American Express Connects with Small Business Professionals on LinkedIn

by on Feb 27, 2012

amexThis article first appeared in the ABA Banking Journal.

American Express recently released a new video series titled Social Media Show + Tell, which helps small business owners enhance their social media skills. Interestingly, the videos are available exclusively within AmEx’s Business Knowledge Share LinkedIn group.

The firm has effectively used social media outlets to connect with small business owners in the past through the OPEN Forum website and OPEN Facebook page. Now, AmEx is starting to utilize LinkedIn’s professional social network space and is using the new videos to attract the attention of small business owners.

American Express Business Knowledge Share LinkedIn Group
American Express created the Business Knowledge Share LinkedIn group in July 2011. The group offers a platform for small business professionals to communicate with one another about topics related to running a business. Members can comment, “Like,” and flag discussion topics. The group is “gated,” thus all prospective members need to be approved by American Express.

Business experts contribute to the discussion group by offering advice and tips. The LinkedIn group also serves as a support system for small business owners and an engine for growth. For example, a recent discussion topic encouraged members to share each other’s Facebook business pages and increase engagement by offering feedback, commentary, and “Liking” items.

American Express uses the Manager’s Choice section and a promotional image to increase the visibility of the aforementioned “Social Media Show + Tell” videos within the group. The firm also highlights the members who have had the most influence with their discussion topics each week. Since the release of the Social Media Show +Tell videos, the group has gained over 2,000 members, bringing its membership to over 4,400 members and counting.

Social Media Show + Tell Videos
American Express introduced the Social Media Show & Tell video series in January 2011. Each video features a knowledgeable host and social media industry insider that teach viewers how to get the most out of their social media sites.

The first set of Social Media Show + Tell videos explain how having a Facebook page can help business owners connect with existing customers and attract new customers. The three videos are narrated by Neha Kulkarni, an account manager at Facebook, who also posted FAQs related to the videos on the discussion board. Among the various topics discussed in the videos are how to attract fans and engage them with discussions, polls, and offers. As the videos are posted on the discussion boards, members can comment or pose questions to the individual appearing in the video.

Final thoughts
American Express’ Business Knowledge Share LinkedIn group offers business professionals another outlet to share ideas and help spread awareness about their companies. The exclusive placement of the Social Media Show + Tell video series within the group has nearly doubled membership and, potentially, will help increase the quantity and quality of the discussions. The launch of the video series has been a big win for both American Express and the firm’s LinkedIn group members.


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