HootSuite To Offer Paid Subscription Social Services


HootSuite is readying an enterprise suite of features it plans to begin selling in August, Ryan Holmes, chief executive officer at HootSuite, told MediaPost.

The company, which provides a social media dashboard allowing people to queue up daily Twitter tweets in small blocks of time, will offer marketers and advertisers analytics integration, unlimited packages for features, and consumer insight and scoring applications.

The premium service model will launch with gold, silver and bronze packages. Holmes estimates that about 95% of marketers and publishers tapping the social dashboard will continue using the free products to support campaigns in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels.

HootSuite will outsource subscription services, billing and support to Aria Systems, tapping the Aria Platform Standard Edition platform, a software as a service (SaaS) offering. Aria will manage the online payment system and credit card security.

Both HootSuite and Aria have been working for the past two months to integrate the SaaS platform, so when marketers make a purchase the transaction appears seamless. When someone logs in to one of the packages, Holmes wants them to have unlimited options that allow them to easily upgrade or downgrade to different packages when necessary.

Integrating the platform into HootSuite means understanding what systems to integrate with -- some might include payment processing, other Web sites, and financial systems -- and then determining the products and the services HootSuite will charge for.

Potential and existing clients such as AOL, Conde Nast, Disney, and Time Warner clients will have 30 days to trial the new subscription-based features for free.

The latest feature suite is not the only product that HootSuite sells. There are mobile applications for phones running Android, and online educational products that teach people how to market and use social media tools.

HootSuite designs features based on user feedback, Holmes says. "We get feedback from twitter users and at HootSuite.com," he says. "The latest release integrates Google Analytics, which has been hugely popular. We let people incorporate their Google Analytics account into our dashboard."

It allows users to see how their Twitter traffic affects Web site traffic by playing an overlay visible through the dashboard. HootSuite also plans to integrate Omniture for large publisher clients.


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