Why Capital One and American Express are the top financial services brands on Facebook


Capital One and American Express are the top financial services brands on Facebook, according to a chart compiled by social media analytics tool socialbakers.

While Capital One’s Facebook page features within the top 150 brands on this list, and the American Express Facebook page is just outside it, the next most successful financial services brand on Facebook is US based direct banking and payment services company Discover, which charts at the 300 mark, saying a lot about the use of Facebook among global financial services brands.

In fact, this forms a large part of the reason why Capital One and American Express are the top financial services brands on Facebook  - it’s the fact that they are on and engaging with their audience in the first place.

Plus, as both brands are credit card providers they have the opportunity to engage their audience with content that is not directly related to the financial world, ie, topics  related to the deals they have secured with other travel and leisure brands for example, or discussing areas where their customers and prospects may choose to put the spend on credit cards, like holidays or cars.

Using socialbakers to dig a bit deeper into the content and engagement strategy for both Capital One and and American Express reveals some interesting results.

An overview (to the left) of both Facebook pages shows that Capital One has 125, 813 more fans than American Express, which, in the grand scheme of things of the total number of fans they both have, is not that much of  a difference.

However, looking at the  ”people talking about” and engagement rate levels is where things get interesting.

American Express has over 10 times the number of people talking about them than Capital One, and an engagement rate that is triple that of Capital One. In fact, as the chart below shows, Capital One’s “people talking about” rate seems to be consistently low, with little sign of improving:

What’s interesting to note is that American Express had a similar level of “people talking about” to Capital One until a staggered increase from 15th December 2011 onwards and then a massive peak, and then subsequent slower increase,  from 23rd January this year.

The reason for this dramatic climb was likely to be the Facebook status update that advance tickets to the 2012 NBA All-Star Jam Session were available to all American Express Cardmembers.

In actual fact, it’s status updates along these lines that are the key driver for American Express’ high engagement levels. They don’t post regularly, and in fact have only posted content 5 times since the start of 2012, but their status updates are carefully crafted to ensure maximum engagement by highlighting the benefits of being an American Express cardholder.

In the mean time, ever since early September, Capital One has let their content strategy dip completely and they have  barely posted anything since. Previously posting regular content, almost on a daily basis, has probably helped to keep their ranking quite high in the socialbakers chart, but I wonder how much longer this will be the case. Their most recent post, back in early December read:

And having not posted since suggests some kind of unresolved technical or social media management error. This is not a good post to leave hanging at the top of the feed and someone from Capital One would do well to look into resolving the issue and adding new content, rather than leaving the page hanging.

With only one financial services brand in socialbakers top 150 Facebook pages chart it will be interesting to note how many other financial services brands start engaging through Facebook, and whether they have the same success as the likes of American Express.


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  1. Only 1% of Facebook Fans Engage With The Brand | The Super Market Inc.:

    [...] Why Capital One and American Express are the top financial services brands on Facebook (freshnetworks.com) [...]

  2. Rich Pesce:

    Hello Jo. Rich from Capital One here…appreciate you including Capital One in your blog post, but please give another check to our page. Regarding posting frequency - I’m not sure how you arrived at your conclusion since there has been no interruption to our posting schedule. I would be happy to help.

  3. Jo Stratmann:

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for your comments. According to this page it looks like you haven’t posted anything since 4th December. https://www.facebook.com/capitalone?sk=wall

    Have I been looking at the wrong page?

    Many thanks

  4. Rich Pesce:

    Thanks Jo. Are you sure you are logged into Facebook when you arrive at our page? That’s the only reason I know of for why you might be seeing posts from so long ago. Feel free to shoot me an email at richard dot pesce at capitalone dot com if it helps.
    Best regards,

  5. Jo Stratmann:

    Hi Rich,

    I am definitely logged in and I even did a hard refresh of the page and I still get the same screen. I’m viewing in Chrome for your reference.

    I’ve sent you an email with the screenshot attached.