With so many startups scrambling into the social marketing space, how is Hearsay Corporation setting itself apart from the crowd?
In this interview, Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Corporation and author of “The Facebook Era,” outlines a few key points that differentiates Hearsay from its competitors. First and foremost—the company has a CEO who has written a book about social media and marketing. Very handy to have around. In all honesty, though, Shih’s expertise is an invaluable asset to the company, since she’s not applying a simple marketing background to the company, but rather she’s coming to the company with Facebook-specific expertise.
Secondly, the company is focusing on specific types of businesses—not just those who want to create social media presences, but large franchises who want to connect with their customers on a hyper-local level. How do they do that? In essence, by turning their employees into company ambassadors. A barista at Starbucks, for example, can create a Facebook page where customers can connect with him or her personally—but under the watchful eye of Starbucks.
Obviously, handing the reins to a disgruntled $8-an-hour employee can quickly get out of hand, which is why Hearsay Social has given corporations the tools to monitor and manage employee interactions with customers when they’re posting under the company’s brand. How eager are businesses to put their brand image in the hands of employees and play Big Brother? As Shih points out, employees are already doing it. Hearsay Social just gives companies the tools to be more organized about it.