Social networking has opened a plethora of new opportunities. Most of us believe Facebook is the new “it’ place to be, even if it is in a virtual location. Twitter allows us to tell the world, or at least our followers, about our day in 140 characters.
Indeed, social networking sites have shrunk our world and allowed us to become the popular kid, even if we weren’t in high school. But what about those financial aspects of our lives? We are conditioned to never put any kind of information out there that could jeopardize our financial security. We don’t give our credit card numbers out and we certainly don’t throw our net worth around on Facebook, even if we are willing to share our relationship status and what we had for dinner.
As a result of our well-placed caution, it often doesn’t occur to us that were we to “like” the MasterCard Facebook page or the American Express OPEN page for our small business, we might find an entirely new level to interact with those companies, vent any frustrations and even win contests that could result in some impressive swag. We took a look a look at the way the credit card heavy-hitters are interacting with their customers. You just might like what you see.
American Express has a few pages, they’re generally broken down into countries, though there are separate pages for small business accounts, too. For instance, The American Express OPEN Facebook page hosts contests. Most recently, its “Big Break for Small Business” allowed small business owners to enter a contest by first meeting the parameters of a small business definition and then by simply liking the page.
In return, AMEX OPEN is choosing five winners who will not only receive a Facebook business page makeover, but also $20,000 cash to build that small business. The OPEN page along has more than 200,000 followers, which means these businesses are also gaining huge exposure.
On the consumer side, American Express has its Facebook page ready to provide support, contests and even communities. When you like the American Express Facebook page, you can receive special offers and take advantage of points programs found nowhere else.
The American Express Twitter page gives customers a chance to tweet comments and questions directly to the company. One customer had a billing questions and wondered where to find the answers without waiting on the phone. His tweet was immediately followed up with, “Hi Dale, I’m looping in @askamex to help with this”. Later, Dale tweeted that he’s never had such quick service. Problem solved and AMEX comes out looking great in the process.
MasterCard is just as involved with its customers on both Facebook and Twitter. It too hosts giveaways and contests. One customer posted on the MasterCard Facebook wall that while visiting New York, she was approached by two women who asked if she carried a MasterCard. She replied yes and learned that because she was wearing a New York Yankees hat, she won two tickets for the Yankees game the next day.
There is also information from the credit card company’s good works with other organizations, including Fox Sports Radio. And, similar to the AMEX tweet, a customer posted he was having problems accessing an ATM in Kenya, MasterCard replied with a link that pinpointed every ATM within a mile radius of where he was.
The MasterCard Debit Card Facebook page is currently sponsoring a Priceless Music concert series. Debit card carriers can take advantage of special ticket prices, pictures of their favorite artists, contests and other promotional runs. It even offers the MasterCard Priceless Media Player. It’s definitely marketed to the younger market, but it’s growing in leaps and bounds.
A Word of Caution
No credit card company will ask for your personal information, even if you’re following it on Twitter or clicking the “Like” button on any of its pages. The goal is to bring the company closer to its consumer base in an effort to stay a step ahead of the competition while also meeting the needs of its customers.