- Taco Bell and Domino's have the best engagement metrics among the quick-service restaurant (QSR) chains on social media platforms, according to a study by ShareIQ, an earned media performance platform for brands. The platform analyzed results for McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's, Chick-fil-A and Domino's on Facebook and Instagram.
- Taco Bell was the leading fast-food brand on Facebook, racking up 491,500 "likes" during the Q1 2018 study period, 29x that of Wendy's. Domino's dominated the brands for sheer Instagram followers with 1.4 million "likes," though Chick-Fil-A saw the highest engagement rate with 2.9%.
- Subway had the worst performance in "likes" and engagement rates with its corporate "brochure-like aesthetic," per the study, while Wendy's suffered from posting infrequently on Facebook and Instagram.
Taco Bell is a top performer on Instagram and Facebook with its focus on mobile-savvy millennials and integrating mobile into its strategy from the start, not as an afterthought or add-on. The company, which has 6,500 restaurants in the U.S., has emphasized its menu items and quirky real-world experiences — like in-store weddings and influencer-focused photoshoots of the Naked Chicken Chalupa launch — to engage mobile users who chronicle and share their lives on social media. Unique tactics like this have likely helped grow the QSR's massive global audience of fans looking to hear about the brand's latest quirky stunt, leading to the Mexican food chain's Facebook follower count easily surpassing all the other brands ShareIQ studied during the first three months of the year.
Meanwhile, Domino's led the Instagram pack by focusing on a "food porn" strategy to stimulate consumer appetites with a constant stream of delicious-looking pies, per ShareIQ. While the popular pizza chain also leveraged a cross-platform content promotion strategy to drive engagement, its top-performing post was a March 23 image of a dachshund on National Puppy Day, pointing to the potential for when brands share unrelated posts to boost follower engagement on social.
It's somewhat surprising that Wendy's had such low engagement on Facebook and Instagram, considering its Twitter presence is a huge sensation. The No. 3 burger chain's @Wendys account has 2.4 million followers and has received a lot of publicity for being the "mean girl" of Twitter, slamming its competitors with quips about their frozen meat and processed products. Wendy's uses the account for promotions and responding to customer complaints while dishing out zingers aimed its rivals. When a Twitter user asked Wendy's for directions to the nearest McDonald's, Wendy's responded, "Go down Regret Rd, and take a left on Disappointment Dr."