7 Biggest Social Media Blunders by Banks

7 Biggest Social Media Blunders by Banks 7 Biggest Social Media Blunders by Banks

Social media can be treacherous for any large firm. Just ask JPMorgan Chase, which provoked a frenzy last week after its #AskJPM hashtag was hijacked by angry customers. Big banks arguably face more challenges than other large corporations because, while they must use social media to reach out to customers, they still face substantial reputation damage from the financial crisis. Following are some of the worst experiences banks have had to date.

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JPMorgan: Asking for Trouble JPMorgan: Asking for Trouble

The most recent example is JPMorgan Chase & Co, which intended to use the hashtag #AskJPM to promote a question and answer session with Jimmy Lee, its vice chairman. But the hashtag was quickly coopted by angry people on Twitter, who used it to lambast the company for everything from the London Whale to Jamie Dimon's outsized personality. The results were so disastrous that the bank had to pull the plug on the Q&A, later tweeting, "Bad idea. Back to the drawing board."

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Bank of America: 'Tone Deaf Robot' Bank of America: 'Tone Deaf Robot'

In July, Bank of America was sharply criticized after an Occupy Wall Street activist wrote angry messages about the bank in chalk on the sidewalk outside a branch, and posted a tweet with a picture of himself being chased away by police. The bank responded by sending out generic "we're here to help" tweets. Critics referred to the bank as a "tone deaf robot."

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Bank of America: Google Minus Bank of America: Google Minus

Speaking of Bank of America, it was also embarrassed in 2011 when a site that Google seemed to think was actually the Charlotte-based bank was instead run by some very angry followers. As a result, what looked like an official Google Plus page was littered with angry pictures of then CEO Ken Lewis as well as a motto that read, "We took your bailout money and your mortgage rates are going up." It's not clear whether the snafu was actually BofA's fault or Google's, but some sites criticized the bank for a failure to properly protect its brand.

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PNC: It Is What It Is PNC: It Is What It Is

PNC Financial Services angered customers on Twitter when it attempted to explain why it was suffering a partial web outage for customers of its Virtual Wallet. "There have been reported online banking delays," it responded on Twitter after a reporter inquired, a non-answer that Twitter users quickly mocked. "'Why's it slow?' 'It's slow because it's slow' *headdesk*," wrote Twitter user @maco_nix.

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Summit Bank: Angry Ex Summit Bank: Angry Ex

Sometimes a bank's problem hasn't been caused by the institution itself, but disgruntled ex-employees. Robert Rogers, a former vice president at Oakland-based Summit Bank, began anonymously posting vulgar items on Craigslist about the bank's CEO and her son while also suggesting the institution was about to fail. The bank sued Craigslist to obtain the name of the poster and later took Rogers to court, but ended up in a protracted legal battle over the legality of a 1907 law designed to stop rumormongers from triggering bank runs.

Barclays: Do as We Say, Not as We Do Barclays: Do as We Say, Not as We Do

Barclay's made a splash in 2012 when it introduced a fictional person named "Dan" on its Facebook page and provided him with advice on proper budgeting. Unfortunately for the bank, its social media campaign coincided with a $450 million fine for allegations it helped fix the Libor rate. Worse, the bank was criticized for being condescending to Dan and generally treating him as if he were stupid. "So come on Dan, get making those sandwiches and book those festival tickets," one Facebook post said.

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Commonwealth Bank: Advertising You Just Can't Buy Commonwealth Bank: Advertising You Just Can't Buy

Australia-based Commonwealth Bank was mocked after it advertised using Facebook's "Sponsored Stories" feature, inadvertently allowing hundreds of complaints from angry customers to pop up in its own advertising campaign. "CBA has the worst service when it comes to credit cards in Australia," wrote one.

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