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BRANDE : SoMe Superstar

November 13, 2012

Why Taco Bell Careers is a Social Media Superstar

As Jobvite’s recent survey has shown us, social recruiting is here to stay, so we at Brandemix are constantly looking for the brands that are doing it innovative ways. This year, we’ve honored Zappos and State Farm, and now it’s time to recognize another Social Media Superstar: Taco Bell.

Here’s the restaurant’s employer branding statement: “At Taco Bell, we know what it’s like to blaze some trails, kick up some dirt, and take tacos to where they have never been before. We are a brand of firsts and we invite you to join our team. Inspire. Lead. Learn. Grow. Work here and Live Más.”

Lots of unique, differentiating phrases in there. And it includes the new consumer brand at the end.

Photos and Conversations on Facebook

The Facebook Page for Taco Bell Careers has 127,200 likes. The Page features 12 photo albums, with pictures ranging from clever employee events (the Peeps model contest is not to be missed) to celebrities who have stopped by the restaurant (most recently, Lance Bass). One image of Taco Bell products actually addresses the employees, asking, “What’s your favorite item to make?” That’s a bold move that could easily lead to embarrassing answers. But the pic has 34 comments and more than 200 likes. My favorite response: “I like making customers happy!”

Taco Bell’s Careers Facebook Page also features four videos and the BeKnown app with job listings, showing once again that some brands are fully recruiting on social channels. My only quibble with their Facebook effort is the underused Notes section, which has only one entry – for the chain’s college scholarship program.



Active Engagement on Twitter
Taco Bell Careers isn’t quite as popular on Twitter, with 1,339 followers. But what sets them apart is that they don’t wait for @mentions; when someone mentions interviewing at the company, Taco Bell wishes them luck. When someone announces they’ve been hired, Taco Bell welcomes them. When someone says they’re leaving, Taco Bell tells them goodbye. This shows attention to both employees and job-seekers, and that Taco Bell is rooting for its workers to succeed.

Authentic Employee Profiles on YouTube
As for YouTube – which, don’t forget, is the second-largest search engine in the world – Taco Bell has its own careers channel, with seven videos and more than 44,000 views. Four of the videos each focus on a single employee, from a 17-year-old team member to a franchise owner with 20 years of experience.

This may sound silly, but I also like that the videos clearly show the employees preparing and serving food. You’d be surprised how some brands seem to ignore what their workers actually do. Or maybe a career at McDonald’s involves sitting on steps?

Pioneering Pinterest

Taco Bell is one of a growing number of brands that’s recruiting on Pinterest. Taco Bell Careers has more than 300 images on 24 boards on the site. Five boards are devoted to individual recruiters and include pictures of the their pets and hobbies, a great way to relate to candidates. A board of inspirational quotes is cleverly called “Food For Thought,” while another is devoted to “Leadership Development.”

A few of Taco Bell Careers’ boards on Pinterest


You can see that Taco Bell reaches out to both current and future employees on four social channels. The chain’s fun attitude can be seen in its fast-paced videos, its whimsical employee event photos, and its active dialogue on Twitter. Taco Bell has also recognized the power of Pinterest and posts images that are both cool and useful. 


For all these reasons, I declare Taco Bell Careers a Social Media Superstar!


Learn about more employer branding superstars at our free webinar, “Employer Brands Undercover: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Authentic Employer Brand in the Digital World.” Tuesday, November 27, at 11 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm Eastern. Register here.

August 13, 2012

Why Zappos is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my speaking engagements and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” Past winners include State Farm and PepsiCo

Today I’d like to recognize a company that’s taken a fantastic brand and brilliantly expanded it into the social space: Zappos.
I’ve written about my love for Tony Hseih’s online shoe company before, but now it gives me great honor to truly call it a Superstar.
With more than 2,600 YouTube subscribers, 260,000 Facebook Likes, and almost 2.6 million Twitter followers (across seven accounts), Zappos has definitely made a social media splash. But lots of footwear and apparel companies appeal to young social media users. How does Zappos stand out? Here are a few reasons.
Website Videos – Instant, Honest, and Short

Zappos created a team of ten employees to make videos about every single one of its shoes. The videos are done on-site and are unscripted. Since starting the program in 2009, these employees have now created around 100,000 videos. They’re all under a minute, so that customers don’t get bored. Even better? Each video has three prominent sharing options – Twitter, Facebook, and HTML code for bloggers. The videos allow Zappos employees to share their love of the product and encourage customers to share their love on social media.

Social Recruiting, Too

Zappos offers a YouTube channel just for recruiting, with 33 videos. The content ranges from employee interviews to a look at the Zappos HQ fitness center to advice on how to dress for your job interview. This is a fantastic resource for job-seekers, with each video showcasing the spirit of fun and customer service that is the foundation of the Zappos brand. On Twitter, ZapposInsights and Inside_Zappos both offer a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s unique culture, with lots of interaction with followers.


Their Own Personal Pinterest

The Zappos website has a unique feature that really makes it a superstar. It’s called the TweetWall; a collection of tweets from anyone who has linked to a Zappos product. It’s a form of crowdsourcing, where customers can see what styles have the most buzz. And instead of encouraging fans to tweet about the company, Zappos is rewarding fans for already doing it. Fans know this, and may tweet about Zappos just get a spot on the coveted wall.


Through YouTube, multiple Twitter profiles, employee videos, and the TweetWall, Zappos has created a virtuous circle: fans celebrate the brand because the brand recognizes the fans who celebrate it.
 

For sharing videos, tweets, and photos with their fans, and allowing their fans to share content in return, I name Zappos a SoMe Superstar!

Do you know of a brand that deserves superstar status? 
Drop me a line.