“Strategically, we were seeing organic reach for brands declining and this move away from vanity metrics like likes, comments and follows to real business metrics,” said Matt Switzer, SVP of strategy and corporate development for Hootsuite. “Social was growing up in a lot of these brand organizations and becoming a bigger part of the marketing mix.”
Hootsuite has found customers like eHarmony are looking for social solutions that not only drive DR metrics, such as website conversions, but also improve brand awareness and loyalty.
Hence Hootsuite’s ongoing investment in technology that takes it further than the text link and basics of earned media. Hootsuite, which essentially grew up as a Twitter client, made a number of investments since its last financing round to build out its platform’s capabilities.
“We made an acquisition and launched Enhance, an image editing and content offering tool for mobile,” Switzer said. “We acquired a business called UberVU that formed the basis of our insights and intelligence offering. We also made some pretty big strides in building up our analytics offering.”
Although Hootsuite is primarily priced as a licensed SaaS platform, it does have a services group that works alongside a brand or its agency if they need custom development work or complete third-party integrations.
Hootsuite says it’s cash-flow positive, “one of a very small fraction of unicorns to do that,” Switzer claimed.
But will Hootsuite remain independent, considering most of its competitors are part of cloud stacks?
“For now, we’re well served as an independent, standalone company, but if there was an opportunity where it made sense for that to change,” he added, “I don’t think we’d be blind to it.”