July 19, 2011

HootSuite:from 100 users to 1m users

At startup festival again, and we had @invoker from Hoot Suite talking. They are based out of Vancouver. They started out of agency. They needed a tools for their social media team, and they set on to scratch their own itch.  Here are my notes from the talk.

This is a great success story:
They started in Nov 2008, in Nov 2010 1million users, and July 2011 they are at 2million users. The sky is the limit for them a great success.

So how did HootSuite do this?
  • Culture - celebrate milestones! 
  • Product - started as an internal product, internal beta! Natural viral growth.
  • Disciples - Launching the product out to friends and family. They were the initial test market for the next iterations. Those people are key. Then they got the word out, so they need to be good testers and good influencers.
  • Viral - focus on viral features for people to share. Every single step of the way you want to bake in the social network to follow your account.
  • Listening - What are people saying about your product, always listen EVERY DAY! Always be checking on your keywords, you competitors too.
  • Support - 2 faq a day at minimum for the last year to help new and existing users, through good listening.
  • Response - coming out of the listening they created this new very important features with analytics fueling more growth. Sometimes it's so darn simple, as a better url. 
  • Community - building your fans base, giving them a voice, rewarding them, they will talk you out, more viral!
  • Nimble - Quick to market, turn around fast, react to market in the moment. concepts to launch in a seven days, now this is what I'm talking lightning fast iteration.
  • Thought leadership -  effective for the long tail activity and sign up. 

Summing it up:
Creating a good product requires a lot of things to go right, Hoot Suite has hit the spot over the last two years. Start small. Get great people on the bus and celebrate milestones. Get people early outside of your own people who have a voice and will evangelize, give you early feedback. Always think and hook people to your follow at every steps of the way. Listen to what is going on and adapt. Make your users special they will reward you with referrals.

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