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Twitter hatched 7 years ago this month when, on March 21, 2006, co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first tweet. As of last fall, the site reported an average of 55 million tweets per day. And if last month’s Academy Awards can serve as a current indicator, both the company and its hashtag – that oft-confusing yet ubiquitous symbol of social media savvy – are here to stay (and maybe even grace the name of more birth certificates). 8.9 million tweets can’t be wrong. According to Twitter reports, that’s how many tweets took place during the recent awards ceremony, and 2.1 million of those Oscar tweets came during the red carpet alone. They were aggregated using hashtags such as #bestdressed, #eredcarpet and #oscars. With 69% of said Red Carpet tweets coming from women, who remain a force in the online marketplace, marketers and brands can draw some powerful conclusions about the potential for hashtags, Twitter and e-commerce. One brand doing just that is American Express, which recently added another function to the ever-versatile hashtag: personal shopper. Now brands are about to see what happens when the world’s fastest-growing social platform joins forces with a major credit card company. A new partnership between the credit card company and the social media powerhouse means consumers wielding American Express cards need look no further than Twitter for their online shopping needs. Members simply sync their credit card account with their Twitter feed, which then allows them to purchase products by mentioning appropriate hashtags in tweets. It’s too early to gage how users will respond, but with a new study reporting Twitter boasts 288 million active profiles worldwide — and 20% of adult Internet users in the United States are active on Twitter – odds for success are high. Or in Twitter speak, #winning.
The American Express partnership is just one example of the ways in which hashtags can help brands cash in on social media. Here are 5 tips: