American Express Debuts Twitter Tool
Expanding its social media services, American Express OPEN forum has launched a new tool allowing small business owners to share Twitter posts through the site.
The new feature, dubbed Pulse, will display tweets from OPEN forum members through an applications programming interface (API), and help them promote themselves and connect with other small businesses. Users can sort the latest tweets by industry, current trends, or keyword.
American Express OPEN, the financial giant's small business unit, found that nearly 60% of entrepreneurs feel challenged in finding innovative ways to market their business -- but only 10% are turning to online social networking, based on a recent survey.
To help educate small business owners on the topic, OPEN Forum has also started a dedicated social media section, featuring a group of expert contributors including John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing; entrepreneur Rafe Totengco of Rafe New York; and Adam Ostrow, editor in chief of social media blog Mashable. The new section features both articles and podcasts of interviews with the assembled experts.
American Express is not the only one catering to businesses' social media needs. New York-based startup Postling has introduced a centralized platform for companies to manage their social networking accounts. That includes properties like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr.
Postling is free for personal and small business use, but larger organizations are charged $250 and up, depending on how many people are using the service and the number of brands being managed. So far, the service has attracted about 600 companies, mostly public relations and ad agencies that handle social media efforts for multiple brands, according to co-founder and CEO David Lifson.