Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Income Tax and Social Media--Really??

360i’s David Berkowitz had a great post on his blog not long ago. In the press of events I ignored the original one, so I’m glad he did a reminder and gave links to the social media pages. What struck a lot of us, including the Wall Street Journal, is that a tax preparer—not a breed known either for innovation or sense of humor—was mounting a campaign that included major elements of social media.

H&R Block’s Digits site might be described as a community site. Apparently people actually do want to discuss tax-related issues. I looked at some of the “Current Conversations” and I believe they have used professionals—some from H&R Block, others creative professionals—as conversation starters. That’s a good idea, and it seems to be working, judging by the number of comments. As seen on the home page they are even in Second Life, although I’m not sure I’m eager to find my Tax Mojo!

Besides Second Life, the campaign includes pages on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. When I looked at the Facebook page, I suspected the young man singing the Ode to Block was a paid presenter. The MySpace page introduces Truman Green as the young man at the center of the campaign. I found he listed his profession as “blogger.” Given his singing, maybe he should keep that as his day job. Couldn’t resist that--but the fact is that he’s professional but informal—probably a good selection for what is obviously a campaign targeting the young adult market. The YouTube page is also Truman’s page.

I’d particularly encourage you to look at the Facebook page. There’s a lot of stuff going on there—an interesting model to consider. Clearly this is a professionally-designed and managed campaign, not a DIY effort, but we all can learn from it. One thing to think about is that they apparently have used paid presenters as well as their own professionals. It rachets up the quality level of the campaign. They haven’t exactly posted banners about that aspect of it, but people are carefully identified and I see no attempt to deceive—to flog. They did, however, advertise on both MySpace and Facebook to draw people to the page. That seems to be Facebook’s model—take a look at their Business pages.

And now, I’ve got to go finish my taxes—really!
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: