Turbo Tax Uses Facebook Connect to Allow Friends to Spread the Word

Turbo Tax, maker of a popular tax preparation software, debuted a Facebook Connect Integration — Friends Like You — which creates a web of acquaintances allowing the user to see Facebook friends and others with similar tax issues and their reviews of Turbo Tax.

Upon visiting the web site and connecting to Facebook or other social networks, the Friendlyzer creates several concentric rings with the user at the center, friends in the first circle, and “People Like You” in the second. Clicking on the photo of the people in the circle allows the user to see both good and bad reviews of Turbo Tax from people in similar tax situations — from recent parents to students to new homeowners.

Turbo Tax representatives said this particular strategy on Facebook was designed to increase revenue and, based on previous campaigns on Facebook, maximize the number of impressions for the company.

“We have 20 million customers at Turbo Tax and 50% of them use Facebook,” said Seth Greenberg, director of media and digital marketing for TurboTax. “The overall objective is to prove that social drives revenue — and not just a little bit of revenue. We are a billion dollar business.”

Facebook is where the fish are, said Greenberg, which is why the Friendlyzer was designed to bring the user as close to the Turbo Tax experience as possible. Not only may the user see what their friends or people in their particular tax situation thought of Turbo Tax, but the experience is shared on their news feed, which is a big deal Greenberg notes, considering his average customer has 150 friends on Facebook.

Consequently, Turbo Tax is thinking big, hoping Friends Like You creates hundreds of millions of impressions. This is the difference between this Facebook strategy and previous ones employed by Turbo Tax, Greenberg said.

Previously Turbo Tax employed contests, giveaways and in 2009 there was a status contest combined with a game. The status game allowed Turbo Tax users to influence people in their Facebook networks, Greenberg said, but Friends Like You does the same thing with the added benefit or also providing a customer review of their product. It’s one way the company can target their message to potential clients.

“It’s letting our best customers talk about it to their friends,” on Facebook, he said. “It’s ‘friendcasting’ as opposed to broadcasting.”