:
- Sophisticated interpretation, tagging and routing of high volumes of inbound conversations from social media, creating customer profiles based upon their history of social interaction, clustering of profiles into audiences based upon enterprise-wide business segments and labelling.
- The ability to create and extend social interactions and advocacy experiences to any digital property, to measure the impact of advocacy campaigns, to analyse feedback at the individual and post level, and to generate new content recommendations in real-time.
- Centrally controlling budgets, assets, and teams within a unified system that connects paid social advertising to other social marketing initiatives.
- Linking and tracking performance of paid, owned, and earned initiatives across the organisation in real-time by campaign, product, event, channel, person and whatever other tagging required for business reporting.
- Automatically adding of new profiles to audience clusters based on any criteria, such as the number of fans or sentiment towards the brand.
- Dynamic, modular access rules governed by roles and permissions, and sophisticated and flexible configuration of multi-tiered approval workflow with complete audit trails attached to assets and governance actions.
- Best of breed APIs and data connectors that enable specialised integration with a variety of products, including internal CRM and marketing automation systems, paid solutions, web analytics, link shorteners, listening modules, archive stores and data warehouses, content planning, and community and advocacy applications.
Our choice to satisfy these needs, and to do a lot more, is Sprinklr.
A bridge too far
From an enterprise application perspective, customers want the ability to very effectively link all their digital activities including listening, owned, earned, paid media, and web analytics, and to integrate their calendar and content planning and publishing.
They want to be able to identify audiences and benchmark competitors. And all this to be in a common system of tagging and profiling and reporting, and a common system of access and governance.
That’s all a bridge too far for Hootsuite.
So when the time comes that you need to organise collaborative content production, and shared calendars with sophisticated authorisation and publication rules, and combined reporting across all your digital activities and assets, then it’s time to say goodbye – as President Rodrigo Duterte said recently to President Obama.
PS If you think Hootsuite might be for you then this blog has one post called 7 Reasons NOT to Use Hootsuite, and another called 7 Reasons to Use Hootsuite.