Social Media Can Make Tax Time Fun!?!

Let’s face it taxes are a necessary evil.  No one wants to do them, think about them or pay them.  So how do income tax prep services get us engaged in their brand without reminding us how crappy taxes are?

A while back I read Jason Fall’s case study on H&R Block.  I found it interesting, but in following H&R Block around for a while, I am still looking for the “whooo hooo” factor.   They have a presence in several spaces, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life (which is cool) and YouTube, although none of those links are on the web site.

I decided it would be fun to look at what the competition is up to and how they are engaging their prospective customers.

Liberty Tax

Campaign:  Liberty Tax is hunting for the next Lady Liberty.  Applicants have to fill out a form and post a video to YouTube on why they should be the next Lady Liberty.  The new lady liberty will take office June 1st and be employed by Liberty Tax for one year.

  • The ups:  People are posting video’s on YouTube by the droves to get in on the $50,000 salary.   The Lady Liberty YouTube Channel is fun to watch.
  • The Down’s:  We can’t vote, the “general population” can do little more then comment.
  • The Lesson:  Let go guys – “we the people” love thinking our opinion counts.  It may be your image – but we count more:)~

Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt has battled its share of issues this season.  Top that off with a boring YouTube Channel (although finding out more about the American Opportunity credit was good for me) and you have nothing magical happening in the Social Media Marketing arena… until now.   The Big Check Campaign invites fans to share their “What would you do with a tax refund check?” story.   Fans get to read all the stories and get to vote on who wins starting 4/1.    The winner gets $3,000. (Currently the Big Check’s Fan Page has twice as many fans as Jackson Hewitt’s fan page).

  • The Ups: Voyeurism at it’s best!   We love believing we are helping out someone who deserves it.  Let’s face it, it is too yummy to pass up.
  • The Downs: The JH web site could do more to get this noticed…. this could be huge with some good PR
  • The BIG Thumbs up: for Tweeting me after I became a fan of the page.  HOLY COW… someone is listening!  Flipping through the twitter stream shows they are listen for income tax refund tweets as well.
  • The Lesson: Great listening – got me interested in what the company is doing, but don’t under estimate the power of you own web site.

Have any exciting tax time Social Networking stories to share?

Additional reading:  Tax Friending

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