The 2017 CRM Market Influential Leaders: Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO, Hootsuite

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Although he grew up on a farm in western Canada without electricity, Hootsuite founder and CEO Ryan Holmes felt compelled to extend his reach further— much further. If Hootsuite’s more than 15 million users worldwide is any indication, it’s safe to say that he succeeded. After founding a string of businesses, including a paintball field and a pizza restaurant named Growlies, Holmes in 2008 launched the digital media agency Invoke, which evolved into Hootsuite when he identified an opportunity to create a better social media experience for businesses.
Holmes and Hootsuite are hardly slowing down: The company this year announced a string of launches, partnerships, and acquisitions. In early February, it acquired AdEspresso, provider of a cloud-based solution for Facebook and Instagram advertising that enables users to engage with customers across paid, earned, and owned social media. It acquired social analytics company LiftMetrix later that month, with the goal of enabling organizations to drive marketing campaigns with insight into the ROI of their paid, earned, and owned social campaigns. It followed that up with the acquisition of a Snapchat analytics solution from Los Angeles–based content creation company Naritiv in March.
In May, the company announced a partnership with Actiance, a provider of communication compliance, archiving, and analytics. The partnership aims to assist financial services firms in ensuring that their social communications are compliant with government and industry mandates.
This was followed by Hootsuite’s June launch of Amplify for Selling, a mobile-first solution that looks to help sales teams generate leads and build relationships on social media.
And then in July, Hootsuite launched the Hootsuite Research Hub, a portal that brings the largest study into social media usage to marketers, providing insights to help measure their social performance against industry benchmarks. The Research Hub will examine more than 400 million social posts to give companies insight into the social space. It will include post frequencies according to day and time and a look at usage across the major hubs of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
“What Holmes and Hootsuite have done over the years is play a leading role in making social an integral part of how companies interact with customers all throughout the life cycle, and made it possible for just a handful of employees to engage millions of prospects, customers, advocates, fans—to build and extend relationships with all of them,” says Brent Leary, cofounder and partner at CRM Essentials.
And Holmes’s desire to share social media insight doesn’t end with his company. In 2017 he also came out with a book, The 4 Billion Dollar Tweet, a sort of social media  guidebook.

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