Social Scanner: Hootsuite makes big moves

Plus, would you publicize your latest client pitch on Twitter?

owlThings are looking good for Hootsuite.

The Vancouver-based company has raised yet another huge round of financing, according to new reports from The Wall Street Journal. The paper is reporting that Hootsuite has raised $35 million in venture capital at an $800 million valuation, furthering speculation that the company is poised for an initial public offering.

While a rep for Hootsuite said the company doesn’t comment on rumours, big funding rounds are par for the course for Hootsuite. Last summer it secured $165 million in funding and $20 million in the March of 2012.

The news comes just as Hootsuite has announced its acquisition of BrightKit, a tool that helps marketers customize their social media campaigns. BrightKit has already been incorporated into Hootsuite in the form of Hootsuite Campaigns, a new tool launched Thursday. Using Hoostuite Campaign, marketers will be able to organize and run their contests, sweepstakes and galleries from a single dashboard.

Hootsuite paired the announcement of Hootsuite Campaigns with a release about a slew of new international clients, including Telekom Malaysia, Singapore Press Holdings and Brooklyn Public Library from Cambridge University Press. It also offered up some growth stats, including the fact that it now has more than 10 million users, though many are using the free version of the software.

Social penetration in Canada and the U.S. is nearly even

Canadians and Americans are using social media at almost the same rate, according to the latest figures from eMarketer. A new report from the data provider showed that over two thirds of both Canadians and Americans log into a social network at least once a month. With 87% of online Canadians using social media, Canada is actually a bit ahead of the U.S. in terms of penetration – 83% of online consumers use social media in the U.S., according to an eMarketer-cited study from TNS.

Saks creates the “shoppable selfie”

Saks Fifth Avenue has amped up its social efforts by curating photos shared by its customers on social media into a new hub on SaksFifthAvenue.com. The retailer has been collecting images shared with the hashtag #SaksStyle and identifying the items worn by customers. Visitors to the #SaksStyle site can click on the images – mostly glossy, high quality street style shots – and purchase the items the subjects are wearing. Though most of the shots are portraits rather than self-portraits, Saks Fifth Avenue is calling the photos “shoppable selfies.”

Leo Burnett brings social into the pitch process

In the U.S., Leo Burnett has been busy pitching Miller Lite, as anyone who follows the agency’s staffers on social media likely already knows. During the pitch process, the team has been using the hashtag #ItsMillerTimeLB to share photos like this one of Leo Burnett’s SVP of interactive kissing a beer bottle. It’s a ballsy and highly unusual move for an agency to be so open about an account it’s pitching, especially on social media. After all, what happens if the team loses – will they be tweeting pictures of a new beer bottle next quarter?

From Marketing:

• Blacks creates #PicStop bus for activations

• How to incorporate social into your hiring process

Scott Stratten: How to avoid the brand attack on social

The Numbers

YouTube is booming. The Google-owned social video site is seeing explosive growth in views according to new research from Tubefilter and the analytics firm OpenState. Here’s a by-the-numbers look.

1,000,000,000

Consumers who use YouTube monthly

6,00,000,000

Total hours of video viewed on YouTube monthly

81%

Growth year-over-year for the monthly view-count of the top 100 YouTube channels

40%

YouTube videos now viewed on mobile

$40,000,000,000

Valuation of YouTube, if separated from Google, according to recent estimates

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