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      Richard Cook: Think Like A Mad Scientist - How To Grow Your Social Media | Digital Gaggle 2022

      Richard Cook: Think Like A Mad Scientist - How To Grow Your Social Media | Digital Gaggle 2022 Featured Image
      Published on Nov 22, 2022 by Laura Martin

      You can’t be creative and data-driven.

      Well actually, you can. And Richard Cook proves it.

      Get your lab coat at the ready. Richard, social media manager at Monzo (aka the Millenial bank with the hot coral ticket to emoji-laden spending notifications) explains exactly how to grow your social media, with a blend of innovation and number-obsession. 

      But before you tuck into the key takeaways from Richard’s presentation, it’s useful to understand the content that forms Monzo’s social media marketing strategy.


      Social media is sales growth and brand marketing

      “Social media marketing is really two quite different things” or as Richard explains, salient points vs. salient pints.

      You want growth, sales and quick return on investment: content that speaks directly about your product or service - that’s the ‘salient point’. A good example of this is an ad. A well-crafted, straightforward visual that says ‘Join Monzo’.

      The ‘salient pint’ is quite different. It’s the stuff that shows your audience what you’re about and demonstrates your values. It's a chance to show off your brand, and why they should be a part of it. It’s a picture of a pint of beer with the Monzo card lying next to it i.e. the card that’s synonymous with getting a round in.

      Despite the jobs they do, these types of content aren’t at odds with each other. For example, you’ve seen pics of office pets, memes for today’s zeitgeist and hilarious videos from the Marketing team taking part in the next Tiktok trend. You want to be part of the cult. 

      You’ll follow a brand because they’re engaging. They are funny, empowering, wisdomous or shocking, and in turn, you’ll buy what they’re selling. This is what Richard focuses on in his job.


      Take away these points.


      Brand building and sales activation work over different time scales

      • Sales activations (salient points) contribute to short term sales growth. For example, if you want someone to buy a hat, show them an ad for a hat. 
      • Brand-building content (salient pints) contribute to long term sales growth. If you want them to keep buying a hat for the rest of their lives - exclusively from you - get them to associate the very idea of your brand with headwear.

      Laser focus on your objectives

      • Work out your measurements for achieving objectives.
      • Richard’s objectives are brand awareness and affinity as an organic social media marketer, so he might measure impressions and engagements.
      • Set achievable goals i.e. for the quarter. Work out your strategy. Now think about how you can get more engagements?

      Run micro experiments

      • Obsess over data and form a hypothesis. Look closely at what drives spikes in your content. Do it again. Refine it. If it stops working, try something else.
      • It’s never the things you think that will work well. Content developed for months can be trumped by a washing machine. You’ll need to watch the video to get that joke.

      Don’t be satisfied

      • Innovate. Constantly.
      • If you’ve reached your goals, that’s great but keep going! Do. Not. Stop.
      • Social media moves quickly and you don’t want to disengage your audience.

      Don’t be afraid of failure

      • Richards says that Monzo fails more than you think.
      • Don’t be afraid to put content out there. Worst case, you can delete. Unless it’s really bad, but you wouldn’t do that, would you.


      So, now you understand the theory, watch Richard’s talk to understand how it all works in practice.

      Onwards, mad scientist. Happy experimenting.



      Laura Martin

      Laura writes about content marketing and project planning

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