Social Media Marketing the AmEx Way

by Michelle Salater on May 25, 2012


Since social media arrived on the online marketing menu, it has evolved and changed at a dizzying pace. The companies that have been most successful in the social media arena are those who see the ever-changing landscape as an opportunity to serve their clients’ needs in ever-improving ways.

American Express has been at the forefront of that movement. Its success in marketing on social media platforms demonstrates a commitment not to selling itself, but to improving the lives the people it serves. Ultimately, that yields more loyal customers.

Keys to Success in Social Media Marketing

Here’s a look at what your business can learn from American Express—even if you aren’t listed in the Fortune 100.

  • Give your clients a reason to follow you. American Express has more than 18,000 followers on its @AmEx handle, and it didn’t garner so much popularity by accident. It uses Twitter as a venue for offering exclusive money-back offers to cardholders who tweet specific #hashtag codes and make specific purchases. Take a page from the AmEx playbook and offer deals, bonuses, and freebies exclusively to those who follow you on Twitter.
  • Limit yourself to what you can do well. American Express maintains a robust presence on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and YouTube—and on all these platforms, the company shines. But AmEx boasts a net worth north of $14 billion and employs almost 70,000 people worldwide. If you company can’t feasibly produce top-quality videos that provide real value to your clients, it’s okay to market minimally—or not at all—on YouTube. Instead, focus on producing high-quality marketing content that will inspire your clients to take action (i.e. convert).
  • Aim to engage with your audience. American Express uses Twitter to handle customer service issues as well as offer deals. On Facebook, its “Link, Like, Love” campaign allows users to get discounts and special offers on the products and services they’re most interested in. Keep your social media marketing content relevant by asking questions, responding to user comments, and providing your audience with content that shows them you value their time and want to make their lives better.

American Express has succeeded in social media because it doesn’t treat the platform as a place to “advertise for free.” Instead, AmEx recognizes that social media platforms allow businesses to engage with customers and potential customers in entirely new ways, and has begun experimenting with what those ways might be.

What social media marketing efforts have impressed you lately?

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