Social media is somewhat of a double-edged sword. It can do wonders for your business, helping you expose your brand to whole new group of people, but it can also leave you vulnerable to the many people out there who are more than willing to give you a piece of their mind.
The latter was the case for banking giant JPMorgan Chase when they decided to take to Twitter and see what their customers (and everyone else, for that matter) thought of them.
Less than six hours after their original tweet, which asked customers to send in their questions using the hashtag #AskJPM, the twitter handle was put on the backburner as their final tweet said “#Badidea! Back to the drawing board.”
While it’s probably safe to say that your company won’t receive the kind of backlash JPMorgan did any time soon, the fiasco does provide a great learning experience for anyone using (or considering using) social media.
Below, we’ve put together 3 things we can learn from JPMorgan Chase’s Twitter fiasco:
- Always assess the playing field
Before you go out and get your Twitter handle, you should probably think about what you’re getting yourself into. Although you probably won’t have this kind of backlash, you should be prepared for negative comments from customers. They’re a fact of life, and you’re better off engaging them than leaving them to their own. Negative comments aren’t a guarantee, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t assess the playing field and be prepared to respond.
- Think before you speak and start slow
Let’s face it–JPMorgan Chase really opened up the floodgates with this one. Asking people to send in their questions is just begging for an internet troll or two to really come at you. If this kind of interaction is new to you, then it’s best to play it safe and start the process slow. It’s nice to open up to your customers and followers, but you should establish a connection with them first. Starting slow never hurt anybody.
- Have around-the-clock support
Unfortunately, there will always be someone with a negative comment or two. The best way to prevent things from going awry is to make sure you tackle the problem as soon as it comes up. Respond to the critic and show that you are genuinely listening–most people will be surprised that you even answered. You don’t need to respond within 60 seconds, but a response within a day or two is often a great gesture.
Whether you’re using it for employer branding, company branding, or even just for the sake of doing it, social media can do a lot to help expose your organization to a new audience. But in order to get a great response, you should always be prepared for the worst.
Most companies will never go through the kind of crisis that JPMorgan Chase went through this past week–and social media can be a great tool for recruiters. That said, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Always think before you speak, especially on social media, and don’t be afraid to engage customers, even when the response is negative.