By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|June 30, 2011
Forget miles and cash back, American Express is rewarding cardholders with Facebook Ads.
In what is being touted as a means for small businesses to attract new customers, AmEx announced this week that its Membership Rewards points can now be used to purchase advertisements on Facebook. And Facebook execs are all onboard, saying the program will enable the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who advertise on Facebook to have “a new and convenient way to pay for Facebook advertising.” It’ll also help owners use social-media advertising to tap into the more than 620 million people who use Facebook, says AmEx, which claims to be the first card issuer to tie its rewards program directly to advertising spend.
Both companies think the new reward offering will be a hit with cardholders. AmEx says 35 percent of small business owners use Facebook to promote their enterprises — a figure that is up from 27 percent just six months ago. And both companies are actively pursuing ways to help businesses take advantage of the Facebook platform, most recently in the form of a contest called Facebook Big Break for Small Business.
While these efforts to further incorporate businesses into social-media networks are …
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