With more than 1.23 billion active users Facebook has become a great platform for marketers out there who are looking to connect with the consumers. It provides a wonderful platform to target specific audiences and get benefited from the sharing that occurs naturally on the platform as consumers spend an enormous amount of time on this social outlet. Knowing the fact, companies have leveraged this platform to achieve some ultimate results when it comes to marketing and American Express (AMEX) is one of them.

AMEX is a global service company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. American Express OPEN is dedicated to helping small business owners run and grow successful businesses.

Let’s go through the success story of AMEX and see how it increased its revenue generation by 28% through Facebook.


sms1 AMEX offers a service named as American Express OPEN that aims at assisting small businesses. The mission statement of this service is ‘Helping Businesses Do More Business’. The service also led to the conceptualization of the program called “Small Business Saturday,” a day when American would shop at their local stores and not at large corporations. This is a way AMEX could bring customers to the local businesses, bring together U.S. consumers in the effort, and build up its relationships with small businesses. To accomplish this objective AMEX created a Facebook page named as “Small Business Saturday,” and launched Marketplace Ads and Premium Reach Blocks to drive people to the page. Apart from asking consumers to shop local on Saturday, the page also advertised for 10,000 small businesses.


sms 2

  •  Help small businesses do more business. Create a national movement called Small Business Saturday in order to drive business to small businesses.



  • Registered with Facebook and created a Facebook Page named as ‘Small Business Saturday’
  • Launched a media campaign on Facebook in order to raise awareness of Small Business Saturday
  • In order to gain maximum awareness of the movement and encourage consumers to engage a media campaign was launched in which a series of ad placements including Marketplace ads and premium reach blocks, which drove to a dedicated Small business Saturday Page were used.
  • Simple calls-to-action were used
  • Clear incentives were given to all the participants.
  • Consumers who used their AMEX card at a small business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving received a $25 credit, when they spent $25.
  • Provided 10,000 businesses free advertising on Facebook and offered them in-store materials to promote the event to their customers

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  •  On “Small Business Saturday,” small businesses saw a 28% increase in revenue over the prior year. Retail only saw 9% increase in revenue
  •  In the general public, 47% who saw American Express’s efforts on Facebook had a more favorable impression of the company
  •  More than 100,000 small business owners downloaded promotional materials from the Facebook page, and 10,000 small businesses signed up and received free Facebook advertising
  • The Facebook page received over 1.4 million fans
  • 41 elected officials declared November 27, 2010 “Small Business Saturday”
  • The event received about 3,000 mentions in the press

Words by John Hayes-Chief Marketing Officer, American Express

John Hayes





“Not only were we able to get a fan base of a million and a half people on Facebook supporting Small Business Saturday, but when you think about their friends, we’re talking about over 100 million people being aware of Small Business Saturday. We don’t know any other way that we could have scaled that level of awareness and that level of engagement in less than two and a half weeks.”

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