By Chelsea Riffe
It’s pretty safe to say that social media is taking over the world. It’s how we communicate, how we stay updated on current events, how we do our homework (ex: this blog post), and how we pass time. Brands recognize the need to be active and engaging on social sites, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To let consumers know you care, you have to be able to directly connect with them, and social media is the best way to do it.
One brand that is absolutely dominating the social and digital space is Taco Bell, (they have a whopping 1.28M followers on Twitter!) They’re one of the first brands to get a SnapChat account, and their Twitter is hilarious. Go follow them; you won’t be disappointed. According to Capron (2014), “Taco Bell currently ranks as No. 1 on DigitalCoCo’s Restaurant Social Media Index, edging out the likes of Wendy’s, McDonalds and Starbucks” (para. 1). Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Starbucks are powerhouses in the fast food and quick-stop sphere, so how is Taco Bell beating them out socially?
There are a few answers to that question. Taco Bell saw the need to be active in the social sphere early on, but it’s the team they put behind their content marketing that really allowed them to advance to where they are today. Their account on Twitter is extremely active. But the content is clever, witty and to the point. They don’t just provide updates, like “New menu item coming out this weekend!” They banter with their customers, dish funny comebacks to their haters, and even get a little controversial by calling out other brands. They’ve humanized a fast-food restaurant to be a funny person, one that people look forward to hearing from each day.
Not only have they provided a voice to the brand, but they allow their customer’s voices to be heard as well. They always retweet positive comments, answer questions, amplify promotions, and even repurpose content submitted by their followers on their Instagram page. It allows fans to feel like they’re helping promote Taco Bell.
They’ve even gone as far as to create a documentary for a conference they attended. It’s clear their marketing and advertising team recognizes the need to be present and prevalent in this Digital Age.
As you can see, the quick-service restaurant has taken fast food and made it somewhat glamorous. Seriously. Who ever thought $0.99 beef tacos could look so pretty? The user-generated content, combined with the clever and constantly active voice behind the brand on social media, make for a powerhouse combo when it comes to branding. All fast food chains need to take a note from Taco Bell. I’m rooting for Chipotle to become the next Taco Bell (on social media, that is). I’m just not sure anyone can compete with Taco Bell in the social realm right now.