Digital disruption – what can we learn from Beyonce and Red Lobster?

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, digital performance specialist Catherine Rewha argues that businesses need to be quick to hit social media to react to opportunities.

The power of social media is increasingly becoming part of the fam in the digital acquisition process. For many. For some. But not for all.

But how do we do it right? How do we get people to know about the brand and then how do we get them to like it?

Gather around and let us hark back to a time when the American seafood restaurant chain Red Lobster didn’t seize an opportunity. Let us learn from this. Let us live.

Here’s what went down on April 24, 2016.

Enter Beyonce breaking the internet and releasing the song Formation.

Enter the line, “When he **** me good I take his ass to Red Lobster”.

Enter the missed opportunity to capitalise on this free global promo from The Qween due to lack of social media management and the acknowledgement that you need to be where the conversation is, and the conversation is on you, and you are not there.

Twitter blew up when Red Lobster was nowhere to be found.

Eight hours later, Red Lobster finally turn up to the social realm with this:

So many good things could’ve come from this Red Lobster. Why you gotta be like this?! Whilst sales increased by 33% YoY on Super Bowl Sunday, they could’ve amplified this opportunity so much more. #RedLobster was trending on Twitter, Google searches spiked. Reactivity – we need more of it.

Specsavers are great at it:

The internet is 24 hours, just like our new economy. You can’t afford to miss opportunities, but even more so, you can’t afford to lose the trust of your communities and miss growth. Red Lobster does indeed have a social media team of sorts but if this social media fail is anything to go off, that team probably looks like this:

Diversity in teams people! Diversity in teams! Make it happen! (See my article – Only White People Buy Stuff.) This Red Lobster blunder is a clear case of the brand disconnect between thinking you know who your customers are, to actually knowing who your customers are. Please. Read. Your. Data.

Social media isn’t just a place to run your shortened TVCs. Social media is the place where you build communities through earned trust, through relevancy, through the evolution of branding and through being as human as possible on platforms that are perpetuated by the people, solely for the people.

Always be on top of your game and, like Bey says in so many words, “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper”… and your social media team.

Catherine Rewha is a digital performance and paid media specialist.

This article is part of the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program. See more from the program by clicking on the banner below.


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