HootSuite founder Ryan Holmes slams 'copycat' rival Social Studio

Dec 19 2017, 10:31 am

HootSuite has long been thought of as the leader of social listening technology, especially at the enterprise level, but customer relations management (CRM) giant Salesforce is looking to challenge that idea.

“Our customers are looking at the innovation we continue to do as if we’re still a startup,” said Salesforce CMO Mike Lazerow in a recent VentureBeat interview. “And I think we’re moving faster than anyone else in the market.”

The result? Social Studio – an enterprise-scale suite with the capability to assign and manage social media users across multiple brands and locations, while monitoring content, and adding workflows and approval.

“It has a unified content marketing calendar that shows all upcoming content, and natively integrates with content discovery platforms like Kontera, Trendspotter, and Rallyverse, so you can simply find a piece of hot trending content, attach your messaging or twist to it, and schedule it for publication. It also has built-in macros to automate common tasks, and as many features as you’d expect from the love-child of two large, mature, and respected social tools.”

For example, when publishing, analytics are integrated directly into the content calendar, immediately telling you what is and isn’t working.

Hey, that sounds kind of like…

HootSuite? You wouldn’t be the first to make that comparison. Upon the announcement of Social Studio, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes tweeted out his thoughts on the latest competition.

The quote he was referring to?

They copied all they could follow
but they couldn’t copy my mind
so I left them sweating and stealing
a year and a half behind. – Rudyard Kipling

Subtle. Clearly Holmes feels Salesforce “borrowed” aspects of Hootsuite for Social Studio, but is he right? Take a look for yourself:

HootSuite vs Social StudioImage Credit: John Koetsier

HootSuite is on the left, while Social Studio is on the right. As far as interfaces go, these two could almost be twins. In reality though, it’s what’s underneath the interface that will determine Social Studio’s success.

Social Studio hangs its hat on four main components: workspaces, social content marketing, engagement, and analytics. Workspaces are used as collaborative spaces for teams to plan, source and publish social content, while enabling engaging interactions with consumers. From there, analytics allow you to asses and refine your social marketing based on the resulting data.

So is Social Studio just another in a long list of HootSuite clones, destined to remain in the shadow of the market’s most popular product? Or will Social Studio break the mold and carve out a spot among the CRM leaders?

Despite competition from challengers like Spredfast, Expion, Sprinklr, and Hearsay, HootSuite remains pretty well unmatched, with over nine million users and a $165 million bankroll. Regardless, Lazerow feels customers are going to pick Social Studio over HootSuite and he has proof.

Networking giant Cisco recently demoed 25 different enterprise solutions for its new social media system – among them, a beta version of Social Studio – and ended up choosing the Salesforce product.

“In order for Citrix to be successful with social marketing, we need to have a single platform,” Citrix director of social marketing Justin Levy said in a statement. “We selected Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio as our social media management system. It will allow Citrix to manage our global social properties more efficiently and securely, understand how our social content is performing, what are people saying about us, and integrate it into our established business processes across the company.”

Social Studio will likely be most appealing to those already using Salesforce products, but it could prove to be a significant threat to HootSuite.

Regardless of whether Social Studio is able to dethrone HootSuite or not, increased competition should lead to further breakthroughs and innovation – a positive for the wide client base that utilizes these types of products.


Featured Image: social media via ShutterStock