Friday, November 1, 2013

Taylor Jones; Assignment #3

As of Friday, November 1st, Taco Bell’s twitter account has 873, 017 followers and follows only 16 accounts. Taco Bell uses its social media presence to interact with a youthful audience and open the dialogue between customers about their products.  By using effective marketing techniques and leveraging celebrity fans, Taco Bell has created a social media footprint that encourages participation and rewards.  Taco Bell currently has a number of premiums available to customers. To promote their  new “5 buck box”, the restaurant has teamed up with Sony to give customers a chance to win a Play Station 4. The twitter account instructs users to buy the box for the chance to win the game console. In addition to this, Taco Bell has asked their followers to send in pictures of them eating the 5-buck box in order to get digital coupons to the restaurant.  The request brought in a surge of submissions.

From a participatory standpoint, Taco Bell does an amazing job of creating events around their products and giving the users a chance to get in on the action.  Taco Bell hosted a number of large-scale events in the Los Angeles area to promote the release of their Fiery Doritos Taco in September. Users had a chance to attend these events by retweeting certain tweets from the Taco Bell twitter account. Taco Bell’s twitter page contains a great deal of user-generated content. Taco bell routinely asks followers to post pictures of them doing fun, eccentric things with Taco Bell products. For example, one user proposed to his girlfriend with a Taco, and one follower dressed up as a Doritos Taco for Halloween and submitted the photo.  Taco Bell not only retweets these photographs but they also include them in their Twitter background photos.

One of Taco Bell’s biggest strengths is the dialogue they create between their customers. The restaurant creates an environment where not only can the users communicate with Taco Bell about their products but also with users all around the world. Taco Bells routinely ask fans to use hastags and tweet their usual order at the restaurant.  Taco Bell also asks users to post reaction photos and videos after trying new items on the menu. Taco Bell has also done an excellent job providing relevant, engaging content for followers. Taco Bell has garnered a large celebrity following largely due to their relationship with MTV where they have sponsored a number of awards shows and giveaways with the networks. Stars of MTV shows routinely tweet about Taco Bell and send pictures of them eating the restaurants products. By leveraging these celebrities’ star power, Taco Bell has been able to tap into markets they may have not been able to infiltrate before.

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