Hootsuite today announced its second acquisition in less than a month. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based social media management provider acquired LiftMetrix, a social analytics vendor.

The company said the acquisition complements Hootsuite Analytics, its existing social media metrics dashboard, and Hootsuite Insights, the social listening platform it built on technology it acquired from uberVu in 2014.

Matt Switzer, Hootsuite SVP of corporate and business development, told CMSWire the company expects LiftMetrix to help "produce social ROI in plain English." 

"A lot of CMOs and directors of marketing are leery of likes and followers and many of the other traditional engagement metrics that usually just resonate with the social media team. We're expanding outside of that. Businesses need more traditional business metrics and specifically metrics that touch on revenue," he said.

Hootsuite: Growing by Acquisition

The acquisition — the 12th in the company's nine year history — comes on the heels of its purchase of Facebook advertising partner AdEspresso. AdEspresso offers a Software-as-a-Service-based Facebook and Instagram advertising suite.

The AdEspresso suite meshes well with the LiftMetrix platform, Switzer said. AdEspresso allows Hootsuite to build customized services on Facebook’s open APIs while the LiftMetrix engine offers insight into the ROI of paid, earned and owned social campaigns, he said. 

"It's very much connected," Switzer said of the acquisitions this month. "We don't have spray-and-pray type of thinking."

In addition to LiftMetrix and AdEspresso, Hootsuite has also acquired:

  • Sales Prodigy, a mobile app for social selling: March 29, 2016
  • Zeetl, voice technology: Sept. 25, 2014 
  • Brightkit, social campaigns: Sept. 4, 2014
  • uberVU, social analytics: Jan. 22, 2014
  • Seesmic, social media management: Sept. 5, 2012 
  • Geotoko, location-based marketing: Oct. 10, 2011
  • What the Trend, Twitter trending analysis: Sept. 27, 2011 
  • TwapperKeeper, Twitter data archiving: Sept. 16, 2011 
  • TwitterBar, Firefox browser add-on: April 6, 2011 
  • Swift App, Twitter client for Android: March 12, 2010

Hootsuite has raised a total of $249.9 million.

Learning Opportunities

Social ROI

Through today's acquisition, Hootsuite is doubling down on the slippery concept of social ROI

"Customers need mapping between social metrics and business metrics, and that's the special sauce of LiftMetrix," Switzer told CMSWire. He company does "a great job setting up a mapping for each business. Whether it's a like, share, mention or other social metrics, what does it mean for that business' mapping is really important," he continued.

In a 2015 blog post, Hootsuite representatives explained the LiftMetrix app for Hootsuite calculates social media ROI based on specific marketing objectives, taking into consideration costs and inputs. Marketers can determine which posts generate the most value as determined by engagements, conversions and revenue within Hootsuite through the LiftMetrix engine, they explained.

"LiftMetrix offers a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use analytics solution that helps our customers make sense of data to maximize social marketing results," Hootsuite CEO
Ryan Holmes said. 

One of Gartner's 'Cool Vendors'

In 2015, LiftMetrix, along with CommandPost, Expion (acquired by Sysomos), Insightpool and Traackr, earned a spot on Gartner's "Cool Vendors in Social Marketing" report. Those vendors "offer emerging tools and technologies to help social marketers design more effective engagement strategies and improve ROI," Gartner analysts wrote.

They provide features like:

  • Social-to-web conversion tracking 
  • Content recommendations and insights
  • Social data-warehousing and integration with business intelligence tools