Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Ruin Your Business in a Day with Twitter

angry typerThere are quite a few stories out there about businesses responding poorly to negative feedback they have found on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. These social media tools are supposed to make communication on a personal level with customers easier, but instead, some business owners often use them as a way to "vent" about negative things said about their businesses and in not so polite ways.

Take this following Twitter conversation between a restaurant owner and a potential customer that I found on Social Media Today. Let me set the scene: A social media strategist and a friend stopped by a new local restaurant to grab some dinner only to disappointingly find the place closed. The following is the result.

Customer: We were going to go to @restaurant but they closed at 10. Kelley was going to eat her 1st burger in 3 years. #sadsies

Owner: @customer we will be here tomorrow, open bright and early at sure yall will need a hangover cure

However, this is where things take a turn for the worse. The customer's friend apparently posted on the restaurant's Yelp page "we're so bummed!", causing the following verbal attack from the restaurant owner.

Owner: @customer really u have ur friend post a yelp review because yall couldnt tell time and accept the fact that we were closed? #badmove

Owner: @customer to go after someones business because you couldnt get u want is pathetic and spoiled.

Customer: @restaurant I don't know why you are angry at me?

Owner: @customer even tweeting about it is lame...its whiny. get over it.

Customer: I stated that we wanted to go there & were sad. It's the same as someone saying they wanted to go on Tues & you're closed.

Owner: @customer yea i know its amazing, restaurants close sometimes #knowthehours

Customer: @restaurant Dude, you need to relax. I don't feel like I said anything negative. I am sorry if I have upset you.

Owner: u need to tell ur friend to take that s*** off of yelp

Oh yeah, the owner cursed at potential customers, and on Twitter, where every single one of the restaurant's followers can see it. Smart. The conversation didn't stop there and even other Twitter followers added their 140 characters of complete shock at the conversation. The restaurant owner did issue massive apologies the next day but the damage had been done. Customers, social media professionals and even other local restaurants were firebombing Twitter with the conversation.

If you want a perfect example of how NOT to use Twitter, this is it. Be honest, would you have responded like that if it were your restaurant? I know I wouldn't have. I mean the feedback wasn't even negative. It was like saying "We wanted to go to the movies but misread the times, we we're so bummed because Kelley was going to eat popcorn for the first time in 3 years."

Business owners take note. If you want to completely ruin your business in a single day, please, by all means, verbally attack your customers on Twitter. They'll love it, restaurant reviewers will love it, even your mother will love it, and you will love it all the way to bankruptcy.

Source: Social Media Today - How NOT to Tweet With Your Customers

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