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How to kill your business in one Tweet

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Many businesses turn to social media for exposure, and it is in fact an effective marketing tool if used wisely, but here is a great example of how one New York based company used Twitter for all the wrong reasons and got crushed.

CupCakeCrew, a Brooklyn food truck business specializing in cupcakes, turned to Twitter on Wednesday, July 23, to post the following remark:

@CupCakeCrewNYC “Ironically what the Zionist pigs are doing to Palestine Arabs today is exactly what Hitler and the Nazi’s did to them”

The statement in itself is highly idiotic, anti-Semitic, and another couple-of-hundred descriptive words I can come up with, but, my article is not about this statement per se. It’s about how powerful social media has become, and how it has the power to unite US consumers in heated debate, with their keyboards serving as ammunition.

What businesses post on their social media platforms can either make or break them, as @CupCakeCrewNYC found out this week. Their tweet was instantly re-tweeted 7 times and, within minutes, was deleted by the “NutCakesCrew”. However, these few minutes were all it took for the company to lose its credibility. And because several media outlets jumped on the bandwagon and featured the incident, the company will have a very difficult time reversing its now severely damaged reputation.

I always tell clients that content stays on the Internet forever - it never really disappears - within minutes, a tweet can spread like wildfire. In this particular case, the backlash was something that even I had never seen before. Many people turned to Twitter and other social media to unfollow the company and express outrage at its statement. And although a few other “NutCakes” publically supported the statement, most of the outraged Twitter community did something unexpected - they mobilized and turned to Yelp.

Yes Yelp!

Yelp is the where businesses get rated by consumers, which can often put said businesses on the path to growth and success. In his case, however, the consumers turned to Yelp in an effort to make other potential consumers, and those that did not see the tweet, boycott the company. Collectively, they posted something along these lines, “Sorry NutCakes is Closed, Out of Business”.

Although, prior to their tweet, CupCakeCrew enjoyed a very favorable rating on the site, with an impressive 4 ½ stars. People clearly liked their cupcakes:

But all of that changed once the tweet went viral. Ratings plummeted in no time and are currently at 1 ½ stars, with 1 star being the lowest on the Yelp review.

So, here are 5 helpful tips that we offer to our clients when it comes to social media posting.
If you’re a racist, bigot, or intolerant in any way, you picked the wrong country to do business in. Move Away!

But if you’re a levelheaded business using social media for the purpose of expanding your consumer reach and brand engagement, keep the following in mind:

  1. No emotions. Keep cool and composed at all times. Not every customer will be happy with your products or services. Learn from their comments and use them to improve what you can.
  2. Keep your personal opinions to yourself, not your business profile: If your post is not about your business or its products, discard it.
  3. Remember that what goes on the web, stays on the web. Never post on impulse and always review the content several times. See if you can take different perspectives into account.
  4. Don’t over post. Excessive posting can lead your audience to unfollow or mute you. We often see pages that have tens of thousands of followers, but very few individual “likes” on particular posts. Unless you’re a news page, limit yourselves to no more than 2 posts per day.
  5. Create engaging posts. Remember, you’re competing with everyone else for those few seconds of priceless consumer attention, make them count. If you’re not an experienced social media marketer, test your posts on your friends, employees, or co-workers. Ask their opinions and make appropriate changes.
  6. Take your time. When you create a post, let it sit for 10 minutes before you look at it again. If it’s still satisfactory to you, then proceed to make it public.
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