JPMorgan Finds Out What a Hashtag Failure is All About

On Thursday, The Telegraph reported that JPMorgan cancelled a social media Question and Answer session due to negative reaction from the public.  The Q&A session was supposed to take place on Twitter with the hashtag #AskJPM.  Top-level executives from JPMorgan claimed that this was supposed to be an online marketing event to help boost positive publicity for the brand.  However, many individuals took it as an opportunity to speak out against the company because of the housing collapse that caused havoc to the economy throughout the world.  From various reports, many of the tweets using #AskJPM were relevant to the housing/global economy collapse while only some were irrelevant or “abusive” in nature.

This is an interesting situation because, in my opinion, it shows how communication specialists (or top-level executives) within JPMorgan did not think through this initiative before implementation.  They did not assess the community to find out their beliefs and opinions before their attempt to use social media to promote the organization.  In addition, they did not research other hashtag failures (also known as bashtags) to learn from the mistakes of other corporations.  The initial research is very important because it helps eliminate some of the issues that could come up by using a hashtag campaign or any other social media initiative. 

This article does not let us know what lessons the specialists/executives learned because they only replied by stating that they learned their lesson and would go “back to the drawing board.”  Therefore, we don’t know if they are assessing their processes or initiatives.  They might just blindly believe that they are correct and there is no reason for the public to act negatively.  This attitude limits the efficiency of the corporation because there is no evaluation procedure to bring checks and balances to its processes.

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