American Express made headlines recently by launching its new Twitter program, Amex Sync. Through this new feature, users who sync their American Express credit card info with Twitter are able to purchase products that AmEx highlights, simply by Tweeting designated purchase hashtags.
While the Tweet-to-purchase program is currently limited to participating merchants and products (such as American Express gift cards and items from Amazon, Urban Zen, and a few others), it still represents great potential for other brands. As reported by Brafton, “Twitter’s announcement shows the demand for social e-commerce features on major networks has not gone ignored by today’s biggest platforms.”
Benefits of Amex Sync
Consider these potential results Amex Sync could offer brands down the line and why that matters for you:
1. Advertising to American Express Customers: “Based on the initial success of Amex Sync for offers, we know there is significant power in combining our assets with Twitter’s platform to bring value to card members and merchants,” said Leslie Berland, senior vice president of digital partnership and development at American Express. Users who sign up with Amex Sync become a ready audience for the featured products and offers. When you promote your product or deal through this service, you advertise it to this wide network of social media users.
2. Product Trending Through Hashtags: When a user buys a product through Amex Sync, he or she includes a hashtag the company designates. Many purchases, therefore, means many hashtags—and the opportunity for those industry-related, relevant keywords surrounding your product to trend. This gets the word out about your brand, expanding your reach exponentially. “By wrapping the entire purchasing process in a hashtag, the service makes buying fast and easy,” says Heather Kelly of CNN. “If it takes off, we could see hashtags for products in commercials and print ads.”
3. Public Word-of-Mouth Advertising: When a Twitter user buys a featured Amex Sync product on the social network, he or she essentially announces the purchase to all contacts. Since few things are more powerful than this kind of I-bought-it word-of-mouth advertising, the Tweets have the potential to expand a product’s reach way beyond that initial purchase.
Potential Downside of Amex Sync
Despite the obvious potential benefits, Amex Sync is not all advantages: Some experts wonder if purchase Tweets will clog up feeds and annoy followers. “If [Amex Sync] does become successful, I predict it will fall under its own weight,” says Bruce Upbin at Forbes. “Twitter execs are already concerned about ‘fatigue,’ the irritation people may feel over ads in their personal feed, and that was before the addition of dozens if not hundreds of promo hashtags.”
What is your perspective on Amex Sync? Do you see it as a new opportunity or more Internet noise? For brands, do the advertising benefits outweigh the potential irritations? For consumers, does signing up with Amex Sync make sense?
Advertising agencies who have worked with American Express include MDC Partners CP&B, Ogilvy & Partners.. Burson Marsteller is the PR company of record for Amex, and for projects they use Makovsky PR and M. Booth.