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Why American Express Did It Right When They Hired Guy Kawasaki & How You Can Too

It’s a common complaint from CEO’s and managers that social media is distracting the current workforce from their day to day tasks. As Dr.Daren Martin has mentioned in his book A Company Of Owners “If you find that your employees are on Facebook a lot the problem is not Facebook but rather employee engagement”. As a marketing officer I would like to add to that thought.

Although your employees might be spending too much time on social media the fact that they have and know how to use social media is actually an asset to your business, no matter what industry you’re in. Why you might ask? Because social media is taking businesses from a town with one road to a booming metropolis with many highways. While you might have no need for Stacy to have an Instagram account at this time consider this...

Organic web reach is hard to acquire and is very valuable. The Truth is most companies over look this as a quality for hire which gives you a chance to snap up individuals that will help your company increase it’s reach before everyone else realizes this is an asset. The reason organic reach is so powerful is because it is bringing in new leads and is not dependent on a marketing budget (basically it’s free advertising).

Example: When American Express decided to hire Guy Kawasaki to start writing for them on the American Express blog they greatly benefited from his organic reach due to his huge following on social media thereby greatly increasing the number of new leads entering their funnel. Although your staff might not have a reach that huge think about the combined reach of everyone who works at your company.

The next time you interview a possible new hire consider asking:

Do you have a blog?

Do you talk about our industry in your blog or personal stuff?

Do you have a YouTube channel?

How often do you post on social media?

When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile?

How many followers do you have on various social media platforms?

Would you be willing to share industry related thoughts and ideas on your blog, social media platforms or YouTube channel?

Food for thought - The next time you see Stacy post a selfie in the office bathroom mirror where she geographically checked-in to the company location, think about how her 100,000 followers are learning about your companies existence and what that could mean for your business.

So why not try encouraging staff to post on social media during company events? Offer a prize for the post that makes working at your company amazing or the best demonstration of your new product? Why not have a small session in place that discusses the do’s and don’ts of posting while still encouraging online sharing? Why not turn all your employees into marketer’s for your business? Why not increase the number of highways people can use to learn about your business?


Elise Martin
Chief Marketing Officer