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Powerful women in the boardroom: Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih and other leaders speak at Fortune's inaugural Next Gen conference

What an an honor it was seeing our CEO Clara Shih take the stage at this week’s inaugural Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference, a meeting of esteemed women leaders across business, government, the arts and other sectors.

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih at Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit Next Gen
From left to right: Fortune Senior Editor at Large Pattie Sellers, former Microsoft executive Gerri Elliott, Flickr founder Caterina Fake and Hearsay Social CEO and founder Clara Shih.

In a unique session focused on women board members, Pattie Sellers (Senior Editor at Large at Fortune and Co-founder of Fortune MPW, @pattiesellers) spoke with Gerri Elliott (board member of Whirlpool, Bed Bath and Beyond and Charlotte Russe, @gerri_elliott), Caterina Fake (Chairman of the Board of Etsy and board director of Creative Commons, @Caterina), and Clara Shih (board member of Starbucks and Hearsay Social, @clarashih).

Each shared her unique journey to the boardroom and the individual challenges they had to overcome to get there. Of course, earning a seat in the boardroom is not the end of the journey–it’s the beginning.

To hear unique insights from Gerri, Caterina, and Clara, watch a video of the session and see some tweets below, and then check out Fortune’s piece on How to land a coveted corporate board seat.


Technology, the changing workplace, and entrepreneurship at Web Summit

Earlier this month, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih took center stage at Web Summit in Dublin to discuss the future of business with the technology industry’s most influential leaders–including Peter Thiel (Founder, Founders Fund, @peterthiel), Padmasree Warrior (Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Cisco, @padmasree), Drew Houston (Founder, Dropbox, @drewhouston), and many more.

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih at Web Summit 2014
Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih and Radius CEO Darian Shirazi chat with Caroline Hyde of Bloomberg at Web Summit 2014.

In their “centre stage” discussion, Clara Shih (CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social, @clarashih) and Darian Shirazi (Founder, Radius, @darian314) sat down with Caroline Hyde (Business Correspondent, Bloomberg, @CarolineHydeTV) to talk about big shifts in technology over the past decade, the changing face of the workplace, and some of the best words of wisdom they’ve gained as entrepreneurs.
Watch the full session here:


Autonomous blimps and internationalized code: Watch Hearsay Social engineers present at PyCon

Thank you to everyone that joined the Hearsay Social engineering team at PyCon last week! We had a blast, and we hoped you learned a lot at Scott and Ruchi’s sessions, which we’ve embedded below. Looking forward to seeing you all again next year.

Hearsay Social blimp at PyCon

Hearsay Social at PyCon

Programming an Autonomous 20 Foot Blimp with Python

Scott Lobdell, Hearsay Social software engineer, documents the journey of a less than conventional robotics application in which python is used as the logical controller of an autonomous 20 foot blimp. The blimp’s autopilot features, prolonged air time, large size, and smooth motion make it the ideal platform for aerial photography. Giving the blimp an onboard controller reduces the overall costs and requirements of the operation.
Be sure to read our special interview with Scott here and watch his PyCon talk below:


Localization Revisited

Is your web app ready for a global audience? Ruchi Varshney, Hearsay Social software engineer, explains why internationalizing your codebase with gettext ( might just be the simpler part of the puzzle. It’s hard to maintain translations in a fast paced deployment environment without constant manual intervention.
This talk covers tools and strategies you can adopt to automate your localization process and ensure high translation coverage:

How Hearsay Social has positively impacted Thrivent Financial's business

As a Fortune 500 financial services organization, Thrivent Financial manages approximately $90 billion in assets for nearly 2.5 million customers. And today they are one of the most innovative financial firms using social media for business.
In the below video, we sat down with Compliance and Sales leaders at Thrivent to hear about how social media has impacted their organization. First, we hear about the program’s business drivers from Knut Olson (SVP, Financial Network, Thrivent Financial), who notes that one cohort (versus a control group) experienced a 22% increase in customer acquisition mostly driven by social media.
Additionally, we hear from Paul Johnston (VP and Deputy General Counsel, Thrivent Financial) on overcoming the early compliance hurdles of social media. Check it out:

Executing social sales, part 1: A Twitter social sales success story

We often talk about social sales and salespeople using Hearsay Social to attract prospects, retain customers, and grow business.
Every day, we hear from you–our customers–how different people make their sales happen through social media in their own unique ways. But often salespeople new to social media ask, “How do I actually make that social sale happen?”
In this three-part series, we will share three stories detailing just how social salespeople were able to make their deals happen using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You will learn that each of these salespeople knew their audience, were patient, and, not surprisingly, proved to be quite social savvy.
In this first video, you’ll see how Brian, a social salesperson from a Fortune 500 company we work with, live-tweeted during a conference and ultimately ended up gaining a new follower. Want to know what happens next? You may be surprised to learn how valuable Brian’s new follower proved to be!
Take a look:

The future of social media

Half a year after the Facebook IPO, one of the biggest in Internet history, CNBC checked in with Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih for her insights on the social network, the viability of its ad network, and the opportunities for business. In short, Clara believes that first-movers, those early adopter organizations that reach out to their customers on social media today, will reap the most rewards.
Watch the “Squawk on the Street” interview in full below:

Hearsay Social customer success story: Thrivent Financial

Thrivent thumbWhen Thrivent Financial first got started on social media, the project was incredibly manual and time-consuming. Hours and hours spent snapping screenshots for compliance review left their social supervisory media team feeling drained and inefficient.
Realizing they needed a way to automate social media supervision for all their financial representatives, Thrivent started searching for social media management software that would not only ensure compliance coverage, but that would also be a valuable marketing tool for the entire organization. With a waitlist of field representatives asking for the green light to get on social, Thrivent wanted to do right by them.
After carrying out an exhaustive discovery, RFP, and proof of concept selection process, Thrivent selected Hearsay Social for both the sophistication of our technology as well as our team’s social media savvy.  Their vigorous selection process analyzed our ability to serve the needs across several different departments, from field representatives, to creative services, to principal reviewers, to recruiters.  Each of these teams weighed in throughout the process, ultimately deciding on the whole that Hearsay Social was the best choice.
Now, Hearsay Social has become Thrivent’s “one stop shop” for their social media program.  It has reduced content delivery time to field representatives by 75% and streamlined compliance supervision time (no more painful screenshots!).  Today, hundreds of financial representatives at Thrivent use Hearsay Social to power their social media pages with engaging daily content and complete compliance peace of mind. In the next year, more than a thousand representatives will come on board.
Hearsay Social is proud of and grateful for our partnership with Thrivent Financial.  Building a viable and successful social media program, within the bounds of the financial services industry, is no small task. Together, Thrivent Financial and Hearsay Social have put one in place that sets new industry standards, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this customer interview with Thrivent Financial explaining how we did it:

To learn more about how Thrivent finds success on social media, please read this analyst case study entitled How to achieve social media ROI in financial services.

Social Technologies Unlocked: Hearsay Social CEO speaks at Churchill Club

Would you believe that social media and social networks are mostly untapped across both the enterprise and consumer landscapes?
That’s the finding of a McKinsey Global Institute report entitled The Social Economy: Unleashing Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies. In advance of the report’s publication, several of the best minds in social media met in San Francisco for a panel discussion hosted by the Churchill Club, which has organized events for a quarter of a century with big names like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, and Arianna Huffington.
For the social technologies-focused session, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih sat on the panel amongst esteemed leaders in the social media space, including Wendy Arnott, VP of Social Media, TD Bank Group; BJ Fogg, Founder and Director, the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University; David Gutelius, Chief Scientist, Jive Software. The panel was moderated by Michael Chui, a Senior Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute.
View the discussion in its entirety in the video below and check out some of the best live tweets from the event:

Social media for financial services: Clara Shih discusses on AdvisorTV

This is where we’re at with financial services on social media, according to Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih:

Social media presents firms with a real challenge. We’re used to, in the financial services industry, being very top-down, command-and control with compliance and governance. But social media is inherently grassroots, bottoms-up-driven.
Initially, a lot of firms have found their corporate policy at odds with the way that LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter function. They’ve come to realize that it’s just not feasible to go and search every day on these sites to find which tens of thousands of their advisors have signed up for a profile, and try to shut them down manually.
And so the solution is making sure that the advisors are trained on both the risks (and how to avoid the risks), as well as the best practices and the new etiquette on social media.

Be sure to watch this video (in two parts) of Clara interviewed by Donna Mitchell, Senior Editor at Financial Planning, discussing the sea change in financial services’ relationship with social media.
Social Media Done Right, Part I
Social Media Done Right, Part II