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Legal update: State social media laws and implications on employer access to social passwords and data [UPDATED]

By:
Yasmin Zarabi, Esq.

Disclaimer: The material available on this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of the information provided herein.

Multiple states have passed laws or are actively considering legislation limiting the rights of employers to request or require employees to provide social media site user ID, passwords, or data. Laws go into effect as early as October 1, 2012 (Maryland) while an Illinois law has an effective date of January 1, 2013. See below for more detailed information on individual state laws.
As you know, our technology prompts employees to provide login credentials. At no point do employers have access to these login credentials; however, employers do have access to the contents of the communications, images, or other data associated with the login credentials as required by regulatory bodies such as FINRA and the SEC. We believe that voluntary participation in social media programs for business use, and employers’ resulting supervision and retention of this social media data, is appropriate and indeed necessary in many regulated industries or for other legal requirements.
Nevertheless, we caution our customer base and other organizations to carefully track legislative developments in the state jurisdictions applicable to your workforce, to seek independent outside legal advice, and to maintain updated policies and procedures consistent with these new laws. Unfortunately, a number of the laws are vaguely worded, and/or do not give definitions of key concepts such as “data” and “communications,” making it impossible for us to issue generic guidance about the effects of these laws. While some of the laws contain important exemptions for internal investigations and other necessary activities, others do not, thus necessitating the requirement to seek outside counsel in your region(s).
We write to assure you that we and our counsel are tracking these legislative developments closely and are seeking ways to influence state legislators and federal regulators so that these legitimate, compliance-oriented efforts to use social media can continue. Please contact legal@hearsaycorp.com with any questions or concerns about these important legal developments.

SIFMA and FINRA’s Stance on State Social Media Laws

Disclaimer: The links to the third-party sites provided herein are offered as a convenience to our customers and site visitors and do not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or guarantee of accuracy. We assume no liability for the content provided.

Excerpted from SIFMA News Bulletin:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) lobbied against the bill out of concern that it may conflict with rules set by FINRA requiring securities firms to supervise, record, and maintain business-related communications. SIFMA, in a June 22 letter, said the organization wanted “to be clear that the securities industry has no interest in accessing employee accounts that are used exclusively for personal use.” “The problem, however, is that many people use the same account for both personal and business activity,” it wrote.
According to a legislative staff analysis of the California bill, the conflict cited by FINRA does not exist because the organization is a private, self-regulatory body, and its rules are not federal statutes or regulations. Further, the legislative analysis said the bill does not conflict with FINRA because its rules obligate employers to supervise and retain communications only if they permit employees to use accounts for business purposes.

Text of SIFMA’s letter
Text of FINRA’s letter

Summary of State Laws or Proposed State Laws Regarding Employee Right to Privacy on Social Media

Last updated: February 7, 2013

Disclaimer: We are providing the following information on the various state laws for informational purposes and we do not guarantee accuracy or completeness of laws or information included. We assume no liability for the content provided. For the most updated information, please refer to the National Conference of State Legislators.

California

AB 1844: Prohibits employers from requiring an employee or a prospective employee to disclose a user name or account password to access a personal social media account that is exclusively used by the employee or prospective employee

  • 9/27/12: Signed by Governor; EFFECTIVE JAN 1, 2013.

SB 1349: Prohibits a postsecondary educational institution and an employer, whether public or private, from requiring, or formally requesting in writing, a student or an employee, or a prospective student or employee, to disclose the user name or account password for a personal social media account, or to otherwise provide the institution or employer with access to any content of that account

  • 8/24/12: Enrolled and sent to Governor; silent as to date of effectiveness

Exclusions: reasonably relevant to investigation related to employee misconduct or violation of law or regulation; employer IT

Colorado

HB 13-1046: Prohibits employers from requiring an employee or applicant to disclose their username, password, or other means for accessing a personal social media account.
Exclusions: non-personal accounts or services that provide access to the employers internal computer or information systems.   Also, this bill makes an exception for investigation relating to compliance with securities, financial law, or suspected unauthorized disclosure of proprietary information.

  • EFFECTIVE May 1, 2013.

Delaware

HB 309: Prohibits a public or nonpublic academic institution from mandating that a student or applicant disclose password or account information granting the academic institution access to the student’s or applicant’s social networking profile or account; prohibits academic institutions from requesting that a student or applicant log onto.
Exclusions: investigations of suspected criminal activity performed by a public or nonpublic academic institution’s public safety department or police agency or an investigation, inquiry or determination conducted pursuant to an academic institution’s threat assessment policy or protocol

  • 7/20/12: Signed by Governor; EFFECTIVE UPON ENACTMENT

HB 308: Prohibits employers from mandating that an employee or applicant disclose password or account information that would grant the employer access the employee’s or applicant’s social networking profile or account; prohibits employers from requesting that employees or applicants log onto their respective social networking site profiles

  • 6/21/12: Pending in House; amendment HA 2 introduced and placed with bill

Illinois

HB 3782: Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act by providing that it shall be unlawful for any employer to ask any prospective employee to provide any username, password, or other related account information in order to gain access to a social networking website where that prospective employee maintains an account or profile
Exclusions: lawful workplace policies regarding IT; routine IT monitoring; public domain

HB 5713: Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act by providing that it is unlawful for any employer to ask any prospective employee to provide any username, password, or other related account information in order to gain access to a social networking website where that prospective employee maintains an account or profile

  • 2/16/12: Referred to House Comm. on Rules

Maryland

HB 964 / SB 433: Prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service through specified electronic communications devices.
Exclusions: investigation to ensure compliance with securities or financial law or regulations; unauthorized transmittal of data to personal account

  • 5/02/12: Signed by Governor into law; EFFECTIVE 10/01/2012

Massachusetts

House Docket 4323: Prohibits any employer from asking any employee or prospective employee to provide password or any related account information in order to gain access to social media profile or e-mail
Exclusions: public domain; lawful workplace IT policies

  • 3/12/12: Filed
House Docket 503: Relates to social network privacy and employment.
  • 1/15/13: Introduced

Michigan

HB 5523: Prohibits employers and educational institutions from requiring certain individuals to disclose information that allows access to certain social networking accounts; prohibits employers and educational institutions from taking certain actions for failure to disclose information that allows access to certain social networking accounts
Exclusions: employer devices or accounts; unauthorized transfer of proprietary material; investigation to ensure compliance with laws or regulations; lawful pre-hire employee background checks

  • 12/31/2012 Approved by Governor after passage by LegislatureEFFECTIVE 12/31/2012

HB 5623: Prohibits employers and educational institutions from requiring certain individuals to disclose information that allows access to certain personal data storage accounts, such as social networking accounts; prohibits employers and educational institutions from taking certain actions for failure to disclose information that allows access to certain personal data storage accounts

  • 5/10/12: Referred to House Comm. on Energy & Technology

Minnesota

HB 2963: Prohibits employers from requiring social network passwords as a condition of employment

  • 3/26/12: Referred to House Comm. on Commerce & Regulatory Reform

Exclusions: lawful workplace IT policies

HB 2982: Prohibits employers from requesting or requiring social network user names, passwords, or related information

  • 3/29/12: Referred to House Comm. on Commerce & Regulatory Reform

Exclusions: lawful workplace IT policies

SF 2565: Prohibits employers from requiring social network passwords as a condition of employment

  • 3/27/12: Referred to Senate Comm. on Jobs & Economic Growth

Exclusions: lawful workplace IT policies

HB 293: Relates to employment; prohibits employers from requiring social network passwords as a condition of employment

  • 2/4/13: To House Committee on Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries

Mississippi

HB 165: Prohibits employer from obtaining passwords or other account information to gain access to social networking sites of employees and prospective employees; provides penalties for violations.

  • 1/14/13: To House Committee on Judiciary A

Missouri

HB 2060: Prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring an employee or applicant to disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service through electronic means

  • 4/30/12: Referred to House Comm. on Rules

Exclusions: employer internal IT systems

 HB 115: Prevents repercussions on employees or prospective employees for failure to disclose private information to the employer.
  • 1/9/13: Introduced.

SB 164Protects employees from being required to disclose personal user names or passwords.

  • 1/17/13; Introduced.

Montana

SB 195: Revises laws protecting job applicant and employee privacy related to social media; relates to labor and employment; relates to privacy.

  • 1/26/13: To Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Nebraska

LB 58: Adopts the Workplace Privacy Act.

  •  1/14/13: To Legislative Committee on Business and Labor.

New Hampshire

HB 379: Prohibits an employer from requiring a prospective employee to disclose his or her social media passwords.

  • 1/3/13: To House Committee on Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services. Filed as LSR 82.

HB 414: Prohibits an employer from requiring an employee or prospective employee to disclose his or her social media passwords.

  • 1/22/13: To House Committee on Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services. Filed as LSR 505.

New Jersey

AB 2878: Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications device by employers
Exclusions: compliance with law or regulation; lawful workplace IT policies

  • 11/12/12: Passed Senate. Received in the Assembly, 2nd Reading on Concurrence.

AB 2879: Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications devices by institutions of higher education

  • 5/10/12: Reported out of Assembly Comm. for 2nd reading

SB 1898: Prohibits requirement to provide information for access to account on social networking website by employer

  • 9/20/12: From Senate Committee on Labor as combined. For further action see SB 1915.

SB 1915: Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications device by employers

  • 10/25/12: Substituted by A2878.

SB 1916: Prohibits requirement to disclose user name, password, or other means for accessing account or service through electronic communications devices by institutions of higher education

  • 5/14/12: Referred to Senate Comm. on Labor

New Mexico

SB 371: Relates to employment; prohibits prospective employers from requesting or requiring a prospective employee to provide a password or access to the prospective employee’s social networking account.
  • 1/31/13: To Senate Committee on Judiciary.

New York

AB 443: Prohibits an employer from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose any means for accessing an electronic personal account or service.
  • 1/9/13: To Assembly Committee on Labor.

SB 1701: Protects the privacy of employees’ and prospective employees’ social media accounts

  • 1/9/13: To Senate Committee on Labor.
SB 2434: Prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service through specified electronic communications devices

  • 1/17/13: To Senate Committee on Labor.

North Dakota

HB 1455: Relates to Internet accounts and workplace privacy of social media accounts.

  • 1/21/13; To House Committee on Industry, Business and Labor

Ohio

SB 351: Prohibits employers, employment agencies, personnel placement services, and labor organizations from requiring an applicant or employee to provide access to private electronic accounts of the applicant or employee
Exclusions: lawful workplace IT monitoring

  • 6/12/12: Referred to Senate Comm. on Insurance, Commerce & Labor

Oregon

HB 2654: Prohibits employer from compelling employee or applicant for employment to provide access to personal social media account or to add employer to social media contact list; prohibits retaliation by employer against employee or applicant for refusal to provide access to accounts or to add employer to contact list; prohibits certain educational institutions from compelling student or prospective student to provide access to personal social media account

  • 1/14/13: Introduced.

SB 344: Establishes unlawful employment practice for certain actions taken by employer to access employee’s or prospective employee’s personal account on social networking website for employment purposes; declares emergency, effective on passage.

  • 1/14/13: Introduced.

Pennsylvania

HB 2332: Prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring that an employee or prospective employee disclose any user name, password or other means for accessing a private or personal social media account, service or Internet website
Exclusions: lawful workplace IT policies and monitoring; public domain information

  • 6/18/12: Referred to House Comm. on Labor & Industry

Rhode Island

HB 5255: Establishes a social media privacy policy for students and employees.

  •  2/5/13: To House Committee on Judiciary.

South Carolina

HB 5105: Prohibits an employer from asking an employee or prospective employee to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the employee’s or prospective employee’s profile or account on a social networking website; the refusal of an employee or prospective employee to provide a password, account information, or access to his account or profile on a social networking website to an employer must not be the basis of personnel action including, but not limited to, employment, termination, demotion, or promotions of the employee
Exclusions: public domain information; lawful workplace IT policies

  • 3/29/12: Referred to House Comm. on Judiciary

Texas

HB 318: Relates to prohibiting an employer from requiring or requesting access to the personal accounts of employees and job applicants through electronic communication devices; establishes an unlawful employment practice.

  • 1/8/13: Introduced.

HB 451: Relates to restrictions on access to certain personal online accounts through electronic communication devices by employers or public or private institutions of higher education. Establishes an unlawful employment practice.

  •  1/10/13: Introduced.

SB 118: Prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting access to the personal accounts of employees and job applicants through electronic communication devices; establishing an unlawful employment practice.

  • 1/8/13: Introduced.

Utah

HB 100: Modifies provisions addressing labor in general and higher education to enact protections for personal Internet accounts; enacts the Internet Employment Privacy Act, including defining terms, permitting or prohibiting certain actions by an employer; provides that the chapter does not create certain duties; provides private right of action; enacts the Internet Postsecondary Education Privacy Act.

  • 1/31/13: Introduced.

Vermont

SB 7:Relates to social networking privacy protection.

  • 1/11/13: To Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs. 

Washington

SB 5211:Concerns social networking accounts and profiles.

  •  1/23/13: To Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

Can your enterprise keep up with the social networks?

Ed. note: The following is an excerpt from David F. Carr’s InformationWeek article on a presentation delivered by Hearsay Social founder and CTO Steve Garrity at the recent E2 Innovate conference in Santa Clara. Read the article in full here.

Part of the challenge of social business is matching speeds between enterprises and organizations like Facebook with a “move fast and break things” philosophy, says Hearsay Social CTO Steve Garrity.
When two spaceships rendezvous in science fiction, the trickiest navigational maneuver is matching speeds and directions so they can dock, or maybe beam across. Captain Kirk’s Enterprise accomplished this on a regular basis, with all sorts of alien craft. Can your enterprise do as well at matching speeds with the social networks?
This question is inspired by Hearsay Social CTO Steve Garrity’s presentation on How to Match Speeds Between Your Enterprise and the Social Networks from the recent E2 Innovate conference in Santa Clara.
“Facebook changes every single day,” with Twitter and LinkedIn keeping almost the same pace — far different from the steady, measured pace of enterprise system development and implementation. “Move fast and break things” is a company motto at Facebook, he pointed out.

Read this article in its entirety at InformationWeek.

TechCrunch Founder Stories spotlights Hearsay Social's strong engineering culture

Engineers are the lifeblood of any true Silicon Valley organization. For any company with a vision of improving the world and streamlining the way business works, as Hearsay Social does by driving deeper customer relationships, great technologists and engineers are essential.
That’s why we’re so proud to see TechCrunch recognizing our strong engineering team and culture.
In the interview below, Michael Abbott (general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering) talks to Hearsay Social founder and CTO Steve Garrity about our company’s engineering culture—from its early development to the present.
What was it like starting an entirely new company after leaving one as large as Microsoft? Why does Hearsay Social regularly send engineers into the field to speak with customers and end users? How do we implement efficient processes to make the most of each engineers’ time?
Steve details answers to these questions and more in the interview. And remember, Hearsay Social is always hiring the best engineers, so get in touch!

Real estate webinar: "Top 10 Social Media Practices for Real Estate Pros"

Ed. note: This webinar has now passed. View it on demand here.

From traveling the country and speaking to tens of thousands of real estate professionals, I’ve discovered they have two main pain points when it comes to social media:

  1. Content strategy (i.e. “what should I be posting?”)
  2. Time and resources (i.e. “who is going to manage it?”)

Hearsay Social helps solve both of these problems. It’s an easy solution that complements any real estate agent or broker’s existing social media strategy and helps them get back to what they do best: working with buyers and sellers.
As part of my new partnership with Hearsay Social, I am thrilled to announce I’ll be leading a new webinar series to explain not only the benefits of Hearsay Social, but also to cover valuable social media education for real estate professionals.
Please join me for the first webinar with Hearsay Social on Wednesday, November 14 at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST.
In the webinar, I will be covering:

  • What is Hearsay Social and how can it help your real estate company?
  • Top 10 social media practices for real estate professionals
  • Content and social strategy for real estate agents and brokers
  • The ROI of social media: can you measure that?
  • Analytics in social media: what numbers should you be paying most attention to?

As a bonus, all webinar attendees will receive a FREE white paper highlighting the data and content covered in the webinar.
Don’t miss out – register today!
P.S. Make sure you follow along on Twitter during the webinar with our official hashtag #HSSwebinar.

Katie is the CEO and Owner of Katie Lance Consulting; a social media consulting firm and Chief Strategist for Inman News, the leader in real estate news and technology. Katie specializes in social media strategy and content development, and works with mid to large sized brands in the technology and real estate industries.

Hearsay Social CTO speaks on InformationWeek's 'Valley View'

Hearsay Social co-founder and CTO Steve Garrity was a featured guest on Valley ViewInformationWeek’s monthly live show.

Garrity (right) on set with Valley View hosts David Berland (left) and Fritz Nelson (center)

Garrity, who recently spoke at the InformationWeek 500 conference participated on the show’s Elevator Pitch segment, in which he had two quick minutes to deliver Hearsay’s message to a panel of judges. With a combined score of 23/30 from the show’s three judges, Garrity’s pitch earned the highest score of the segment.
The three critics appreciated Hearsay’s ability to empower local representatives to engage with customers via social media while maintaining brand consistency and protecting against marketing and PR blunders. To watch Garrity’s 2-minute pitch and the rest of the episode click here.
Valley View features the latest business technology news and sheds light on the most compelling happenings in Silicon Valley. Each month three “hot” companies and their executives are placed on the “hot seat.” The co-founders of Taptera and Alteryx participated in the segment with Garrity.

How is the brain like a social network?

Social media has become an essential tool for connecting businesses with potential customers. In previous posts we have demonstrated that having an understanding of the underlying structure of a social graph facilitates better, more authentic communication with your fan base. As a new member of the Hearsay Social Data Team, I’m excited to apply my neuroscience background in brain networks to this endeavor. The goal here is to give you a quick lesson in network science in order to demonstrate the value that Hearsay Social brings to companies who aim to optimize the balance between global and local social media communication.
Networks are everywhere. From social networks to search engines, we are all familiar with technology that takes advantage of very basic properties of complex systems. But Facebook or Google did not invent networks; any complex system can be modeled as a network where nodes are the elements of the system and edges represent the interactions between them.
For example, LinkedIn has a snazzy tool for visualizing your professional network. In my network you can see clusters that separate into people associated with schools I’ve attended, cities where I’ve lived, and the company where I currently work. This type of organization is probably quite intuitive to most of us, but what may be more surprising is that this clustering and pattern of connectivity is prevalent throughout both natural and man-made networks.
It’s a small world after all
Imagine that you are trying to tell a secret to every person at a noisy restaurant (that’s a normal thing to do, right?). You could tell one person, then they tell their neighbor, and so on, which would take a long time but would eventually get the job done. Alternatively, you could randomly select people in the room in hopes that they’ll disseminate the information, but it’s unlikely to reach everyone. A solution that lies between these two extremes is one that takes advantage of the layout of the restaurant: go from table to table telling small groups of people. In this way you can retain the integrity of the message while still reaching a large number of people.
Biological and man-made systems alike evolve to optimize the balance between having a constrained amount of physical space (not everything can be connected to everything) and a need for rapid communication. In network science, this balance is quantified in a much-studied network property called ‘small-worldness’. Small-world networks have many localized connections supporting clusters of related processing coupled with relatively few connections between these clusters. These networks can take many forms, from the metabolic structure of bacteria, to flight patterns across the globe; they all share the same underlying small-world property.

How is the brain like a social network?
Since my background is in neuroscience, I’m accustomed to finding structure in seemingly random networks of brain activity. Coming from this perspective, the complicated interactions amongst fans on a Facebook page or professional contacts in a LinkedIn network is strikingly similar to the way different parts of the brain communicate.
Similar to a large social network with clusters of friend groups, the brain is made up of many smaller regions specialized for processing certain types of information. For example, the occipital lobe (green cluster) selectively processes visual input from the outside world. There are many sub-regions of the occipital lobe that are even further specialized to process more complex aspects of visual stimuli (i.e. motion, color, etc). Once the information has been processed locally through highly connected clusters of nodes (or neurons), the output can be sent through relatively long-range connections to other regions of the brain. If there is a decision to be made (throw a baseball), the frontal cortex (yellow cluster) incorporates this with other pre-processed information it has obtained from other local clusters in the brain and sends the appropriate output signals to motor cortex.
How can we use this understanding to take advantage of social media?
Social media has emerged as a natural way to connect to consumers on a more personal level than mass email marketing or other bulk communication techniques. By having a local business page, you are more likely to engage in a meaningful way with fans of your page and provide content that is specific to the users. However, having a single Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. will only allow for communication with a subset of all potential customers. This is the tough problem that Hearsay Social aims to solve: how can a large organization possibly manage the huge number of local pages required to reach the largest number of potential customers?

Above is a network visualization of an organization that has a single corporate page, hundreds of local pages and thousands of recently engaged fans. The small black circles represent individual fans that have engaged with any of the Facebook pages in the organization and the larger colored circles represent each Facebook page, the larger the circle, the larger the fan base. Thus, the large green circle in the middle is the corporate page for this organization, which has the most fans. The edges in this graph represent any engagement between the fan and the Facebook page (i.e. commented or liked a post). Each cluster in the graph has a different color and represents small communities of fans on a particular local Facebook page. As you can see, the highly clustered pattern of connectivity enables the organization as a whole to disseminate information and respond on a personal level with a massive number of individuals.
A critical lesson from the brain and other complex networks that share a small-world architecture is that the most efficient way to transfer information is to structure the organization into smaller groups that have many individual connections but are connected sparsely to each other. Hearsay Social is a platform that epitomizes this organization. Namely, by enabling local branches to connect with potential customers while still remaining compliant with the corporate brand, Hearsay Social, much like the human brain, becomes a complex infrastructure supporting quick and efficient communication.
References:

  1. Guimera R, Amaral LA (2005). Functional cartography of complex metabolic networks. Nature. 433: 895-900.
  2. Wang et al (2010). Graph-based network analysis of resting-state functional MRI. Front Syst Neurosci. 4: 1-14.
  3. Newman & Girvan (2004). Finding and evaluating community structure in networks. Phys Rev. 69 (026113): 1-15.
  4. Vertes et al (2011). Topological isomorphisms of human brain and financial market networks. Front Syst Neurosci. 5 (75): 1-12.

CRM Magazine names Hearsay Social a 2012 CRM Rising Star

We are proud to announce that CRM Magazine, a leading resource on customer relationship management (CRM), recently named Hearsay Social “The Social Media Pro” and a 2012 CRM Rising Star.
The magazine’s “2012 CRM Rising Stars” article profiles both young and long-serving companies of the software world. While these companies vary in size and age, CRM highlights what they all in common: “their innovations are motivating people to act.”
Hearsay Social is featured on the list because of its unique ability to power enterprises on social media, from sales and marketing to compliance and legal. Large companies like our customers Northwestern Mutual, Farmers Insurance, and 24 Hour Fitness are increasingly taking note of the influence and staying power that social media has in the business world. Companies that can harness and use social media to their advantage will continue to win over companies that don’t.
CRM Magazine has identified Hearsay Social as the “x” factor in the social media space.
In addition, we’d like to congratulate fellow “rising stars” Adobe, Badgeville, and the other companies leading the way in how businesses approach digital marketing. Hearsay Social, along with the rest of these companies has entered new and untapped markets with great success, furthering the power of CRM.
Click here to read up on CRM Magazine’s complete list of “Rising Stars.”

The huge productivity advantage of social media

Ed. note: This post is the third in a series drawing from Mainstay Salire’s study on Social Media ROI: Quantifying the Benefits of Social Media Marketing Platforms for the Enterprise. Download the entire report for free here.

Increased Employee Business Use of Social Media and Productivity

While most of the businesses previously had local social media presences, Hearsay Social offered a level of convenience and scalability that attracted agents, advisors, and local-branch marketers. Access to corporate content libraries, auto-scheduling, compliance tools, analytics, and the flexibility to customize each post were all features that appealed to users. Uptake of the solution was rapid across the companies studied and training needs were reported to be minimal.
Findings

  • Average of 4X increase in employee activity on social media across companies studied
  • 90% of advisors at financial firm joined a pilot rollout of Hearsay Social and 87% continued to use the platform after the pilot, demonstrating strong buy-in, adoption, and ease of use
  • 75% of advisors said the platform improved how they used Facebook as a business tool

Faster, More Efficient Delivery of Corporate Content to Local Networks

At the corporate level, marketers noted the productivity advantage of an enterprise-wide platform for managing social media programs. Reusable content libraries, automated compliance checks, and other management tools were key to streamlining production and delivery of content to field networks. Ease of integration with back-end systems (e.g., ERP systems, compliance supervision and archiving systems, and monitoring tools such as Lithium) contributed to minimizing maintenance and support costs.
Findings

  • More than 70% reduction in steps to convert, package, and deliver corporate content to local networks
  • Creating and leveraging content library reduced compliance administration, content reviews, and rework

Easier Creation of Content at Local Level

Local teams leveraged the social media platformto access corporate content and marketing ideas, customized to local needs. By providing a common, easy-to-use platform across all channels, Hearsay Social enabled more frequent use of social media. On average, companies reported a 50% reduction in effort needed to create and manage social media content at the local level.

Thanks for reading! If you want to learn more, download Mainstay Salire’s study on Social Media ROI: Quantifying the Benefits of Social Media Marketing Platforms for the Enterprise.

Why you need a social CIO

“With the experience our employees have as consumers, I believe it is important for me as CIO to understand the experiences they are enjoying and how to bring those same experiences into the workplace in a ‘fit for business’ way.” — Jeanette Horan, Chief Information Officer of IBM

LinkedIn is now a publicly traded company, and the professional social network is accessed by 150 million people every month. Facebook, which is going public very soon, is accessed by a mind-blowing 901 million people every month. Other social networks, like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, are likewise seeing record engagement rates as consumers continue to crave a social experience with everything they do online.
These statistics are startling because they illustrate the “consumerization of IT,” or an increasing tendency for new technologies to first be adopted by mainstream consumers before businesses. If organizations today want to keep up, they must look to the behaviors of their very employees for insight into which technologies can help them build a better business.
Forbes recently published an article discussing the new era of the social business, which must be led by a “Social CIO” that understands the importance of social media and social networking to their organization. Their perspective falls much in line with our own:

For CIOs, managing is about understanding an organization’s people, information and technologies. Their task is to make people capable of exceptional performance, to enable teams to collaborate and to prepare an organization to be more effective. This is what the true role of the CIO is all about, and it is the reason that she is critical to building a social business.
To understand that LinkedIn is important for networking and identifying subject matter experts; to see that Twitter can be used to communicate ideas to a broad audience; to grasp that Facebook is a valuable tool for connecting friends and family through shared interests; to appreciate that Google+ represents a new break-through in long form communication and collaboration are all important to understand when designing the information flow and technologies for the social enterprise.

It’s a challenge, but every organization will need to rethink themselves as a social business. From hiring to marketing to sales, everyone at your organization is a brand ambassador, and it’s up to the CIO to put the infrastructure in place to make that happen.
Looking for a good role model? Here’s a graphic highlighting the top 25 Social CIOs in the Fortune 250, as identified by harmon.ie:

Curious to learn more about the new role of the Social CIO? Check out some of these posts: