Not all brands are created equal. Some find it easier to create a social media identity that is relatable and inviting, while others struggle to connect with their target audience and end up sharing generic content that doesn’t engage.
And then there are some brands who beat the odds, like Monzo.
Curious to find out how Monzo, a brand that activates in the fintech industry, came up with a social media strategy that broke industry barriers and enabled them to stay on top of all new memes and trends?
Then keep reading.
Monzo's marketing strategy for social media
1. What defines Monzo’s strategy on social media?
Monzo, a UK-based online banking company, has succeeded in shedding the cold corporate feel that most fintech brands have on social media. In doing that, they have become very popular among the Gen Z (and to a lesser degree, millennial) audience.
Given that we know Gen Z makes up almost 40% of the global consumer population, I’d say that catering to them is a smart move for any brand who wants to grow on social media.
In the years since it popped up on the market, Monzo has earned the “challenger brand” status. According to Forbes,
Challenger brands have something to prove. While challenger brands are generally more embraced and celebrated today for their innovative thinking, they often have to contend with well-established names in mature markets. To be a successful and effective challenger brand, you must be both creative in your ideas and relentless in your approach.
Having a reputation for being an 'underdog' provides Monzo with a unique opportunity to present themselves as a humanized brand, making them an instant favorite among Gen Z on social media.
But what exactly makes them so popular?
Tone of voice
First of all, it’s their tone of voice. The friendly, approachable tone of voice you can find on their official website extends to all their social media channels, most of all TikTok. But just in case anyone is still confused, they explain it in great detail on their website.
In a nutshell, Monzo’s tone of voice on social media is:
- Jargon-free, clear, unambiguous
- Positive, ambitious and focused on what matters to people
- Open, inclusive and welcoming
They really go into the nitty-gritty of their social media voice and even share plenty of tips and tricks for anyone interested, so that might be worth a read.
Human (not corporate) approach to social media
Besides their friendly tone of voice, a key element of Monzo’s marketing strategy on social media is their choice to approach social media as a creator/human, not a company.
Looking at Monzo from a bird’s eye perspective, it’s clear that they aren’t just another brand who stumbled onto social media.
In fact, it seems like they have a very clear plan for how they approach social media (organically), what metrics they care about (reach and engagement), and what type of goals they hope to reach. It’s all outlined, in a very transparent fashion, in their own social media guide.
To sum it up, Monzo’s marketing strategy on social media relies heavily on:
- Embracing their challenger status - they focus on innovation, outside-the-box thinking and and ways to stand out from their competition
- Being open, friendly and transparent - they meet their audience where they are and they speak their language
- Putting the customer first - they listen to their customers, encourage them to engage, ask for feedback in order to understand their pain points and shape the product to match their needs.
- Being consistent - the fact that most of Monzo’s traffic is organic tells us they’re in it for the long game, and they plan on staying consistent with their strategy.
2. Monzo's marketing strategy on TikTok
Now that we’ve seen the big picture, let’s have a look at what Monzo is doing on each individual platform.
On TikTok, their focus is on fun (and funny) content, memes and short how-to/guide clips. In most of their videos, they feature trending sounds - which, as you may know, is a fast-track to virality on TikTok.
@monzo When the sun comes out the budget goes out the window 🌞😅 #Monzo #MoneyTok #Spending #SummerSpending #SpendingMoney ♬ original sound - Ian Asher
Being on top of the latest news and trends enables them to jump on any hype train fast - using popular keywords and hashtags which are bound to generate more views, engagement and brand awareness.
Such was the case with Apple Vision Pro launch campaign, back in June:
@monzo Be your own biggest fan #Monzo #MoneyTok #Apple #AppleVisionPro ♬ Chillest in the Room - L.Dre
And most recently, with the Barbie marketing mania:
@monzo This barbie has gone over budget 💅 #Monzo #MoneyTok #Barbie #BarbieMovie #MargotRobbie #Spending #Primark ♬ barbie girl in a barbie world - conradrocha
In between all the memes, they also find a way to include some product-focused posts, but they do it in classic Gen Z fashion, using a screen recording of a text message conversation.
In terms of hashtags, Monzo focuses on their own branded hashtags, as well as #moneytok (which is the TikTok niche they’re targeting), and other hashtags depicting their main content pillars (#money, #spending, #budget, #holidayspending etc)
They never use more than 5 hashtags per post.
By looking at cross-platform data for this brand, it’s obvious that they’re doing much better on TikTok in terms of engagement rate, despite posting far less often and having a smaller following:
In terms of posting frequency on this channel, Monzo is pretty consistent, sharing one or more new posts every 2 or 3 days.
In a few words, Monzo's marketing strategy on TikTok focuses on:
- popular trends
- trending sounds & templates
- sporadic product posts
- branded hashtags, niche hashtags and topic hashtags
3. Monzo’s marketing strategy on Instagram
Even though Monzo is highly focused on its TikTok audience, that doesn’t mean Instagram is out of the picture. In fact, they are very much invested in growing their Instagram community.
The most common post type on their account is image, and it’s also the one that brings them the highest amount of engagement:
In terms of strategy, they follow a similar recipe to the one on TikTok, sharing memes, topical content and lots of how-to posts.
They post on Instagram regularly, although it’s hard to pinpoint a specific schedule.
Their how-to posts are particularly interesting, as they combine customer stories with product highlights and actionable tips.
Similarly to TikTok, they keep a close eye on any major social media trends, and they jump on the hype train with a post that is relevant to their brand message. In this case, they promoted their own merch - the Monzo plushie - using the Barbie meme template:
One of the things that makes their social media marketing strategy so good is that it’s not generic. Whether it’s a carousel or Reel on Instagram or short video on TikTok, all these posts feel unique, topical and more often than not, relatable.
Case in point:
To sum up, Monzo's marketing strategy on Instagram includes:
- customer stories combined with product highlights
- how-to guides
- images as their most shared post type
4. How to use Socialinsider to analyze competitive brands
Using Socialinsider, I did a quick analysis on Monzo’s direct competitor - Starling Bank - and I found a similar approach to social media content on Instagram and TikTok. Starling’s posts are also colorful, relatable and human - making it easy for them to meet their audience where they are.
By comparison, although they follow a similar recipe, Monzo is much better than their competitors at reaching more people, attracting followers, engaging their community and generating views, on both Instagram and TikTok:
Want to do a similar competitive analysis with Socialinsider? Here’s how to do it:
- Add your competitors' social profiles using the Add Profiles feature
- From the homepage, group them into brands
- Open the Benchmarks section and select the Brands tab
- Voilà - you have all the data you need to do a competitive analysis using Socialinsider!
If we were to take a page from Monzo’s social media playbook, I’d say it’s important to remember to meet your audience where they are, to keep innovating and experimenting with new techniques (even if they seem out of your league) and keep it fun, valuable and customer-centric.