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How can you use social media to drive sales? Social business experts weigh in at FT Digital Media Conference in London

Hearsay Social is proud to have participated in the Financial Times Digital Media Conference, the flagship annual event that brings leading individuals together to discuss technological disruption of new and established media. Speakers included Sir Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive of WPP; Marion King, President of MasterCard Worldwide, UK & Ireland Division; and Clara Shih, CEO and Founder of Hearsay Social.

“This event is very focused on what the FT does best,” explains Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Media Editor, Financial Times, “exploring the business models that will determine success in different markets around the world, from the perspective of both senior leaders of global media groups and today’s most promising digital entrepreneurs.”

Joining Clara on the “Business of Social” panel were Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor of the Financial Times; Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Director of UK and Pan-Euro at Facebook; Gilles Storme, VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at King.com; and Richard Moross, CEO & Founder of Moo.com.

From left to right: Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor of the Financial Times; Hearsay Social CEO and Founder Clara Shih; Richard Moross, CEO & Founder of Moo.com; Gilles Storme, VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at King.com; and Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Director of UK and Pan-Euro at Facebook.

“One of the highest signals that you will likely want to have a mortgage or car loan is a life change,” said Christian. “If you got engaged or are expecting, I guarantee you’re going to have a lot of expenses coming up. You will probably need some advice from a helpful financial advisor. Those social signals feed into an econometric model, and then we help them go back and actually talk to the customer at the right time.”

In an age where mistrust of corporations has never been higher, many companies are seeing success by using social media to promote their employees as ambassadors of the corporate brand.

“The traditional big media world is much more affected by individuals,”  said Clara. “There is a blurring of lines across paid, earned and owned media. The same piece of content coming from a person versus a corporate brand performs better from an EdgeRank perspective and also ties back to individual curation. Consumers want to hear from human beings, oftentimes a friend or trusted advisor.”

More significantly, companies that effectively empower their employees on social media can activate an additional channel to connect with customers.

“Media is not just about paid, owned, and earned; there is also employed media. Your brand ambassadors can be extremely effective authentic channels for connecting with your customers and prospects,” Clara explained.

Watch a recording of the conversation on FT Live.

Gen Williams

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