American Express announced an innovative social media integration with Twitter this week, enabling US cardmembers to turn customized Twitter hashtags into savings via sync.americanexpress.com. Promoted with the tagline “Sync. Tweet. Save.” the social marketing promotion is the most direct use of Twitter to date by a brand that creates a real utility for customers: couponless savings loaded directly to their synced cards and automatically delivered in a credit statement.
“With Twitter, we’ve really hit the trifecta. We have a great platform in Twitter,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express. “We know our cardmembers are engaged in Twitter. We’ve been working with them to think about how can we help them move from conversations to commerce. To turn a tweet into a transaction.”
Brands trying out Amex Sync include Best Buy, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Century 21, The Cheesecake Factory, Dell, FedEx Office, FTD, Gulf, H&M, Seamless.com, Sports Authority, Ticketmaster, Virgin America and Zappos. They'll be closely watching the analytics on this test, with the Amex Synch API offering also supplying reports to merchants about customer spending, online and offline.
And if they're in Austin for SXSW on March 12th, they can celebrate at a concert featuring Jay-Z.
American Express will showcase “Sync. Tweet. Save.” during a concert, “Amex Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z” from SXSW on March 12 at 7 p.m. CT. Eligible cardmembers in Austin will receive $10 when they sync their Card, tweet the special offer #AmexAustin10 and use their synced card to spend in Austin during SXSW from March 9 to March 13.
The "Amex Sync Show" with Jay-Z, which will be streamed live to the world via the American Express YouTube channel, whose involvement will help promote the Amex/Twitter partnership to a younger audience than the typical Amex cardholder.
“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,” commented Fast Company.
The upside for brands: “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," stated Leslie Berland, SVP of digital partnerships and development at Amex.
Amex has been championing social media across its businesses, and previously partnered with Foursquare on check-in deals, and Facebook Likes for rewards. Now, this latest integration with Twitter “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.”
Mike Dudas on Google's mobile commerce team tweeted his approval: “AmEx digital marketing & promotion team is playing a different game than any other card networks or issuers. Brilliant…”
Adding the Twitter experience to their social currency platform which also includes their Serve FacebookApp confirms the brand’s leaderboard position in social media engagement currency.
“Just as important as the product launch is that AMEX gets Twitter and is using the Twitter platform natively," commented Rocky Agrawal to VentureBeat. "As soon as I tweeted, I got a @rakeshlobster mention confirming that the deal was loaded to my card. Instead of a separate landing page to highlight the special offers, AMEX presents them as a list of favorites from the AMEX Twitter account. Each links back to the merchant’s Twitter account. That’s the kind of smart thinking and brand integration I rarely see."