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A Lesson in Public Relations: Beyoncé & Red Lobster

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By Sabriana Pimentel, Account Associate for Consulting 

It’s every brand manager’s dream when a celebrity name drops or mentions your client’s name. If a brand is lucky enough to get this opportunity, they receive instant exposure to a massive audience at essentially little to no cost. Beyoncé, a global superstar, released a new song and video called “Formation,” where she mentions the popular seafood chain, Red Lobster. She even performed the song during the Super Bowl halftime show which happened to be the following day. However, Red Lobster waited eight hours after the song was released to respond via social media. Red Lobster responded with the following tweet:

“Cheddar Bey Biscuits” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? #Formation @Beyonce

The tweet generated 14,000-plus retweets and 15,207 likes but received an overwhelming number of negative responses. Their followers were expecting something more creative since it took them eight hours to respond. Red Lobster didn’t help themselves when they replied to critics with the following tweet, belittling the fact that Beyoncé mentioned their brand in her song:

“Our bad. We’re really busy for some reason. #ThanksB”

I think a major lesson that all brands can take away from this is how crucial it is to respond in a timely and creative manner. People value the thoughts of the brands they follow and want them to say something of substance. In today’s digital age and with the increased use of social media, people expect instantaneous responses. It shouldn’t take eight hours for a brand to respond, especially when you have one of the biggest celebrities mentioning your brand. Red Lobster could have avoided this whole situation by having someone constantly monitoring their social media. Big and small brands alike should be receiving alerts for brand mentions which ensures they can respond to positive and negative comments in a timely fashion. Social media monitoring is becoming more important for brands than ever before, and is essential to maintaining relationships with customers.

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