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Gregory Gunn
VP of Business Development at HootSuite
VP of Business Development at HootSuite

Gregory's posts

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This space is going to get a lot more interesting :)
What Hootsuite’s $165m means to the Social Business Ecosystem

Hootsuite has pre-briefed me on their announcement, the largest funding event in the history of Social Business Software (to my knowledge.)  

They’ve raised a B round (which usually come in flavors of $5-30m) that they’ve raised a whopping $165m from Insight venture partners, Accel and OMERS.  Head of Marketing, DeaAnna McPherson shared with me that they’ve previously raised $20m but used that money to return liquidity to seed investors.  

The company has been cash flow neutral, re-investing money back into the business.    What will they be using this money for?  They’ll be used to focus on moving further into the enterprise, which they’ve shared with me on my recent trip to their HQ in Vancouver earlier this year.

For comparison, some of the largest funded social business startups include:  $44m to Sharethis, $69m to Jive, and $92m to Lithium (crunchbase links below), there’s a few others, but they’ve been acquired. 

There are only a few solo standing social business software vendors in the enterprise market left, after the massive swallows by Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, Lithium and others over the past 1.5 years.   Other independent vendors that I often hear about in the enterprise space include Spredfast, Expion, Sprinklr, Hearsay.   

Hootsuite will need to build out additional features to round out their social business stack, as corporations need additional software beyond social media management systems (SMMS).  

Our research is showing that social is spreading quickly through corporations, esp at retail, restaurant, global brand, industrial brands where these accounts are spreading at a giant rate.  However the large brands we’re working with are often evaluating suites that integrate with existing customer databases and systems –not just integration of the best of breed.

And yes, in the coming future, social software suites will need to eventually connect to the collaborative economy startups, as they must connect their brand-side clients with customers in social channels, wherever they go. (I’ll be tracking this with great intensity)

You can read all my coverage on the Social Media Management Systems space or on VC funding in this space by seeing the two links below

Disclosure: Hootsuite is an Altimeter client.

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Amazing. The HootSuite App Directory flew past 500k installs in yr 1. Let me know if you want in: 

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Slowly becoming one of my favorite places to hang. Beer, Wi-fi and old Skool Hip Hop will do that.

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What I accomplished at work today :)

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So good.
An important note from a long lost friend...

Why isn't there any sound on +Angry Birds when I play it on G+?  

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I have a high quality problem: I get approached on Social (right now, mainly on Twitter) for a number of different + great reasons.  Most of these requests are followed up in a timely mannor, but there still is a fair bit of friction in 3 key areas:

1) Time - There are multiple steps required just to exchange emails (see: Social-to-Email Workflow)
2) Information - It is tough to determine exactly how I can help out especially when dealing w/ the constraints of 140 characters
3) Privacy - a lot of folks don't want to divulge everything in a public forum like Twitter.

   Current Social-to-Email Workflow (a.k.a. the "DM Boogie")
     1- Tweet w/ request to connect (Tweep)
     2- Click username (Me)
     3- Click follow (Me)
     4- DM them my email (Me)
     5- Wait for a response (Me)

In an effort to eliminate most of these steps + create a more private channel to expand on the reasons for the the request, I am going to start testing out this simple google form: 

   New Social-to-Email Shortcut
     1- Tweet w/ request to connect (Tweep)
     2- Reply w/ link to this form (Me)

The benefit with this form is that I can get more context from the person requesting to connect + lower the time it takes to get on email.  One of the drawbacks is that it could be perceived as a bit pompus/arrogant ("What?!? I have to fill out a form to even talk to you? Who the heck does this Greg Gunn character even think he is?") but I have tried to limit that by only having one field required (email).

What do you think? Is this better than the "DM Boogie" on twitter?  Do you have a better alternative? Is there a way to make this process even more simple?

Let me know your thoughts :)

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Cool milestone for the HootSuite team: "HootSuite Takes A Little Cash Off The Table, Aims For Bigger Game" via WSJ

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