Did Red Lobster miss an opportunity to shine online? The Twitterverse was all abuzz about the reference in the "Formation" music video released by Beyonce before her Super Bowl performance.

When he f--- me good, I'll take his a-- to Red Lobster.

In spite of thousands of tweets and retweets with the #redlobster hashtag, many wondered where the seafood restaurant's response was. Although Red Lobster used the hashtag "lobsterworthycontest," this was for an Instagram contest over a year ago.

Media Crisis Offers Both Danger and Opportunity

Fortunately, this was a pretty harmless and a somewhat positive spin on the seafood chain.

Common cases of social media damage control commonly include bad Yelp reviews, but sometimes a trickle of criticism can lead to a complete meltdown.

Case in point, the slow moving train wreck on Facebook that was Amy’s Baking Company. While it’s important to respond to comments, what's worst is to allow defensiveness turn into a playground shouting match.

It may be safer to respond with a political correctness, but as President Kennedy is often quoted as saying, the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters - danger and opportunity. Done right, savvy businesses have achance to not only protect their imagebut to also deepen connections with customers.

How Failing to Respond Can Lead to Long Term Damage

Another recent restaurant chain struggling to regain their reputation is Chipotle. Reports ofoutbreaks of E.coli have been a publicity nightmare. While the chain has taken preventive measures to improve their food safety procedures, such as an upcoming all-hands meeting, the damage to their public image has been done.

Once the media darling for fresh, non-GMO food, Chipotle stock has taken a beating, and store attendance has clearly been affected. While food poisoning is nothing new, how a restaurant responds to stories in this social media age can be critical.

While companies are often criticized for exploiting the News for their benefit, social media experts generally agree that this was a missed opportunity.

The jury is still out, however, on what would have been the best response by Red Lobster.

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