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Creating Interaction Through Social Media

     -     May 7th, 2010   -     Accounting Marketing, Social Media Marketing   -     0 Comments

The IRS on YouTube

The popularity of social media has become so prevalent even the Internal Revenue Service is getting involved. In my travels across the web I recently noticed that the IRS has posted instructional videos on You Tube.  (Click Here to see the IRS Channel.) The bulk of these are short one to two minute clips that focus on explaining provisions of the American Recovery and Investment Act. Specific topics include the $8,000 first-time homebuyer’s credit for those who purchase a house this year, the sales or excise tax deduction on new car purchases and the expanded credits for education and energy conservation. The videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

The channel is no surprise given the Obama Administration’s targeted use of social media in the past. However, I believe it also provides insight into a greater trend in marketing and public relations. It is no secret that the IRS is not considered by most “Joe Plumber’s” to be a friendly organization. The only time most want to have any interaction with the IRS is once a year when they file taxes. Any interaction with them at other times of the year is generally unwelcome. However, I believe the new videos help recast the IRS in a new and positive light. They demonstrate a clear desire on the part of the IRS to connect with customers and provide valuable information in a quick and easy to understand format. Rather than simply reciting the Internal Revenue Code, they have people explaining these topics in layman terms, making it easy to understand each topic and what the taxpayer should needs to do to take advantage of the benefits.

The lesson learned is that social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter offer a forum of interaction with clients, prospects and referral partners previously not available. Through social media you can invite these groups to interact with your firm, learn more about what you do and the personality of the firm. Offering helpful information such as the IRS does is only one way to engage these groups with your organization. Additional ways to create “engagement forums” include creating a group on Linked In, Fan Page on Facebook, a YouTube Channel and of course a blog.

CPA firms currently using YouTube include:

Daszkal Bolton LLP

Cerini & Associates

How is your firm using social media tools to interact with clients, prospects and referral partners?

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