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Learn how social listening with Brandwatch generates value for the growing bank. From helping consumers discover new products to determining future demand — all through social listening.

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Social media is at the center of our world and no one knows this better than a social media manager. The job is not just posting about new products and coming up with creative captions – it’s about listening to your audience and educating stakeholders on how impactful that data can be.

Imagine being offered an inside look at the minds of your audience – would you take it? A tool that helps you understand their likes and dislikes, what they are talking about with their friends, what brands they idolize, which campaigns they cringe at?

It’s there for the taking, you just have to know how to use the information to your advantage. This intersection between social media and data-driven decision making is what fascinates Richard Cook, Social Media Manager at Monzo.

“I find this area of where data meets storytelling really interesting. Not only is this data possible to measure, it's in our grasp, but we can actually do stuff with it – we can tell a story with it,” explains Richard. “As the social team we are responsible for publishing and yes we can see how it is being received but now we can take it a step further and act on it.”

With the help of Brandwatch’s rich data sets, Richard and his team can better tell the story of why certain strategies click and why other things may not be hitting the mark. As a result, Monzo has created a bank brand that is relatable, reliable and refreshing to watch grow. 

In this case study we will walk through: 

  • How Monzo developed their social listening 
  • Genuine use cases for social listening
  • Dashboards and reports you’ll actually use
  • Internal cheerleading and encouraging adoption of social data across your organization

Monzo’s social strategy before Brandwatch

Richard is the first to admit that Monzo started off a bit naive about social listening. Social media is a staple to most of us but it wasn’t so long ago that the idea of a social strategy at all was met with hesitation. 

Taking a step back, Richard explained that social listening is a way to answer really critical questions for a brand, like: 

  • Who's talking about us? 
  • What are they saying? 
  • Where are we being talked about? 
  • Are the conversations about our brand positive or negative? 
  • What are the trends in our industry?

From there, the questions start to become more strategic. What does our brand health look like across social platforms? What is affecting that? How can we be more proactive rather than reactive? 

Richard notes that when you are in the early stages of growth as a company, sometimes you make assumptions about sentiment or public opinion because you can grow without them. Once you have a bigger following it becomes much more important to understand what's happening at a bigger scale and to pick out the moments or pieces of the conversation that resonate and respond.

“It’s not that our customers weren’t talking to us, we just didn’t have the tools to listen to the sheer volume of it all. We’d go out and say something like: “Hey if you could change one thing about Monzo what would that be?” Then we would get 847 responses – it’s almost overwhelming,” explains Richard. 

Immediate value: Getting started with social listening

Making the investment in Brandwatch meant getting clear about goals for social listening. Richard and his team set come clear intentions: 

  • Better measure the impact of social media and give the company visibility on what people are saying about us there 
  • Implement a social listening tool so we and teams across the business can have better visibility on relevant conversations

With the help of the Brandwatch’s Customer Success team, Monzo began building dashboards to tap into their social listening capabilities. From there, the insights started rolling in. 

“Coming from staring at a TweetDeck all day, we were blown away by what was possible. It was entering a whole new world of sophistication in our social listening,” noted Cook. “It was quite a revelatory moment, we started seeing this world of possibility of how we could use social media data to enhance the entire team.”

As a way of diving in, Richard set out to test the capabilities of the data. Here are a few ways the entire Monzo team saw immediate value. 

Example #1: Campaign analysis and understanding spikes in conversation

The first step was to answer those basic questions Richard mentioned earlier: What’s our share of voice on social media? Where do we stand among the noise?

With Brandwatch the Monzo team could tie their goals to mentions and shares with real data. They had done crude analysis before but it never gave them the data points they needed to concretely back up future investments in similar campaigns. 

For example, each year Monzo releases the Year of Monzo campaign. Customers are delivered personal insights into how they’ve spent, saved, shared money with friends, and worked towards their financial goals over the last year.  

Richard had a pretty good idea that this campaign generated buzz but his team could never quite quantify it. Visualized on a Brandwatch dashboard, his team could clearly see that Year of Monzo generates the most conversation the brand sees each year. 

“That data validated for us that this campaign was as loved as it seemed to be,” Richard says. “That's really cool because it makes conversations about doing similar things a lot easier and a lot more compelling”

Example #2: Digging deeper into customer feedback

The Monzo team also began to use the data to inform improvements in the product by understanding customer feedback and sentiment. 

“Before we weren’t able to give very useful feedback. We’ve turned it into much more quantitative feedback,” explains Richard. “It’s not like people don't really like this, it’s more like x amount of people feel this, this is trending, in the last 30 days we’ve seen more complaints about this feature.”

This new data-driven approach created a lot of internal praise. Richard’s team could go to their colleagues and tell them about the things consumers love.

“Even with the negatives, those word clouds help us understand what areas are causing friction and where we need to put in work. It’s a very very rich data set because it is raw and honest feedback, unsolicited.”
— Richard Cook, Social Media Manager at Monzo

Example #3: Determining demand and understanding sentiment

Social listening data also helps Monzo better understand what demand for certain features looks like. For example, they don’t currently support check imaging in the app which is something a lot of other banks do. 

“We were interested to know how big of an ask this is from our customers. The people who do want it are quite passionate about it,” explains Richard “But what is the richer picture? We can say this is noisy or trending upwards and we can tell the wider story.” These data points help the team form a decision. 

In a similar vein, Richard likes to dig into industry sentiment to get a feel for what topics customers want to better understand. How do people talk about money? Is credit something that makes people uncomfortable? Are they worried about money?

“It is really helpful to get a flavor of what is there and what people are actually saying. What words do they use? What is the framing here? And that is important for our team because we are responsible for content and we want to make sure we are matching the way our users speak, addressing what problems they have.”
— Richard Cook, Social Media Manager at Monzo

How social listening powers Monzo’s brand and product

As the Monzo team became more familiar with all Brandwatch had to offer, they began to pull in social data to inform wider brand strategy. Instead of reacting to data, Cook wanted to be proactive in the way the team was using social listening. 

“Every company calls itself a data-driven company these days but Monzo literally makes all of our decisions based on the data,” reflected Richard. 

“For the first time, with Brandwatch, I was able to bring quality feedback to the team and I could also point to content people worked on and show them not only are people loving this but here’s how much noise it’s making. These are more sophisticated data points that we've never had before,” he said.

Case Study #1: Product launch research

At the end of last year, Monzo launched a product that allows customers to spread out their payments across 3, 6 or 12 months and Brandwatch was a big part of monitoring that rollout. For their team, this was the first campaign where social listening was a big part of the process. 

“For the first time, the team was able to set goals around the amount of conversation they would drive, we set goals like 'we want X amount of people to talk about it or see a post about it.' It was really interesting because before we would just hope the content did well but setting those goals with that historic data help us embed social listening into the campaign process,” says Richard.

“All this rich data about the where, what, and volume, diving into all of those metrics or mentions and picking out our big wins.”

For this launch in particular, sentiment was top of mind. The team wanted to understand how people felt about the plans – what excited them and where the areas of concern were. The team tracked this data and then dug down into the mentions and sentiment. 

Case Study #2: Day-to-day brand monitoring

Social listening data isn’t just useful for big splash launches. In fact, some of the most critical value for the Monzo team comes from the day-to-day brand monitoring. 

“It’s part of good social listening hygiene,” explains Richard. “It’s good to have an idea of what the temperature of the room is and to have a sense of what customers are saying about us day-to-day.”

That daily monitoring shows up in a few different ways for the Monzo team. 

Highlighting big moments via internal alerts

Monzo uses alerts to ensure the right people get the right alerts at the right time. These alerts ensure interested parties are given the information that is relevant to them. 

“As much as I can train and make a dashboard for people, some people are just going to want the stuff they need to know when they need to know it,” explains Richard. “It's best practice for us to ensure people get the data that is most relevant to them as soon as we do.”

Tracking media mentions regularly

The team at Monzo is super interested in what people are saying about them and where. As they see it: if they can know what happens, then they can share it in the moment, not with retrospective reports. 

“I am very hungry for feedback. Thinking back to when I was staring at my Tweetdecks all day long, there’s a good possibility that I would have missed these tiny little morsels of validation that are actually really useful. Not only is it positive feedback but it is the context we want, that shows we are leaders in the areas where we think we are,” says Richard.

Spotting viral posts in real time

Richard has also set up volume alerts so the team knows exactly when there is a change in the data that they may want to have a look at. 

“It becomes a new source of content for us so we are always looking out for these engagement opportunities and people creating content which creates this lovely cyclical thing called user-generated content that we can then interact with.”

Ultimately, it’s about rebroadcasting the best of the Monzo community back to the Monzo community. The shorter the feedback loop between when something like this happens and Monzo responding, the better.

“It shows how on the pulse we are, staying close to our community. Even though we have millions of users we are still listening and on the pulse.”
— Richard Cook, Social Media Manager at Monzo

Advocating for your social listening strategy

To be a good social media leader you have to be a good internal advocate and that extends beyond securing leadership buy-in.

As Richard demonstrates, all of this data has utility beyond social strategy. The right information can inform product strategy, feature decisions, and brand strategy. “As you can tell I am quite passionate about social media. Ultimately you have to get the rest of the company bought on this as well. There's no point in having all of these insights and all these tools when people dont understand them,” explained Cook. “So it was really important for me to take this on tour and do a little road show with the help of the Brandwatch team.”

There are a few ways Richard socializes social data in the organization:

  • A Slack social listening channel: Where Richard shares social insights and gives context and a narrative as to what’s happening on social media. “They don’t have to worry about dashboards – they can just tap in and stay in the loop where they already are,” he says.
  • Internal presentations: “The new and exciting world of social listening” is the title of Richard’s internal presentation which explains the universe of social listening and shows off what social listening means, why colleagues should care about it, and how it can make a real impact beyond the social team.”
  • Custom dashboards: Richard’s internal presentation has opened up new conversations across departments. “From that I was able to create reports and dashboards for other teams so everyone could see this isn't just for me. We’re finding new ways to leverage this data.”

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