6. Earn money for referring friends
What credit card issuers hope their social media presence brings them, more than anything, is word-of-mouth advertising. To encourage it, some offer incentives to customers who refer others online. Discover, for instance, has a program called Refer a Friend, which gives cardholders $50 in cash back for every friend referred via email, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn who eventually gets a Discover card. According to Discover, its cardholders have earned almost $2 million in cashback bonuses since the program's inception. American Express and Citi have run similar programs in the past.
7. Get smart
Finding the right mix of content -- "some entertainment, but also some meat" -- drives customer satisfaction with social media, according to Anderson. Credit card companies strive for that mix on their YouTube channels, where American Express, Capital One and Citibank post fun commercials alongside informative videos about card features. On Capital One's YouTube channel, for instance, you can see a demo of the card company's Purchase Eraser -- a way to redeem miles for travel you've already purchased. Wells Fargo's YouTube channel videos are crammed with basic info on establishing and protecting credit.
8. Buy things
A ground-breaking new addition to credit card companies' social media outreach: the ability to instantly charge things with social media. As part of American Express's Sync program, registered cardholders can actually make a purchase without leaving Twitter. Just respond to an offer with a special hashtag -- for instance, #buyKindleFireHD -- then confirm your purchase, and boom, it's on its way.
9. Get news
You likely don't care about the ho-hum company press releases that credit card issuers disseminate through social media, but other news flashes hit home. Wells Fargo, for instance, hopped on Facebook to let customers know about a denial-of-service cyberattack that rendered its website inaccessible. "Rest assured that your account and personal information are safe," it added, encouraging frustrated customers to call for service. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, Citibank tweeted that customers could get in touch for help, and Wells Fargo took to Twitter to remind customers to get cash before Sandy struck.
10. Complain -- and get results
In an epic example of using social media to change credit cards for good, 22-year-old Molly Katchpole went online in 2011 to fight against Bank of America's proposed $5-a-month debit card fee. Her petition at Change.org went viral, sparking a massive consumer backlash. The bank was inundated with complaints on Twitter and Facebook, and ultimately decided to abandon its plans. So did several other card issuers, including Wells Fargo, Citi and JPMorgan Chase, which had been considering similar debit fees. Ah, the power of social media.
More from CreditCards.com
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Question: How many people are DUMB enough to buy something on their smart phones?
Answer: Evidently enough of them [90%] are DUMB enough to.
It's bad enough to use a credit card in stores, but AT LEAST their networks are pretty well protected. How protected are the WIRELESS NETWORKS which smart phones use?? You are told all the time about network security [or lack thereof] on LAPTOPS, but now they want you to use credit cards on THESE networks?
OK, WHO'S LYING, HERE? There's a contradiction SOMEWHERE!!!!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
RECENT ARTICLES ON CREDIT CARDS
Saving just a single month of expenses may take longer than you think. See how your savings rate affects how quickly you can build a solid emergency fund.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'