Taco Bell Takes the Fiesta to Twitter

This post is part of the Twitter for Brands Series, which features winning strategies from the top brand pages on Twitter and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

Consumers’ favorite place to grab a fourth meal, Taco Bell, runs a Twitter strategy that ensures fans stay loyal to the brand.

The fast food mega corporation has over 188,000 followers on Twitter.

Although it doesn’t rank among the top brands on the site, it’s interested in what its fans have to say and takes their comments to heart.

Use New Technology and Creative Marketing

In March, Taco Bell set itself apart from competitors by introduced augmented reality, a technology that took its Doritos Locos Tacos campaign to a new level. People could scan a QR code on cups and boxes and see a stream of live tweets about the product. Some tweets, according to ClickZ, scrolled across billboards on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and in Times Square in New York.

The Twitter campaign was just one small aspect of the overall strategy for the Doritos Locos Tacos launch. It  was accompanied by a tweet off, in which “the Twitter user whose aptly hashtagged tweet [was] retweeted the most times [won] a hometown visit from the Taco Bell Truck for an early taste.”

According to ClickZ, director of digital marketing for the company Tressie Lieberman said, “We want to join those conversations and engage with our consumers where they are already talking” about Taco Bell.

With the help of the social media site, Doritos Locos Tacos helped sales rise 6 percent in the first quarter after they were introduced. The big push proved to be a positive move for the chain, which had decreasing sales.

Answer Fans’ Requests, Questions, and Concerns

A majority of its tweets are replies to consumers or retweets. It rarely posts its own content. When user @TylerCronin tweeted, “When @TacoBell is out of baja blast.. <<<< #worstdayever,” it tweeted back, “That’s not right. Sorry, Tyler.” It also has fun with the brand’s fans. On May 19, @meganpiles tweeted, “I love @TacoBell.” She received a reply that said, “@meganpiles We feel the same way about you.”

Other big food brands such as Starbucks and McDonalds have also found that acting like a real person on Twitter can only lead to good things. Paying attention to customers, using the platform for customer service purposes, and being human are always smart strategies.

Solve a PR Nightmare

When Taco Bell was faced with a crushing lawsuit in 2011 claiming it doesn’t use real beef, the company fought back on Facebook, YouTube, and in the Twittersphere. Specifically on Facebook and Twitter, the company ran a promotion for one free taco per customer to prove that the meat is real.

“The unique and shareable format of the company’s messages made them easy for consumers and reporters to digest,” wrote Mashable.

Giving away discounts and promotions fosters brand loyalty, and in this case, curbed what could have been a deal breaker for customers who frequent the chain.

On Twitter, Taco Bell strengthens its customer relationships by holding giveaways and being responsive to questions and concerns. It has also offered something different–an innovative marketing campaign that heavily relied upon customer reviews and tweets.

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