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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

I'm a person, not a bank: tweeters mistakenly bombard @natwest

Among the many victims of RBS's systems meltdown over the last few days, the most unusual may be Natalie Westerman, a 22 year old woman who happens to go by the name @natwest on Twitter.

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Be a person...even if you ARE a bank

I'm been thinking a lot about our fair Natalie lately. One thing you hear about, frequently, is that banks are hesitant to engage with social media because 'why would we open ourselves up to abuse from the public?'

Some may see the fate of NewCastle, UK resident Natalie Westerman - whose unfortunate Twitter ID was @natwest - as evidence that it is difficult to be a person on Twitter. But I see her reaction as just the opposite. 

When RBS and National Westminster Bank started having their well-publicised IT meltdown last week - poor Natalie started getting a barrage of Tweets from disgruntled customers. 

Now - here is my point - instead of Tweeting 'F*&%-off Twats, I'm not the bank!' (like, a-hem...I might have done) Natalie calmly, and very patiently, directed people to the official bank account (@natwest_help), defended her nickname and updated her host of *new* followers on, what must have been a strange couple of days. "'A nice woman from @natwest_help just called to help sort this out".

Sadly, Natalie seems to have taken her account down. 

However, I think Natalie's behaviour and experience should serve as a lesson to banks' customer service and PR teams. When faced with an avalanche of negative information on social media - respond like a person, not like a corporate, PR-approved, broadcasting robot. (well...a polite and patient person anyway :-)


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Elizabeth Lumley
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Elizabeth Lumley

Global FinTech Commentator

Girl, Disrupted

Member since

05 Nov 2007



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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Social Banks is a group that aims to discuss trends and debate as the financial services take their first steps into social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc..debate all here.

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