Hashtag Fail: JPMorgan’s Twitter Disaster

Whoever said all social media “engagement” is a good thing was clearly wrong.  On Nov. 6, multinational banking and financial services  firm JPMorgan attempted to engage with the common man through a special Twitter “online discussion” with Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee, planned the following day. The firm encouraged users to use the hashtag #AskJPM to ask questions. While it seemed a good idea on paper, the event led to a social media disaster for the brand. Twitter was immediately bombarded with negative, accusatory and hostile tweets ultimately showing how JPMorgan is judged in the court of public opinion.

https://twitter.com/ReformedBroker/status/400745723794186240

https://twitter.com/amy10506/status/400736349361172480

https://twitter.com/ddayen/statuses/400743595436568576

https://twitter.com/EddyElfenbein/statuses/400744048907935745

Although the discussion was supposed to focus on career advice for students, the #AskJPM Twitter feed was filled with questions with everything except what the company intended. After quickly realizing the hashtag campaign wasn’t going their way, the company tweeted a truthful acceptance that the campaign was a bust.

https://twitter.com/jpmorgan/statuses/400782415641059328

JPMorgan should have taken notes on engaging with the Twitter audience from competitor, Goldman Sachs, who hosted a successful live Q&A in October with its Global Head of Financing to discuss “corporate financing trends in Latin America.” JPMorgan should have realized they needed to limit the scope somehow or the Internet will chew you up and spit you out.

What do you think about the Twitter campaign? Was JPMorgan wrong in trying to use Twitter to engage with followers? Is there any way that a company like JPMorgan can have a Twitter discussion of any kind? What other ways can JPMorgan engage with followers?

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4 Responses to Hashtag Fail: JPMorgan’s Twitter Disaster

  1. Ashley Provenzano says:

    I think anyone can agree that this was a bad campaign move for JP Morgan. I don’t think it was a bad idea for them to try to use social media as a platform to reach their audience, however. Twitter and other social media platforms are a great way to reach people these days and I give them credit for trying something new; however, they only completed the first step of the process. They chose to use Twitter as a campaign method, but didn’t take it the next step to research how to do it in a successful way. This would have helped them tremendously. I do think it was good though, that they realized this was not going well and put a stop to it before it got any worse. I think this will be a learning experience for the company and their public relations team.

  2. Janslle Ong says:

    I think that it was not a good idea for JP Morgan to start a Twitter campaign. They should understand that the banking industry is very sensitive, and there are a lot of negative thoughts and opinions about them. JP Morgan should have conducted secondary research to understand that Twitter campaigns can easily fail, people voice out more on Twitter and they should have treaded carefully.

  3. Hailey Paquette says:

    A lot of companies have seen similar outcomes from Twitter chats lately. McDonald’s has similarly seen a hashtag meant to promote positive stories been taken hostage and used to share horror stories about their food. While I don’t think this is a problem with the medium, perhaps companies should take more time to think about why they want to do a Twitter chat before they risk these types of outcomes. JP Morgan should also have thought about the timing for this event, considering the still-fresh American pain over foreclosures and recent problems with the law.

  4. Fernando Aguilar says:

    I believe that social media could be taking to benefit a company or not. The objectives and the communications plan have to be defined accurately in order to get desired results. Social media is used to express feelings and ideas. When trying to address to audiences, the results could be a disaster like this case.

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