FRAMINGHAM 3 FEBRUARY 2011 - Hearsay, a start-up founded in 2009, is launching a cloud-hosted social media management application tailored specifically for companies that have a national brand as well as a broad base of local affiliates.
The product, called Hearsay Social, lets these companies plan, implement, roll out and monitor their social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn both at the national and local levels.
Along with the launch of Hearsay Social, the company is also announcing that its initial set of customers includes State Farm, 24 Hour Fitness and Farmers Insurance.
Hearsay Social gives corporate staff compliance, content management and analytics tools for the company's social media accounts, while allowing affiliates and local offices to personalize their individual pages and sites.
The compliance capabilities include message archiving, detection and flagging of improper words and a workflow for review and approval of locally created content.
The application also checks for compliance with regulations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for companies subject to these rules.
The content management features lets corporate staff distribute content for local affiliates to consider posting on their social media pages and sites.
With the analytics capabilities, companies can track traffic and usage of their social media pages and sites and evaluate their success in engaging customers and supporting sales efforts.
"There have been so many companies over the last few years focused on [social media] monitoring and analytics. What our customers are saying is that it's interesting to track what's being said [on social media sites] but that's not enough," said Clara Shih, Hearsay's CEO and co-founder.
Hearsay wanted its product to also address other areas, like compliance and content management. It also designed the application to specifically help what it calls "corporate/local" companies whose broad national brand is tended to locally by hundreds or thousands of branches or affiliates, like insurance companies with their insurance agents.
"There is a set of interactions and special dynamics that need to be supported between corporate and local. Today that's a manual process in the digital realm," Shih said.
Hearsay charges a monthly subscription fee for the application.
The company has about 30 employees and is backed by Sequoia Capital and several individual investors.
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