Tag Archives: hootsuite

Any project or talk associated with HootSuite work

Wedding Tribute from Owls / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

> Pardon me while i laugh and cry all over <

My pals from Hootsuite – which obv was a such a big part of my life and something i never go to “say goodbye” to – made the most remarkably kind dispatch.

The intrepid Cameron Uganec nonchalantly dropped a note that he and Ryan Holmes had a wrangled a little something and sent me this link which features the sweetest words a fellow ever deserves to hear from colleagues > friends > family spread around the world.

This is rather personal to say the least and my first instinct is to keep it this way but i also know that many other people will truly be edified by watching/hearing this outpouring of agape. As such, no holding back.

PS I would do that thing where you tag all appropriate people but lots of “cool kids” aren’t hanging out here and this is a bit too sensitive to the schoolyard fo Twitter and def not Snapchattable so just going to send it out as-is, with all the hugs.

I will however include a reply to the participants who extended such a gracious effort to this drifting poet who is no longer drifting, ergo:

Dear Lovelies,

I am so wonderfully filled with all the emotions and so incredibly grateful to each of you for your words and vibes. I explained to Ryoko (who loved seeing all of you and was answering back to your charming Japanese) who each of you are, and how we came into each other’s world, and also how i never go to say “goodbye” … i didn’t want to leave, one day my body/life/world changed and was never able to return – this was *so* hard and as i collapsed and drifted for so long. So many times, just when i needed it most, one of you wonderful beings would appear with a helping hand, a kind word, a check in, a rescue I’ve forgotten a lot of things but not those #realtalk.

Now this wonderful video creates something far better than “closure”, rather helps me open this wonderful new reinvention of life. Truly thrilled and so completely surprised to see face after beautiful face (my goodness you are all so fabulously good looking!) – hearing your sincere words is something i will treasure this week and forever. This goes in the vault and in my heart.

Please accept my fondest thanks for letting me part of your lives and i hope to be a worthy friend until we are all olden and grey. Oh also, was so cool to see everyone spread all over the world on various career (is that what you call them?) and adventures. Of course, please make sure i have current postal address so i can send you random cards and treats and make sure i introduce myself to your kiddos (where applicable).

Fondly, daveo

Disguise: Concerned Zoologist

Concerned Zoologist: daveo disguised
Concerned Zoologist
A concerned zoologist does his best to nurture and protect the creatures under his care. The pith helmet shades him from the gleaming sun.
 
photo credit: someone at Hootsuite for a birthday photo
 
 

My pal Jaime Stein left Hootsuite… he said this and i said that

I’ve got some news… Goodbye Hootsuite!

Jaime Stein, 13, January 2018

This week was my final week at Hootsuite. I had an incredible 3+ years and am thankful to people like Ryan Holmes, Matt Switzer, Cameron Uganec and Dave Olson who gave me the opportunity to work at the nest. #HootsuiteLife

{he goes on to share dozens of stories from the intersection of startup life and personal adventures/growth… link above to read}

##

{i replied thusly – pardon errors]

Well I’m a little late to the conversation, but have a lot to say about this starting with your skills as an actual practitioner, meaning someone who “uses social media to talk about something other than social media“…

Next, admiration for your creative promotional work with the #CFL and (proudly) announcing the #Greycup as the Canadian Twitter trend of year on @TheSportMarket radio with Tom Mayeknect & @bobmackin (Also noting the league’s “challenges” in attracting a younger audience since your departure) #Underappreciated

Then, seeing you gracefully switch gears to #ING – including managing social brand transition to #Tangerine. Pleased, you brought your whole team, plus local social practitioners, to the Toronto #HootUp during #NXNE for their “scarfing ceremony”.

You respectfully and kindly asked my “permission” to borrow the scarf idea for your superstar saver program (which I hearitly “gave”) and then did great cross promotion with the related Tumblr blog (now sadly gone) and even featured me :-) #AlsoACustomer

Launching the Vancouver #Tangerine office was a blast when we “scarfed in” CEO Peter Aceto even though I had to stand on my tippy toes to kiss him on the cheek. You (and colleagues of course) brought personality to a typically faceless / bland industry.

At Hootsuite, despite your experience, you came in with enthusiasm and humility. A powerful combination. You were willing to do whatever it took to bake yourself into the team(s) and fulfill the bigger purposes, not just “padding your stats”.

When I had to leave Hoot for medical purposes, I was so concerned about the continuation of the culture… Not the “Icings” and parties, but continuing the deeply ingrained – but hardly automatic – practical part of social media: giving each customer #OneHugAtATime

One of my definite, albeit unofficial, roles at HootSuite was as a purveyor and amplifier of culture: from beards (of which I was the first :>) to parliaments to coffees to unabashed enthusiasm for mentoring young workers, I “passed the torch” to you and you delivered for more than I ever could.

Watching your recent efforts, I felt so pleased to know that the international markets in particular, which are very close to my heart, were given such respect and personalized attention. Especially #APAC #Europe and #government agencies. I planted many seeds years ago and you gardened them so very expertly.

When I happened by the #Toronto office last summer, I was in a deep trough of personal confusion and your enthusiastic and sincere welcome – and acknowledging to colleagues –the work I’ve done in the early days of the company, meant very much to me. It’s hard to vanish.

Even more recently, while I was dealing with a very lonely “holiday” time, you virtually celebrated my “Jewish Christmas” of a movie and Chinese food with me. Best festive wishes.

While I am no longer in the “industry” and now just a wandering poet (possibly fulfilling my true life’s intention) I am forever in your corner and happy to help you in anyway I can: from funny photos to, (heaven forbid) Linkedin recommendations, to virtual hugs, just ask.

“Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion” from boldkick

My pal and long time collaborator at Hootsuite, Chris Trottier and his new crew at “boldkick” – a new social architecture bureau, wrote this little tribute post about me following a talk at Victoria, BC, Canada’s Social Media Camp where i discussed how the “Internet has a Short Memory”. I am truly touched by he and Cindy’s kind words – i am very fond of them as well.

Excerpt pasted below for the record along with a link to the original post.

Raised on a diet of hockey, punk rock, and fanzines, Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson has been writing about his experiences for almost as long as the Internet existed.

A master storyteller, Dave Olson thrives in building communities. His work revolves around being an all-around creative. He is a writer, a podcaster, singer, a multi-hyphenate superstar. Looking at his own website, it’s both surprising and inspiring to see one person who has done so much.

It all leads to one thing, doesn’t it? Passion.

It’s been such an overused word, but it always rings true to the people who have it. Dave’s lifeblood is community, something that we at Boldkick strongly resonate with. Did we mention he’s from Vancouver, too?

As a traveller, Dave Olson has had a handful of experiences with different people with different backgrounds. In a quick interview at Toque and Canoe about his suitcase, Dave Olson shares about his souvenirs in his travels.

“I keep little ephemeral paper objects. Ticket stubs. Crappy postcards. I’ll take an empty scrap book and make it real time on the trip. Then you return home and BAM, the whole trip is documented and you can share it with your friends. I was on a train in the rain in Spain (ha ha) and had my scrap book with me and I ended up partying with all of these great folks. Great way to bridge those cultural gaps. I also like to bring back coins. Little things. I like tiny things.”

Source: Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion – boldkick

Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn – Experience Tectoria (2012)

keynote on a boat

On a private yacht with special access to the Victoria naval base, respective VP’s of Community and Business Development at HootSuite, Dave Olson and Greg Gunn, jointly delivered a keynote speech for Experience Tectoria, an event designed to highlight Victoria’s tech sector.

A lively crowd who actively participated in the stories with heckles and laughs, a steady supply of Hoyne beer, plus a pod of Orca whales breaching and interrupting the talk… all made for a memorable Sunday afternoon.

Come Aboard for: Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn  (.mp3, 51:42, 75MB)

Note: Audio extracted from iPhone video shot by Jose Albis – thanks!

Continue reading Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn – Experience Tectoria (2012)

Community + Freemium = Start up Magic, Hootsuite Community

Recently, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes posted an article in his LinkedIn influencer column “Two Lean Startup Hacks to Get Millions of New Customers | Ryan Holmes | LinkedIn” to discuss some key tactics we used to build Hootsuite in the early days: freemium + community.

I am especially proud of the community focused narrative of which I’ll share a bit here:

Investing in Community-Building Programs  

But it’s important to note that freemium was just one part of our formula for user growth. Another big piece of the puzzle was investing in a fully functional community department at Hootsuite. In many startups, the community team – if there’s one at all – is treated as an extension of marketing or customer support. While their ostensible role may be “building a community” of users, they spend a lot of their time pitching products and fielding help calls.

Our community department, by contrast, didn’t have direct sales or support responsibilities. Instead, their primary mandate was to help people who already knew and loved our product connect with one another. They built out social media channels in a half-dozen key languages, enabling users around the world to share updates and learn about Hootsuite news and events. And they organized crowd-sourced translation efforts, recruiting international users to adapt our interface into local languages, everything from German and Italian to Thai and Chinese. (Amazingly, translations were volunteer-driven – motivated by love of the technology and a liberal helping of swag, i.e. stickers, t-shirts and cuddly stuffed animals inspired by our owl logo.)

Online efforts were supplemented by old-fashioned face-to-face events. In emerging markets, the community team helped users organize hundreds of free meetups (branded as “HootUps”), where people could get together and trade Hootsuite tips. Ultimately, a network of hundreds of volunteer “ambassadors” around the world took shape, enthusiastic users who spread the word about Hootsuite in their countries. Many of these ambassadors, not surprisingly, were bloggers, consultants and marketers who just so happened to have large online audiences of their own.

Cumulatively, these projects gave us entree into new markets, initiating the viral chain of adoption in other countries and spreading Hootsuite far beyond its original North American user base.

via Two Lean Startup Hacks to Get Millions of New Customers | Ryan Holmes | LinkedIn.

Five million customers, no ad budget: How Hootsuite used a freemium model to build its business | Financial Post

An article by Ryan Holmes talking about the tactics and methods Hootsuite used to build with small budgets and big fun including Hootups, community activities like translation project, creative swag and more…

Ryan Holmes | April 10, 2015 1:04 PM ET

Ryan Holmes: With literally millions of apps competing for attention, startups are finding themselves forced to pour ever greater sums into marketing efforts. But money isn’t always the answer…

But more money isn’t always the answer. In Hootsuite’s first three years, we grew our user base from zero to five million people. During that time, our marketing budget was pretty much non-existent. We turned instead to a pair of complementary, low-cost approaches to find and keep customers. It may well have made all the difference.

Freemium economics One fundamental decision made shortly after launching in 2009 was to make our social media tool a freemium service. The majority of our users — and we very quickly reached the million mark — paid nothing. They could (and still can) log in for free to view their social media accounts from one dashboard, schedule messages and see analytics. Companies that wanted beefed up functionality and extra support, paid a monthly fee, ranging from as little as $9 to $1,000 and up for large enterprises with lots of employees.

Why invest so many resources and so much bandwidth catering to millions of free users who would never account for a cent of revenue? For starters, freemium dramatically reduces the need for traditional marketing and sales efforts. Our free users — in steady, predictable numbers — became paid users. Instead of having to sell them on the merits of our product with expensive ads, we let them see for themselves. Our product became our best marketing tool and salesperson. On average more than half our paying customers, including large clients, start out as free users.

Meanwhile, our free user base fulfilled another key function: It kept us honest. Free users are fickle; they’re not locked in by a contract or any other obligations. They can, at any moment, pick up and take their “business” elsewhere. So to maintain and grow our free user base, we had to continually update our product, rolling out new features to stay ahead of the pack.

These same features helped us win and keep paying customers. While other corporate tools were years behind the social media curve, our efforts to satisfy free users meant we could offer big enterprise customers the latest technology.

Seeing value in community But the freemium approach wouldn’t have been as effective were it not for another equally important strategy: investing in a fully functional community department. In many startups, the community team, if there’s one at all, is treated as an extension of marketing or customer support. While their ostensible role may be “building a community” of users, they spend a lot of time pitching products and fielding help calls.

Our community department, by contrast, didn’t have direct sales or support responsibilities. Their primary mandate was to help people who already knew our product connect with one another. In the early days, they set up social media accounts in a half-dozen key languages, sharing updates with users around the world.

At the same time, they led a crowdsourced translation effort that saw our tool translated into more than a dozen local languages, from German and Italian to Thai and Chinese. (Amazingly, translations were volunteer-driven — motivated by love of the technology and a liberal helping of swag, i.e. stickers, T-shirts and cuddly stuffed animals inspired by our owl logo.)

Online efforts were supplemented by old-fashioned face-to-face events. In emerging markets, the community team helped users organize hundreds of free meetups (branded as “HootUps”), where people could get together and trade product tips. Ultimately, a network of hundreds of volunteer “ambassadors” around the world took shape, enthusiastic users who agreed to spread the word in their countries. Many of these ambassadors were bloggers, consultants and marketers whose own agenda of developing a large online following aligned well with ours.

Cumulatively, these projects gave us entree into new markets, initiating the viral chain of adoption in other countries and spreading our product beyond its original North American user base.

Source: Five million customers, no ad budget: How Hootsuite used a freemium model to build its business | Financial Post

Anecdotes about Breakfast and #HootKits at SXSW – Journal snippet

Just a journal snippet from SXSW 2010

Day two or three, depending on how you count ‘em, of my 3rd quest to South by Southwest in Austin Texas… And I gotta say, it’s shaping up just fine man. You know, I’m keeping up a solid effort and fully professional about spreading the love of my job, and that’s going really well. Also very important to maximize the party and good times, and that, too, is progressing suitably well.

John Biehler Rocks a Custom Hootsuite short at SxSW
Me and John Biehler sit on a sunny day in Austin making the first batch of the (now legendary) HootKits featuring stickers, tattoos and pins in a Japanese rice paper, side-loading envelope. Photo by Jason Sanders (hire him).
File_001
The origin of the legendary Hootkits started with Japanese rice paper envelopes, 2 Owly stickers, a tattoo and a pin

Despite shaking off some nasty flu and general haggardness from excess travel and in general just haven’t taking very good care of myself, and then coupled with some disorganization and long stories about things that didn’t get printed and didn’t get delivered and stuff, yeah it’s rolling along just fine.

Recap: Last night down at the Gingerman, one of my favourite beer drinking places (which has moved around the corner to a location that might even be finer than its previous, though I’m really surprised that’s even possible because that old location was just fine).

Yesterday I rallied up after my slumber and scarfed down some nasty coffee and went down to the Hideout Coffee Shop. I met up with this nice Canadian lady that I met every time that I’m down here and as soon as I walked in the door she said, “You’re here from Canada” and I’m like, “Yes I am!”

It was packed and hectic. Just like last year, I was late for these migas breakfast burritos laden with a bunch of leftover odds n ends shit: egg, cornflakes, etc. Tasty. I really needed a good proper breakfast! Where should I go? She told me some directions to this place and I thought I was going off track but then it all came together and I got some wicked blueberry pancakes at the Counter Cafe with poached eggs just the way i like em.

If you’re not careful you end up living on appetizers, which is why today I’m on a quest for a proper breakfast, so again, I am in some dire need of sustenance – need to nourish the body to nourish the soul. At the Hideout I got a big giant smoothie. It was quite charming.

Then, at the convention centre, I stood in line and got my badge! You gotta have a badge. If you don’t have a lanyard, man, you don’t belong.

Then I rallied with some buddies and we sat on the lawn drinking Sobe green tea. I had some Japanese envelopes from my papery stash — back from 1983! I was fortunate to be able to augment my stash with some more packets from a Japanese dollar store in Tinseltown. So I sat with some buddies (John and Jason) and I filled these wee dossiers with stickers, tattoos, pins and sealed my card in. It was like a bundle of diplomatic goodness. Good time doing arts and crafts in the sunshine.

Me and John Biehler sit on a sunny day in Austin making the first batch of the (now legendary) HootKits featuring stickers, tattoos and pins in a Japanese rice paper, side-loading envelope. Photo by Jason Sanders (hire him).

Then I found a little table to setup. I was curious about a press release I had put out so checked on that while thinking about issues about privacy, elitism, notions about early adoption, etc.

Then I headed off to Mellow Johnnies — it’s a bike shop, a complete beauty. It wasn’t super fancy but it felt really comfortable. They had smoothies and maps for local riding routes. I could see how you might like living here with all the distances to ride. There’s not really mountains — not by the B.C. definition but long roads to ramble.

Anyhow, this particular meetup event at Mellow Johnny’s had to do with my professional capacity. The people/hosts knew what I was doing with day-job and knew what  we were up to and we had some intelligent discourse about this particular topic.

But, my highlight was sharing these envelopes with all these people. And explaining the love and care that went into those things and they opened them up with excitement and questions. Cheap and Cheerful marketing success.

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program via The Next Web

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program

Host events like HootSuite

According to a recent survey, branded live events are the No. 1 driver of brand recommendations. These events clock in at 65 percent, beating out even a friend’s recommendation (63 percent) in importance when it comes to brand experience. Knowing this, many campus ambassador programs make events an integral part of marketing efforts in order to attract new consumers. For instance, social media metric company HootSuite empowers users and brand ambassadors to host “HootUps.” These gatherings are put together by campus ambassadors and fans of the company, and involve discussions of social media best practices and networking. The events are branded with HootSuite swag, yet they offer students real-world value and the ability to make great contacts. If your events offer consumers and customers something useful, they’ll be likely to equate your brand with providing concrete value to their lives.

“How to Win the Networking Game at SXSW” Ryan (and Dave) in Wall Street Journal

How to Win the Networking Game at SXSW
Mar 5, 2014, The Accelerators, Wall Street Journal

After eight SXSW conferences, I’ve learned that the hard way. When my company was first getting off the ground, we were completely lost in the shuffle, despite our best efforts. In 2012, however, we had a 28-foot-long, 15,000-pound secret weapon. To stand out amid the gala parties and blow-out bashes hosted by much bigger tech companies, HootSuite decided to take to the streets. We transformed a Ford E-450 shuttle bus into possibly the world’s biggest owl, in honor of our mascot – mounting a pair of giant eyes above the windshield and affixing enormous plastic wings on the sides.

HootSuite’s former VP of community, Dave Olson, inspects the HootBus.

ANDREW LAVIGNE

Cheesy? Yes. Effective, absolutely. By the end of the conference, our logo had been splashed across the pages of USA Today, Mashable and Inc. The conference’s highest profile attendees were clamoring to get on board and party with us. And investors whom I didn’t even know were inquiring about thecompany. In the end, it cost us around $30,000 to buy and outfit the vehicle. Considering that hosting just a single party at SXSW can cost as much, if not more, that’s an absolute steal. This year, in fact, we’re bringing HootBus back for its third ride.