Turbo Tax: Users Turn Evangelists with the Help of Gigya

Written by Bonnie Boglioli...April 26, 2011

This article is part of a series titled “Social Success Stories” in which we explore social media successes by platforms and organizations.

Gone are the days when corporate websites acted as walled gardens that worked independently from one another and from their users. Brand discussions, loyalty and trust are now cultivated on Facebook and Twitter rather than on proprietary websites.  It’s little wonder why. In one recent study, 71 percent of consumers cited product reviews from friends and family as the primary influence on their purchasing decisions (Booz & Co, 2011). Statistics like this have lured brands large and small to the social space where conversations take place and brands are now defined.

Facebook widgets, though still there, are no longer the singular means to harness the power of social networks. Most savvy brands elect to work with service providers to guide them through the social maze and ensure they are effectively participating in the space and generating real results. Partnering with a virtual smorgasbord of name brands, Gigya’s SaaS platform seamlessly connects websites to the social web and effectively drives traffic, increases conversion rates, tracks analytics and more. Its recent collaboration with TurboTax has resulted in driving the results and KPIs that the brand was seeking. In this piece, we’ll explore how TurboTax reached new customers that were previously untapped by traditional advertising through an innovative approach of turning customers into evangelists.

Turbo Tax Case Study

On the heels of tax day, some 20 million Americans filed their taxes online with TurboTax, the well known software application made by Intuit Inc. With stock prices that have risen nearly 50 percent in a single year and double that in the last two, TurboTax may be sitting pretty by some definitions but it has been especially eager to integrate social media on its website and appeal to a larger market untapped by traditional advertising outlets. By embracing sharing, pollination and social personalization features, TurboTax continues to grow its user base and increase revenue well after a single tax season. Here’s how:

Partnering with Gigya, TurboTax identified Facebook and Twitter as key avenues for potential conversion growth and increased brand loyalty and awareness. With over half of TurboTax customers on Facebook alone (each averaging 150 friends), the opportunities presented by the vast network were simply too large to ignore. By turning loyal TurboTax customers into living, breathing evangelists on Facebook, the company stood to appeal to the majority of consumers who look to friends, family and peers for purchasing advice.

On the TurboTax “Friends Like You” website, TurboTax users can select key tax differentiators (such as marital status, employment, new house and more) to find connections with others in similar tax situations and read their unadulterated reviews of TurboTax right on the company website. TurboTax encourages users to submit those reviews via a seamless social sign on process (also offered by Gigya) for Facebook or Twitter upon filing their taxes. Customers can elect to share their reviews, good or bad, with their networks. Quick to understand the integral trust inherent in a peer review system, TurboTax implemented a transparent rating system that allows users to find the lowest rated reviews as easily as the highest, thus engendering more trust amongst users.

With the tax season now over, some 50,000 customers continue to share their reviews with their networks all from the TurboTax website. Better still and more importantly for TurboTax’s ultimate goal, a significant 75 percent of people who read and clicked-thru those reviews were new TurboTax customers, a figure that trumps banner ad conversion rates four times over. The reviews likewise serve to strengthen the tax solution’s intuitive, transparent image that it has carefully cultivated over the years.

Long story short: in today’s growing and savvy social market, it’s imperative that brands do not simply slap on a social widget on their website and call it a day. A carefully planned strategy that defines a single goal and utilizes social media for KPI-driven results is ultimately the path to success. A social roadmap like the one used by TurboTax incorporates sharing and personalization features that effectively broaden reach and lead to measurable, revenue-drawing results.

A version of the TurboTax case study is available on Gigya’s website. To see TurboTax’s Friends Like You in action, visit this link.

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