Hootsuite Announces Global Agency Partner Program, Social Business Benchmark Survey Results

By David Cohen 

ConnectViaHootsuite650Social relationship platform Hootsuite made two major announcements at its Connect via Hootsuite: New York event Wednesday: The company formed a Global Agency Partner Program to help agencies and their account teams stay on top of social media trends and technology, and it released the results of its Hootsuite Social Business Benchmark survey.

Hootsuite said the charter members of its Global Agency Partner Program are FleishmanHillard, M&C Saatchi, Lost Boys (part of the DigitasLBi family) and Ogilvy Digital Health.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Education and certification: Tailored workshops to enhance your team’s social business practice and exposure to current industry trends.
  • Resources and tools: Gain access to Hootsuite Enterprise, and leverage Hootsuite support and technical insights to promote your agency, serve your clients and map your clients’ social footprint.
  • Relationship manager: Access to a designated relationship manager to work with account teams.
  • Partner Advisory Council: Become a member of an exclusive community of agency leaders to discuss current industry issues with Hootsuite subject matter experts and executives.

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes said in a release announcing the Global Agency Partner Program:

Social media is integral to new business strategies, and agencies need to stay ahead of the curve to deliver successful digital services for their clients. Hootsuite has long been the partner of choice for global agencies helping enterprises drive social across their business. Our experience working with some of the world’s top brands will arm digital practices with insights and tailored tools that translate into tremendous value add for clients.

M&C Saatchi chief digital officer Christian Purser added:

This is a welcome and timely program from a company that understands the needs of network agencies. The Hootsuite Global Agency Partner Program provides valuable support in delivering social programs for clients at the scale and speed of social media.

And FleishmanHillard senior vice president and senior partner for social and digital Ephraim Cohen said:

Hootsuite’s approach to working with agencies shows that they understand our business model, work culture and client delivery model. The result is a relationship that delivers a better solution not just for the agency, but, more important, for our clients.

The company also released the results of its Hootsuite Social Business Benchmark survey, which found generally that the majority of businesses and organizations believe social media is critical for them to stay competitive and engage audiences, yet they face challenges when it comes to getting value out of the data they collect. Specific findings included:

  • 84 percent of respondents recognized the importance of using social media to enhance existing relationships, and 79 percent valued the ability to monitor external conversations about their companies.
  • 67 percent had difficulties assessing the effectiveness of their social media activities, and another 61 percent had issues with turning their social media data into actionable information. Only 40 percent used data gained from social media to increase their bottom lines.
  • 72 percent said the number of departments in their companies using social media was growing.
  • 85 percent said aligning strategy across all departments was difficult.
  • 62 percent said creating a social media strategy was difficult.
  • 84 percent viewed building relationships with existing customers as the inherent value of social media, followed by learning about their companies’ reputations (81 percent) and monitoring external communications (79 percent).
  • 74 percent valued social media’s capability to resolve customer complaints and questions.

Holmes said of the survey results:

While social media is a part of everyday life for consumers, effectively integrating social in the workplace hasn’t been as easy. Nearly all survey respondents agreed that social data can improve the bottom line, yet turning that data into something actionable can be a challenge. Our focus on building an intuitive platform and education solutions is to address this problem and help organizations unlock the rewards of social media across the enterprise.