Monthly Archives: April 2014

Brand Ambassadors

If you or your financial institution are new to social media, you may feel that you need to hire a brand ambassador. However, you should know that you already have them. Actually, you have many! Employees can be, and SHOULD be your best brand ambassadors.

A bank that has been taking advantage of this is BBVA. They developed an entire ambassador “scheme” in order to push their “core values”, which are integrity, simplicity, honesty, sacrifice, the spirit of endeavor, commitment, and teamwork. One of the ambassadors they cherish the most is Carlos Soria. They have a photo on their website of him, underneath which they include a little tidbit of information. They talk about why they value him as an employee and how he represents their company.

Using your employees as ambassadors is all about getting to know your employees and making sure that their values match the company’s; that they identify with the company. TheExchange4FI youtube channel gives tips about using social media for small businesses. This video explains how to make sure you employees understand their role as brand ambassadors.

The Financial Brand gives tips on how NOT to tweet if you are representing your financial institution. They have given examples of foolishly posted social media content that is simply out of context. Such examples include a post that talks about funny baby elephant videos. When it comes to context, think about what you would talk about at the bank, if you wouldn’t, they advise you don’t post it.

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Taxes and Social Media Part 2: Getting Help

If you do not have the money to spend on hiring someone to prepare your tax returns, you will have to prepare your taxes returns yourself. This can be difficult and many look to online resources for help on how to make sure they are filling out their tax forms correctly.  You could go on websites like About.com for quick tips http://taxes.about.com/od/taxplanning/qt/first_time.htm. Yet, there may be better options. Many companies are utilizing snackable social media to help people with their taxes. They will produce short video clips with tips or instructions on how to do certain things when it comes to filling tax forms for the IRS. This allows taxpayers to gain trust in the company and then eventually want to buy their product or service. The majority of companies that use this tactic are banks and tax help companies. One such example is HR Blocks snippet on filling separately or as a married couple.

The IRS has workshops online for filing taxes, but they are not so snackable.

If not using a video, some companies use their website to offer tips on filing taxes. H&R Block has this tax calculator on their website which attracts people to their website and may lead them to want to purchase their services. Turbo tax also uses this tactic, but it is slightly more obvious that they want you to purchase something, as all the calculators are only to “try”.

Turbo tax also sponsors a blog called “The Tax Center” which is a part of the website DailyFinance. This blog gives tips about E-filing and other tax related hints. This is a smart tactic because they are making themselves part of the IRS conversation. When people are searching for help, they’ll see turbo tax everywhere.

Taxes and Social Media part 1: The IRS

With tax season coming to an end, most of us have already submitted a report of our past earnings to Internal Revenue Services. With that in mind, some of us might want to ask ourselves if the information on our social media activity matches the information on our tax forms. Specialists such as Kristen Mathews of Proskauer Rose LLP believe that IRS will not hesitate to snoop around on your social media if they sense you have reported false information.  As seen in the video below, many people find it strange and wonder how it could be legal for the IRS to complete such searches. Mathews explains that recently, privacy laws of this sort have become more lenient.

Although the IRS could potentially use a minor detail to support a red flag on a tax report, it has been the obvious cases that have given this method the most success. One such example of a fraudulent tax report mystery that did not take long to solve involved a woman named Rashia Wilson. She bragged about her gains from misfiled tax forms on her Facebook. One post even read “YES I’M RASHIA THE QUEEN OF IRS TAX FRAUD”.

http://www.myfoxdc.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8751120