Food preferences aside (I love t-bell), we can all agree on one thing about Taco Bell: they own social media. Let’s look at how they are achieving social bliss with their ‘first-mover’ mentality and crowd sourced approach to social media. 

Taco Bell currently ranks as No. 1 on DigitalCoCo’s Restaurant Social Media Index, edging out the likes of Wendy’s, McDonalds and Starbucks.

Besides their aggressive social growth, which is a nearly 42% increase in one year on Facebook alone, Taco Bell is doing a lot of things right. Take for instance the very name of their social media department. The folks out in Irvine (Taco Bell’s HQ) who handle social media call their workspace ‘The Center for Social Excellence’.  It’s this kind of mentality that is giving Taco Bell an edge over the competition.

Let’s break down three key elements to their social media marketing success in the ever-evolving social ecosystem:

Taco Bell creates and shares authentic, creative content 

The social media team at Taco Bell is comprised of mostly millennials who eat, breathe, and sleep social media. They use social media connections to collaborate with influencers and produce amazing content that fans, quite literally, ‘eat up’.

Taco Bell not only creates unique visuals, it repurposes a lot of user-submitted content on its own channels, making the fans feel as though they have a hand in promoting the brand. Every fan and every ‘like’ now becomes increasingly valuable to the brand’s social media marketing campaign. The brand fully understands its audience and what excites them. A quick look at Taco Bells Instagram page will give you an idea about the type of visually appealing content that will make your mouth water.

The importance of qualitative vs. quantitative growth

The folks at Taco Bell are about more than just numbers in a spreadsheet (but they sure know how to achieve it). They are hell-bent on cultivating intimate relationships with their fans. The brand has gone all-in on storytelling and they even take it a step further by rewarding their loyal fans and brand evangelists.

Taco Bell played this perfectly when they gave their social insiders and advance opportunity to try to new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco prior to its nationwide launch. The added quantitative result was a social post with nearly 20,000 responses and 4,000 shares. Those are numbers that any social media marketing nerd would drool over.

Taco Bell actively participates in social conversations with fans and brands

Taco Bell has a definitive knack for engaging, in real time, with not only their fans, but other brands as well. The team has achieved a near optimal balance of pre-planned and spur-of-the-moment content shared in real time. They rely on the mix of paid, earned, and owned media. Engaging with fans is one of the most important aspects of their overall strategy.

They also kick it up a notch by engaging with other noteworthy brands. Check out this Twitter exchange between Taco Bell and Old Spice from back in 2012:

Taco Bell has figured out how to achieve social media bliss. Solid content alongside hyperactive community managers equates to social media success for a fast food brand that is no stranger to controversy on the web.

Taco Bell’s unique and innovative approach to social media is the epitome of how to humanize and tell stories with a large corporation.

What’s your favorite brand on social media? Do you draw inspiration from their methods and try to apply them yourself? Share with us! Check out lotus823 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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