One extreme to the other

Posted by Lindsey Durrant on 13 February 2013 | 0 Comments

Following on from last week’s blog, highlighting the fact that some brands don’t realise the importance of Twitter until it’s too late, we found this quite interesting:

One brand who is embracing the use of Twitter in every possible way, is American Express (Amex). They have launched a purchase-by-tweet service for its US-based customers.

However, the consumer process does look quite long winded. Amex members wishing to use the purchase-by-tweet facility must first link their card to their Twitter account via the Amex app. They then need to go to the firm's Twitter page and select the Favourites section to view which items are on sale and the associated hashtags. Then, after sending an initial tweet to start the sales process, they must wait for a confirmation message from the @AmexSync account. This contains another hashtag that must be posted in a fresh tweet by the user within 15 minutes to make the sale go through.

Users are warned that products may sell out, voiding the process and that they can only buy one of each item. Products from Amazon, Sony and Microsoft are being offered at a discount rate to drive shoppers to use the new service.

This is not Amex's first tie-up with social media. It already operates a voucher-free discount scheme with Foursquare in the UK and US.

Amex's senior vice president for digital partnerships, Leslie Berland, said that the success of the firm's existing social media schemes suggested that there was "significant power in combining our assets with Twitter's platform".

But will people really use this? It has been suggested that the initiative is a "gimmick" and that it is unlikely to catch on. To be fair, it doesn’t seem to be a quick or easy process, which should be an advantage of a new piece of technology.  However, this is probably due to the need for high security. Therefore it’s hard to justify the benefits of this idea, making it seem like technology for technology’s sake. Although social media is key in this day and age, it is still important to consider how to use it, keeping your consumer and companies best interests in mind.


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