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6/14/2012
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Hearsay Helps Social Media Marketing Teams Feed The Beast

Hearsay Social Content Library helps brands supply pre-approved content for Twitter, Facebook feeds, via Demand Media, Tribune Media Services, and Thomson Reuters.

11 Management Systems That Can Help You Get A Handle On Social
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Hearsay Social is ready to do more to help distributed sales and marketing teams feed the social media beast.

The Hearsay Social Content Library introduced Friday offers articles on any topic from Demand Media, Tribune Media Services, and Thomson Reuters--tons of content for social teams to link to and comment on. Hearsay's corporate/local approach is geared to organizations in which a central corporate team wants to spur (and, to some extent, control) the social media engagement of local salespeople, representatives, and agents across the country or across the world.

VP of marketing Amy Millard said Hearsay already offered tools for organizations to build their own content libraries, but keeping up with the demand can be a struggle. "For a marketing team to provide two or three pieces of content a day is pretty ambitious, but a medium like Facebook needs to be fed a lot more than that," she said in an interview.

One early and enthusiastic Hearsay customer, Farmers Insurance Group, was quick to welcome this addition.

"The key to any successful social marketing program is sharing timely, relevant content on a consistent basis," Marc Zeitlin, VP of marketing at Farmers, said in a statement for the press release. "Hearsay Social Content Exchange reduces the amount of time my team spends curating pre-approved content for our agents, while improving the relevancy, timeliness, and therefore effectiveness of their social media efforts."

[ Learn more about how to engage customers. Read Retailer Satisfies Customers With Embedded Feedback Widget. ]

Even though competitors in an industry like insurance may be fed some of the same material, they have the opportunity to select the content that's most relevant for their audience and put their own spin on it, Millard said. Many Hearsay customers also cultivate internal sources, for example by providing the mass of salespeople with feeds from their colleagues who are most successful at social media promotion, she said.

Hearsay is providing the distribution mechanism, but access to the content will still be governed by the rules of each publisher. Hearsay customers who subscribe to Thomson Reuters content will be able to curate multiple streams of content, and there will be no paywall for social media readers who follow a link to that content. Tribune Media Services is also in the business of licensing and syndicating content, whereas Demand Media operates on an ad-supported model.

In addition to Hearsay's base in regulated industries such as financial services, where Thomson Reuters financial reporting might be most relevant, other customers like 24Hour Fitness can take advantage of Demand Media health and fitness content from sites like eHow.com, Millard said.

The Content Library allows Hearsay users to discover, sort, and browse content relevant to their companies by locale, date, or topic, then post or schedule to multiple profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Hearsay also provides tools to monitor engagement with that content.

Also Friday, Hearsay announced what it said is proof of return on investment from social media marketing. Research commissioned from Mainstay Salire showed anecdotal evidence that social marketing campaigns using Hearsay's service are paying off. The proof points from anonymous interviews with Hearsay customers included:

-- Several companies reported jumps in sales conversion rates, with one retailer doubling sales tied to specific promotions.

-- One insurance company saw a 150% to 420% increase in its local fan base, depending on the type of agent page.

-- Local agents, stores, and branch managers that adopted Hearsay Social saw a two to five times increase in their local fan base over locations that didn't.

-- One insurance company saw 60% to 150% increase in lives covered for advisers, depending on tenure of adviser with insurer.

-- A financial services firm reduced time needed for compliance teams to review social media content by 50%

-- Another financial services firm that made a switch between social media management vendors reported a "night-and-day difference in customer service between the old vendor and Hearsay Social."

-- One educational institution increased its Facebook fan base by 189% at sites that adopted Hearsay Social.

-- One commercial real estate company used Hearsay Social to cut content creation and local distribution time by 50%.

-- Another major insurance company using Hearsay Social reported that local social media pages attracted 10 times more fans than the corporate page.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together industry thought leaders to explore the latest innovations in enterprise social software, analytics, and big data tools and technologies. Learn how your business can harness these tools to improve internal business processes and create operational efficiencies. It happens in Boston, June 18-21. Register today!

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