A New Chapter: From Email to Social Media

A lot has changed since I last blogged. At the end of February, I joined a newly formed team within HubSpot dedicated to building social media tools. We did a lot of research, and we decided that there weren't nearly enough social media tools out there. Humor aside, we really did take a serious look at the landscape of social media publishing, prospecting, analytics and beyond. Here are a few of our findings:

No ROI

Many of these products touted their analytics as the killer solution to figuring out your social ROI without being able to deliver. Few of them integrated with Salesforce, shopping carts or deeper analytics systems, which are required to give you closed-loop reporting.

Lot's of Opportunity

More social media apps are popping up every day, and they're finding an audience. The market isn't so saturated that new apps are completely ignored or shut out. There's still much to be won.

Not Perfect

While there are a ton of products out there, none of the people I talked to was truly happy with the one they were using. The user interface, while usable, was a far cry from enjoyable. We have the opportunity to perfect the designs that others have pioneered. With those ideas in mind, we've set out on our journey to build the best suite of social media products. What's our edge? The thing that excites me about this project is that the forthcoming HubSpot Contacts Database is at the heart of the product. Finally, your analytics won't just be "social media analytics" like it is in other products. Instead, it'll be a component of HubSpot analytics. Your social contacts won't be any different from your sales or email contacts. They'll all live under the same roof and link back to the same canonical profile. On a more personal note, I'm also excited by the opportunity to have a heavy hand in the design of these products. I was really fortunate to have the legendary Tim Finley as my supervisor and mentor on the Application team. On this new team, I have the chance to put his guidance to use and forge my own path. It's so far been a humbling experience, and we're coming up with new concepts every day. Stay tuned for some game-changers.