We have all heard the discussion about what the true value of social media and marketing via Facebook, Twitter, etc. is for small and medium sized businesses. Everyone wants to know the ROI – we want hard and fast data proving this much money in, this much money out. But the reality that is gradually being revealed is a brave new tech world where the old business school models don’t always hold up in the face of “viral” product buzz. For both B-to-B or B-to-C models, the emerging evidence indicates that building a social network of customers, clients, acquaintances or like-minded individuals both locally and internationally holds an undeniably great marketing potential for any enterprise. This instant connectivity has never been possible before, and it’s value is rich.
The question for marketers becomes how to leverage this newfound social network into everything from product buzz to hard and fast profits. Take a look at how Taco Bell is making this work. They have 167,000 Twitter followers and over 8 million Facebook fans – a definitely solid base to begin a project like this with. The product being launched: Doritos Locos Tacos, which also provides sponsorship for a series of concerts called “Feed the Beat.” Packaging on the taco has a QR code to link those who scan it to exclusive video of these music concerts. An AR (augmented reality) code on other packaging lets consumers connect via a Taco Bell mobile app to view live Tweets and Facebook comments.
Now the brilliant draw in all this, even more than the online music and connectivity, is that TacoBell will be displayhing selected tweets using the #DoritosLocosTacos hashtag on digital billboards in Times Square in New York City and Sunset Boulevard in LA. The payoff for fans is to see their name up in lights (so to speak) in such iconic locations. The payoff for TacoBell and Doritos? Well you can see that clearly.
The Whole Enchilada…. er, Taco
Print, web, social media, signage, mobile marketing, product packaging… a truly integrated campaign uses all available media, and leverages that content through the connectivity of a solid social network. The best advice here for any small business appears to be develop your social network online, and then get creative about using that base to get your message out.
The development of a social network on outlets such as Twitter and Facebook is itself an asset. Many have questioned the profitability of spending the time and manpower to cultivate such a network. Enterprises like this Taco Bell campaign are blazing the trail to show how such connection can be leveraged into a big – and increasingly essential – marketing win.