American Express* - "Altruism has a long tail." Uniquely qualified to talk about the impact of altruism, American Express Open Forum VP of Social Media Laura Fink went behind the scenes of the hugely successful "Small Business Saturday" campaign that American Express launched back in November of 2010 to create a day where consumers could get rewarded with a $25 statement credit for shopping at a small business location. According to Fink, the campaign engaged more than 1.2 million small businesses around the country and also helped those businesses to see a 28% sales lift on the day of the promotion. Perhaps more importantly, it showed that doing something good can generate a real business impact for customers as well as for the big brand putting on the campaign. Southwest - "Have fun and be human." Fun and airline are not two words that anyone would typically use in the same sentence, yet Social Media Manager from Southwest Airlines Alice Wilson devoted a good part of her talk about how Southwest creates a more human brand by using an irreverant voice. The questions that keep many other large brands up at night in terms of making sure they have backup for employees who are running social media channels, or mapping everything back to some specific campaign or column on a spreadsheet don't seem to matter as much for Southwest. They have guiding principles around their social voice, yet Alice shares that most people who speak out for the brand "just get the hang of it." Without that formalized training or overly bureaucratic approach to managing every aspect of Southwest, the brand succeeds because they have such a strong culture that people start to take it on as their own from day one and this translates into social media. Get the full story at the Influential Marketing Blog