Friday, August 13, 2010

Open Letter to Hootsuite Freemium

Hootsuite are proposing to introduce a choice of fee paying plans to their service which I FULLY support and think they utterly deserve as their product is nothing short of excellent.

However, due to these change it is going to a lot more difficult for me to manage my clients accounts, as I won't be able to access Hootsuite from a single sign on to see everything from a single 'place'.

The second piece of 'bad' news for me, is that the onus will be one my clients to subscribe, I am not affected but as I was the person to encourage usage of Hootsuite by my clients, it seems unfair that ALL (100%) of my client will be required to pay from this point forwards.

So I wrote the following letter.

Dear Hootsuite,

I remain concerned about the Freemium changes that are coming. I have about 10 clients who I persuaded to use Hootsuite, I set up individual accounts for them and the account 'belongs' to them, none would want access to more that the 5 social networks you are offering.

But so that I can help manage their accounts they have listed me as a Team Member... and that is the problem... all my clients have a single Team Member (myself) and they would therefore have to pay at least a Silver service which they really do not need ($20 per month).

My concerns are:

  1. It is a challenge in itself to persuade companies to check their Hootsuite accounts on top of everything else.
  2. This effectively means I would have to log into their accounts (as them) to contribute to their efforts, raising privacy and security issues (your Terms and Conditions)
  3. You claim that 95% of users will be unaffected, but actually 100% of my customers are affected.
  4. and finally, I am not affected at all, I have less than 5 social networks so for me personally all this means just awkwardness as it severely limits my ability to help companies manage their social networking
The solution to this is simple. It would be wise to allow 1 Team Member on the Freemium version of the Plans. (If a company was enthusiastic it would quickly see the benefit of more Team Members).

The downside, is that probably ALL my customers (who are not big) will just allow their accounts to Languish as the service just isn't compelling for $240 a year.

From my own point of view the key is in education. I always approach Social Networking as something that has to be done from within the company, I cannot do it for clients, they need to get excited about it themselves. But they need help.

Effectively you're not allowing a single Team Member in the Freemium is making it (not impossible) but considerably more difficult to do this.

I hope you change your mind and do reconsider. It is after all not I that will not pay - it is 10 businesses that are all potential clients that will not pay.

Yours eveer,

Guy Hoogewerf

Let's see what response I might achieve... it would be sad to see such a brilliant service pass into backwaters of my client support.
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