Want to Avoid a Social Media Disaster? Think Before You Speak

Lauren Owens - November 19, 2013

You’ve probably heard by now about JP Morgan’s disastrous social media campaign, #askJPM, which quickly turned ugly last week with users taking to Twitter to ask tongue-in-cheek questions the banking giant probably didn’t foresee. Questions like:


This is likely not what the banking giant anticipated when they promoted the simple Q&A session:


How can you avoid similar social disasters?

Think Ahead – What Could Go Wrong?

Companies often make the mistake of viewing social media as a promotion device. And, while many can and do promote themselves and their services on social media, social media is not a TV commercial or a magazine ad. It’s not a one-way conversation. It’s an open dialogue – one that you, largely, can’t control.

With that in mind, before you Tweet, share or post, you should play out all of the possible responses to that Tweet. What could go wrong?

Often, the benefits will far outweigh the consequences. For every negative #maxinista Tweet, for example:


There are scores of positive ones:


Know Your Audience – And Your Platform

Twitter is kind of like a train station – there are lots of people coming and going, with a plethora of points of view. As such, it’s not the best place for an organization with a dubious reputation to invite questions from the public – unless, of course, it wants to be kicked.

So, before you decide to take to Twitter – or any social media platform – with a marketing campaign, ask yourself:

  1. What could go wrong?
  2. Who will we reach?
  3. Is there a better forum for this?

Or, you might just find yourself, like the folks at JP Morgan, going back to the drawing board.


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