What Taco Bell Can Teach You About Being a Better Social Media Marketer

Most companies feel the urge to be active across every major social network, it’s an anxiety perpetuated by other businesses, the media and users themselves. Yes, it is important to have a presence on the social networks where your target audience is present and most active, but that’s very different than being everywhere across the social media ecosystem.

The biggest mistake businesses make is failing to realize each platform has its own audience, features, and user preferences, but unfortunately businesses often broadcast the same message across all their channels in effort to be active everywhere and seem like they are ahead of the curve.

It doesn’t do your business any good to share the same link, text, and image on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with recycling content, but there is a problem with being lazy and not customizing your content to the user’s experience and expectations on a social network.

Recycle, But Don’t Be Lazy

For example, JanSport posted this tweet on Twitter and this post on Facebook on the same day with the same exact photo, text, and link. The content shared didn’t really provide any value to their audience, especially because it was shared with both their Twitter and Facebook followers with the exact same message.

The tweet was technically unique since it did include the hashtag #JanSport, but again this adds very little value to someone on Twitter who already knows the tweet is from JanSport. When the same exact content is shared across your different social accounts, it defeats the purpose of a customer following you on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere since they can get the same exact messaging across any of your channels.


The point of using each social network to begin with is to offer a unique experience for your fans that is engaging no matter what channel they are active on. In order to correct this problem, JanSport could have used this same photo but recycled it more effectively by posting each update on different days with different messaging.

Simply altering the text to match the platform it was shared on would have gone a long way towards making each post a unique piece of valuable content on both Twitter and Facebook. When posting to Twitter, you’re limited to 140 characters so the text used in that tweet could have been a question, a call-to-action, a tip about their products or something interesting to share about the photo.

The character limit on Facebook is 63,206 per post; so there was much more room to add a stronger context to the photo with a brief explanation and a question engaging their audience in the conversation. When posting content to different social media channels it’s important to pay attention to the various limitations and unique features that each offers in order to reach your audience with the type of content they’re actually interested in seeing.

The Taco Bell Approach


To see how to effectively launch a multi-channel social campaign and avoid this common mistake, start taking notes from Taco Bell. In celebration of the company’s upcoming birthday, they released a video of various influencers on social media sharing 25 interesting facts about Taco Bell. To do this correctly, they published the video on YouTube and then shared a link to the full video and a shorter trailer on each social network over a few different days with different versions of text accompanying the post.


Taco Bell shared this video on Pheed, this tweet on Twitter, and shared the shorter trailer on Instagram due to the restrictions in video length of that social network. The company was smart to build a trailer for use on Instagram and other channels with video length limitations to further drive traffic to the full video. Creating a trailer in addition to the full video is exactly the type of strategy to make use of your content on multiple platforms catered to their unique intricacies. They successfully used the technique of recycling the same content across each of their social networks by creating unique messaging around the content each time it was shared over the week..


Action Steps for Refocusing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

In order to solve this problem, businesses must take four things into consideration when it comes to their ongoing social media strategy:

1. Learn the unique feature sets of each social network you’re active on to better present the content you wish to share on that platform. For instance, GIF’s resonate on Tumblr, short blurbs of text do well on Twitter, Pinterest is for curating visual content, and Instagram is a visually focused channel for offering behind the scenes insights.

2. Save time and become more efficient with your social publishing schedule by using a variety of social media tools like SumAll, Mention, Zapier, Feedly and others to better optimize your content and activity on these networks.

3. With the help of social tools and a stronger understanding of what works on each channel, it’ll be easier to build quality social posts for your business. Quality always prevails over quantity, therefore a less is more approach to your social media will start your organization off to a good start.

4. Lastly, listen to the feedback of your audience to better understand what types of content are doing well on which social networks. You should think of social media not just as a source to broadcast your content, but also as social listening tools. Your social media strategy will always evolve and need actionable input to stay on track for long-term success.

Have you seen other business making this mistake across social media? Has your business had issues coming up with enough unique content to fuel your various social channels? Share your insights below!

Updated November 21, 2017.