Hearsay Social, a startup backed by New Enterprise Associates and Sequoia Capital, has tried to solve many of the challenges facing large brands that need to manage the social media presence of local branches or franchises. Its latest step: Launching a “Content Exchange” where brands can find and share articles.
“Content is the currency of social media,” says VP of Marketing Amy Millard. She adds that the brands who understand this, and who don’t just treat their Facebook Pages as a place to post ads and marketing content, tend to see the best results. However, these brands may not be able to hire an army of people to write new content from scratch for their social media accounts — and they don’t need to, since there’s plenty of content online already.
To make that process easier, Hearsay Social customers can now go to the Content Exchange and browse articles, photos, and videos, based on location, date, or content. If they find something that will be relevant to their customers or fans, they can add their own comments, then share it on all of their social media accounts. (The exact workflow for making this happen, and the extent to which the sharing is a suggestion versus a requirement for local branches, will differ from company to company.)
For the initial launch, Hearsay has partnered with Demand Media, Tribune Media Services, and Thomson Reuters to provide the content. (In the case of Thomson Reuters, brands will need be subscribers in order to read the articles, but if they find something they like, the full text can be shared on social media without restrictions.) Millard says these first partnerships are focused on financial, local, and lifestyle content, but Hearsay is also talking to potential media partners in other categories.
In addition to announcing the Content Exchange, Hearsay is also releasing research conducted by Mainstay Salire showing the return on investment for Hearsay customers. The key takeaway is that customers have seen a 50 percent to 500 percent increase in revenue performance measures, as well as a 2x to 5x increase in local fans. The whitepaper includes plenty of individual examples — though to keep things anonymous, companies are identified by industry but not name.