Clara Shih, the twenty-nine year old founder of Hearsay Social, a SaaS dashboard for national businesses and their local branches to manage Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter pages, has been appointed to the Starbucks Board of Directors.
A former Google, Microsoft and Salesforce employee Shih, founded Hearsay Social with Microsoft staffer Steve Garrity. Shih says that as she was writing the book The Facebook Era, she saw that there was a market to better serve corporate-local brands.
Clearly that caught the attention of mega-brand Starbucks and founder and CEO Howard Schultz. Shih joins fellow board members Schultz, Allen & Company’s William Bradley, Ariel Capital Management Mellody Hobson, Juniper Networks’ Kevin Johnson, PepsiCo’s Olden Lee, Kissinger Associates’ Joshua Cooper Ramo, Trinity Ventures’ James Shennan, Jr., Colgate – Palmolive Company’s Javier Teruel J.C. Penney’s Myron Ullman, III and Craig Weatherup.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has actually been a member of the Starbucks board since 2009 but she will not stand for re-election in 2012.
Hearsay Social, which launched to the public in February and has raised $21 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates and Sequoia Capital, aims to help big brands who have local branches (i.e. Starbucks, BestBuy), manage Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. Because of the highly distributed nature of some companies that have local branches, managing social media pages for stores or offices that are still in compliance with a company’s regulation is a challenging process.
Hearsay Social is optimized for “corporate/local” enterprises to allow local representatives, agents, advisors, franchisees or store managers to manage social media pages while ensuring local representatives stay in compliance with brand guidelines, and content regulations. The SaaS application puts compliance, workflow, content management and analytics on top of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and most recently, Google+.
As more brands are flocking to Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, Hearsay Social is seeing usage skyrocket.
Shih tells us that the Hearsay Social platform now facilitates over 5 million customer interactions. In addition, Hearsay Social powers over 16,000 social pages and profiles. And over the past six months, Hearsay Social has multiplied its customer base sixfold, adding new customers in several key verticals, including retail, insurance, financial services, hospitality, medical, automotive, and real estate. Clients using the platform include State Farm, and Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and fitness chain 24 Hour Fitness.