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Hootsuite's Heather Cook talks about Hootsuite: CXN

Hootsuite's Heather Cook talks about Hootsuite: CXN

Update 6 June 2020. Hootsuite is has decided to pause Hootsuite: CXN. Visit the event website to see Hootsuite’s official statement about the decision. 

Hootsuite: CXN is an immersive, digital experience, bringing together speakers from around the world. The event is presented as three separate regional agendas, across two days. Speakers include social media experts from a range of sectors and areas of specialisation, including Brolly’s Nathan Cram

Heather Cook is the Managing Director of Hootsuite’s ANZ region. She says that with this event, Hootsuite wanted to spark the imagination of attendees, and bring people together in a best-of-its kind virtual event. Hootsuite Connection highlights and draws on the importance of digital technologies and social media, not only as we navigate this global health and economic crisis, but also in the wider context of globalisation.

Heather kindly contributed to this Q&A in the lead up to the event.

Congratulations on putting together Hootsuite: CXN, we’re really excited to be part of it. In keeping with the times, it’s virtual. How do the logistical challenges of putting together this kind of event compare to those associated with a physical location? 

Thank you. We are delighted that Brolly is participating as a key event speaker and sponsor at the event.

Hootsuite was in a strong position to pivot and adapt to a world increasingly reliant on the virtual to supplement the physical. 

Our teams were able to use existing digital tools to connect across physical borders. The global event team has created a unique experience on one common platform. 

With limitations around travel – a physical event doesn’t deliver a truly globalised experience in the same way that a virtual event can. I think this really points to the power of digital in helping businesses succeed, even in times of crisis. 

Has this event been in the works for a while, or perhaps triggered by more recent events?

It is in Hootsuite’s DNA to run these kinds of events, to help our customers leverage social media to benefit their brand, and be an educator or thought leader of sorts. We want to help people transform their businesses for success in a digital world. 

This event was already in planning stages as a global roadshow, a combined physical and virtual event.  Covid-19 meant we had to pivot to completely virtual and bring together three key global regions.

How do you choose your speakers?

 We choose speakers who bring value to our customers. 

If you look at our speakers in general we have a mix of customers and partners. They all have an understanding of how to leverage social and how to influence and empower others to do the same. 

Our goal is to help educate, support and inspire others along their journey. 

It’s also important to us to offer a variety of speakers so that we are showing best practice and the value of social across a range of different areas and industries. 

At Brolly, we’re seeing data that shows a significant increase in social media engagement in the past two months, clearly related to the worldwide response to Covid-19.  In Australia, our terrible bushfires in December and January also created an increase in social media usage. Do you have any insights about what drives people to social media during exceptional events and difficult times?  

People are coming to us with questions about what are best practices, who is using technology and how are they using it.

Our answer is that this can be achieved in a few ways:

Taking advantage of all those tools at their fingertips to better engage with employees, customers and communities. People are looking for commonalities and they are also looking for that in brands. There is an opportunity here for brands to connect authentically with employees, customers and communities.

Listening – understanding what is going on, understanding sentiment, how people want to be engaged with, how can organizations be part of that conversation.

Keeping existing employees and customers engaged – this helps them become advocates for the brand because you are listening to existing consumers and customers in the right way.

Being part of that community – social media is one of the ways that people are able to find their tribe, even outside this current context. What we are seeing now is that being told that we have to distance ourselves physically, social is a fantastic way to feel connected, without the physical connection.

At Hootsuite, I expect you have your finger on the pulse of social media sentiment. With that in mind, what do you think are the challenges facing businesses, governments and higher education institutions with these heightened social media usage levels?

There will be challenges, but I think it’s important to see them as opportunities. We expect to see an improved understanding of the flexibility and value provided by social media platforms. Social media will never be a complete replacement of the physical connection, but I expect businesses will see the value of using social media through different aspects of the business.

There still needs to be governance, compliance and solid business foundations and you can encourage employees to be authentic, while acknowledging that the background processes and tools need to be in place to help mitigate risk.

Join us at Hootsuite: CXN

Brolly’s Nathan Cram is presenting on the topic: RegTech: Digital and social compliance as gateways to competitive advantage

Thanks to Heather Cook for her time and attention to detail! Heather will present at the event on  Unbreakable Bonds: How to build socially intelligent customer engagement

Follow Hootsuite Connection on the socials with #HootsuiteCXN

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