by Suzie Blaszkiewicz
Published on 31 May 2016
Developed in 2008 in Vancouver by Ryan Holmes as a way to manage social media accounts for his company Invoke Media, him and fellow Invoke co-founders Dario Meli and David Tenman quickly realized that theirs wasn't the only company looking for an easier way to streamline their online socializing.
Fast forward 8 years, and Hootsuite has grown to over 10 million users and 600 employees spanning the globe. Apart from having a solid product for posting on, engaging with, and tracking analytics for social media, Hootsuite's functionality can be extended by connecting apps that can amplify a company's marketing efforts.
Including social media platforms, Hootsuite connects with over 150 other apps through its App Directory. Here's how you can take advantage of some of those integrations to benefit your business.
As a social media management and marketing tool, Hootsuite's first and key feature was the ability to update multiple social networks in one step, and from on platform. Since then, it's only grown to expand its features to include:
Individual users can get started for free with a maximum of 3 social accounts, while the next plan up, the Pro plan , is just $9.99 a month for 50 social profiles, enhanced analytics, and access to some of its premium app integrations. Its Business and Enterprise plans include even more features like real-time analytics and publishing approval, although pricing details for these plans aren't readily available on its website.
As more features provide more functionality, having the right integrations with some of its premium apps can extend these features to amp up other areas of a business using the social media management tool.
Now, on to the integration basics.
The clincher when it comes to a social media marketing app is the number of social networks that it can connect to. Most have big name integrations like Facebook and Twitter, but depending on how niche your company's following gets, you may need more than that.
Hootsuite has connections with over 35 different social networks including popular ones like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and YouTube, but also more surprising (although equally as useful) integrations with Reddit, SoundCloud, and Vimeo.
Depending on which Hootsuite plan you're using, some of its more niche integrations will cost you a few bucks a month (only Enterprise users benefit from all integrations for free). Take SoundCloud as an example. For $1.99 per month, Hootsuite integration with SoundCloud lets you stream sounds, publish new ones, and of course, share to the rest of your Hootsuite connected networks. This would be ideal for anyone heavily using SoundCloud to promote audio content like music, podcasts, or radio shows.
As a social media marketing and management tool, it's natural for Hootsuite to integrate with other marketing applications that can help streamline marketing activities across various channels. This includes metrics tracking, an important feature to help gauge the success of a marketing campaign.
When it comes to email marketing, HootSuite integrates with popular apps MailChimp and Constant Contact. How does it work? The Mailchimp integration, for example, lets you view stats tracked in Mailchimp like open and clickthrough rates, share campaigns on social media networks, and search for subscribers with social profiles on Mailchimp in your Hootsuite stream, letting you see which ones may have reacted best to your campaign.
This comes in handy to be able to see which of your customers are your biggest brand advocates. The next step is turning those advocates into paying customers (if they aren't already).
Marketing automation integrations can help with that, with Marketo being the biggest marketing automation name that Hootsuite integrates with. With this connection, you can create leads in Marketo from Twitter or Facebook posts tracked via Hootsuite, as well as the reverse, getting all lead info for a contact from Marketo right in Hootsuite.
Below is an example showing what a Marketo-Hootsuite integration looks like.
According to one GetApp reviewer, Hootsuite "integrates with everything." That's not exactly true, but it does outrank most of its competitors for app integrations.
According to GetApp data, Hootsuite integrates with 45 percent of the most popular cloud apps, including the already mentioned Mailchimp and Marketo, as well as contact management solutions Salesforce and SugarCRM, helpdesk and ticketing solution Zendesk, and publishing platform WordPress.
Like the marketing automation example, Hootsuite integration with CRMs like SugarCRM and Salesforce can help move customers more quickly through the sales funnel by tracking and creating leads.
Customer service apps are another big source of potential. Hootsuite integration with customer service app Zendesk will let you create support tickets from Facebook messages or tweets, as well as search for, update, and edit tickets to better centralize your support process into one application. Again, you can see what this integration looks like in Hootsuite below.
More novel integrations include that with collaboration apps like Slack and HipChat, where you can automatically send messages from the Hootsuite streams to coworkers on Slack channels or in HipChat conversations.
Another popular category of integrations is for content management platforms like WordPress. With this integration, you can access most of the same WordPress features as you'd be able to in WordPress itself, like the ability to create or edit posts, view previously published posts, and of course, share them on social media with your devoted followers.
As the granddaddy of social media management, many competitors have popped up since Hootsuite launched in 2008, offering varying degree of functionality and connectivity. But, to be able to get the most out of a social media management tool, having integrations with the right social media platforms, and the right software, is essential to help extend the functionality of the product and the bottom line of your business.
Hootsuite offers many of those integrations, letting you manage social media, connect with customers, and manage the sales funnel more effectively.
Which Hootsuite integration would you like to see? Tell us in the comments section below.