Consumer Psychology for a Digital Age

AMEX Tweet for Dollars Campaign Garners Early Success

Earlier this week we wrote about American Express and its campaign that allows cardholders to “sync” their AMEX cards to Twitter in order to take advantage discounts being offered by such brands as McDonalds, Whole Foods, Bestbuy, Zappos and others. For those unfamiliar with the program, when cardholders tweet using special offer hashtags – #AmexZappos, #AmexMcDonalds, for example – couponless savings are loaded directly to their synced cards.

We ballyhooed the campaign, questioning whether cardholders would want to pimp themselves out as American Express marketers and suggesting that, if they did, it would only add to the overwhelming amount of TWAM (Twitter Spam) that already exists.

Well, the number of American Express members who chose to participate are impressive, as is the resulting activity. Here are the statistics to date as reported by Visibli, which is keeping a real-time tally:

  • 25,705 members have joined the program (72 new users per hour);
  • 156,415 special offer hashtag messages have been tweeted (286 tweets per hour);
  • $7,051,729 total dollars have been spent;
  • $1,402,625 in discounts have been collected;
  • And the numbers continue to mount!

From all appearances, this is a win-win-win for American Express, its retail partners and Twitter alike. For example, almost 28 percent of those joining the program are new to Twitter. That’s over 6800 people who are now tweeting for the sole purpose of getting discounts.

The big winner in all of this is McDonalds; the company has garnered more than 21 percent of the total, according to Visibli’s stats. I guess the lure of getting a discount on a Big Mac is worth the risk of spamming followers.

While we credit American Express for its innovative approach (The company has done this twice previously using Facebook and Foursquare.), in spite of the short-term success our perspective still holds – we don’t believe this to be a social commerce best practice for the reasons mentioned in the previous post. But, that’s just us. What do you think?

American Express Twitter sync campaign stats

Comments (7):

  1. Greg Doran

    March 16, 2012 at 16:12

    Those are insane stats for such a new program. I am with you on this Paul in the long term. I am involved in a social referral company myself so that is somewhat counter to my actions….but if the end recipient of the message, whether it’s a tweet, status update, email of whatever gets no value, it seems just too disingenuous. If you are my “friend” of I have chosen to somehow connect myself to you more loosely (twitter), I am not bothered if you benefit by making a referral to me as long as you are helping me. Recommend a good house painter and he gives you $200 off your house? Good for you, as long as he does a good job on my house. It’s a three pronged relationship…..brand, referrer and recipient. Everyone should get some value.

    Greg Doran |

  2. Saif

    March 17, 2012 at 16:01

    Thanks for including Visibli in your coverage, Paul! Yes, some pretty impressive numbers, and Amex+Twitter have done a great job spreading the word and proving the value to everyone involved. It’ll be interesting to see how these types of social campaigns continue to evolve.

    All the best,
    Cofounder, Visibli

  3. Paul Chaney

    March 19, 2012 at 21:32

    Greg, I agree that there should be some reciprocity in the sense that the recipient is able to pass along benefit to friends and followers.

    Saif, thanks for taking notice!

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