We tend to talk a lot about key metrics when discussing social media strategy. How many times should I post? How many fans should I have? What is my reach? Of course, these metrics are an important piece of social media management, but they aren’t the entire picture. Effective social media strategies require a serious investment in engagement and enthusiasm.
Let’s examine a company whose social media strategy has been astronomically successful: Taco Bell. Many business owners may wonder how Taco Bell could attain the seemingly impossible task of getting over 10 million Facebook fans. They didn’t do it by obsessing over metrics, they did it by using interactive content to engage their customer base. Here are some important lessons you can learn from Taco Bell:
Make Friends, Not Fans
Friendship is about give and take. It is not a one-sided relationship. When we think of fans, we see them primarily as consumers. This is how social media marketing managers get in the bad habit of using Facebook and Twitter to “push” information to consumers. True engagement happens when you have real interactive conversations, when you truly listen to customers, and when you respond in a timely manner to feedback. Taco Bell asked their Facebook fans to show examples of their new slogan “Live mas”. Fans responded enthusiastically with a variety of fun, wacky, and endearing photos of their interpretation of the new slogan. Not only were these fans part of the conversation, they actually help Taco Bell interpret and enforce their new brand identity.
Save the poised and prepared copy for your press releases, this won’t work for your social media management. Don’t be afraid to be real with your customers. They will undoubtedly respond to content that is relatable and authentic. Taco Bell adopted a light-hearted (sarcastic at times), responsive, and honest approach to social media content. Their quick-witted tweets have garnered the attention of their millennial target audience.
One of the more memorable and humorous moments came when Old Spice tweeted, "Why is it that ‘fire sauce’ isn't made with any real fire? Seems like false advertising." Taco Bell responded with their signature clever wit, "Is your deodorant made with really old spices?" Millennial customers are more likely to relate to this type of content, and it’s entertaining enough to keep them coming back for more. In addition to these benefits authenticity helps to build brand trust.
Reward Brand Loyalty
Loyalty rewards are nothing new in the world of social media management. It’s likely that you already offer discounts or coupons to followers and fans. Taco Bell took this strategy to the next level; they used their knowledge and passion for their products to offer incentives that customers would be excited about. One concept that they used effectively was exclusivity. To say that customers were excited about the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco would be a huge understatement. Customers were obsessed with this new product. When Taco Bell offered its loyal fans an opportunity to taste the tacos early, they responded with thousands of shares and comments, giving Taco Bell a social media boost as well as rewarding customers.
You may not reach 10 million Facebook fans anytime soon, but you can learn some valuable lessons from Taco Bell. Though it may seem counterintuitive, you must focus on qualitative strategies before you will see your numbers increase. Create authentic content that speaks to your target audience, reward brand loyalty in new, innovative ways, and treat your fans and followers like “friends”. This is a great place to start when trying to emulate the success of Taco Bell.
Interested in connecting with your customers on social media but know you don't have the time? Check out our Social Media Management services and send us a note, we'd be happy to help!