Thursday, April 02, 2009

TurboTax's Twitter Campaign

Since Twitter launched in 2006, businesses have been keen to embrace the tiny San Francisco based startup. We’ve seen Microsoft sponsor ExecTweets, a Twitter-powered CEO soapbox, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh amass nearly 350,000 followers, and use the Twitter API to incorporate tweets into its CRM products.

One corporate usage of Twitter that surprised me today and is particularly bold is Turbo Tax’s wholehearted embrace of its Twitter account. Intuit has purchased display advertising space on Twitpic, the photo sharing site, and the ads go directly to TurboTax’s Twitter page, where users can either elect to follow Turbo Tax (currently has 1,080 followers) or click through to the regular website. TurboTax is paying real money and even had a custom ad designed (the ads are on the DoubleClick network) to have people view its Twitter account. This is astounding and really speaks to how large companies are embracing Twitter and purportedly finding real value in the service. It’s undoubtedly experimental marketing, but I’m curious to see what kind of measurements they’re targeting to evaluate this campaign.

Full Disclosure: I work for Intuit but have no knowledge or non-public information about this particular initiative.