Tressie Lieberman


ISM Episode 27: Taco Bell’s Tressie Lieberman on Truly Connecting with Your Customers

Tressie Lieberman

Tressie Lieberman

Taco Bell’s Tressie Lieberman, Director of Social and Digital Marketing is my guest this week on The Inside Social Media Podcast, as my journey to connect with the biggest brands in the world and share with you how you can model and adapt their social media insights and strategies continues.

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More About This Show

When it comes to brands, Taco Bell is doing some of the coolest things around in social media.

In fact, they were recently named Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year, which is a huge honor.

I asked Tressie to come on the show today because she and her team try things in social media that a lot of brands won’t.  They’ve really taken the lead when it comes to how they use different social channels and there are so many great lessons we can take from their approach.

And we cover it all here in this episode, including how to model and apply their strategies and principles for your own business.

(Click to tweet this!: Using social media to better your customer service needs to be a must-have, not a nice-to-have. #ISMPodcast @RickMulready

In today’s show, you’ll learn:

  • How Tressie and her team determine which social media platforms to be on.
  • Taco Bell’s approach to looking at new platforms and technologies that come onto the market and why there strategy is so smart for any business.
  • What using social media to give your customers a sneak peak into your brand can do for your business.
  • How if you approach social media for your business in this one way, you’ll be so much more effective than if you didn’t.
  • And, there’s a ton more strategies, tactics and tips. 

Episode Resources

Connect with Tressie:


Connect with Taco Bell on social media: (this is an awesome site to customize content aggregation)

Netbase (social media monitoring)

Picplaypost (cool app that allows you to create image and video collages)

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INSIDER SHOW NOTES: Taco Bell Social Media Success 

  • Everything starts with listening to your audience.  One benefit is figuring out which platforms you should be on.  Your customers will likely tell you!
  • Before you start using a social channel, use it personally so you get an idea of how it works and to learn how people engage on it.  Really dig into it and find what makes people fall in love with that channel.
  • Using social media to better your customer service needs to be a must-have, not a nice-to-have. 

On Creating Content…

  • Instagram can be a great platform for giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look at you and your business.
  • Act like a friend when you’re using social media, rather than a business.  Engage with people remembering that they are a person.  Think about how you would engage with a friend and treat people that way.
  • Create content for a friend, that’s how you should be thinking about content creation for your social channels.
  • Be thinking about how when you engage with content in social media yourself.  It’s about connecting with people on a human level.  It’s not about advertising at someone, it’s about engaging with them.
  • Make your customers/fans feel special in the type of content you’re sharing with them.  It’s very easy for a fan/customer to unfollow you.  Show them some love!  Make them feel like they’re part of something special!
  • When you are creating content for a particular social channel, be authentic and create content that is consistent with how people use that channel. 
  • See what your competitors are doing and how they’re engaging with customers.  How could you use this intelligence?    How could you do something different? 
  • Giving sneak peaks into your business is a great way to show your customers/fans how much you value and appreciate them.  Images, videos, whatever…just do it.
  • Use video to share your story!  It doesn’t take much of an investment and you can share it on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Vine, etc…

On How to Overcome Social Media Overwhelm…

  • Be clear about what you stand for as a business/brand.  What are your values?  
  • Understand where your consumers are.  And then, where do your consumers want YOU to engage with them?  A good way to figure this out is just to search on different social channels and look to see the types of conversations that are going on either about your business or your industry and listen.
  • Go deep on the channel(s) where you know you have the most passionate followers.

On Effective Social Media Tools…

  • Use the search functions within the different social channels and just take a few minutes to look for conversations going on about your brand and industry.  Use hashtags!

On the Top 3 Things Tressie Would do to Start in Social Media…

  1. Know what you stand for.  Focus on getting clear about your values and who you are as a business.
  2. Listen to your consumers. Know what they like and don’t like about you.  Social media is a real-time focus group!
  3. Organize for success.  Be nimble and respond to what your consumes are saying quickly.  Social media allows you to do things quickly.