Lockergnome’s Kelly Clay talks to Dave Olson of HootSuite at the Source Code pre-premiere party. Dave shares insights into the newly announced analytics built in to HootSuite, shares insight into the ability for people to communicate from Egypt during the recent Internet blocking that occurred there, and about how things like Twitter make it easier to make sure your loved ones are okay.
I started the day by boring everyone to tears with close to THREE HOURS of research, data, and analysis of how Canadians use music and what else is going in the competitive landscape around digital music. Seriously – by the end of it, people were begging for mercy. Lesson learned. Next time, only TWO HOURS of research, data, and analysis…
We had Ryan Holmes, the CEO of Hootsuite, come and talk to us about how they started and grew their Vancouver-based Twitter client into a world leader. Dave Olson from Hootsuite then gave us all a power-used tutorial which blew a lot of our minds, learning things we had no idea we could do.
We talked about our SECRET PROJECT. (I’m sorry – I would want to reach into cyberspace and punch me in the throat after seeing that I capitalized and bolded SECRET PROJECT. I am an arse.)
We gave everyone new CBC Radio 3 t-shirts! (Coming soon to trivia contests and other prizing opportunities very soon :-) )
And that’s it. I can only speak for myself, but it was awesome.
We’re so lucky to have such a great team here at CBC Radio 3, so it really is a blast to have everyone together in the same room at the same time. There were many, many terrific ideas generated and thoughtful insights into problems offered. And there were a lot of laughs, too.
Anything else you’d like to know? Ask about anything – EXCEPT for the SECRET PROJECT…
(I hope this is exciting like LOST secrets, and not annoying like M. Night Shyamalan secrets)
When pro-democracy protests began in Egypt, the government moved to shut down social networking sites such as Facebook. But Hootsuite, a social media dashboard, was not blocked for another day, allowing the protesters to get their message out to the world. On April 30, Dave Olson, community marketing director at the Vancouver-based company, will present Sparking the Conversation: Creating a Social Media Plan at the INK+BEYOND conference in Vancouver, BC.
Olson will cover how to build community around your existing media, engage audiences in your news stories and amplify your ad campaigns. Using vivid case studies, he will indicate why you need to make social media planning part of your newspaper strategy. This 90-minute session is of interest to advertising and editorial departments as well as management.
The web-based Twitter client HootSuite has been getting a lot of attention lately. I think the new iOS apps are pretty smokin’, but the web app is really the hub of HootSuite. I’ve been an on-and-off HootSuite user since the early beta days. Lately I’ve been back to using HootSuite as my primary tool most of the time, but I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t tapping into all the power and features that HootSuite had to offer. Yeah, I was right.
Last week I sat down with Dave Olson, Dir of Community at HootSuite, to a little HootSuite schooling. Some HootSuite Ninja tips if you will. Dave showed me some awesome tricks and I had the Flip camera and Camtasia at the ready to record the lesson.
Here are the tips we talked about:
Searching with location so you only get the tweets close to you
Dragging and dropping into the message bar to start a tweet
Interview with Dave Olson, Community Director of HootSuite Media, Inc | MikeShakin.com
15th November 2010
Today’s guest at MikeShakin.com is Dave Olson, Community Director of HootSuite Media, Inc. Hootsuite is my favorite Twitter tool. I appreciate that Dave took time to answer my questions. I also appreciate help of Mike Abasov, Marketing Ambassador, HootSuite Media Inc., to organize this interview.
Thanks for talking with us, Dave. Let’s start with what Hootsuite is. In a world of Twitter clients, what does the new and improved Hootsuite offer that is different or better than any of the competing tools available?
HootSuite is designed for social media managers and agencies who need to manage multiple accounts collaboratively with teams. We also aim to make a tool which allows you to manage all aspects of a social media powered campaign in one dashboard. This means you can broadcast messages across networks, monitor conversations with searches, understand audience behaviour, analyze click stats and much more – all from one tool. In other words, it’s specifically designed for professionals using social media to power outreach efforts.
How long did it take to get Hootsuite from brainstorming to final product? What was the hardest part of work?
The product is never “final” per se, and it was only a few months from idea to first version. We iterate rapidly with new versions almost monthly and frequent releases of apps and platforms.
A few months after the first release, came HootSuite 2.0 which added the columns layout among other tools. This year, we’ve released team collaboration tools, a new HTML 5 version and too many tools (including influence measuring, Google Analytics integration and customer insights) to list. We’ve also started on a crowd-sourced translation project to add more languages. So we’re never done, and the hardest part is wanting to go faster, faster, faster…
How did your team go about determining what new features were needed for the next version of Hootsuite?
When deciding and the new features for future updates, we look at feedback ideas submitted by users at feedback.hootsuite.com, as well as usage patterns by existing users. We also spend a lot of time talking to agencies and businesses using HootSuite to hear what they want next but always keep focused on adding features which make sense for campaigns success.
One thing that drew me to Hootsuite was it’s clean interface and intuitive usability. Can you share a bit about your design, usability, and testing process for the next version of Hootsuite?
Our creative director takes the lead on the layout and design and tries to “make it make sense” to everyone. We extensively test and experiment in-house – acting as our own focus group -and adjust rapidly when needed whether to fix layout browser bugs or rearrange things which people are having a hard time finding. For example: Moving all the menus under the “Owl” button in HootSuite 5 was a big change which confused some customers at first, but in the end, this choice was powerful as it made customer support easier, the interface cleaner and gave another compelling brand impression.
What do you think of the current market for Twitter applications?
As more and more companies start to realize the power of Twitter and other social networks for marketing, they need the right tools to manage them. And while official Twitter web is changing and becoming more complex, it doesn’t target this kind of audience.
Additionally with programs like Promoted Tweets and Trends, Twitter is working with 3rd party tools to provide a revenue share and closer technical cooperation.
There are certainly many choices for Twitter tools, but we think it’s important to think beyond Twitter and consider other networks where desirable audiences hang out – this includes building for established networks (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin), adding regional specific networks (i.e. Mixi in Japan), and different platforms (HootSuite is now free on 5 mobile platforms).
Dave, thank you so much for giving us an insight into Hootsuite!
Twitter adds ads to the stream: Twitter took another step in its integration of advertising into its platform this week with the introduction of Promoted Tweets in users’ tweet streams. The tweets will initially be tested only with users of the Twitter application HootSuite, with Twitter selling the ads and HootSuite getting a cut of the revenue, according to Advertising Age. The Next Web chatted with HootSuite’s Dave Olson about how it will work, and said that Promoted Tweets have successful and relatively inoffensive so far: “Focusing on a good user interaction, instead of simply on the money, Twitter has kept its users and advertisers happy.”
In May, 2010, i was a guest on Community RoundtablePodcast with Jim Storer and Doug Haslam and shared many tactics used to build HootSuite through my role as a marketing/community guy. Here it is for the record and archive:
The Community Roundtable has partnered with Voce Communications to produce a new podcast series, “Conversations with Community Managers.” In this series, TheCR’s Jim Storer joins forces with Voce’s Doug Haslam to speak with people from a variety of industries about their efforts with community and social media management.
Episode #9 features Dave Olson, Marketing Director for HootSuite, which helps people and companies track, monitor and manage their Twitter communities.
Podcast highlights include:
How the traditional title of “Marketing Director” translates to online marketing, customer service and social engagement
Turning metrics into meaning by realizing the personalities behind the community members
Tips on community: making members feel like they belong and are contributing, and that they are being heard and acknowledged
Stories about communities in the 1970s, enabled by “ditto machines” and other pre social media technology (the roots of Dave’s current personal projects are found at http://www.uncleweed.com/)
An example of a company (SubPop records) that started their community building in the pre-social media era (pre-Internet, even), and evolved it into the age of Twitter
Adding value, context and storytelling vs simply “attracting a crowd”
Amongst the witty banter and jokery – occasionally in Scottish brogue, I shared a few tips and anecdotes about using HootSuite including integrating RSS feeds, creating analytic reports, and using networks other than Twitter through HootSuite… plus punditry about Superman, haggis and robot queens.
My segment starts at about 23:29 but be sure to check out the other variety of guests for more punditry from the mansion. Follow along for future mischievous behavior via @techzulu and @socialmediaclub.
While on the streets of Austin, I came across tech pundit Leo Laporte (known for Tech TV, Lab with Leo, This Week in Tech, etc.). I appeared on Leo’s Lab show a few years back discussing analog culture in the digital age. This time, i offered him an envelope of HootSuite goodness to his delight. My pals John Biehler and Jason Sanders captured the interaction as Leo was fresh from crowd surfing at the Diggnation party and visiting with Mashable’s Pete Cashmore and some chick mostly from Vancouver.
Jason snapped the real time photo and John captured the screen of the streaming show later showing Leo and the audience’s point of view. Alas my witticisms were snipped from the archived version in favour of other wandering geeks but believe when i tell ya it was a beauty ;-).