Melissa Campanelli's The View From Here: How Twitter Helped Tax Season Run Smoothly for TurboTax
To help make the process of answering all the questions it receives during tax season more efficient and effective, TurboTax launched a major Twitter initiative in February. It enlisted 40 employees — everyone from tax experts to product managers to support reps — to answer both tax and software questions through its Twitter account.
The process was managed with the help of ExactTarget’s Twitter platform CoTweet, a sort of CRM Twitter software that enables users to easily search for questions across Twitter about taxes; assign customer tweets to the right expert within the company; and respond to the customer in short order. In fact, the program enabled TurboTax employes to answer tweets in less than four minutes.
The program worked. After April 15, TurboTax surveyed its customers and received the following results:
- 54 percent of TurboTax Twitter followers specifically sought tax help;
- 48 percent of users said TurboTax was effective in helping them complete tax returns; and
- 77 percent of users said they'd likely recommend TurboTax.
Because of the success TurboTax enjoyed, I asked Chelsea Marti, public relations and social media manager at TurboTax, to come up with some best practices associated with using Twitter for business. She offered the following three:
1. Remember that you're a brand. "While you may want to personalize your approach with your Twitter followers, remember that you're a brand first; don't invade their personal spaces," Marti said. "Start out by introducing yourself and saying hello, then start answering questions. Don't start hawking your products or throwing information at them right off the bat."
2. Keep it fun. "We find that we have much better engagement with followers when we're light-hearted and friendly," Marti said.