Would you pay with a tweet?

When you spend so much time looking at Twitter, would it not be easier to just pay for things with tweets? You could turn a hashtag into a cashtag! You could simply walk into a coffee shop, tweet your order from the queue or even before you get there, e.g. #starbucksamericano and it would be waiting for you at the counter. Perhaps this would make fast food that bit quicker, tweet #royalewithcheese and its waiting for you, as you walk in.

Well American Express has taken a step towards this concept. Amex and Twitter have partnered on a program that allows cardholders to take advantage of special purchase offers by tweeting with a hashtag.


The brand is taking advantage of online exposure to promote their product. These days, getting seen online is the key element in the marketing mix and businesses are dedicating budgets to boost their online presence and engagement. Businesses promote hashtags all the time in exchange for participation, usually with a potential prize up for grabs. The prize for them is the engagement and the increase in followers, leading to future prospects. The prize for the person engaging could be something like a sought after product like the ‘iPad Mini’. This product may have cost the business a few hundred quid but they can label this as an advertising/marketing cost because it was part of a campaign.

It is interesting to see how the hashtag is being used for e-commerce and other brands are likely to follow with similar campaigns. This could be the future preference for digital consumers. They show their interest in a product publicly in exchange for the delivery of the product or for a discount/reward. It is not suprising how this is evolving, given the rise in the popularity of social shopping and deal sites (like Groupon). Although, some people may be concerned about sharing their purchase history.

As consumers become increasingly familiar and comfort with online shopping and mobile apps, there is likely to be more promotions using hashtags for rewards. This could also translate on other popular social networks like Facebook (where you can now use hashtags too) or Pinterest and Google Plus.

Would you market products to your friends in return for discounted products and services? Do you feel comfortable with the idea of paying for stuff over Twitter? Perhaps you have ideas how this could work for your business?

Contact Social Ant to plan a social media strategy.

Jon Exton


Twitter: @thesocialant

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