Univeral Amplifier

Universal Amplifier

Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

Taco Bell App and Social Media Measurement

Perhaps one of the biggest story-lines in social media news this week was the unique approach that Taco Bell took in unveiling their new app that introduced a new way to order food at the fast-food chain. Customers are now able, and encouraged, to use the app to place an order in advance of visiting a location. Taco Bell stressed that this move allows customers to customize and personalize their order, letting the customer experience the brand how they want to experience it. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, right? Not at all – it’s awesome actually. Along with the announcement of the new app, which I’m sure everyone at Universal Information Services will use frequently, there is a great lesson in social media evaluation to be taught here.

Taco Bell is strategizing sales of food around social media, which is a smart idea – they are the first in their industry to do so (pizza chains don’t count).The interesting thing about the app launch is the way Taco Bell has promoted the new app – or the lack of promotion for the new app. The company announced the release of the app on Tuesday morning, via livestream, and rather than having an extensive social media campaign in order to promote the app, the company has blacked out all of their social media accounts. Leaving this image on all accounts, encouraging customers to download the app:

Taco Bell created a new Twitter account for the release of the app, which gained 2,330 followers in the first six hours of the launch, with the lone Tweet containing the image blackout image (posted above). What happened to Taco Bell’s other Twitter account? They couldn’t have just ditched 1.4 million followers, right? Correct. The main Taco Bell account has been blacked out, protected and renamed (new name for Taco Bell account = ‘@totallynothere’).

Universal Information Services measuring the social media engagement for Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s Facebook page with the “black out” campaign in place for #onlyintheapp

The company also blacked out their Facebook and Instagram accounts, with the same image and same idea of blacking out the entire account.

So what does this all have to do with social media measurement? It’s fairly easy to explain. Taco Bell made this easy to measure, quantitatively speaking. Here are a few ways that Taco Bell can easily measure success of the app launch:

  • The company is able to measure the amount of new followers to the new Twitter account by simply measuring how many followers it has.
  • To measure how many people are talking about the app, they can run searches for #ONLYINTHAPP and see how much traction it got.
  • Simply look at how many downloads the app had in the app store.

While all of those measures are useful – there may be room for error. What about qualitative measurement? Measuring engagement and impact might be hard for the amount of tweets and posts there will be for the release of this app, which is where Universal Information Services can provide a helping hand. Using our social media impact score, that wraps up tone, key messaging, and the amount of followers a tweeter has, we can give an accurate measurement of return on effort.

Hopefully Taco Bell has a plan in place to measure the tone of messages that customers are blasting out on social media, as well as measuring what messages exist within said social media chatter. While measuring the amount of Tweets, mentions of the hashtag, and how many people were engaged with the launch is critical – the company needs to make sure that they are actively pursuing these qualitative measures to ensure that the product release is received favorably by customers.

What is important to you when measuring the effectiveness of your public relations or social media campaigns?


Leave a Reply