Hootsuite: How a Social Media Company Markets Its Social Media

bmfwong    November 11, 2015


Organization Name: Hootsuite

Industry: Social Media Management

Web Reference: Hootsuite

Contact: Mike Underell, Marketing Business Analyst at Hootsuite

About Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that puts all of your social media accounts into one platform. Hootsuite’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard and supports the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, and Mixi. Hootsuite also provides users with analytics and other reporting features on social media traffic for their desired network.

Hootsuite’s business model runs on a freemium model, offering users a basic version ofPlans the platform with limited features compared to their Pro and Enterprise monthly subscription plans. Both the Pro and Enterprise plans provide more features and functions that the free version lacks. The upgraded versions also allow you to add more social media profiles compared to the free version which only allows three profiles max.

Hootsuite also provides social media education and certification programs that are developed by industry-leading experts through Hootsuite University. The learning material from Hootsuite University is designed to add more value for customers by providing education on both the Hootsuite platform and social media in general. While there are free educational material available, the majority of courses and certificates cost money.

Social Media Marketing

Hootsuite is an IT company that relies heavily on social media to market and promote their platform. The number one goal for marketing at Hootsuite is to drive revenue as much as possible. The company wants to bring in high value and high qualified leads in order to increase profit. It’s important to understand how Hootsuite does this.  95% of users for Hootsuite use the free plan. This group of users is made up of small businesses, personal users or people trying out Hootsuite for the first time. Pro plan users are generally made up of small to medium size businesses that do understand the need for a social media management platform and require more tools that the free plan doesn’t offer. Enterprise users are large business that require full capabilities that Hootsuite has to offer.

Marketing towards these segments are also very different. Free and Pro users can be seen as very transactional when selling to this segment. Promotional material for this segment is very content focused and relies on users to either read or experience Hootsuite on their own in order to sell the plans. Selling enterprise plans is different. There is an emphasis to sell businesses in person as opposed to social media. Account executives negotiate contracts with businesses and work to close deals. What is important to note for all the plans is that Hootsuite will try to incentivize and show that upgrading to the next plan offers value for users. Making sure that users see value in upgrading from their current plan is part of the company’s marketing strategy in order to drive more revenue.

Lessons for others

In my interview with Mike Underell, Marketing Business Analyst at Hootsuite, he talks about how important it is to provide a solution for customers issues and how educating their users on Hootsuite creates more value. Everything Hootsuite does is about creating more value for customers in order to get them to subscribe to their paid plans. As Underell describes, if a customer doesn’t understand how Hootsuite solves their business issue then the chances of that person upgrading their plan is very unlikely.

What other businesses can learn from Hootsuite is that if your product requires technical knowledge or knowledge that goes beyond the product, supply them with that information. Adding value leads to generating more revenue, even when it comes to social media. Help your customers understand exactly how your product helps solve their business problems and you’ll have them coming back to you to help them again.

Submitted By: Benjamin Wong

To contact the author of this entry please email at: bmfwong@gmail.com

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