Social networks can no longer be missing from any marketing strategy. The rise of omnichannel and the prevailing need for brands to expand their contact points to reach the consumer means that networks are, yes or yes, in the media mix.
The social network manager Hootsuite knows this and for this reason the company opted to give a new touch to its iconic owl logo, which it called Owly. This firm was born 14 years ago, but since then the networks have changed drastically.
To stay on customers’ radar, Hootsuite had to rethink their branding to reflect their position as experts in the space. Currently, the company has a global presence, with 14 offices in the world, as well as some 200,000 payment accounts with millions of users.
“We also wanted to project what is the new way of being social. Social media rewards bravery and creative courage, but stepping into the cutthroat world of social media and taking a stand like that can be intimidating,” says Maggie Lower, chief marketing officer at Hootsuite in Vancouver.
Expansión (E): What does this new approach and rebranding of the brand consist of?
Maggie Lower (ML): The new visual identity is intended to reflect the next phase of Hootsuite’s evolution, along with a manifesto that will position our customers at the heart of the Hootsuite story, while acknowledging the new social media landscape. in which we all operate.
We wanted a new tone of voice that would show our expertise in the untamed world of social media while having fun. We truly believe that social media is the great equalizer that levels the playing field and creates a space for everyone to have visibility.
Our new brand approach and tagline, ‘Your guide to the beastly’, encourages our clients to be brave, as we act as their guide in the wild world of social media ; helping them to show themselves authentically, while taking advantage of our tools to simplify their efforts and focus on other areas of their business.
I: Which agencies or partners did you work with on this rebranding and how long did it take?
ML: In the planning phase, we have worked with the consulting firm Prophet, who helped us develop our logo, brand colors and overall manifesto. From there, all the work was done in-house. Working with our own teams to bring the rebranding to life was a no-brainer.
We have an amazingly talented team at Hootsuite who bring a lot to the table, from strategic thinking and creative writing to graphic design and video production; they are the ones who know our brand and the unique needs of our customers best. It took us about a year from the start of the project to the launch date of the rebranding (last July).
E: Did you notice a drop in clients that prompted you to change your image or what did you respond to?
ML: Hootsuite created the social media management category 14 years ago. There have been many changes in this time, with the social media space moving at the speed of light. We felt it was time to be bigger and bolder and show the world that we don’t just understand social media, we are social media.
Our rebranding was designed with our customers at the forefront because they are at the heart of the Hootsuite story. We also see significant potential in social media, especially when it comes to empowering people and driving positive change.
Driving this change requires taking a stand, which was a turning point for our rebranding: we are launching a new way of being social by encouraging other brands to stand out and join the conversation in an authentic way, while providing them with the necessary information and guidance. to carry out.
E: What did you do to make your icon friendlier and generate more awareness?
ML: One of our goals with the rebranding is to reveal the personality behind Hootsuite. As part of the initiative, we have appointed our icon, Owly, as chief connection officer.
Owly will showcase his “naughty mentor” persona, referring to common problems social media marketers and small business owners face on social media, encouraging them to be brave and embrace their wilder side. Owly also has a new look that shows her personality; she has a library of 20 expressions including inclusiveness, optimism, frustration, kindness, and love.
I: Do you think that Owly was less empathic before?
ML: Owly has always been an empathetic, friendly and mischievous icon that is coming out through rebranding. He’s been working behind the scenes all this time. After seeing many trends come and go over the last 14 years, and now entering the teen years, we think it’s time to give it a job. As an older and wiser Owly, we wanted to put his knowledge and wisdom to work; We’ve used the rebranding as an opportunity to carve out your new role within Hootsuite.
E: What does your strategy consist of so that more clients see you as an ally in the management of social networks?
ML: We have taken on the role of advisors, visionaries and mentors to our clients, helping them reach their own clients more efficiently across multiple platforms; improving their customer service and gaining deeper analytics and consumer insights.
E: Why do you consider that today it is vital to understand social networks as an extension of the business, rather than as a medium per se?
ML: Social networks have become the online reputation of a brand. While websites used to serve this purpose, many customers now turn to social media channels first to better understand brands and determine if it’s a brand they’d like to indulge in. In fact, according to the latest edition of Hootsuite’s Digital 2022 statshot, 75% of internet users ages 16-64 said they use social media to find brands, services, or products.
This makes it essential for brands to establish their online presence, but also to go one step further and show the personality behind it. The brands that have the greatest long-term value are those that create emotional connections with customers, because they position their product or service to the consumer and that resonates emotionally, with consistency over time and across all channels.
E: How to get the most out of social networks, taking into account that they are also an advertising business?
ML: In today’s digital-first climate, reach and visibility through social media is critical to business success; brands must have a presence across multiple channels to effectively reach the largest subset of customers. At the same time, social media users expect a strong user experience when interacting with brands. They are more likely to be delivered to a brand that is not only active on social media, but engages and immediately responds to your queries.
Many companies do this by managing their social media channels natively. However, social media management is a crucial tool that marketers can use to efficiently manage their networks; with the ability to create, schedule, publish and manage content and ad campaigns across all social channels from one place, and simultaneously get real-time insights to maximize the impact of your campaigns and free up time for marketers to focus in other areas.
It is important to make the distinction that social networks are not a tool that should only be used for advertising; Establishing a mix of paid and organic social media is essential for your strategy to work. Paid and organic are different phenomena that are used for different purposes.
On the one hand, paid is an effective tool for targeting new audiences and converting them into customers, and on the other hand, organic is the best way to foster a connection with existing customers at scale. Setting up a mix that balances awareness with conversion is a great way to get the most out of social media.