What Happens When Your Twitter Chat Turns Sour? 3 Crisis Communications Tips

Twitter chats are a great way for a brand to engage with their audience. However, a recent Twitter chat from JPMorgan Chase ended before it even began when Twitter followers used their #AskJPM hashtag to endlessly ridicule and mock the Wall Street bank.


They announced their chat in the morning and decided to cancel it that same evening, explaining with a tweet that said, “Tomorrow’s Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.”

If your company is holding a Twitter chat soon this is a great opportunity to learn from what happened to JPMorgan. Twitter is a wonderful forum for dialogue but addressing the negative comments can be tricky, so make sure you’re prepared for anything.  Here are three tips to help you navigate the Twitter chat waters:

  1. Develop a plan As mentioned above, Twitter can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Instead of waiting to see if any problems arise, think of what could go wrong before you announce your chat. Search Twitter for any recent discussions related to your topic, what has been said lately? This way if a situation does pop up, you will already be one step ahead.
  2. Assess the situation If something does go wrong, now is the time to review your plan and the potential outcomes that may arise. Think about the various ways to handle the situation and how that will affect your brand down the line. There may not be one solution that ties everything up perfectly, but there are right and wrong ways to handle a crisis.
  3. Don’t hold back Instead of letting others control the discussion for an extended period of time, you have to act quickly. You’ve already prepared a plan and thought of various outcomes, now is the time to execute and adjust accordingly. Stay aware of what people are tweeting and alter your course of action when it makes sense.

Do you think JPMorgan did the right thing by canceling their Twitter chat? Sound off in the comments below! And for more information on crisis communications check out our October newsletter.


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