Inspiring digital communication ideas.

Social Currency via Social Media: Pay With a Tweet, Facebook Post, Instagram Hashtag – Success Stories

Social Currency via Social Media: Pay With a Tweet, Facebook Post, Instagram Hashtag – Success Stories


What is the power of a tweet? Increasingly, businesses are incentivizing consumers to talk about their brands and are tapping into the fan base that social influencers yield. Rather than simply giveaways or promotions, companies are using the exchange of goods with social media as the social currency.

This may seem like a gimmick or PR stunt, but there is a calculated value for a customer mentioning your company positively on social media.

SumAll, a New York based analytics startup, found that a tweet is worth about $20 in extra sales. They analyzed data from about 30,000 companies, finding connections between tweets & web traffic and sales.

Value of a Tweet

Here are companies that made of most of the social currency concept:

  • Kelloggs: Self-proclaimed the first company to utilize social currency, Kelloggs created a pop-up tweet shop in London, to promote its new line of Special K chips. Only social currency with a tweet #tweetshop was accepted. Shoppers could select from recommended tweets, or come up with their own less informational but more authentic tweet, in exchange for a bag of chips. “The value of positive endorsements on social-media sites is beyond compare,” said Sarah Case, brand manager for Special K. At over 150,000 impressions, I would say this one was a rousing success.
Photo: Kelloggs

Photo: Kelloggs

#tweetshop Trend Graph

  • Jet Blue: To celebrate a decade in the skies, jetBlue went on Twitter and Facebook to exchange free plane tickets for @JETLBUE follows, #JB10NY tweets, and best of all, jetBlue birthday cards! On the 10th of every month, jetBlue announced locations where the exchanges would be taking place, all over New York City.
jetBlue 10th Tweets for Tickets

Photo: jetBlue

  • American Express: Partnered with Twitter, AmEx is allowing card holders to purchase items via a hashtag, sometimes for a discount. Users sync their AmEx cards on their phones, tweet special #hashtags, and look for responses from @AmexSync with the confirmation #hashtag. Users then have 15 minutes from the response to tweet the confirmation #hashtag to finalize their purchase. In order to redeem a discount offer, users must do all this within the offer time, and will see the discount in their statement. In this case, dollars & social currency are both exchanged. AmEx has also incorporated discounts via Facebook & Foursquare. This campaign has generated social activity not only for AmEx, but their participating merchants, with over a quarter million tweets generated, over 40,000 users, and $11M total spent.

AmEx Twitter Sync Campaign

AmEx Twitter Sync Campaign 1

AmEx Twitter Sync Campaign 2Whole Foods AmEx Twitter Sync Campaign 1

  • IKEA: Snap & Win! To promote a new store opening, they posted photos of their showrooms on Facebook. The first people to tag themselves in the photos received the item! They also exchanged photos in showrooms with a specific hashtag, for IKEA limited edition cameras.

Ikea Snap and Win

  • Tony Hawk: The Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt (#THTH) is an annual event, a scavenger hunt of sorts. Staring small in 2009, it has grown tremendously in popularity, including 45 states and 7 other countries. His followers have grown to over 3 million. Brands even give him swag to hide, in exchange for the social media exposure.



  • Corona: Corona Light has the goal of being the “Most Liked” light beer on Facebook, targeting socially active people in their 20s. Corona bet that these young adults would want to see their faces lit up in New York City’s Time Square. A “like” of the Facebook page allows to access to the Times Square app, allowing the fan to upload a photo of themselves to have their face be projected over the crowds. Corona also uploaded the photos to Facebook so they could be shared & tagged. Their likes increased from 3,000 to over 300,000.

Corona Light

  • Marc Jacobs: For New York Fashion Week, Marc Jacobs created pop-up store where they took tweets & Instagram posts with #MJDaisyChain as payment for a bottle of their Daisy perfume. “Basically there’s no money that changes hands here,” said Lori Singer, VP of global marketing for Marc Jacobs fragrances. “It’s all about social media equaling social currency.” (source: NPR Marketplace) As an additional incentive, users with the best Instagram photos were rewarded with a free Marc Jacobs handbag. They also turned the store into a haven for tweeters, with a lounge, food, drinks, wifi, and a live Daisy photo booth.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Tweet Shop

Marc Jacobs Daisy Tweet Shop 2

Knowing your business’s capabilities, how are you going to use these powerful tools?

What creative ways have you already been leveraging social media?

#tweetshop #branding #social #social currency #word of mouth #MarcJacobs #marketplace #NYFW #enplug #sumall #Ikea #THTH #tonyhawk #Corona #jetblue #Amex #AmexSync


Enplug digital signage software was co-founded by CEO Nanxi Liu and CTO Tina Denuit-Wojcik in 2012 to enable organizations to use customized real-time streaming content to create engaging external and internal communications.

About Enplug Digital Signage Software

Enplug digital signage makes it simple for businesses to create and share compelling visual content for their marketing and employee communications. Our software powers content on thousands of TVs worldwide with news feeds, social media walls, sports scores, employee leaderboards, graphics, and videos. Enplug was founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, California.