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Facebook Friday: Analysis of Facebook Campaigns – Amex makes online shopping something you can truly Like

Welcome back to Facebook Friday, where we look at various Facebook marketing campaigns and examine what went right, what went wrong, and everything in-between. For this particular analysis we are going to be examining the new offering from American Express (AMEX) that integrates ‘Likes” with online shopping.

This is more than just a campaign in the traditional Facebook marketing sense; this offering is an entirely new platform that integrates “Links, Likes and Loves” with one’s AMEX credit card.

The Campaign:

The crux of the campaign is tying in deals and offers to AMEX cardholders’ social activity.

Users are directed to the application, which is hosted on the AMEX Facebook page.

They then enter their credit card number into the application in order to connect their card. Once the user has hooked up his/her card, an original deals list is populated. This list is based on the user’s Facebook activity, pages they have liked or places they have checked into, as well as the activity of their online “friends.” Over time, the deals being shown will continue to be adjusted based on deals they or their friends may engage or share with, as well as new activity within their Facebook graph.

The Results:

While the campaign has only been running for a week, one success factor has been the amount of buzz it has generated. Numerous articles and postings are being written about this new platform with almost all of them positive. As far as actual impact on the users, I have not seen any data up to this point about enrollments or redemption of deals, so it’s hard to quantify success at this point.

According to monitor.wildfireapp.com, the AMEX fan page has not shown much growth, increasing by less than 1% since the new offering launched. However, most of the consumers who could take advantage of this deal would most likely be active on Facebook and probably already liked the page, so this may not be a fair number to represent success.

What Worked:

  • Buzz Generating – As previously noted, one of the keys to this campaign has been the buzz that AMEX has been able to garner because it is such a new and unique technology. It capitalizes on some larger trends in the online space, including social shopping and deals.
  • Simplicity for the User – The ease of redemption is one of the biggest selling points. The fact that you don’t have to worry about printing a coupon or bother with a code – everything is automatically is taken care of – is huge. This is a big point for not only consumers but also merchants looking to capitalize in the online deal space. I would be remiss to mention that AMEX understands this, and actually launched a program designed specifically for small business to enroll and take advantage of these coupon-less offers. It is called “Go Social” and has tremendous marketing and outreach potential. Now businesses or companies have an easy way to handle these specials, and don’t have to worry about integrating their point-of-sale technology and/or training their staff on redemption methods.

    When a user participates in a deal, AMEX simply updates their statement with the credit that should be received based on the deal the consumer opted into.

Where It May Fall Short*:

*It’s probably too early to say what didn’t work for this campaign. However, I do think there is one hurdle that may seriously hinder this campaign.

  • Privacy – One element of all this that I have not seen addressed in any of the online press for this campaign is the privacy issue. I have to be honest – I was so enthralled with this program that it didn’t even cross my mind. But as one of my colleagues said, “It sounds cool, but I am not sure I would want to give out my credit card to a Facebook application.”

    That makes sense; I still know people who have a hard time handing out that kind of information over to Amazon or online retailers, let alone doing it within Facebook and a third party application. I am not sure if the public is ready for this step or not.

Takeaway:

Regardless if you are willing to give out your information or not, you cannot argue with the “cool” factor surrounding this campaign and the utility that it provides. Being able to be presented with relevant deals based on your likes and interests, as well as that of your social graph, brings new meaning to personalization and is truly a smart way of utilizing social network technology and connections. Knocking down a major barrier related to online deal redemption by making it automatic, and not something a user or merchant has to worry about, should help lift the usage numbers and get more people involved. This could have a big impact on the bottom line of AMEX; in addition, individuals who may not have a card, would be encouraged to get one, because it is the card to have if you are active in social.

Now where is that enrollment link…