by Rob Sears.
One of the biggest challenges we face in public relations is convincing clients that social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used in business operations. I remember when we started our social media platform several years ago, business owners balked at the concept using Facebook to reach out to customers. Most of the concerns were based on a misunderstanding of what social networking is and how people (and customers) use it.
The most legitimate concern that we've had to address is the issue of establishing and enforcing a policy that lays out guidelines for using social media in a business capacity. Some industries are more conducive to social media than others; our marketing partners at Lucky Dog do a great job and have a lot of fun with it, while some of our clients in financial services avoid it altogether because compliance and other regulations are too restrictive.
That may be about to change.
Enter Clara Shih. Shih broke ground in 2007 when she created the first business app for Facebook. That app, FaceForce, imported Facebook profile data into the Salesforce CRM system. Shih has also authored a book on using Facebook for business.
Shih's new service, Hearsay, is a social media management platform which resolves a number of issues with integrating social media and business. It includes a number of compliance and management features and provides full integration with business-oriented social network LinkedIn.
In an interview with InternetNews.com, Shih commented: "Every conversation I had while developing FaceForce and writing the book reinforced the idea that Facebook is like the Internet was a decade earlier and it's changing the nature of relationships." eCRM quotes Shih: "There are tremendous opportunities, but big companies say they need better tools to automate their use of social media and integrate with their existing systems. They get excited by the opportunities but compliance and other issues are a daunting challenge, especially in regulated industries."
What makes Hearsay remarkable is it fills a void in a market where demand exists but without any available solution. By providing a fully-fledged suite of tools for administering social media while following corporate rules and regulations, Hearsay may be about to change the game of corporate social media forever.
What do you think? Leave us a comment and give us your insights!