Taco Bell did something that no other fast food chain has done yet: they went dark on their social media. Indeed, Taco Bell wiped out its 1.4 millions of Twitter followers, erased all its previous comments from Facebook, and only has a nine image grid on their Instagram that reads: “The new way to Taco Bell isn’t on Instagram. It’s #onlyintheapp.” Why? In an effort to introduce their brand new mobile app.
The app, targeted to Millennials who spend a significant time on their mobile phones scrolling through apps, will allow customers to pre-order and pre-pay for their orders using a saved credit card or gift card. The app also track customers’ locations and inform customers of the closest Taco Bell location near them to pick up their order. If they pre-order on the app, they can bypass the lines, even in the drive-through (which may be difficult).
Even though Taco Bell isn’t the first major fast food chain to introduce a mobile app for orders, it is most definitely the first one to use drastic marketing ways to introduce and promote it. I can’t recall any other fast food chain going dark on social media in order to introduce its new mobile app. In the contrary, one would think that it would use social media to the fullest in order to promote its new app. There is definitely some genius into this move, because it draws attention to the stunt for a limited period of time, which from a marketing perspective is all Taco Bell needs.
With Taco Bell’s bold move, it seems that apps are most definitely the way to go for companies to draw attention and make profits. It is also more for convenience. When customers get on their Twitter or Facebook feed, they have to scroll through many posts before coming across a post from Taco Bell, if they even see one. However, with the app, they have access to only Taco Bell information and nothing else. It is also a way for Taco Bell to push notifications about promotions and other information to their customers and users. It is pretty much Taco Bell 24/7 and on demand. With the location tracker, Taco Bells can use that data to track where their customers are at the moment of the purchase. If a location is frequent, and not close to a Taco Bell, it can become an option for a future Taco Bell store. Once again the monetization thought behind it is somewhat limitless.
A multi-billion business market, apps have become the new norm for instant shopping and keep on driving substantial revenue for companies. The instant and on demand notion behind the concept is what makes it so popular. Thus, do you see apps taking over traditional social media platforms to the extent that people will no longer go through social media feeds to search for information? Also, was Taco Bells’ move a good or bad one? Do you see more fast food chains going that route?