Financial behemoth JPMorgan launched a social media campaign this year called “#AskJPM”. A seemingly innocent and engaging idea, the premise was simple: Incite Twitter users to ask their hard-hitting financial questions to JPMorgan professionals.
Here’s where they went wrong – they forgot to consider the public view and opinion of banking institutions overall, and the inevitable snarky comments from the angered masses. In other words, they were asking for trouble, and they found it. Because the industry had already generated so much frustration and blame, creating a hashtag to direct public questions only fanned the flames, and created a direct portal for venting. A little forward thinking would have prevented this debacle all together. Instead, it was (and still is) an embarrassment for the company, with many negative #AskJPM comments and questions posted for all to see.
How we can learn from this: If you’re in an unpopular industry, or if you’re doing damage control with your audience, be very careful about the feedback you elicit. Never be ignorant about your reputation online and elsewhere, and communicate your campaigns with a clear purpose and awareness.