The Twitter Chat That Never Happened (and 5 More That Shouldn't Either)

Hannah Fleishman
Hannah Fleishman



twitter-chatYesterday, JPMorgan hosted the best Twitter Chat that never happened.

The financial firm announced via Twitter last week that its very own Vice Chairman, Jimmy Lee, would be hosting a #TwitterTakeover to answer questions live that followers had tweeted using the hashtag #AskJPM.

The company teased the online event throughout the week and their 9,000+ followers engaged quickly -- some asking for serious career advice, but most using the opportunity to poke fun at Wall Street.

The New York Times put it best when it said many of the responses were "unsuitable for a family audience" -- it seems people couldn't resist the open invitation to let the firm know how they really feel.

Six days, 14 promotional tweets, and countless accusatory tweets later, JPMorgan announced on Wednesday that Friday’s #TwitterTakeover was cancelled. 


See, the thing about hosting a Twitter chat is they, you know, have to happen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I didn't think it was possible to fit this much comedy into under 140 characters. The build-up, the timing, the fact that 503 people favorited it, the suggestion that a Twitter chat was born during an innovative brainstorm, and of course, the "bad idea" tweet were all so pleasurably fitting for a leading company in what is popularly considered to be a dry and old-school industry.

Though JPMorgan's intentions were good in tapping into the social media trend, the Twittersphere may not have been the firm's best audience for such a discussion -- a belief that was confirmed as soon as it announced the cancellation:


Unfortunately, you can't get away with much in this day and age -- social media is watching your every move. While some followers suggested JPMorgan's Twitter chat #fail was a PR stunt, it was clear this #TwitterTakeover simply wasn't meant to be.

While chuckling at its cancellation tweet, I wondered what other attempted Twitter chats would crash and burn? I'm all for trying new things on social media (you have to keep reinventing the wheel to keep your followers engaged, after all), but the following five users should never host a Twitter chat, IMHO.

1) @afleishman89

I'm starting off this list by getting personal. My brother joined Twitter about a year ago to see what all the fuss was about and has since gained four followers and is following 14 accounts (mainly big name brands or publications).

There's no shame in having a small following on Twitter -- building a social media community takes work. However, the problem lies in the fact that he has never tweeted.

A Twitter Chat to #AskAaron anything could be his first time actually using the platform, which sounds painful for everybody (all four of them) involved. Hopefully, this shout-out will prompt him to tweet and I would have performed an inbound marketing miracle.


2) @common_squirrel

Though @common_squirrel has 100,000+ followers, I can't imagine a live Q&A with the Twitter squirrel being ... well ... rewarding.

Unless you too are a Twitter animal, there wouldn't be much digital dialogue because @common_squirrel has about as much as say as a real squirrel. However, if @common_squirrel does decide to go out on a limb (branch?), it should consider using the hashtag #SquirrelProblems during the Twitter Chat. 


3) @charliesheen

Because no one ever knows what he's talking about.



No, Willy Shakes is not a mainstream rapper. This account is a modern William Shakespeare using the Twitter handle @IAM_SHAKESPEARE tweeting lines from the works of the legendary playwright every ten minutes or so.

The account's tweet frequency would make it a great Twitter Chat host, but let's be honest, who speaks Shakespeare? I don't think I need doth protest too much.


5) @kanyewest

Twitter Chats are awesome because they spark discussion, dialogue, and conversation online. Kanye West demonstrated at the 2009 VMAs that he likes none of those things when he interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech.

West could try to host a #TwitterTakeover, but I can't guarantee he'd let you finish. Case in point: Kanye opened the debate on Twitter that New Slaves, a song of his of course, was incredible and wrote 'period' in all caps in the same tweet. PERIOD, as in this debate is over. 


So these are all clearly terrible prospects for hosting a potential Twitter chat. When it comes to engaging audiences on the social media platform, though, there are plenty of people (and brands) that get it right.

For example, this wacky, wonderful, and natural Twitter interaction between some big-name Brit brands and a consumer of those brands happened recently. The reasons why conversing with this random user worked for the companies? It wasn't forced, and the businesses involved don't have a -- ahem -- stigma to them that a certain aforementioned company clearly does.

We could go on and on with recommendations of who would make a terrible choice to host a Twitter chat, so we'll ask you: What other Twitterers do you think would be ill-advised to host a Twitter Q&A?

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