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Get Social to Find Businesses That Accept Credit Cards
Posted on November 17th 2012
Consumers who use credit cards are oftentimes looking for the best possible deals for their plastic.
In order to track down those credit card companies which are offering deals for first-time purchasers, not to mention specials and rewards incentives, consumers can turn to social media to get up to speed on various card companies.
As more and more businesses come to see the various branding benefits that social media can give their products and services, more are taking the time and effort to invest in appearing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare and other such venues.
For the consumer, there are a number of things to watch for when it comes to credit card providers using social media, things that can benefit or hurt the individual if they use that particular card.
* Always check the fine print - Look to see if there are any yearly fees and other “hidden” costs for those companies that accept credit card payments. In many cases, a provider will mention upfront goodies in order to get consumers to sign up. This can mean the card provider teaming with a retailer to offer a sizable discount when the consumer uses the card at that particular business. While the business gets some free advertising and some added business, the card provider captures income off of processing charges. More card providers are getting away from traditional mail and using email marketing blasts and social media to solicit consumers;
* See what other consumers are saying - A company’s Facebook or Twitter page is a great place to see what consumers are saying about the card provider. If the company is getting a number of complaints on their social media feeds regarding pricing, customer service etc., it can be a great flag to prevent you from signing up with them in the first place. Also look at their social media feeds to see how they respond to consumers. If there is no response or those that seem less than professional, those are two more red flags;
* Do your research - In some cases, credit card companies have certain social media accounts directed to a specific brand of card, while still some have just a single account for their entire outfit. When you take Facebook as an example, it may be best to become a fan of the exact credit card, avoiding befriending the card company itself. When you do this, you will find a better flow of information in order to best utilize the interaction on social media;
* Do they regularly update their social media pages? - Another way to see who is worth your time and who may not be is how often the card provider updates their social media pages. If they are regularly updated, provide relevant information (including links to news stories involved credit cards, etc.) and engage on a regular basis with consumers, then they likely have their act together. In cases where the updates are sporadic, the provided information is less than relevant and there is little or no engagement with consumers, you may want to think twice about how beneficial they can be to you.
What Do Credit Card Providers Need to Become More Social?
While consumers may very well be willing to use social media to see what credit card providers have to offer as just noted, the companies themselves have to put the time and effort in.
Among the ways to do that:
* Utilize various social media tools - While being on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social venues is great, there are different tools at your disposal to maximize your social media exposure. Management tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite are good starters. By using such tools, you can organize your different social media accounts within dashboards that are easy to follow. With Twitter, you can tweet, retweet and reply to tweets, while your Facebook status updates can originate from one location;
* Download apps for your social media tools to a smartphone or tablet computer - With more consumers browsing and shopping on the go, it just makes sense to give them that option other than at a desktop or laptop computer. You can pass along the latest updates to consumers, meaning they won’t have to wait until they are in front of a computer again to discover special deals and more;
* Promote your social media efforts - Last but not least, it is important for credit card companies to promote the fact they are on social media. Through regular advertisements, the company website, business cards, networking events and more, make sure any social media logos such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. are noticeable.The goal is to make it easy for consumers to find you on social media platforms, not have to hunt for you.
With all that social media can offer both consumers and credit card providers, give those credit who take advantage of it.