'Oh so very over it today' tweets Westpac

'Oh so very over it today' tweets Westpac

With many banks still wary of social media, Australia's Westpac provided an example of the potential pitfalls today when an employee accidentally posted a self-pitying tweet using the firm's official account, prompting scorn from followers.

Westpac, which recently posted first quarter profits of A$1.6 billion, told the world via its Twitter account that it was "Oh so very over it today".

Fellow Twitterers were less than sympathetic. One responded: "You're a bank. You made a $1.6 billion first-quarter profit. Cheer up" while another suggested: "Maybe you can go dive in a swimming pool full of my money to make you feel better".

The tweet was removed, with another posted explaining: "Yes, a case of the multiple account slip, here's hoping you have a better day tomorrow CT! ..Ean"

Sentiment within the Twitterverse soon switched, with many expressing sympathy and concern for "CT".

"I'm worried about the @westpac person..... and I hope they don't get the sack," tweeted one while another mused "Nice to know your human :)".

The furore has also seen the bank gain hundreds of Twitter followers - boosting numbers to nearly 900 - in the last few hours.

Comments: (1)

Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis - Finextra Research - London 18 February, 2010, 12:13Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This seems like a very trivial incident (certainly compared to Vodafone's recent problem here in the UK http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/feb/05/vodafone-twitter-obscene-tweet).

If banks should be positively encouraged to engage directly with their customers, in order to communicate and ideally fix their issues via whatever new channels those customers prefer, then jumping onto trivial gaffes like this seems silly.

I don't know WestPac well, but I wouldn't be surprised if allowing the authentic voice of their employees to escape the corporate firewall (even if slightly inappropriately in this instance), has probably allowed them to score a few points for authenticity and trust with many customers.