Hootsuite’s Melanie Gaboriault on Social Media Consistency as Key for Business Growth

Hootsuite’s Melanie Gaboriault on Social Media Consistency as Key for Business Growth

Interview by Maja Skokleska
Published: March 12, 2023
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Who Is Melanie Gaboriault

Melanie Gaboriault is the global head of corporate communications for Hootsuite, responsible for PR, experiential marketing and customer advocacy. She excels at developing and executing strategies that engage, inform, entertain and persuade. Melanie has over two decades of experience across several industries, including high-tech, natural resource development and agency. She is a former reporter and forever journalist who has never lost the lust for words and the thrill of crafting a compelling story.

Many factors contribute to a brand’s success, but probably the key ingredient that makes businesses prosperous is establishing a strong and consistent social media presence.

With more than half of the world’s population using social, it is more imperative than ever to present your brand consistently across channels like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to drive customer engagement and loyalty.

To learn more about the importance of social media consistency, we speak to Melanie Gaboriault, senior director of global corporate communications at Hootsuite, an all-in-one social media management platform helping businesses make a bigger impact online.

Melanie also shares how the platform benefits users and touches upon its new features and integrations.

Hootsuite logo

Spotlight: Hootsuite was a pioneer in the social media management space in 2008 with popular channels like Twitter and Facebook on the rise. How has the platform evolved over the years?

Melanie Gaboriault: To say a lot has changed in the social space since 2008 would be an understatement. Social continues to evolve every day, and Hootsuite has adapted to create solutions alongside the rise of social platforms and rapidly-changing trends in the space.

We have an ongoing commitment to fostering innovation in our product, listening to and addressing our customers’ pain points, and guiding them through the wild, rapidly-evolving world of social.

As the world’s first social media management platform, Hootsuite has been on the pulse of how people use social media for over a decade, and over time, have adapted our software to help businesses reach their customers more efficiently across multiple platforms, improve their customer service and gain deeper analytics and consumer insights.

Since our inception in 2008, in addition to Facebook and Twitter, we have integrated LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok as platforms where our customers can manage their social media content, and we have also acquired Heyday (conversational AI chatbot) and Sparkcentral (customer engagement tool) to bolster our social commerce, conversational AI and social customer care capabilities.

In addition to integrations and acquisitions, we have released a plethora of new features within our tool. A few key callouts to the evolution of our product include the development of our employee advocacy tool, Hootsuite Amplify, as well as our many strategic partnerships — with over 150 apps and integrations including Adobe, Slack, Marketo and Salesforce (to name a few).

How does Hootsuite's platform help businesses plan, execute, and measure the impact of their social media campaigns?

There are several tools within the Hootsuite platform that help businesses plan, execute, and measure the impact of their social media campaigns, as well as tools that allow brands to amplify social media campaigns and keep a pulse on what audiences are saying about their company, key industry trends and competitors.

Key features offered through the Hootsuite platform, which help businesses take their social media strategy to the next level and drive ROI, include:

  • Publishing and scheduling capabilities via Hootsuite Planner + Composer
    • Hootsuite Composer allows social teams to create content for multiple social networks, all from one convenient and easy-to-use dashboard. Social marketers can access brand-approved templates to ensure all content being posted meets brand guidelines and design and edit engaging visual content directly from the dashboard through its integration with Canva.
      • Hootsuite has also integrated with Grammarly within Composer to provide spelling and grammar recommendations.
    • Hootsuite Planner saves social teams hours each week with a bulk social media scheduler that lets users plan hundreds of posts ahead of time. Within the tool, marketers are also equipped with insights on the ideal time to post based on their audience’s past engagement, leading to improved engagement rates.
  • Streamlining direct messages through Hootsuite Inbox
    • Social media has taken an outsized role in customer service, with consumers increasingly turning to brands’ social channels to get answers to their questions and/or resolution for any issues they are experiencing. Marketers, however, often don’t feel equipped to deal with customer service inquiries, and need tools to help streamline requests.
    • Hootsuite Inbox allows social teams to monitor and manage incoming messages across social networks quickly and easily within one consolidated inbox, and assign the right team member to respond.
  • In-depth insights on brand mentions and competitor conversations using Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch
    • Social teams can get real-time insights using Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch to gain an instant overview of millions of online conversations in real time.
      • The tool allows searches for any topic or keyword, and filters by date, demographics, and location (and much more) — enabling social teams to identify thought leaders, understand brand perception in the market and get immediate alerts when their mentions spike.
    • Beyond brand mentions alone, Hootsuite Insights also enables marketers to gain detailed insights on competitor activities and key topics relevant to the brand, helping tap into emerging areas of interest among their key audiences and ‘white space’ not addressed by peers.
  • Paid and organic campaign management using Hootsuite Advertise
    • Using Hootsuite Advertise, social teams can save time by boosting posts, analyzing and optimizing efforts, and creating reports across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
    • Users can also see a complete picture of their performance with multi-channel analytics and reporting for both organic and boosted posts. This allows them to bolster weak spots, play to strengths, and pivot strategies to maximize resources.
  • Custom analytics and reporting with Hootsuite Analytics
    • Hootsuite Analytics gives users a 360-degree view of results across all social networks from a single place, to set performance benchmarks and monitor improvements over time. The tool includes customizable reports that make it easy to distill, distribute, and digest the facts and figures that are most meaningful to brands.
    • Hootsuite Impact calculates the real return on social media investments to clearly demonstrate how social campaigns drive leads, conversions, and sales. It also generates customizable dashboards featuring easy-to-read graphs, tables, and KPI summaries—perfect for results-oriented stakeholders.
  • Employee advocacy using Hootsuite Amplify
    • Hootsuite Amplify allows companies to use the social influence of their employees (whose reach is on average 7x that of the brand) by empowering them to share approved content across their social networks. Leaders can create pre-approved content for the organization to share so that messaging is accurate, clear, and on-brand — while building a network of ambassadors for the business.

Cross-posting has become a go-to strategy for many brands and marketers. In your opinion, how has it evolved as a social media strategy and what impact has it had on the effectiveness of brand presence?

Crossposting has definitely evolved as a strategy for marketers, especially with the rise of social media networks closely monitoring and implementing copycat features of their competitors’ most successful tools (i.e., Instagram implementing Reels shortly after TikTok’s rise in popularity). And with the tools being so similar, marketers have looked at this as an opportunity to repurpose the same content for different platforms.

In fact, In our Social Trends 2023 report, we found that 52% of respondents said they crosspost content to multiple social platforms with as few changes as possible — while only 18% of marketers create different posts from scratch for each platform.

What marketers sometimes fail to recognize, however, is that social consumers don’t only get different values from different platforms — they explicitly use different social networks for unique reasons. So, while cross-posting saves time, it can come with a steep cost: results. Businesses that don’t spend the time understanding how their audience uses each individual platform, and create content that specifically addresses those needs, will risk losing the interest of their audience.

My recommendation to businesses is to conduct a social media audit to determine which platforms your audience lives and is most active on, and then make your content fit for each platform.

The pendulum has shifted from the most confident social marketers feeling that they need to be active and engaged on every social platform to drive success. Rather, marketers that will be the most successful in 2023 — and those that will drive the highest ROI — will spend less time worrying about which copycat feature to start using next and more time exploring platforms that best reflect their business goals.

Why do you think social media consistency is crucial for driving business growth?

Establishing a consistent (and frequent) flow of content on social media is critical for brands to establish credibility, build trust, generate leads, and strengthen their reputation. According to the Marketing Rule of 7, a prospect needs to "hear" a brand message at least seven times before they'll take action to buy — demonstrating how crucial it is to build social media into each and every overarching business strategy. The more touchpoints an audience has with a brand, the more awareness it will build.

Consistency applies to engagement as well. My recommendation to brands is to ensure that they are engaging with comments on their social content in real-time, and also to build social customer service into the overarching social strategy — leaving no DMs with questions and concerns unanswered.

People appreciate two-way communication and the time that we take to respond to their questions, concerns or comments, so acknowledging the people who are interacting with the brand will foster greater brand affinity and boost the company’s reputation.

Not too long ago, Hootsuite also launched creative tools for social marketers. Can you tell us a bit more about this new feature?

With the most customers in the social media management space with whom we engage all the time, we know all too well the pain points that social marketers face. They constantly struggle with a lack of ideas and coming up with readily-available content to post on social, as well as a lack of time to find inspiration.

In fact, we ran a survey of over 2,500 customers and found that 32.63% of respondents cited difficulty coming up with content ideas as the most significant challenge they face daily — despite the majority citing “coming up with content ideas” as their number one priority.

To show our customers that we understand their pain points and reinforce our position as their guide to the wild world of social, we introduced a suite of tools designed with creative blocks at the forefront. Through these tools, we are aiming to help our customers (social media marketers) overcome the daunting task of coming up with fresh, creative content each and every day — and bridge the gap from a blank screen to a completed social post.

Examples of these tools include:

  • Recommended hashtags: An AI-powered generator within Hootsuite Composer, that provides hashtag suggestions by analyzing the content of the social post or supporting image.
  • Content inspiration library: A catalog of content ideas within the Hootsuite platform, grouped into four categories (convert, educate, inspire and entertain) whose aim is to help social marketers find new inspiration for the content and fill gaps in their content calendar.

Beyond features in the platform itself, we also wanted to lean into the power of creativity in coming up with content to post on social and created ‘Drawing Blanks,’ a creative workbook that combines cheeky coloring book style illustrations with content tips and tricks — to help social marketers unleash their creative potential and overcome the struggle of writer's block.

You recently announced integrating with Canva and Grammarly. How will these partnerships benefit Hootsuite users and how do you approach your partnerships and integrations with other companies and tools?

The announcement of our integrations with Canva and Grammarly was a part of the new suite of product features aimed at helping social marketers combat content creation block (as mentioned above).

  • Our integration with Canva allows Hootsuite users to create and edit compelling visual content in Canva from directly within Hootsuite Composer, and share that content across social networks.
  • The Grammarly integration in Hootsuite Composer helps our customers write clear, concise and mistake-free content through advanced copy suggestions, as well as grammar and spell checks.

To make it as easy as possible for our customers to access all of their social media marketing and data in one place, we have also built an extensive ecosystem of integrations. In addition to connecting to the most used social networks (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest), we provide exclusive access to over 150 apps that make marketing on social media simpler and more streamlined, including Adobe, Google my Business, and Salesforce, among many others.

Our approach to integrations with other companies and tools is to see if there is a mutually beneficial partnership, where our offerings can benefit both our customer bases and ultimately create a more seamless experience for our customers.

Last year, Hootsuite rebranded. What was the strategy behind this and how did you manage to ensure the brand refresh effectively connects and reflects your audience?

Social is moving at the speed of light, and we felt it was time to rethink our brand to reflect our position as the experts in the space. With our modern new brand, introduced in July of last year, we are showing that we don’t just get social – we are social.

Social is the wild part of the internet, and daring to have fun and be brave can be intimidating. We wanted our brand refresh to reflect this reality, and embody the commitment we make to our customers every day in this new world.

Through our new tagline, “Your Guide to the Wild,” we wanted to acknowledge the cloudiness and intimidating nature of social media, and encourage customers to embrace their wild side – with our support every step of the way. We leveraged the rebrand to present Hootsuite (and our beloved mascot, Owly) as a cheerleader and wise guide that helps our customers navigate the chaotic and ever-evolving social space.

To ensure that the brand refresh effectively connected and reflected our audience, our rebrand was built in-house, leveraging the expertise of our creative, social and functional teams. We also collected and incorporated thoughtful feedback from our customers and a diverse array of stakeholders. As a part of this rebrand, we worked closely with creators to gather their insights and took a social-first approach to bring this rebrand to life.

How is the social media management industry evolving and what steps will Hootsuite take to remain a top player in the field?

The social media management industry will continue to evolve in 2023. Only three months into the year, we’re already seeing massive industry-wide changes and new trends emerging — including the newfound advancements in AI and shifts being made at Twitter — demonstrating that it will be a defining year for social media, and one that presents a significant opportunity.

While other industries undergo continued uncertainty in the face of a looming recession, rising inflation and declining consumer spending, we’re seeing a different story in the social landscape — with social becoming the hub of conversation and connectedness throughout all of this.

Looking ahead, Hootsuite will continue to innovate by listening to our customers, tapping into their unique needs, and looking for ways to introduce new releases and features within our product that provide solutions to their pain points. As social evolves and trends come and go, we’ll be supporting our customers in any way we can to help them navigate the wild world of social and make sense of it all.

Thank you for your time, Melanie Gaboriault. Best of luck to you and Hootsuite!

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