Facing an embarrassing lawsuit over the quality of its beef, Taco Bell went on the social-media offensive. The chain had built up a huge Facebook and Twitter following when times were good, sought to bolster its fans' loyalty by offering them free tacos to test the quality for themselves, and posted video messages from President Greg Creed aiming to reassure diners. "The unique and shareable format of the company's messages made them easy for consumers and reporters to digest -- pardon the pun," writes Patrick Kerley.

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