Hearsay Social is a social media management platform that allows corporations to assist and monitor the efforts of their local branches and representatives. The platform integrates Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to offer CRM, post moderation, content distribution, and analytics. The SaaS ensures consistent branding and industry regulation compliance across channels.
As the only platform designed specifically for corporate/local, Hearsay Social could solve a complex and growing problem in exchange for enormous licensing fees from flush corporations.
Powerful investors seem to agree, as Hearsay is backed by Sequoia Capital as well an elite selection of angel investors including Ron Conway, Dave Morin, Thomas Layton of OpenTable, Michael Abbott of Twitter, Steve Chen of YouTube, and Aaron Sittig of Facebook. Led by Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era, Hearsay Corporation’s nearly thirty employees have been working on the product for a year. Corporate launch partners Farmers Insurance, State Farm, and 24 Hour Fitness have already signed six and seven figure contracts.
The fact is that corporations need both an international and a local presence on social media, especially Facebook. Granting branches, franchises, and representatives digital autonomy can lead to them misrepresenting the brand, violating FINRA and other federal regulations that mandate communication limits and archiving, and failing to fully engage their potential audience. Conversely, running tens of thousands of local Pages, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn networks from a central command is unruly and inauthentic if not impossible.
Most existing Page management solutions are designed for running a few dozen horizontally-integrated Pages, and don’t address compliance. Independent research indicates that due to compliance concerns, only 21% of insurance and financial professionals use social media for business, compared to 64% socially. The cost of compliance lawsuits and the lost potential from inefficient and neglected social media presences mean corporations are in dire need of a solution.
Hearsay Social Features
Hearsay Social supports the hierarchical relationship between corporations and local branches by providing each with a specifically tailored interface. Corporations can compose posts and configure tab applications such as landing pages, Twitter and YouTube that can then be distributed to the admins of all the local branches. The reps can then localize the updates and app templates with relevant information and photos and share them with their own fan bases.
This allows for the coordination of global campaigns, and shifts the burden of content creation to corporate, where production efforts benefit can benefit all the local branches. This solves the problem of local representatives ceasing to engage their fan bases because they can’t think of anything to post. An optimized scheduling tool lets posts be published at a later date when user engagement is highest.
Keyword flags and filters can be set up by corporate that prevent posting of prohibited content such as profanity or stock tips. Corporate is notified of such attempts, and can choose to permit or delete the post, and add a note to explain its decision. All posts and messages, including LinkedIn messages thanks to a private API, are archived for 10 years to comply with regulations.
Corporations can view real-time analytics detailing the fan acquisition and engagement progress of all its local branches, helping it identify representatives that are underperforming. Posts, Likes, comments, admin actions, total number of active branches, and specific geographic regions can all be monitored. A single post composed by corporate can be tracked across all the branches that posted it, providing accurate marketing performance assessments. The local admin view includes a basic CRM tool designed to help representatives track customers.
Early results from the launch partners are promising. State Farm was able to achieve 100% regulation compliance, and 24 Fitness saw higher engagement from both consumers as well as local club staff. Of the 15,000 Farmers Insurance agents who received the local admin tool, more than 90% quadrupled their number of Facebook fans and quintupled user feedback in the first 60 days. However, these relative statistics could merely indicate very low initial fan counts and engagement for the Farmers Insurance local Pages.
The demo we saw of the product seemed powerful and full featured, yet simple enough that most representatives could use it with a little training, which Hearsay provides through webinars and other materials. Clara Shih told us she thinks Hearsay Social is a multi-billion dollar business because “Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are serious disruptions that are changing the relationships and interactions of companies have with their customers, and that’s why they’re seeking new tools.”
Hearsay Social proficiently allows a corporation to manage the social media presences of all levels of its business. The challenge will be conveying the complex issue, which Hearsay attempts through an animated video, and convincing brands that the security and brand lift the SaaS provides is worth its lofty price tag.