- March 3, 2016
When Harrison McNeill first created the Good Bean Jokes Twitter account, it was born out of some inside jokes among him and his friends.
He didn’t know it then, but the Baldwin Park resident’s witty bean jokes and puns would one day land him a position as a copywriter — and put him in charge of the Bush’s Beans Twitter account.
McNeill, 19, is a rising sophomore at Florida State University, but his experience with the agency for which he works began when he was a senior at Trinity Preparatory School. It all started with some simple bean jokes.
“It was just an account where I literally just made jokes about beans, and that was all I did,” he says. “There were puns and whatever else, and they were just a joke between me and my friends. It was kind of a random thing that we thought was funny, and I made that account not really expecting anything out of it.”
As his bean jokes grew in popularity, so did his followers. The more jokes and puns he posted, the more traction the Good Bean Jokes account received. And when another account with a large following tweeted about him, the followers came rolling in.
“I just kind of rode that wave of exposure,” he says. “I’m not exactly sure how many followers I had — probably about 50,000, give or take some. While I was running the account, I had been tweeting at and having conversations with branded Twitter accounts.”
McNeill said he never previously had a large internet presence outside of his own social media accounts. He began putting hours of effort and hard work into the Good Bean Jokes account, creating content that people loved to eat up. The jokes and interactions continued, and he even made some friends through the account.
Right as he was graduating high school, an ad agency reached out to him with interest in hiring him as a copywriter.
“I ended up getting contacted, and that was probably the most exciting thing because I was like, ‘This is becoming real now,’” he says. “That was a cool moment to realize that. They flew me up there, and I ended up working for them. I landed the Bush’s Beans account with them, and ever since then, I have been running that.”
At first, family and friends were surprised he landed the role of running the Bush’s Twitter account — and it was a pleasant surprise to him, too. It goes to show, though, that hard work can manifest into great opportunities, he says.
“Now I think everyone just thinks it’s like the coolest thing ever, which I do, too,” he says. “It’s definitely the thing I’m proudest of in my life so far.”
With McNeill’s knack for wit and knowledge of social media, he doesn’t find it very hard to come up with great content. He’ll write down any ideas or jokes that come to mind in his notebook, and the best ones make it to Twitter and beyond.
His favorite parts of the job are the people he works with — a creative bunch who are always there to brainstorm and share a laugh. There’s also the satisfaction of coming up with the next viral post.
“We’ve had a couple pretty big tweets,” he says when asked about his favorites. “I’d say the one that sticks out the most to me is the introductory tweet where I was like, ‘Hey everyone, it’s @GoodBeanJokes.’ I tweeted that and then everyone started seeing that and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, he did it! He actually runs the account now!’ It got a bunch of interactions.”
Now I think everyone just thinks it’s like the coolest thing ever, which I do, too. It’s definitely the thing I’m proudest of in my life so far.” — Harrison McNeill
McNeill has even been recognized on his college campus as the Good Bean Jokes guy, and people will stop and say hello to him.
Perhaps one of the most valuable things McNeill has gotten thus far from his experience running the Bush’s Beans account is clarity on the career path he wants to pursue in life. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do career-wise before landing the job; today, he’s studying marketing at FSU.
“This is kind of my calling and what I’m going to end up doing,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of what you see behind advertisements, not only through Bush’s but just working at the agency. I’ve seen a lot about how much work goes on behind the scenes. … It’s been really interesting to see how it all works.”
And for any aspiring copywriters, influencers or social-media gurus, McNeill’s best advice is to be true to yourself and post or write about what you enjoy.
“I’d say just post what you think is funny,” he says. “Try to find something unique, if you can, or just something that you actually enjoy and find funny and are interested in. Don’t just try to do what everyone else is doing, because people can see right through it if it’s something that you don’t actually enjoy and you’re just trying to do what’s popular. Popularity comes through being authentic.”