HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes had an amusing reaction to the news this morning that Salesforce is combining Buddy Media and Radian6 into one überapp for enterprise social, with social listening and publishing built in, and ads coming soon:

The quote, which you can see if you follow the link, is this:

They copied all they could follow
but they couldn’t copy my mind
so I left them sweating and stealing
a year and a half behind.
—Rudyard Kipling

In other words, Holmes is welcoming Salesforce to social while also claiming that the new Social Studio app, which is a major component in Salesforce’s marketing cloud, borrows a little more than maybe it ought to. And it’s not even all that up-to-date. But instead of saying all that, blatantly, Holmes found a much more elegant way of insinuating it.

I have to admit that when I saw one of the screens in Social Studio, one of the thoughts that came to mind immediately was: This looks a little like HootSuite.

You make up your own mind:


Of course, Social Studio is a major enterprise app, and as such it has many screens and a great deal of functionality. Salesforce execs would likely argue convincingly that comparing just one screen to another product is unfair.

HootSuite is the leader in enterprise social, but this new Social Studio could be a significant threat. Salesforce has shown strong capability in acquiring customers for components of its marketing cloud and is an aggressive competitor. That said, it will likely appeal most to those who are already on the Salesforce platform.

HootSuite’s biggest competitive edge is that doing social for business is all that it’s focused on. It also has a strong app directory, with rich integrations into many different apps and platforms.

And, clearly, it has a plucky CEO.

Reminds me of a little of Salesforce’s own CEO Marc Benioff challenging Oracle, his former employer, with the No Software line. Or of Steve Jobs’ Apple, which set up “Redmond, start your photocopiers” banner at one of its conferences during the height of the Apple-Microsoft cold war.

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