My favorite thing that happened last week is best understood by heading over to Twitter and tapping in #askJPM in the search bar. It’s OK, I’ll wait.
Welcome back. Epic, right? If you want more, or can’t understand how and why this happened, you can read more about the tremendous fail now dubbed “The JP Morgan Q&A Fiasco” here.
By now of course you might be familiar with all of this, but it’s worth catching up on how this all went down. After all, there is a lot marketers, business people, CEOs and budding standup comedians can learn from this mess.
JP Morgan thought it would be a great idea to run a Twitter Q & A. They sent a tweet about it, received a flood of justified and canceled the session – quickly turning the entire thing into just a Q.
The easy lesson is, don’t turn to people that clearly hate you for a Q & A session on Twitter.
I knew the higher-ups at JP Morgan were disconnected from the masses, but I had no idea just how disconnected until last week. Most human beings are aware that it isn’t exactly “in” to be rich, careless, greedy and criminal. There are millions of Americans still struggling because of actions taken by JP Morgan and similar institutions.
All JPM had to do was check with the guys and gals in the mail room: “Hey guys, we’re thinking of running a Q & A on Twitter next week. Good idea?….Oh, OK. Yeah. I’ll take those middle fingers and the spittle now hanging from my nose as a ‘nope.’ Killer, thanks a ton!”
The more difficult lesson is actually more common among companies of all sizes than you’d think. Maybe JPM shouldn’t have run the Q & A in the first place, but once they did, they never should have shut it down.
Twitter is full of loud, arrogant, smart, obnoxious, anonymous know-it-alls. It’s pretty easy to predict what they are going to say or do as a mass reaction to almost anything. JPM could have seen the snarkpocalypse coming and diffused the situation.
The saddest thing about this whole incident is that JP Morgan could have turned all of this – as bad as it seems – into a positive marketing campaign. Handled briefly, politely and cleverly, the Q & A could have been salvaged and the effort would have turned a few heads. JP Morgan missed an opportunity to take the punches and use Twitter for what it is meant for: connecting, discussing, learning and teaching.
There is no better tool on this planet than the Internet for companies to reach, impact and build relationships with current and potential customers. JP Morgan’s biggest mistake last week wasn’t running the Q & A. It was showing the world that the worst about them could be true by giving up on it.