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Make Facebook friends with your credit card companies

by Peter Andrew
Make Facebook friends with your credit card companies

First, an admission: your blogger is a digital dinosaur. Yes, he has a Facebook page, but it was created, unrequested, by a friend, and is visited only every month or two. He has 67 friends, and has spent significant time with, broken bread with, and/or drank too much with every single one of them. See? He doesn’t “get” social networking.

Credit card trends online

So it was a bit of a shock for him to read in Monday’s American Banker that 74 of 100 executives surveyed at April’s Card Forum & Expo (a trade event for executives of credit card companies) said that they expected social media to be a “significant factor” in their future customer service delivery. Five other, equally bewildering online credit card trends included:

  1. Two-thirds of respondents said their credit card companies already have social media platforms that are “enhancing” customer experiences.
  2. One-third report that they use Twitter both as a communications tool, and as a way of seeing what people are saying about them.
  3. Thirty percent use Facebook for similar reasons.
  4. Twenty percent run blogs.
  5. Eighteen percent have deployed other types of social media, including video sharing.

Credit card offers on Facebook

At the time of writing, the American Express Facebook page records that 754,872 people “like this.” And, when, on May 21, the company posted a message saying, “Happy weekend! Go ahead…put the tab on us! ;),” 1,328 people clicked their Like buttons, and 338 commented.

They were a pretty mixed bunch. Most were having fun, pretending that they thought the message meant that American Express would pay for their weekend’s purchases, and discussing their plans to buy Lear jets, Aston Martin cars and Rolex watches on their credit cards. One woman posted 14 times, describing live her disconnections and periods on hold while she was trying to resolve a travel problem with an Amex call center. A few praised the company, a few moaned about it, and every so often an employee would appear to clarify the offer (“We simply want you to enjoy the weekend and use your Amex Card to pay for the fun. No, there will not be a statement credit for the charges.”) or to offer advice concerning queries raised.

Other posts from the company promoted cardholder benefits, such as a livestream pop video, asked members to vote for products that should be discounted within the American Express credit card rewards program, or publicized its credit card offers.

Credit cards and social media

Are credit card companies wise to invest in social media? Well, it’s likely that many of them conducted research before allocating budgets, and this presumably persuaded them that there were significant benefits to be gained.

Having said that, social media are still relatively new and untried, especially as mass marketing tools. And money men (and women) don’t always make smart choices. Just think Blippy (“Blippy bites the dust. What took so long?“) for an example of how easy it is to misunderstand credit card users’ attitudes to social media. But what does a digital dinosaur know?

Credit card newsflash

On Monday, this blog reported on the then imminent battle in the Senate over debit card swipe fees. Yesterday, the banking lobby lost that battle. A bill to delay implementation of the swipe fee cap was defeated, and the regulation should come into effect next month.

Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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