She’s begun by posing the misconception that so many have about the importance of social media for small businesses. She pointed out about the recent column by Steve Strauss on USA Today. On April 13th, he basically came out against business use of Twitter, in effect, not worth effort. What resulted was an avalanche comments against his perspective and they next day he wrote a new column, his mea culpa, a reconsideration of the value of Twitter for business.
So here she discusses Amex’ B2B Community Pillars:
1) Service & People
2) Data & Insights
3) Global Reach
4) Best Products & Partners and Services
So focusing with their internal marketing communication process, looking at
Awareness }} Consideration }} Conversation }} Loyalty & Usage
Now the use of communities expands and improves this process to create greater value and opportunity to engage their customers. Amex has determined that small business are so quickly and in increasing numbers using social media
Case Study: OPEN Forum
It’s a community from Amex to provide content and community platform to help small business owners manage their businesses. It’s a tool to create conversion and build loyalty and engagement. It is also not a closed community, much of the content is syndicated to appropriate external sites. Because of this they have focused on a particular content strategy:
1) Best of the Business
2) Has to be Authentic
3) Has to be Relevant
4) Has to be Timely
She then offered this example of a video clip from the INC. 500 Conference with Seth Godin
Because of these efforts Amex has seen significant outcomes including increased brand relevancy, brand loyalty, and ultimately, increased purchase considerations and card applications as a result of this effort.
Now switching gears, Pepper is offering the case study of business travelers. She presents a case study on Business Travel Connexion, an industry-wide platform for corporate travel management community, available to corporate decision makers but also includes their competitors, the first effort to do so. It offers unique Web 2.0 elements, some designed specifically with their current clients, while other functionally is widely available. In turn they also partner with Facebook and LinkedIn to promote the site and incorporate participation on these larger communities.
The results has once again included increased brand relevancy and brand loyalty; and later this year efforts will be for more in-depth measurements which they fill will demonstrate definite increase in purchase considerations.
In looking at these case studies, we now are looking at how Amex utilizes partnerships in order to co-create value in order to meet their needs for new content – best of breed and expert quality for their communities, and technology – opportunities for integration.