How Not to Use Twitter for Business?

 In Contact Xava, Content Development, Customer Interactions, Facebook, Internet, Small Business, Social Media Networking, Tweets, Twitter, Website Consultation, Website Design, Website Maintenance



This is an excellent example of how not to use Twitter for business. Clearly the operator of the @Cinnamon_D6 Abusive Language in a Tweet by CinnamonTwitter account was exasperated at the perceived abuse being thrown at him or her and got a little bit carried away in their tweet.

More examples of How Not to Use Twitter for Business!

The problem with isnt so much the poorly chosen language in the tweet but the potential for that poor tweet to go viral in a matter of hours.

In fairness, in this case, the customer was sending some constructive criticism and a little bit of personal opinion added in. The customer was clearly left frustrated by the turn of events when he visited Cinnamon in Dublin. He wanted his opinion to be heard so he tweeted about it and someone at Cinnamon’s end did not like what was sent and go carried away. The Result – the tweet with the offending language made its way to millions of people and Cinnamon had to issue an apology.


Having made the apology Cinnamon did not include a link to their Facebook page further alienating their Twitter audiences. So in 1 day, Cinnamon Tweets have offended their Twitter followers twice (actually 3 times – see list below) – both time unintentionally (one hopes) but the reality is that the damage to the brand name is done.

So lets recap

  1. Mistake 1 – Using abusive language in a Tweet in reply to a customer comment – a BIG NO NO!!
  2. Mistake 2 – Further replies sent to the customer with a sarcastic and derogatory tone
  3. Mistake 3 – Issue an apology on one social medium but not link it to another social medium
I have only seen Cinnamon while driving past its location in Dublin. However, now I know something about their attitude to customer responses and it is going to colour my judgement when I am looking places to go to. Twitter is a way for businesses to connect with their customer base but used badly it can alienate people very quickly.
Making mistakes is forgivable but what I dont understand at all is why would Cinnamon issue an apology but not tell their Twitter fans how to read it!! Cinnamon eventually posted a link.

Differentiate your Followers

Twitter and Facebook are 2 different channels and should be treated separately. Twitter is great for shouting out your message hoping that it will get sent around the world and someone will listen while FB is a more social medium allowing you to interact with customers. In this case Cinnamon, tweeted about an apology with no link and the apology was published on FB.

What makes this a problem

Consider if you were only following Cinnamon on Facebook – you would not have a clue about what was going on. And if you are the Twitter follower who was the target of the abusive tweet, the apology is meaningless because you didnt even get the text of the apology for a full 15 minutes!!
This is where having your own site is so powerful. Cinnamon could have simply published the apology on their own website and sent it out to their Twitter followers with a link to their website. This has 2 advantages:
  • Your Twitter following is looked after promptly
  • You are driving traffic to your parent website – people will see other things you have on your website when they visit it to read the apology.
Remember, social media is a way of driving traffic to your website and eventually sales so you have to take advantage of every opportunity that might present itself. Also, be courteous, patient and polite on the social media channel because nothing travels faster than bad news.
Here is a snapshot of the complete conversation that Cinnamon had with their customer.
author avatar
Amit Wadhwa
A self-motivated problem solver, with a knack for helping people understand technical jargon I know WordPress. Over the past 15 years, I have broken it, put it back together and made it work. I am a self-taught WordPress expert. I am also the What Not To Do with WordPress" guy I have always been a determined problem solver, driven by the desire to understand why things break down. This natural curiosity has served me well over the last 15 years during which time I have looked at, browsed, studied and designed websites for a multitude of people and businesses.
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