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American Express is offering its customers the chance to earn money off a selection of goods by tweeting special offer hashtags from retailers.

Amex cardholders in the US can connect their account to their Twitter profile, and a coupon will be 'loaded' onto the card if they compose a tweet including one of the hashtags.

When the customer redeems an offer, the discount will be applied within their next card statement.

Retailers including Best Buy, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market and H&M have already signed up to the programme, which is built around American Express' Smart Offer APIs.

This is similar to an offer Amex launched last year that allows its customers to earn discounts through a Facebook app called ‘Link, Like, Love’.

In a press release announcing the Twitter offers, American Express vice chairman Ed Gilligan said the company is turning Twitter content into commerce by connecting cardholders to merchants. 

With the continued convergence of online and offline commerce, our closed loop continues to enable us to bring seamless, relevant ways to connect our cardmembers and merchants on the most powerful social and digital platforms."

The Twitter offers are a great PR tool for Amex as it delivers exactly what consumers want from social media engagement with brands – exclusive discounts and money off.

A survey from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and social technology business Lithium found that 67% of consumers expected to be eligible for exclusive offers if they followed, liked or linked to a brand on social media.

There's likely to be some unhappy customers though, as it’s so easy to sign up that each limited availability discount code probably won’t be available for very long.

Despite this, Amex has shown that it understands what its customers want from social media engagement and is pulling out all the stops to give it to them. Let's just hope it's prepared to manage the community of people that might be complaining about a deal running out in a day...

David Moth

Published 7 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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