I’m a complete social media addict. I admit it. Thankfully, I work at a PR agency, so I don’t have to hide my addiction. And since I read a ton about brands that make a mess on social media (see: Amy’s Baking Company), I thought I would point out two brands that have done an amazing job connecting with their consumer bases.
1. H&R Block
Taxes are awful. No one likes talking about them and doing them is even worse. So kudos to H&R Block for using Buzzfeed as a fun way to reach out to millennials who are just starting to figure out tax deductions and returns. From March 20 to March 31, H&R Block posted multiple lists of fluffy animals and funny facts to help readers procrastinate doing their taxes. Though this strategy doesn’t seem sound at first (after all, wouldn’t H&R Block WANT people to do their taxes?!), the pages all linked to H&R Block’s online filing site. As a millennial who couldn’t tell a W-2 from an I-9 for the longest time, I appreciate anything that can simplify the tax process. And when a company provides me with cat gifs? How can I resist?
Additionally, I commend H&R Block for maintaining a sizable fan base online. The company has over 300,000 Facebook friends and over 21,000 Twitter followers. Not too shabby for a company associated with something that most Americans are not too fond of. H&R Block really impresses me with the mix of financial information and pop culture on its social media sites. The social media gurus over there thankfully realize that no one wants to be bombarded with financial messaging 24/7 and have curated a good mix of playful and serious content. I mean, they have a whole video series dedicated to hipsters! Frankly, I’m sold.
I have to admit, Pandora has less of a hurdle than H&R Block when it comes to social media. After all, everyone loves music-right?! But I was personally blown away by Pandora’s commitment to its social media sites during SXSW. Pandora held their Discovery Den event at The Gatsby in Austin from March 12-15. Luckily for those of us who couldn’t attend, they streamed it live. As a music junkie, I was in heaven. So, I tweeted about it. Less than 5 minutes later, Pandora tweeted me back and asked which artist I was most looking forward to (I immediately tweeted Charli XCX-who would want to miss her?!) We tweeted back and forth one more time, and Pandora actually followed me back. I must admit, I felt pretty cool after that.
In addition to Pandora’s responsive social media gurus, the company’s posts on both Facebook and Twitter are a great mix of information and humor. In addition to learning about upcoming albums, I get to learn about other people’s music preferences through hilarious retweets (Apparently, Blues Traveler is still a favorite among some). With over 6 million Facebook fans and 224,000 Twitter followers, creating relevant content and engaging with fans is no easy task. But Pandora has done a great job with both aspects.
So, two thumbs up H&R Block and Pandora! Please continue making fun and meaningful content. I’m looking forward to it.