As corporations go, the JPMorgan Chase Twitter account is pretty standard: Communicates in business tones, is careful not to tweet anything controversial and uses the platform to post content which is helpful for followers. For example, their tweets include links to articles about budgeting for a growing family, saving money during college and how to financially navigate an employment gap.

So pretty much everyone who follows them was shocked when their marketing team woke up Monday morning and decided to trash their online persona by posting this tweet:

Wow. They quickly deleted the tweet after receiving backlash on Twitter from senators, journalists, customers and followers. Chase was accused of poor-shaming and being tone deaf.

There is a LOT to unpackage here. Let’s analyze what’s wrong with this tweet and more importantly, what you can learn from it: 

Don’t lose your voice

If your brand voice is X, don’t try Y suddenly. Normally corporate and businesslike, don’t start bringing the snark or telling people why their lifestyle sucks. 

However, if you are beginning to implement a new marketing strategy which includes displaying snarkiness, don’t delete the tweet. Follow it up with more so people become aware of the change in attitude. And if that’s your new strategy, prepare in advance for the blowback you’ll inevitably receive.

Leave snark to the experts

If you’re not good at snark, don’t do it. Wanna know who does snark well? Wendy’s. Their responses to followers are fantastic. The kings of smart snark and clever condescension? That title belongs to the team over at R/GA. Chase was never snarky. Suddenly bringing the snark will get you called out and publicly shamed.

Silence is smart

Rabbi Akiva in the Ethics of the Fathers said: “A protective fence for wisdom is silence.” Sometimes it’s better to be quiet, even when you think you’re right or know better. As my own father tells me often, “Not everything needs to be said.” If you’re the face behind the logo, think carefully before tweeting. If in doubt, don’t post.

Read the room

It may be eleven years later but people have definitely not forgotten: Chase received a HUGE bailout when they couldn’t pay their debts. Senator Elizabeth Warren jumped all over it.

Kettle. Pot. Not very smart to chastise others for the way they spend money and go into debt. And to follow up on that…

Walk an inch in a man’s shoes

Make sure House Chase is in order before you go taking on the rest of the Twitter kingdoms. Journalist Ben Walsh of Barron’s was quick to remind everyone that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently received a salary bump, to $31 million.  


Honor the hashtag

#MondayMotivation is meant to get people up and going after a relaxing weekend. No one wants to return to work Monday morning, so people post motivating sayings as a way of getting the week started with a bang. Using that hashtag to bang people over the head with what you consider to be their bad habits? Yeah, not the best idea. Know why people use a hashtag and then join the conversation.

Having said all that, I kind of understand their original intention. They think that people are spending money wantonly on things they don’t need and then crying poverty because they have no savings. It’s true that 40% of American adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.  The smart and safe move would be tweeting helpful tips and links to assist people with money management.

Nope. Chase went for broke. And paid the price.

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