There’s been quite a stir in Vancouver that might have pleasing implications for everyone involved in social media marketing: social media relationship platform Hootsuite has just acquired its city neighbour, social marketing platform BrightKit.
Hootsuite is remaining tight-lipped about the terms of the deal but it’s certainly not waiting for any dust to settle: no sooner had it bought BrightKit than it launched ‘Hootsuite Campaigns’, a new offering for enterprises that uses BrighKit’s social marketing technology (the latter deploys gamification with features like sweepstakes and other competitions).
Ironically, there’s a real sense in which being acquired by Hootsuite seems to be a form of going back home for BrightKit: both companies were spawned by an original enterprise called Invoke (or Memelabs as it was called at the outset) and both had been working together pretty closely before the acquisition took place. Hootsuite intends to use its new set of toys to ramp up its platform’s enterprise and premium features as a route to increased monetisation.
A sizeable proportion of Hootsuite’s customers have stayed with its free tier, but it works with businesses large and small (including 744 Fortune 1000 companies) and it wants to tempt more of them to pay for the service it offers. Its CEO, Ryan Holmes, explains:
“Organizations are looking for new and exciting ways to engage their audience. Hootsuite Campaigns extends our social marketing capabilities, allowing businesses to reach new audiences through engaging contests, sweepstakes and galleries, all managed from their Hootsuite dashboard.”
13 different gamified elements are on offer from the new service; in addition to the ones mentioned by Holmes, it can embed campaigns in microsites, social networks like Facebook and plenty of other places.
But will this be enough to move users away from the free tier and on to the “pro” option (at $9.99 per month) or the “enterprise” tier (which is individually priced)? Only time will tell. But if you’re creating killer content for your social media marketing campaigns, the chances are that you’ll be more than a little interested in maximising user engagement, which Hootsuite Campaigns promises to deliver.
And interest there certainly is: Hootsuite also announced a raft of new customers at the time of the acquisition, including Red Carnation Hotels, Hyland Software Inc., Brooklyn Public Library, Cambridge University Press, Telekom Malaysia and Singapore Press Holdings.