This week Twitter and American Express announced a new program that allows cardmembers to sync their AmEx and Twitter accounts in order to receive discounts from big brands (Whole Foods, Zappos, Best Buy, & more) just by using certain hashtags.
I was immediately fascinated and upon diving in, started to (excitedly) wonder if this could change the game for social TV (thoughts about that whole civil war thing in my last post). It was one particular quote from Fast Company that caught my attention: “AmEx has finally developed a way to demonstrate a tweet’s ROI–and not just in terms of commerce.”
I had been thinking that YES, this is it, this is how social TV can finally begin to be monetized and thus survive…ensuring that I have a job :) But then my colleague Mike brought up a completely valid (and obvious, to my dismay) point: How is this different than a direct mail or similar, campaign? You’re just measuring how many people use the hashtag, and if they actually redeem the coupon.
That argument makes complete sense, but I can’t shake the feeling that this is something big. Probably because of the sheer simplicity. I mean, if you have an AmEx card you log on to your account, pop in your Twitter name, and then…well, that’s it. Whenever you come across one of their branded hashtags, you use it in a tweet or RT it. Then you just use your card with that retailer. And your card is credited that amount.
Is it just me, or is that tantalizingly easy? As a consumer, I do one action once to set it up, and then keep on tweetin’ like normal and just keep my eye out for hashtags. There’s nothing I need to remember when I go to the store – no interaction with a cashier or mention of a coupon. I don’t even have to open my Groupon app!
Of course, there are security issues and viewer fatigue associated with this program, but that’s the world we live in. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out, because I think it could be big.