Social spotlight: the taxman cometh
If you still think you need a sexy product or service to succeed in social media, let me introduce you to some of Web 2.0's most social … accountants.
Yes, as Tax Day 2011 approaches, I’d like to give a little shoutout to those Wizards of the W2, many of whom are living proof that you don’t have to be a jock or a cheerleader to succeed in that grand high school that is the social network. Being a little on the nerdy side is just fine.
“So what’s an accountant got to be social about?” you ask. Plenty.
Take, for example, this post on H&R Block’s blog about a new rule that allows small businesses to pay their tax bills in installments over a period of up to two years. Is this information available on their website? Probably, somewhere. But if you didn’t know the rule existed, you wouldn’t even be looking for it and would probably have to find it by chance. That’s part of the beauty of the blog: the ability to isolate information that’s relevant to your customers today and put it front-and-center on their computer screens.
Not that Block stops at the blog; they also maintain well-cultivated outposts on Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube. Now, if you look closely at each, you’ll notice that visitors leave more than their share of negative comments, either over the service they received or the amount they were charged. And each time this happens, a real-live representative steps in and offers to discuss the matter with the customer offline. The lesson here: Don’t let fear of negative comments scare you away from the socialverse. They will happen, and even if you’re unable to resolve the issue, your efforts to make things right will be documented and visible to all as proof that you actually “walk the walk” when it comes to customer service.
Of course, H&R Block isn’t the only tax preparation house that’s gone social. Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax also maintain blogs with useful tax tips, as do DIY software providers TurboTax and TaxWorks.
So if you’re still holding back from making the leap into the social network because you don’t think you have anything interesting to share, think again. No matter what your industry, you have valuable information that someone, somewhere is searching for, right now … and if you can provide it to them, you may be looking at your next customer.