The American financial titan has come up with a new way to implement social media interaction, and allow it’s customers to save.
American Express launched its latest product in March 2012, it is a way for customers to link their credit cards to their Twitter accounts, then start tweeting special hashtags to get discounts automatically applied to their cards.
“We want to be everywhere our card members and merchants are—and that is increasingly online and on their mobile devices—to deliver the unique experiences and offers that our customers expect from us,” says Bradley Minor, vice president of social media communications at American Express.
With the partnership, AmEx helps fortify its role as the credit card for the social media generation–and, apparently, following through on the whole Social Currency idea beyond offering membership points rewards. In addition to its partnership with Twitter, the company, which boasts more than 90 million cardholders worldwide, has already rolled out a national program with Foursquare for check-in deals and Facebook for rewards through Likes. AmEx aims to be the connective tissue between merchants and consumers on social media that will provide a mix of offers, data, and branding to its members.
As with Foursquare, the process of syncing your AmEx account to your Twitter account is a quick, one-time process. Once linked, U.S. cardholders have the opportunity to earn rewards by tweeting special offers from hashtags. “Tweet #AmExWholeFoods, get $20 back 1x on next $75 in-store purchase,” Whole Foods might tweet. Once the consumer tweets the #AmExWholeFoods hashtag, the offer is automatically loaded into that member’s account, ready to be redeemed effortlessly the next time he or she shops at Whole Foods.
American Express needs more than just business partners of course, they need customers to sign up too, and the company has found creative ways to tell them about the program. For instance, AmEx had a big presence at this year’s South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Customers with the AmEx card could stream live performances by syncing their cards to their Twitter accounts.
“Twitter is already being used as a platform to connect buyers and sellers, but no one has really nailed it in terms of proving that Twitter conversations can drive directly to commerce, or that tweets can really be linked to transactions,” says Dave Wolf, VP of global business and market development at AmEx. “That’s what we’re really excited about doing.”
First and foremost, Minor asserts that the process of linking one’s credit card to his or her Twitter account is safe. In an FAQ on the Sync website, the company assures customers that none of the personal information is being shared with Twitter. It all goes through a secure AmEx website. With that out of the way, why use hashtags to begin with? Because it’s something that’s never been done before, and it’s easy. When a card member sends a tweet using one of the specified hashtags—say, #AmexSeamless—an automated account, @amexsync, picks up on it.
“This sophisticated handle detects if a user is already synced and either confirms their offer enrollment or provides a link to first sync their American Express card to enroll in the selected offer,” Minor says.
From there, the deal is built in to the credit card. So if a card member tweets #AmexSeamless, he or she will get $5 off his or her next purchase from the food delivery service, just by using the card.
AmEx doesn’t usually tweet deals from its own Twitter account. Instead, the companies offering the deals tweet those out, and American Express catalogs them on its favorites page. All the current offers are there. If a customer tweets an expired hashtag, @amexsync will tweet back to let him or her know it’s expired, offering a link to the favorites page. Minor says he can’t share specific numbers for how many people have synced their cards, but he says American Express’ retail partners have offered “fantastic feedback.”