As we mentioned last week, Twitter hashtags appear to be taking over the world – and this is just another proof point. American Express, the credit card giant that partnered with Twitter last month to bring self-serv ads (promoted accounts and promoted tweets) to select businesses, is now skillfully using (and growing) its significant Twitter presence as its base for automating special offers for cardmembers via #hashtags.
If you’re on Facebook or use Foursquare, you may have already noticed the offers from various companies for American Express cardholders. If not, though, and you’re an AmEx card member, you’re in for a treat! As the American Express sign up page tells us, “tweeting your way to savings” is very straightforward:
- Sync your eligible American Express® Card with Twitter
- Tweet the special offer #hashtags to load exclusive Cardmember offers directly to your Card
- Save with an automatic statement credit when you make a qualified purchase in store or online with your synced Card
So once you sync your account, you’ll find offers either by following specific brands on Twitter or by checking the AmEx “favorites” page where they retweet the offers. Here are some of the current offers that are listed right now:
As you can see, the offer tells you what to do next. Just tweet using the offer’s specific hashtag and then you’ll receive a confirmation tweet back from @AmexSync that says the following:
And viola! The offer is registered on your synced AmEx card and when you make your purchase the offer is automatically credited to your account. Easy peasy.
So it seems American Express has gone where few companies have gone before (again) and has found a way to not only grow its own following and the followings of its business partners, but it has also figured out a way to solidly demonstrate social media ROI. Fast Company has dubbed AmEx the “social credit card” and that sounds about right, considering.
The benefit of the service is as much about the deal for the consumer as it is the data for the merchant. “We can go to Whole Foods or any merchant we work with and give them information and analytics,” says AmEx vice chairman Ed Gilligan. “How many people used the offer? What was the size of the shopping cart when they checked out? Did that customer come a week later or a month later?”
In other words, AmEx has finally developed a way to demonstrate a tweet’s ROI–and not just in terms of commerce. The deals will also have a benefit on Twitter, leading to “more trending topics, more followers, and more conversations,” says Leslie Berland, SVP of digital partnerships and development at AmEx. “Are our followers growing? Are people talking about our business? Are people engaging with our content?”
BUT this cardholder has a valid question, we think: Is social networking being destroyed by corporations?
And that thought is mirrored by this commenter on the Fast Company piece. Aren’t we already starting to feel a bit spammed online?
There are great deals available here, absolutely – but does it take the “social” out of social networking? And will businesses eventually take over, turning online into one big ad space? What do you think?
(savings ahead image from Shutterstock)