Taco Bell – Thinking Outside the Bun & Outside the Box

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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 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.

Capron, C. (n.d.). Social Media Marketing Lessons From Taco Bell. lotus823. Retrieved June 28, 2014, from http://www.lotus823.com/social-media-marketing-lessons-from-taco-bell/

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6 thoughts on “Taco Bell – Thinking Outside the Bun & Outside the Box

    • I have a confession to make: I’ve never eaten at Taco Bell. Nor do I plan on eating there any time soon. But I find it quite amazing to learn that they are so digital-marketing savvy, compared to McDonalds or BurgerKing, for instance.

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  1. I would have to agree with you I hope Chipotle gets up there – at least #2. Taco Bell has a witty social media employee – which is great for marketing and advertising. They have done what many companies aren’t able to, making their company or brand personal to their consumer. Twitter is a great platform for Taco Bell.

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  2. I think this is ultimately great advertising. I don’t know if you have seen the whole campaign and little social media experiment between Taco Bell and McDonald’s about imitating one another. They say all publicity is good publicity. And whether or not these two are really competing against one another, I know that they are always looking for new ways to engage their customers. I don’t eat fast food, but it is interesting to see how they are getting more involved in “customer service” and customer feedback. Its all about brand loyalty and which brand is bringing the “good eats” and making sure the public is expressing themselves.

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  3. Completely agree. Taco Bell by far have the best social media presence for fast food chains. I love how they consistently retweet followers every time they mention Taco Bell on Twitter. Additionally, I enjoy their use of Instagram to debut new menu items. While it’s food isn’t exactly authentic (waffle taco?), at least their use of social media is innovative and exciting.

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  4. Pingback: 4 examples of companies that took a human approach to marketing - Vision Critical

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