How to run social media for your business, according to Monzo

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We've built Monzo Business to take care of your finances, so you can focus on the things that matter to you. That could be growing your business, and using social media is a great way to do that.

These days, being on social media is just as important as having a website. Your social media presence is a virtual 'shop front' that lets people know what your business is all about. It's where your brand comes to life on a daily basis, versus the one chance you get to make an impression with larger scale brand marketing campaign work.

And a great social media account is more than just a place to broadcast information about your company. Just look at the Big Green Bookshop Twitter account. People follow that account not just to learn about books they can buy, but because they like reading and sharing the tweets.

At Monzo, we see our social channels as an absolutely crucial part of our marketing. From getting millions of people excited about a new product launch to kicking off the viral conversation of the day, they bring us an incredible amount of value. And we wanted to share how we think about things so you can give it a go for yourself.

Step one: decide what you want to use social media for

First up, you need a strategy. That might sound complicated, but it just means thinking about what you want to use social media for, and how you'll measure if it's working or not, helping you achieve those goals or not.

To keep this simple, you can just pick one of a few metrics to focus on to get started.

Here are a few things you might want to achieve with social media (and how to measure them):

  1. Awareness

    Maybe you just want as many people as possible to hear about your business. Social media is perfect for this, as your posts can go beyond just your immediate audience as people can share them with their own followers. Just don't expect to go viral every time!

    Most social media platforms will let you see the 'reach' or 'impressions' of your posts, which can tell you how many times it's been seen. Reach is a good thing to aim for in the early days as you begin to build an audience.

  2. Engaging with your customers

    As well as lots of people seeing your content, you might want people to engage a little bit further. Social media is a place for you to develop your brand personality and build customer loyalty.

    You can measure this by looking at things like how many likes, retweets, shares, or comments you get on your posts. Think about innocent, for example. People love their Twitter account, and they always get great engagement. And hey, that might just make the difference next time you're picking a drink for your next meal deal.

    Pro tip: Calculate the 'engagement rate' of your content with a simple calculation: Engagement / Reach * 100. This will give you a fair comparison across your content, as well as something to aim for.

  3. Getting people to visit your business

    Say you have a website or blog post that you really want people to go to. Social media is an ideal way to do that, and it's free! Share your most valuable content on your channels (once you've built up an audience) and you can drive those all-important clicks. How you do this is up to you, just be careful of posting 'clickbaity' posts. Platforms like Facebook treat this content less favourably and you'll be penalised with a dent in your reach.

    Pro tip: You can calculate the click-through rate of your content with a simple calculation: Clicks / Reach * 100. Or if you want to get really fancy, add UTM parameters to any links you post to track where your clicks are coming from in Google Analytics.

  4. Selling your product!

    Social media channels are also important advertising platforms. We'll cover this in a future blog post (there's a lot!) but it's a totally valid way to use social media. Maybe you'll do a mix of the above 'organic' strategies and paid. Or perhaps you'll go down an entirely paid route, as Apple do with their Twitter account, which has no tweets on its page at all!

At Monzo, we care a lot about reach and engagement on the organic (meaning non-paid) side of things. We set goals each quarter to track how we're doing, which might look like "Increase Twitter post impressions 25% to 15m".

We can then track how we're doing against our goals, using our in-house data software:

A chart showing our progress for Twitter impressions against the goal in a quarter

Pick the social channels that are right for your business

Whatever your business, it's likely that you'll benefit from having a social media presence. But that doesn't mean you should run off and immediately start filming a whole bunch of TikToks! It's important to think about why you're using each channel, and what you'll be using it for.

The important things to consider are:

  1. Your potential audience

    Snapchat and LinkedIn are both social networks, but have an entirely different userbase. It's worth looking into some demographics and thinking about who your target customers are. There's no point being on a channel where nobody will care about what you have to say.

  2. How well your product fits the channel

    What does your business do? Is it very visual? In that case, Instagram is a great fit for you. But if you don't produce a physical product, maybe consider other channels. That doesn't mean Instagram won't work for you. But always try to play to your strengths as much as possible.

  3. Your own comfort and familiarity with the channels

    If you're not familiar with a social media platform, you'll find it harder to get started on it. But if you're already using Facebook or Twitter, you'll already know the basics of posting - so start there. You can always learn how to use the channels later (or hire a Social Media Manager to take care of all that).

Remember that a good channel strategy will mix-and-match channels with the marketing objectives we mentioned before. You might end up with a plan like this:

We'll post all our blog posts on Facebook and LinkedIn for clicks. And we'll post any pictures of our product on Instagram for engagement. I'll also brainstorm some shareable tweets that people can RT to help us with reach.

Pro tip: tailor your content to each channel. Learn what works on each channel (for your objectives) and don't just cross-post everything everywhere. But don't be afraid to experiment either and break the rules. At Monzo, we sometimes post our best performing tweets on Instagram and they still do great!

Roll up your sleeves and start creating some content

Once you've got your objectives and channel strategy sorted, it's time for the hard part: actually making the content. This can be especially difficult if you're a one-person business, as managing social media can be a full time job in itself. So be realistic about what you want to achieve, and set goals to measure if it's working or not!

To begin with, think about what you can produce for your channels with the lowest amount of effort. That might be just posting content you've already written elsewhere, like blog posts. If you've got a website already, you should have some graphics ready that you can chop and change for social media.

Or go even simpler and just share interesting copy. That could be quotes, funny sayings, or just observations about the weather

You might be surprised at how successful this kind of content can be. Here's a basic conversation starter than took about 30 seconds to think up:

The results? 385k impressions, with a roughly 20% engagement rate (even a 5% rate is good most days!)

But how does this actually help the business? Well, that's the question! It's unlikely anyone is rushing to open a Monzo account because they liked a tweet. But it achieves a couple of more subtle things than that:

  • It associates us with the concept of a 'bank account' - which is important for our overall positioning as the one place for all your money.

  • It's fun, which people come to associate with the Monzo brand. We track overall brand metrics for things like awareness, but we also look at specific areas like trustworthiness and 'fun'. Going viral with content that customers love absolutely helps us do this.

  • It gets people talking about money in a non-threatening way. That's good for everyone! Our mission is to make money work for everyone, and that involves making money less taboo.

If you want to spice things up, most channels let you attach images and videos to your posts. If you don't have anything original to share, you can use the built-in .GIF libraries to create something to make your message that little bit more engaging.

Down the line, you'll be able to start thinking about more advanced content formats. Original graphic design, photography, and even video! Then it's time to just generate as much as you can and experiment until you find what works. At Monzo, we've tried lots of different formats - and many of them have failed! The secret is just to keep experimenting.

And that's it! You'll probably make some mistakes along the way, or experience the frustration of a great post that nobody seems to like. That's all part of the fun of being a social media manager!

Once you start talking to people, they'll start talking back

Remember, social media isn't a one way street. If you treat your channels like a broadcast platform, you'll likely meet a cold reception. Social media isn't like radio or TV. Your customers have the chance to reply to what you have to say - and they probably will!

Think about how you intend to manage this. You don't have to reply to anything, of course. But people will noticed if you're being a selfish social media participant! So get stuck in and get chatty.

To begin with, you can just use the platforms themselves to reply and that's fine. But this won't scale forever, and you might want to look into a tool that lets you (and your team) manage the replies. At Monzo, we have a special team of over a dozen Social COps who are trained to reply to inbound social messages, using the Conversocial tool.

Become a social media pro with this handy tools and resources

Behind every expert social media manger is a suite of tools they use to make their jobs much easier. And you can benefit from these too, as many of them are totally free!

Managing and monitoring social media

  • Buffer - at some point you'll want to start scheduling your posts across your channels in bulk. Buffer is a really helpful way to do that, with a Free plan that lets you schedule up to 10 posts on up to 3 channels

  • Tweetdeck - create your own Twitter dashboard and see what people are saying about you (or your competitors) in real time

Creating content

If you're handy with Adobe Photoshop, or similar software, these tools might make your life just that bit easier:

  • Unsplash - an incredible source of high quality images that are free to use for commercial purposes

  • - a free-to-use website that reduces the size of your images without affecting quality (also really handy for your website and blog posts!)

  • - a free-to-use website that removes the background of an image, as if by magic!

  • Canva - online software that lets you quickly put together good-looking graphics that are optimised for posting on social media

  • Buffer Remix - a genius tool from Buffer that lets your turn any link into a social post. Really handy for cross-posting tweets to Instagram!

Other accounts we love:

Some final tips and tricks

By now you should have everything you need to know to get started with social media for your business. But here are some final pointers to get you on your way:

  • Look at what your competitors are doing. Don't obsess over them or just copy their content. But it's a great way to quick-start your own original ideas.

  • Stay up to date with the latest industry news. Even your non-paid social media still falls under the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority, so you'll need to be aware of their rules (especially if you start looking into working with influencers).

  • Be on the lookout for User Generated Content. This is just anything that your customers create themselves, like photos of them using your product. Get in touch, ask for their permission, and repost this on your own page. Nothing sells your product like real customers!

  • Follow the latest trends in the social media industry. A good place to start is the Social Media Geekout newsletter from industry expert Matt Navarra. And there are regular conferences throughout the year that are full of interesting talks and sessions.

  • When in doubt, put a dog in it. Posts with dogs just always do better for some reason.

Most of all, don't forget to have fun! Social media is a place where your brand comes to life. It's also where you can experiment with creative formats without blowing the budget. So try stuff out, accept failure, and always keep moving forward!

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