The Secret Sauce in Olive Garden’s Social Media Success


Image via Dulex
Do folks love the Olive Garden or just love to hate it? Depends on who you ask. One of my favorite writers and noted curmudgeons, Joe Queenan, devoted part of his most excellent “Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon” to dissing the place, specifically the Times Square outpost, where some folks recently (and rather foolishly) coughed up $400 a head to spend New Year’s.
Sayeth Joe:
“The bowl of soup I received was repugnant to at least two senses, both the eyes and the taste buds, it having no discernible smell. A fearsome quagmire of deeply failed vegetal and lactic ingredients, the zuppa toscana was so awful that not only was I unable to eat it, I was unable to look at it. Gathering a couple of napkins together, I quickly interred the offensive item in an impromptu shroud, a makeshift burial for a leprous warrior slain in an unnecessary, easily preventable war.”

But tell us how you really feel, Joe.

You ask me, I don’t think the food is that awful. I used to love it back in the day, when my family and I would go to the one out in Long Island. But in recent years, it seems like the quality has gone down quite a bit.

But Olive Garden is like the honey badger. It don’t care. It thinks its food is the bee’s knees and its social media reflects that. If you’re looking for how to present a food brand on Twitter, you would do well to peruse a few Olive Garden tweets. Their Twitter is full, of course, of mouthwatering photos, but they also have a fantastic sense of wordplay. My favorite, so far: Capture

Olive Garden is doing three things right in this tweet. Like all their tweets, this one has a photo, which is always a good idea, since photos typically get more engagements, but this is especially vital for a food brand. The humor makes the post shareable. And it’s current. Who hasn’t heard the Weeknd’s song?

That tweet got over 200 retweets by the way.

People don’t like being advertised to, but Olive Garden has figured out a way to make their ads seem less like ads and more like fun. They’re doing it right, at least on the Web. Now, if only they could up their food game.




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