Have you linked your American Express Card to your Facebook page yet? Apparently thousands of people have in the hopes that Amex will find them truly relevant deals and bargains based on their likes and their friends’ likes.
It was just about a week ago when I included examples like the above – turning the stream into usable content – in a post on the newest social media trends and obviously this is an attempt to do just that. Though in my Amex case it’s an utter failure. At least so far. While I am a loyal and long-term (35 years) American Express customer (they have the credit card industry’s best customer service), their latest experiment needs a little more work.
For example, it offered me a discount on a cruise (a team of Clydesdales couldn’t drag me onto a cruise ship); savings at Lord and Taylor (I don’t shop there); and an exclusive opportunity to attend Glee in 3D (not a fan and don’t even really like 3D.) The problem of course is that American Express thinks that my friends’ likes might actually coincide with my likes. Wrong. In fact given the too many people I have as friends on Facebook I can’t even say with certainty that I like my “friends,” never mind my friends’ likes.
But there is something interesting in this, both for users and for marketers. If we get to a point where we can harness the stream in such a way that it becomes valuable as searchable content long after the moment of a post, we can use it as individuals to make better decisions and find stuff that we do want. And as marketers we can finally leverage those likes, using them to influence new or prospective customers.
There’s a great post in Business Insider by Jeff Janer, CEO and co-founder of Springpad (note that I’m on the board), which is among the first companies starting to harness the potential of likes and deferred intent.
While the social web has been highly effective in giving us ways to express our “likes” of things we’ve already done, it has yet to address the other side of the interest graph: the trusted referrals and recommendations we receive from our friends, as well as the things we discover on our own, and want to buy, read, visit, or listen to later. In other words: our “wants.”
The rest of the post goes into greater detail about how to make this work.
The problem with American Express’s service, if I’m using it correctly, is that I can’t filter my friends based on what I know to be their qualifications to make recommendations. For example, friends who have good taste; or travel to exotic places; or share my taste in restaurants; or have valid opinions about literature; or know their electronics. If that were possible, perhaps Amex would deliver me far more relevant offers.
Hey wait a minute? Sounds a little like Circles. Maybe all of this is starting to come together. Presuming we don’t mind Facebook, Google and American Express knowing even more about us than they already do.