Earlier this year Barclays launched a mobile banking application called PingIt. In the days following the launch, Barclays made significant changes to the app as a result of real-time social media analysis.

The app allows you to send money to other people using only their phone number. Unsurprisingly, this created a lot of social buzz that acted as real-time feedback from users.

The sentiment analysis (below) was provided by social media monitoring company Sentiment Metrics. Although the app was very well received, a small proportion of mentions were negative. Barclays were able to drill in to this data to see what was causing the negative mentions.

 

It was quickly apparent that many users were unhappy that the app didn’t work for under 18’s. It wasn’t only teenagers that were unhappy, but also parents that couldn’t transfer money to them. This could easily create a PR disaster, but the data allowed Barclays to act quickly. Within the week 16 and 17 year-olds were given access to the app, showing that Barclays were responsive to customer feedback.

Of course, it wasn’t only the negative comments that were of interest. The positive mentions also threw out some surprises that they were able to act on.

For example, there were a lot of positive comments about being able to check your bank balance from the app. This was only intended to be a side feature, but proved to be extremely popular. As a result of this feedback, Barclays developed new apps specifically for this purpose.

Although a simple case study, it does demonstrate the importance of social media monitoring. Barclays quickly turned a negative into a positive and they were able to use an unexpected positive outcome to advise on PR messaging. Above all else, it helped to keep the campaign and launch running smoothly.

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