While they’re a relative newcomer to the UK’s fast food scene, with 10 outlets across the UK at the time of writing, Taco Bell are a huge player in the US fast food market, and have a social media presence to match that. With 1.76 million followers – more than KFC and Burger King – what is it that Taco Bell’s Twitter team do which make them so popular?
Established in 1954, by Mr Glen Bell, nobody could have predicted that this simple drive-thru restaurant was going to be as successful as it has turned out to be. His original plan was to introduce Californians to the delicious Mexican snack, the taco, after hearing them mispronounce it as “take-oh”. His philosophy of fun, entertainment and education continues on in the company’s Twitter feed.
Visually, the Taco Bell Twitter feed is undeniably eye-catching. They make use of bright, bold visuals – both still and moving, with high contrast colour on everything from their header bar to their animations. Their monochrome logo goes well with whichever colour scheme they use, so there’s no danger of it looking out of place. With 615,000 pieces of multimedia currently available to view, you can see this is something they’re very involved in.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) August 28, 2016
Something Taco Bell do really well is keep themselves involved in media events. The MTV Music Video Awards (VMAs) were held at the end of August, and Taco Bell held a huge pre-VMA party, featuring pop stars Tove Lo, Phantogram and Bebe Rexha. Their Twitter feed lit up with videos of the artists performing, and, of course, the tacos which were served. They also included links to their Snapchat, where you could watch live performances, keeping the customer involved, or perhaps even introduced, to their other social media outlets.
Interactivity is key to Taco Bell, although they’re not the biggest user of customer-made content. There’s plenty of “Click this” and “Share this” content which they’ve created. They don’t appear to follow their followers in return, following only a handful of confirmed celebrity accounts. However, you can spot the odd retweet if you scroll through their feed. They encourage customers to take part in their online events, such as their current #tacoemojiengine, where customers tweet them the taco emoji, plus one other, and Taco Bell’s Twitter staff come up with an animation for that combination.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 25, 2016
This example features a tweet from Ashley, who sent them an emoji of a taco and a pair of sunglasses, which produced an animation of a taco wearing shades, saying “Meal with it”. There’s no prize for being featured; just the kudos of getting your name on an international Twitter feed.
Proving that it’s not all aboself-promotionion, you’ll often find reference to their Live Mas scholarship, which shares $1 million among “innovators, creators and dreamers” who want to go to university to further their education. Rather than focusing on grades or sporting ability, 2016’s scholarships funded the university education of 220 students who were passionate about their subject, and would have interesting tales to share on the Twitter feed. It’s a real “Feel Good” moment to see how the students’ lives have improved thanks to their scholarship. On 28th August, they featured the story of scholarship winner Justin, who would not have made it to college without them.
Merchandise gets the occasional promo on Taco Bell’s feed. One recent promotion featured a design by Mia, one of the students who’d won a Live Mas Scholarship, which was subsequently worn by the staff who manned their pre-VMA party. Just in case you missed out on this, they pinned a promotional tweet, which included a link to purchase the taco printed T-shirts.
The Taco Bell feed is regularly updated, featuring plenty of fun information about what they’re up to. While it’s lacking a little in things like menu information, it’s certainly fast moving and perfect for the person who wants a quick slice of entertainment from one of America’s favourite fast food joints.