Millennials Live Más

By: Marisa Cesare, @marisajocesare

In class this week, we touched on the importance of brands being present on Facebook. Facebook is an incredibly versatile social media platform that can reach out to a large audience when used correctly. At this point in the Facebook game, the type of content being shared is incredibly important. Consumers are looking for entertaining and engaging content, especially from brands marking their products.

Surprisingly, one brand that leverages its social media platforms very well, including Facebook, is Taco Bell. It was one of the first fast food chains to use cross-platform marketing strategies. Because of these tactics, they’ve seen stronger customer relationships, as well as an increase in sales. The key to Taco Bell’s success is their wide use of video content. Taco Bell has been posting video content to platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Vine (RIP), and Instagram since 2011. With over 10 million followers on Facebook, their page has generated 92.6% of the views for their video content.

Taco Bell focuses on making their content entertaining, visual, and easily accessible as way to advertise to millennials, one of their biggest customer bases.

As of 2015, millennials became the largest living generation in the U.S., representing almost  76 million consumers. Because of their increased spending power, brands are reaching out toward millennials more than ever.  As a brand, Taco Bell has reached all the targets of the “millennial mindset.” The millennial mindset refers to how millennials think or operate and how brands can use that to their advantage when marketing toward the demographic. Taco Bell reaches millennials because of their brand’s social media strategies and alignment with millennial values.

In addition to having visually entertaining content, they made their content accessible. With the creation of their new app, content and their brand in general is easier to reach than ever. The app is simple and easy to use, as well as makes ordering Taco Bell easier. It’s similar to the Starbucks app, where the customer can order through their phone and then skip the line when they pick their food up. Taco Bell’s goal is to come across as a “lifestyle brand.” It wants to be perceived as authentic and genuine. In order to reach this goal, Taco Bell uses platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to have real interactions with their customers and builds relationships with their influencers. For example, a major social media influencer for Taco Bell is the popular YouTuber Tyler Oakley. He honestly just loves Taco Bell (and lets be real, who doesn’t?) and promotes it on his channel. In return, Taco Bell made him a one of kind artwork for his birthday. Taco Bell is now also the healthiest fast food chain in America.With four different menu options: low calorie, high-protein, vegetarian and of course their classic menu featuring the ever popular Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell allows its following to make healthy choices, but only if they want too. Their limited advertisement of these new menus created even more trust within their customer base because the idea of being healthy from a fast-food restaurant wasn’t being shoved down their throats.

Other fast food chains should take notes because Taco Bell’s social media and marketing strategies are slaying the game.

  • Be genuine
  • Be entertaining
  • Know your audience
  • Remember the importance of content!

 

 

 

This Article Has 14 Comments
  1. Erin Petit says:

    Marisa,

    Great article! Great topic, too. By talking about Taco Bell, you definitely caught my millennial interest! I love the way that Taco Bell has used social media to attract its audience. I love that Taco Bell embraces its fast food-ness and calls itself out for what it really is. A solution for drunk people who are hungry at 2 a.m. Its social media revolves around celebrating its audience demographic, and its been rewarded colorfully. I think a lot of fast food industries could take note from Taco Bell’s social media.

    Erin

  2. Cyrus Heffernan says:

    Go Taco Bell! Sorry, I just love T-Bell, and their marketing department does a great job – I’m their target audience and they’ve got me hook, line, and sinker. I even wrote my second case study for this class on one of their campaigns – try tweeting @tacobell a taco emoji + any other emoji and see what happens. It’ll be fun!

  3. Ivan Hernandez says:

    I really like the closing statements on how Taco Bell approaches its social media campaigns, the blog sparked my interest. The most interesting questions that come out of this, is how much more money is Taco bell spending on their social media than other fast food chains? and what is the sales return of having that presence of mind in social media?

    The target market is very clear, and even the slogan “live mas” is literally aiming to millennials. Its also interesting to learn that they even have a campaign that includes tweeting @tacobell a taco emoji + any other emoji, that is pretty cool. They do have it figured out, and others should follow by example.

  4. Kate Miller says:

    You definitely caught my attention with your title. Millenials love Taco Bell. I love how many fast food chains use social media, but Taco Bell is by far the best. I love how Taco Bell owns its target market and what it is as a company and just runs with it. Even their sauce packets are clever. They have a great marketing team.

  5. Emily Hamann says:

    One point that I had never thought about was the fact that there was minimal advertising for these healthy alternatives, a point you’ve pointed out. Typically, fast food restaurants push their healthy options as much as possible and it is seen as a marketing scheme. Reading that Taco Bell has a wide range of menu options but not hearing it from an ad makes me want to try it more, and I think that is a strategy that we could take into consideration. Breaking outside of that box of traditional advertising is what Taco Bell has done and continues to do and it is one reason why they have had great success even after a few food scandals #ecoli

  6. Mahina Husain says:

    Is it just me or is anyone else craving some Taco Bell? It amazes me that a fast food restaurant would have a marketing powerhouse behind it, and a clever one at that. I liked the idea of the “millennial mindset” because, let’s be honest, skipping the line is the only reason I ever use the Starbucks app. Taco Bell does a wonderful job of knowing their target audience’s needs and wants. Fast, easy and simple what more could a hungry millennial want?

  7. Kristin Peixotto says:

    Marisa,
    I have to admit I’m not a big Taco Bell fan. I still can’t believe that they are the healthiest fast food chain in America! I think customers like me associate their menu with Doritos Locos Tacos and greasy tacos. However, it seems they are doing a great job with their social media content. I had no clue that they had over 10 million followers on Facebook! I think they could really do a better job promoting their healthier options.

  8. Justin Goettsch says:

    All Taco Bell needs for me to like their page is to keep making their delicious food!! Aside from their health benefits, their focus on the “millennial mindset” is something that all businesses should try and mirror. I didn’t realize the group of millennials was so big. No wonder they are making such a huge push. But making that push within the framework of their existing brand and tone is I think why their push has been so successful. You nailed it at the end with the bullets on how to really win at this type of marketing. Great post!

  9. Desiree Dahlson says:

    Taco Bell is bae for me, and this article makes me want to follow all of their social media profiles and download the app! It’s so crazy to think that millennials are now the largest living generation, meaning we have so much market power. Taco Bell is so smart (and ahead of their time it seems!) to tap into the millennial market and appeal to millennial with social media tactics similar to what we post ourselves! I also really like your point about not advertising the healthy option too heavily. When you think of fast food, you don’t normally think of healthy food, so while it’s great that Taco Bell now serves healthier options, it’s great that they still have their classic menu. If the healthier menu was advertised more it might take over the visibility of the classic menu, losing customers that like that classics and don’t want to be schooled on eating healthy. Great blog post Marisa!

  10. Sarah Borchardt says:

    Hey, Marisa!
    I love this article – Taco Bell’s social media is one that I always admire because of their humor and entertaining posts. I loved how you wrote about the Tyler Oakley collaboration they did for his birthday, I’d never heard of it before but it was totally creative and appealing to the “millennial mindset”.
    Honestly, your article got me thinking about how I should follow Taco Bell on more platforms and download their app – some pretty good unpaid marketing for them!
    What more could a millennial want than speedier fast food and humorous and creative advertising? TBH, those are two of my favorite things.
    Awesome blog post, you really captured me with the title and content! Through and through, it was interesting and I enjoyed learning about the insight you brought to the topic.
    Also, loved the RIP Vine mention, truly one of the saddest moments of 2017 thus far.

  11. Sarah Johnson says:

    Great post Mar! I had no idea that Taco Bell was so involved in social media, and does such a good job at it. Having someone like Tyler Oakley represent their company was one of the smartest thing that they could have done. It is important for them to show how they have a different variety of items on their menu. Someone who is trying to lose weight wouldn’t think to go to Taco Bell but they do have a low calorie menu! It makes me love Taco Bell even more…

  12. Adam Kantor says:

    I hate to be cynical here, but… when a giant corporation tries to feign authenticity in order to manipulate young people to purchase a product that is, in actuality, terrible for them; It strikes me as the opposite of authenticity. It strikes me as them being the best at being fake.

  13. Abby Bramble says:

    Marisa, the hot sauce picture and catchy title definitely had me interested. I totally feel like any college aged person at least is by now half made of Taco Bell at this point. I had no idea that Taco Bell had such a strong and versatile social media platform. I had recently noticed the company had almost over night started to rebrand itself. It was a smart move with competitors like Chipotle being in the news so much about its food issues that Taco Bell really seized the moment. I do think it is a great example of showing how a company really dialed into their demographics and did research on the best ways to reach its targeted audiences. I think Taco Bell did an incredible job at really honing in on its best customers and still getting away with its cheesy commercials and outrageous food combinations. Taco Bell will always being everyones 3am choice of fast food.

  14. Katy Edgington says:

    Yes! When I saw Taco Bell in the article title, best believe I stopped and clicked. This is such a great article. I was shocked in class when we heard how popular Taco Bell is on social media. For some reason I don’t think of Taco Bell as a particularly aesthetically pleasing brand, but they have a million followers on Instagram! For a mechanism that is so responsive to visual content, social media has been a way for Taco Bell to produce a different kind of visual content that includes the company’s audience instead of relying on the product itself. If you think about it, that could explain why they identify more as a lifestyle brand than a food brand. Their social media isn’t really about gourmet food, but rather the people Taco Bell connects with. Every organization should take notes from Taco Bell’s carefree, genuine content.

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