HootSuite today announced a new feature called HootSuite Conversations that lets you chat with anyone you want, inside and outside your company, as well as collaborate with multiple people in real-time. The internal communications tool, as it’s being labelled, is currently available in beta now to all Free, Pro, and Enterprise users worldwide.
If that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to you, let me try to break it down. HootSuite says Conversations will be useful in these three key areas:
- Simplify Communication: it lets you chat with anyone you work with, collaborate with, and share messaging with, right from the HootSuite dashboard. In other words, HootSuite wants you out of your mail inbox and using HootSuite Conversations instead.
- Internal Conversations: it lets you share social messages internally with your teams, which can then discuss response strategies as well as broadcast the content via their own social network accounts.
- Collaborate with Everyone: it lets you add anyone (your team, department, or even entire organization) to your conversation (for free) so you can badger them on how to discuss social messages, again, without leaving the HootSuite dashboard.
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In fact, that last point is worth expanding on. HootSuite Conversations lets you spam invites to anyone with an email address to join the conversation. Existing users will be automatically added, while new users will be told to sign up for a HootSuite account first. It’s a great way to get more users trying out HootSuite, but at the same time I can see my junk folder salivating with anticipation.
I don’t meant to put a damper on the whole show. I’ll let this video do the talking for a bit:
Unsurprisingly, HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes tries the business spin (after all, HootSuite’s clients include 79 of the Fortune 100 companies): “Conversations will increase efficiency between teams or departments and ultimately improve ROI,” he said in a statement. “Now, true social collaboration can happen around campaigns or trending topics that impact business immediately.”
The Canadian startup insists the social media management system can now be used for sharing messages company-wide, including to support teams rallying around IT issues, sales teams discussing strategy, and R&D teams sharing findings. I can’t picture Apple, or Google, or Microsoft, or any smaller company giving HootSuite Conversations a shot.
I do see, however, PR agencies for these businesses and departments that deal with social networks putting it to the test. Given how many users take their support questions to Facebook and Twitter, the company might be on to something here.
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