If you’re JP Morgan, sure, a recent Twitter Chat that they planned was clearly a bad idea.
Then, and anytime for that company, if ever.
The backlash was immediate, and the mighty Interweb, predictably to everyone but them, revolted against JPM.
The attention it received was crazy - 1,500 retweets of their “Back to the drawing board” tweet?
Just like that, they became the poster child for what can happen to a company that wants to hold a Twitter Chat.
Look, not knowing why the company thought it would be a good idea to do the chat, it’s still a good lesson for all companies to make sure they truly are in step with the social climate and the likelihood of their haters hijacking the hashtag.
And, a reminder that timing is everything on Twitter, in whatever industry your company is in. (Don’t do a chat the same day you raise prices, for example.)
Does JP Morgan’s experience also spell the end of company-organized Twitter Chats?
Certainly makes me think twice, for a corporate purpose.
We all recognize that anything can blow up, even when we think it’s “safe” to try something in social that involves asking people for their opinions or questions.
We also know that the armchair quarterback social media analysts love this kind of thing, and are the first to throw gas on the fire when things go south for a company or brand.
Yes, if you’re going to do a Twitter Chat I agree that having a Plan B is critical. You have to be ready for anything.
Asking, ‘What happens if this blows up in our face?” has to be part of the planning.
But should a company or brand that’s been part of a polarizing news event or issue even bother planning a chat in the first place, knowing that not everybody online is their biggest fan?
Seems like a no-brainer.
When we as social media managers for our companies decide to hold a seemingly harmless Twitter Chat about Thanksgiving food/recipes, or a Q&A with an executive about leadership, we may like to think that the participants will only be our fans and followers.
But the reality is, that’s not how Twitter works. Those who don’t like you for whatever reason certainly see what you’re promoting too, if they’re paying attention to you.
And they may decide to use it as a chance to pounce.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like something I want to deal with.
And, willingly bringing negative attention to the company name stamped on my paycheck is not part of my annual objectives.
Sure, you could say that not holding a Twitter Chat out of fear of the chaos it could create for your company or brand is a “letting the bad guys win” mindset.
But if you’re in a JP Morgan position, it’s smart to skip the chat if there is no love lost for your company, at least in the minds of your most vocal critics.
Julie Fleischer, Director of Media and Consumer Engagement at Kraft Foods, provides some insight on her approach to content marketing in this clip.
Learn more at “Tools to Create the Right Recipe for Your Content Marketing Plan” from the Content Marketing Institute.