What we can learn from Red Lobster's flop tweet
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Brands do a lot of stupid things for retweets and the attention of the internet, but this gem fell in Red Lobster’s lap and the internet waited…
I see the @redlobster social media team is sleeping through this opportunity, much like the server I had the last time I rolled by there...— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) February 7, 2016
red lobster hasn't tweeted for 24 hours talk about missing your moment
— neil mccauley (@the_blueprint) February 6, 2016
bruh, y'all still haven't tweeted?! fire whoever runs your twitter account, @redlobster.— a (@theyzus) February 7, 2016
Until finally they gave us something.
"Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? #Formation @Beyonce pic.twitter.com/QzgVtYAKNo — Red Lobster (@redlobster) February 7, 2016And, of course, Twitter wasn’t satisfied. But Red Lobster could have had the greatest tweet of all time and I’m not sure we still would’ve been satisfied. Although some spent the rest of the night tweeting shade at Red Lobster:
Beyonce gave Red Lobster the bumper lane and they still landed in the gutter.— The Kitchenista (@MissAngelaDavis) February 7, 2016
A lot of companies like @redlobster are losing out because they don't have social media managers that understand their audience
— best of both worlds. (@MichellCClark) February 7, 2016
It’s no secret that ad agencies are overwhelmingly white even though Hispanics and blacks have the largest amounts of purchasing power. Still most ads are filled with different shades of beige and brands are trying to stay relevant by tweeting about black culture that clearly no one on their team actually understands (i.e. Burger King’s dab tweet). Red Lobster’s (ridiculously late) response was just another example of this. Not only did the social media team (which is run by Publicis) take hours to respond but their response shows a clear lack of understanding of black culture. Although Beyoncé is a pop culture icon that transcends all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses, “Formation” in particular is the first mainstream, widely-received pro-black song of 2016 and for a mainstream artist to give two middle fingers to European beauty standards and police brutality all in the same song is amazing and warranted a way better tweet than what the social media team came up with
Red Lobster pays some digital agency $500,000 / year to manage that account and that's what they deliver. And why? No culture in the ranks.— web smith (@web) February 7, 2016
I can’t say that there are no black people on Red Lobster’s social media team, but I can draw from my own experiences of being the only black face working on a large brand. The less-than-stellar response speaks to a bigger problem within the advertising industry — a lack of representation. It’s not just important that people in ads are diverse but also that the creatives behind the ads are diverse. When they’re not, you can tell. So often brands compromise their voice just to hop on a hot trend. What bothers me the most is that black culture is popular, but black people are not. Brands will copy black culture for engagements on social media, but when it comes to black issues, they’re radio silent
The real mistake made by the social media team that controls Red Lobster’s account wasn’t the fact that they took too long to respond to the queen, but that they clearly don’t have people on the team who are plugged into pop culture even when they’re not on the clock
We can only hope the next brand Beyoncé gives a shout-out to is prepared for it (or, at least, doesn’t make us wait hours for a response)
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