Del Taco's Integrated Facebook, TV Promos Pay Off

The DelTaco Super Special Show

Mexican QSR chain Del Taco grew its Facebook fan base from 20,000+ to 43,000+ in just five weeks after launching its Facebook-based entertainment Webisodes platform, "The Del Taco Super Special Show," according to VP, marketing John Cappasola.

Moreover, the fan count has risen by another 15% since the second humorous Webisode in the series (which is geared to appeal primarily to the chain's core audience of men 18-39) was posted five days ago, he reports.

Fan sign-ups and engagement are being driven via multiple channels.

Each series of market-targeted TV spots created to support Del Taco's latest promotional offer (which changes every five to six weeks) is now featuring a clip from the show at its start, and a shout-out for the Facebook page/show at its conclusion. Each new Webisode's content ties in with the current promotion, and remains the "current" video for the promotion's duration. (Previous Webisodes will also remain available to viewers.)

Placements of online and social media ads for the show, as well as the creative and offers featured, are being tweaked daily based on impressions, click-throughs and other metrics, Cappasola says.

For instance, online ads driving Facebook fandom now not only include coupons and special offers -- such as a coupon for a free Crispy Shrimp Taco with any purchase made through the fan page (the limited-time "return" of the very popular shrimp tacos being the current promotional push) -- but viral tools to encourage recruiting friends and family as fellow Del Taco Facebook fans.

Tweets that promote the show and special offers are also ongoing.

With each campaign, the QSR is also learning more about how to hone the content of the Webisodes and the clips used in TV and radio spots, Cappasola points out.

In short, Del Taco's goals of harnessing social/traditional media integration to cost-effectively increase exposure and interaction with customers and prospects, particularly in newer markets, are being realized to a degree even the QSR had not anticipated.

"This is invaluable for a chain of our size," which must get maximum results from every budget dollar, Cappasola says. "Not to mention that the ability to also measure and track positive and negative sentiments from consumers enables informed, ongoing refinements to the brand and its marketing alike."

As of year-end 2009, the chain had 518 restaurants in 18 states (including the West Coast, Southwest and Midwest and a few in Florida and South Carolina) and $568 million in annual revenues.

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