4 social media lessons from Cinnabon’s Carrie Fisher tweet

The organization’s brand managers were sent scrambling to quell backlash over its reference to the late actress’s iconic hair buns. Here’s how you can avoid the same fate.

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It will also be remembered by PR pros as another year when brand managers have unwisely decided to add to the conversation online, prompting swift backlash.

On Dec. 27—the day of Fisher’s death—a tweet emerged from Cinnabon, which stood among the many Twitter tributes to the late actress, who played Princess Leia in “Star Wars”:

Screenshotted this tweet before @Cinnabon inevitably deletes it pic.twitter.com/j464ilJwmH

— Michael George (@mgeorge4NY) December 27, 2016

Cinnabon’s social media team—which had referenced Princess Leia’s iconic hair buns several times in the past—quickly deleted its tweet and posted an apology:

Our deleted tweet was genuinely meant as a tribute, but we shouldn’t have posted it. We are truly sorry.

— Cinnabon (@Cinnabon) December 28, 2016

Whether you think the tweet was in poor taste or an example of social media users’ oversensitivity, here are four lessons to take away from the situation:

1. Timing is everything.

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