Assignment #3: Chipotle Social

Look anywhere today and you can’t shake a stick without hitting a company on social media. It has become part of the corporate normal if you want to do business in today’s day and age.

One of the most revered brands “doing” social is Chipotle Mexican Grill who tells me via Twitter they’ve been on the ‘big’ platforms since 2009:

Just before chatting with me the Chipotle account was using the platform, where they have 760,0000 followers, to spread their humor and engage with customers:

Chipotle can also, as they told us via twitter, be found on Facebook and various other platforms. If you take a look at their Facebook page you can see their many millions of ‘friends’ not to mention advertisement for their latest ‘bowls’ and engagement with fans.

Over on Instagram, Chipotle’s account has 312,000 followers and bright, bold photos of their food. The photos also have comments from customers and engagement with staff.

With over 37-thousand people subscribed to their youtube channel you can check out the latest in the Chipotle kitchen or simply watch the food be made.

If you’re looking for mentions of Chipotle, you can find them all over social media. Even the popular FailBlog has a tag dedicated to the chain.

You can also check out their corporate blog for the more official word. You can find food pairings and contests, among other things.

“Whether you want to sample some of the best craft brews in the city or treat your palate with top quality sustainable wines, we’ve got you covered.

Available only at our Minneapolis Cultivate Festival, be sure to try the Cultivate Farmhouse Ale by Surly Brewing.”

Chipotle has become well known for it’s social media presence and engagement, earning it a mention in Mashable for “Cultivating a Better World:”

“Specifically, Chipotle wants people to start considering where their food comes from. The company supports family farms over industrial farm factories and makes it a point to source ingredients from local farms that exhibit positive behaviors toward animals and the environment. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, Chipotle’s social media activity remains fiercely loyal to this ethos.”

However their social hasn’t been all roses and accolades. In March of 2016 the chain lost a suit in which they fired an employee for making a disparaging remark about the company. According to ABC News a judge stated that Chipotle’s social media policy violated labor laws and ordered the restaurant chain to post signs explaining that these policies, as well as some others, were illegal. Chipotle was also ordered to rehire the fired employee.

According to a 2011 Nation’s Restaurant News study, it was found that Chipotle responds to 83% of Facebook posts — more than any other quick-service restaurant. Almost 90% of the company’s activity on Twitter is responding to customers through @-mentions.

As reported in the Mashable article: Structurally, Chipotle employs a three-person social media team to staff its main platforms: Rusty Partch, Myra Ryder and (Joe) Stupp. On Twitter and Facebook, each team member signs his or her name at the end of a tweet/post, allowing community members to get to know the different voices on the team in a personal way. “It’s more interesting for us and for customers to get to know individuals,” says Stupp. “Rusty doesn’t have the same voice as me — and I don’t want him to.”

Blazing the way in brand to consumer social media engagement, Chipotle Mexican Grill is a great example of how some companies are leading the way in this brave, new, digital world.

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