Learn how Taco Bell, an American-based chain of fast food restaurants, has been using social listening to fuel their marketing.
When it comes to social media marketing, Taco Bell gets every part of its strategy right. So what makes it so successful? Let’s find out.
Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., is a Mexican-inspired American fast-food chain known for its tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, etc. It serves more than 2 billion people at around 7,000 restaurants.
Taco Bell is killing it in social media marketing, leaving behind fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Burger King. It’s not even about the number of followers it has but about the engagement level and the way it keeps up with its audience in a proactive way.
So, what underlines their strategy?
The answer: social listening.
There are multiple ways Taco Bell is leveraging social listening to track its audience’s sentiments and put out marketing strategies based on that data.
In this post, we’ll look at how Taco Bell uses social listening to its advantage and what you can learn from the same.
Different ways in which Taco Bell uses social listening
1. Actively engaging with their audience
Simply having thousands of followers on social media is not enough. Further, a lack of personality and tons of promotional posts will not inspire your audience to hit the follow button.
The key to building a loyal following is to use social media not just to look popular or post valuable content but also to build meaningful connections with your followers. After all, it’s not only the content that decides who and how many of your followers will see your post — the more you will engage with your followers, the more they will be interested in your content and share it with others.
Taco Bell has a knack for actively engaging with its followers — no matter what the channel. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but it has proven to help Taco Bell achieve social media bliss. In a nutshell, solid content combined with real-time engagement has equated to social media success for this fast-food brand.
For example, check out this Twitter exchange between Taco Bell and its followers:
2. Identifying their target markets
Understanding your audience is the core element of every brand’s growth. It helps you figure out the content and message people care about. In other words, the better you understand your target audience, the more you’ll be able to focus your content and reach the people most likely to convert into customers.
Taco Bell understands this and does everything to appeal to its audience. It has spent considerable time studying their habits and lifestyles and is aware that its target market is those between 18 to 34 years old who love tacos when it’s late at night. It also knows that this audience prefers drive-thru instead of going physically to a restaurant. That’s the reason why Taco Bell partnered with delivery apps long before other fast-food chains.
Besides, Taco Bell has been keeping a close watch on where its audience comes from in terms of location. In fact, it has created separate pages on social media targeting different countries that help develop well-segmented marketing strategies.
3. Launch of merchandise
People love to buy items containing a brand logo on them — known as branded merchandise. Hence, various brands have started launching their merchandise with the motive to promote their business. These products can be anything — drinkware, T-shirts, hoodies, men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, etc. You can either give them away as gifts or discounts at an event or sell them online or in stores just like Taco Bell does.
Taco Bell saw that their target audience and customers are actively using their taglines, such as “live mas,” and used this opportunity to launch their merchandise in collaboration with Forever 21. The collection includes everything from graphic T’s, themed tops, and bodysuits to cropped hoodies, anorak jackets, and pullovers.
4. Promoting user generated content
Let’s face it; nothing conveys authenticity than user-generated content. Sure, you can create tons of promotional videos with a company representative telling about the benefits of the company or product. But, people are more likely to trust other customers than they trust brands. In fact, it is an excellent way to receive more views, build trust, and expand your outreach.
Taco Bell does a fantastic job celebrating its customers with humorous and eye-catching user-generated content. They actively keep an eye on the people who buy from them and feature them in their “Hall of Fame.” In other words, they give them shoutouts so that more followers can see it and engage with it. UGC also acts as social proof because you see the real people who recommend your product, making their opinion more trustworthy.
5. Identifying what their audience cares about
It’s no secret that customers are more inclined towards social and environmental issues than ever before. In fact, 86% of the consumers are likely to purchase from purpose-driven brands, and better, if they have the same beliefs and values as them.
This makes cause marketing one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand. People love to engage and buy from businesses that support a cause they care about or know what they want to contribute towards.
Taco Bell gets cause marketing — and they get it right. They keep a watch on their customers’ conversations and have started the Taco Bell Foundation that distributes grants and scholarships across the US each year. Till now, it has awarded $114 million in grants and scholarships focused on education and career readiness and reached more than 4.7 million young people across the country.
6. Creating audience-driven content
Constantly focusing on your company’s accomplishments not only makes you seem vain, but it may actually take the interest of your audience away from your brand. This is where audience-driven content comes into the picture.
Your audience should be the core of everything you do on your social media. Their interests and behavior are what should drive your marketing decisions. Hence, creating audience-driven content is crucial as it is a type of content that’s laser-focused on the contributions or stories of a brand’s audience. It is a great way to show interest in their achievements and create a lasting impression with them.
Taco Bell has used this tactic to share the success stories of the scholars under the Taco Bell Foundation. These stories demonstrate the scholar’s journey — their accomplishments, educational background, employment history, and more.
7. They are active on communities
If you want to strengthen your brand and engage with your customers, you need to build a brand community. These communities consist of your most loyal customers who are emotionally invested in your brand. Plus, these allow your audience to connect with like-minded people.
However, a brand community isn’t something you build from scratch. Instead, it already exists on social media, and it’s your responsibility to find this community, connect with people directly, and encourage individuals within the community to interact with each other.
Taco Bell has the most active community on Reddit — r/tacobell — with various subreddits, such as r/fastfood, r/LivingMas, and more. In this community, it actively engages with its audiences, watches their conversations, and designs marketing strategies accordingly.
8. Localisation of offers based on demographics
Localized content is an excellent opportunity for a global brand to attract a local audience and create a place where they want to spend their time, interact with other people, and make purchases.
Creating localized content goes beyond translating the words in the audience’s native language. Instead, it means addressing a customer’s cultural, linguistic, and other contextual components to adapt the content to a local market. When people see that you understand their cultural values and use local industry jargon, they connect with your brand on a deeper level and improve the chances of buying your products.
Taco Bell understands what it takes to attract an audience of different demographics. That’s why it has created multiple social media accounts targeted towards its customers in different countries. Also, it designs its social media content in such a way that resonates with the particular target market. For example, discounts and offers provided by Taco Bell in Sri Lanka and Canada are different based on audience segments, events, currency value, and so on.
Here’s an excellent example:
Taco Bell is the epitome of attracting and retaining an audience using social listening. It allows you to build a solid understanding of what your current and future customers think and say about your brand on social media. It is an incredible market research opportunity in real-time — as long as you know how to do it right.
Hence, if you’re not leveraging social listening in your business, you’re missing some of the most valuable information available to help build your brand.
Are you looking to have a social listening strategy in place? Try Radarr.
It makes it a breeze to monitor customers’ conversations on different social channels, so you can focus on creating strategies based on the insights available.
Here is the complete guide to Instagram social listening.