Friendly Twitter Chat Backfires for JPMorgan

What was originally designed as a Twitter chat, turned into a PR nightmare for JPMorgan.

On Nov. 6, the banking and financial service company planned a Twitter Q&A session using the hashtag, #AskJPM. The chat was originally intended to give college students the chance to communicate with Brian Marchiony, a senior executive for the company.

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However, the hashtag failed to work in the company’s favor.

Because of the bank’s perceived role in the financial crisis fin 2008, as well as more recent negative press, many Twitter users used this session to attack the company.

The users were not easy on the company either.

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Even well-known financial blogger, Matt Levine, had an opinion for the company.

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The comments were so harsh that JPMorgan cancelled the vice chairman, Jimmy Lee’s, Twitter appearance on the chat.

JPMorgan approached the Twitter chat in a similar fashion as a celebrity would. However, a bank brand is in a completely different arena than a well-known celebrity. People will share their opinions and biases toward entities like JPMorgan, even if they aren’t  their customers.

The company instead should have approached the situation by researching the younger audience and how they can reach them positively and effectively on Twitter.

JPMorgan chose to cancel the chat just six hours after its original post, which included more than 6,000 responses.

It’s back to the drawing boards for JPMorgan and any future Twitter chats.

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If JPMorgan chooses to create a Twitter chat again in the future, how should they approach the situation? Are you surprised by the negative comments? Do you think that JPMorgan’s final tweet canceling the chat was handled appropriately?

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2 Responses to Friendly Twitter Chat Backfires for JPMorgan

  1. Charlotte Das says:

    In their initial tweet, JPMorgan should have emphasized the types of questions that they were going to accept and answer. They should have said “Jimmy Lee will take over to answer questions about financial concerns/issues for college students,” since that is what they had intended for their topic to be. I find it hard to believe that all the posts were negative. I feel like there had to have been a few positive or genuine posts that JPMorgan could have run with. However, it was good that they admitted it didn’t go as planned and was a “bad idea.” If they continued on with it and it proved to be a complete disaster, they would have regretted not cancelling the whole thing.

  2. Maja Cakarun says:

    It was obviously a bad idea. But they could not have known this. Social networks are very unpredictable and hardly controllable. What seems a simple chat, can turn into a PR disaster. In that respect, my suggestion would be to test the market first by organizing a survey to understand the reputation among the general public. Social networks do not have to be used for every company. It depends who your target audience is.

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