Spotlight on Jason Weaver, CEO & Founder of Shoutlet

It’s not often we have a company based in the Midwest take on SMWNYC as one of our local sponsors, but this year, Shoutlet has is defying tradition. An enterprise social marketing software company, Shoutlet leads social media management in many areas. And we couldn’t think of a better partner to keep SMWNYC fully charged. You’ll be able to find Shoutlet all week at our Global Society Hub with their Power Lounge and at their energizing panel on Friday in the Advertising and Marketing Hub, but until then, meet Jason Weaver. Jason is founder and CEO at Shoutlet, and can be found on Twitter at @jasondweaver. We thought we’d let him share a bit about who Shoutlet is and why you should take note.

Jason, the global theme for SMW 2012 is “Empowering Change through Collaboration.” How does Shoutlet support this idea overall?
As an enterprise social marketing platform, we’ve seen firsthand the changes in social media over the past several years. From a brand perspective, collaboration has become a critical part of running an effective social media program. Companies are hiring more professionals to handle social media, and reports from Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang found companies are managing an average of 178 social media accounts. Finding processes and tools to collaborate with colleagues within an organization to execute engaging, creative social campaigns and maintain a level of one-on-one dialog with customers is more important than ever for global brands.

Shoutlet produces enterprise social marketing software and recently was honored as the first social media management system to meet the High Standard of Security. Can you tell us how you balance efficiency and usability with something as important as security? How is Shoutlet leading the way in this area?
We’ve worked very hard to ensure the highly secure, highly technical back-end functionality of social media management does not impede usability or creativity. We’re very proud to have been named the first, and currently the only, social media management platform to have met the high standards of a SOC2 audit.

You recently released a White Paper on Making an Informed Decision on Social Media Management Systems. What are the top aspects companies should be aware of? 
We’ve outlined many considerations to weigh when making such an important choice, but chief among them is to know what you want to accomplish before embarking on the selecting process. This will help prevent adopting a long-term platform that really doesn’t mesh with your unique social program. Check out Altimeter’s “A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation” as well; they’ve laid out some excellent guidelines for companies.

As most of our sponsors are local to NYC, how does your location in the Midwest allow you to bring a different perspective to Social Media Week?
The beauty of social is physical location has become nearly irrelevant. We all work in the same spaces online. That said, having our headquarters in the Midwest has really illustrated to us that talent is everywhere. We have Shoutlet staff in 15 cities around the world, but Madison is where most of our crew is based. And from there, we support our product for customers in nearly 50 countries. So our message is amazing, innovative things are happening everywhere.

We’re excited to hear that Shoutlet will be activating the Shoutlet Power Lounge in the Global Hub this year. How does the theme of your lounge fit into your brand’s current initiatives?
This year we’re emphasizing some of the feedback we’ve heard from brands, especially the need to be able to take full control of their social media. Our Shoutlet Power Lounge plays into our mission to provide all the power of social media to brands – all in their hands. Social media moves too quickly to be limited by the tools you’re using, and we’ve built Shoutlet to be a maneuverable and flexible platform for companies. (It also moves too quickly to have your phone or laptop lose power, so we’ll have plenty of ways to recharge in our lounge.)

Shoutlet will be hosting a panel led by some notable CMOs and Community Managers. What sort of engagement do you hope to receive from top brands?
We feel there’s a very lively discussion to be had around where data, strategy, and timing meets creative execution to result in the optimal social experience for both consumer and brand alike. Relevant, thoughtful, and timely engagement can be coupled with sophisticated data acquisition and targeted segmentation to meet everybody’s needs – should be a powerful dialogue.