In this episode, hear the incredible story of Fiona Abrams and her quest to make a difference in the social media landscape. Discover how she took a leap of faith, sought help, and used Facebook ad comments to drive £4000 in monthly revenue.
It’s a story of grit, determination, and success that inspired the birth of Agorapulse’s Social Media ROI feature.
Tune in now to learn more about her amazing journey and how to use similar tactics to generate results.
Meet Fiona, a dynamic Customer Service Maverick boasting a decade of experience in anticipating, resolving, and defusing customer escalations before they can take root. A maestro in sorting out varied escalation types, Fiona proactively staves off future issues with an eagle eye for detail.
Fiona has honed her skills in delivering lightning-quick, top-notch service in client-centric environments. She effortlessly harnesses the power of the latest technology to deliver flawless service from any location. Is it a cloud-based application that includes voice, data, chat, scheduling, CRM, or collaboration tools? To Fiona, it’s just another language she speaks fluently.
In the rapidly evolving marketplace, Fiona has earned a reputation as the go-to game-changer, adept at identifying and capitalizing on client engagement opportunities. Her secret weapon? An unerring focus on information, data accuracy, and a relentless follow-through, ensuring clients remain engaged throughout the communication journey. With Fiona at the helm, rest assured your customer journey is in the safest hands.
Fiona Abrams: Yes.
Emeric Ernoult: Wow, wow, wow. Adding links with UTMs with trackable parameters to each and every one of them is beyond a pain in the (beep). It’s worse than hell. Why did you go through that pain? Why did you do it? Welcome to the Social Media ROI Hotseat podcast. [00:00:30] My name is Emeric Ernoult. I’m the CEO of Agorapulse, and since 2011, I’ve been obsessed by proving that social media was more than likes and followers, that it was actually delivering a real return on investment and a business impact that can be measured. At the beginning of 2022, Agorapulse launched a social media ROI tracker and report.
Since then, I’ve been on a quest, the quest of social media ROI success stories you can learn from and be inspired by. [00:01:00] This is why this podcast exists, and I hope that, thanks to what you’re going to learn following it, you too will be measuring the business impact of social media on your business or the business of your clients. Let’s get on with the show. Today, I’m welcoming Fiona Abrams to the show. Fiona is a customer experienced professional, and she’s been doing that for a long time, and as she was doing that, our paths crossed. [00:01:30] It’s a special episode for me today, because Fiona is the reason why this podcast exists.
She’s the reason why I pushed my team at Agorapulse to build a solution to measure social media ROI, because she inspired me by her way to track social media ROI manually in a very, very painful way. She inspired me to build this software that could do what she was doing at the time, so that’s a very inspiring story. I’m absolutely thrilled [00:02:00] I met her and she made me do what I did. I hope you’re going to enjoy that story, because it’s really cool And one of a kind. Let’s get started with the elevator pitch, as I call it. In three minutes or less, what can you tell us about who Fiona is, what she does, and what passion you have in your professional life?
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. Awesome, so thanks very much for that introduction. I have, generally, over about 11 years experience working in customer [00:02:30] service and experience, generally working across the various different sectors, starting with video chat platform, internet apparel, E-commerce, doorstop delivery, subscription services, marketing consultancy, and now most recently with an engineering software that actually enables engineers to model proportion technologies for the future, which as you can see, all varying different businesses, and I do like to generally get out of my comfort zone, hence also agreeing to this [00:03:00] podcast. I am a mother of two little boys and a wife to an adoring husband, which he might have made me say that.
Whilst I actually predominantly work for reality simulation, managing a group of really intelligent engineers, strategizing for their customer attention, and giving our customers the best customer experience. I also work for a marketing consultancy agency called LTV Approach, which is a company like no other, as [00:03:30] the name suggests. It’s a marketing agency that prepares and gives the tools for the lifetime value. The goal is inevitably to set foundations and teach the methods for long-term results in a short space of time. I actually met the CEO and founder of LTV approach in a company I’d previously worked for called Brayola, which is where I spent over eight years of building my career up. When we both left Brayola, Margo and I continued to work together, because we generally saw the value [00:04:00] that having such a strong partnership in customer service and marketing had in building businesses and creating that growth strategy.
Emeric Ernoult: Okay. Well, thank you for that comprehensive introduction. Definitely cleared some things for me, because I was not totally clear on what you did before we met. So that’s really interesting, and we haven’t talked that much since you joined LTV approach. I forgot that the [00:04:30] person that LTV approach brought you in was the person you used to work for at Brayola.
Fiona Abrams: Yes. We worked really well together and we kind of understood each other, and I think when you find that within someone, you can actually grow something really amazing. What I specialize in and what she specializes in, what we find is, if those don’t communicate very well, then you essentially can really hurt both strategies because one’s working one way and one’s working another way, and if you don’t bring them together, your customer is [00:05:00] the one that ends up being at fault there, so we push that with our clients, but that’s something that we believe in.
Emeric Ernoult: That makes total sense. My first question to you, that’s not about you, it’s about the time when you decided to measure the impact of social media, and that that’s the time I remember pretty well. What I’d like to know is how you were measuring it before, and what was the trigger for you to decide that you had to change the way you were measuring the work you were [00:05:30] doing on social? If I may introduce that, what I remember from that time is that, at Brayola, which was the company you were working for when we met, you were in charge of that customer experience as a whole, like overall. Part of that job that was assigned to you was handling conversations on social media, and part of that was handling questions being asked in the comments on the ads that Brayola was running, and that was [00:06:00] something you had to do, so tell me how it started, how it evolved over time, and how you got to come to me and how we got to meet through that?
Fiona Abrams: Definitely. So inevitably, when I started at Brayola, social media was pretty much at its birth. There was no real kind of best practices, so we found that, by kind of leveraging Facebook and [00:06:30] Google Analysis together, it allowed us to maximize on what was working and what was failing. We could spend half a million dollars easily through ad spend on Facebook, and it would attract so many comments. I think, individually, that each particular ad could get $1000 to $2000 worth of comments, and we generally kind of saw those comments as an opportunity to gauge how successful or unsuccessful that particular ad was for a product, but there wasn’t a tool to quantify this.
So [00:07:00] we started to create internal campaigns using tools, which we had, which was generally Facebook and spreadsheets, to write out how many comments. Then, how many that we could, how many were positive, how many were negative. We created a strategy around this, and our strategy was very much to comment on every single customer or potential customer comment and use UTM linking that tracked back to Google Analytics so we could track it and see what the impact of these now organic comments came from the paid ads. [00:07:30] By doing this, we actually found that we did increase our revenue by around 2% to 3% of the total revenue, and that was just purely from the organic comments. When revenue was $1.5 million, this avenue was so important to us to leverage.
But at the time there wasn’t a software that could make this happen in a more streamlined and kind of managed way, which was when, at the point of its peak, we reached out to you, and [00:08:00] we were already using Agorapulse to manage our content. But what we were missing from it was, while we wanted to comment, we had to manually keep putting in these links. The idea for us was, if we could take that pain away, because at the end of the day, we’re all human. We can make errors. We could put the wrong campaign in or not change the campaign for a particular one, or then it was also tracking it back to our particular agents or [00:08:30] really identifying which was the winner and which wasn’t the winner. This, in itself, had a huge kind of pain for us because of the manual way we were constantly having to do it, but we knew we had to do it because we’d already seen what those organic comments could bring us in revenue, so I think that was kind where.
Emeric Ernoult: So-
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. Go for it.
Emeric Ernoult: Yeah, yeah. Let’s go little deeper in this, because [00:09:00] that’s, number one, it’s an amazing story, and I think there’s so much people can learn from that. What you’re telling us is that Brayola was running half a million of ads per year.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah.
Emeric Ernoult: What was the the annual budget for-
Fiona Abrams: Annual budget.
Emeric Ernoult: Per year, okay.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, yeah.
Emeric Ernoult: And that was generating ads that got a lot of engagement.
Fiona Abrams: Yes.
Emeric Ernoult: And between 1 and 2000 comments per ad in the end, like that’s the-
Fiona Abrams: Yes. That was the greatest it ever reached.
Emeric Ernoult: [00:09:30] But still, that’s a lot for one ad, and I guess you had dozens and dozens of ads through that.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, and I think one of the big pain points was, when we were going directly onto Facebook, because we had volume of ads, we could lose the amount of where we were up to and that managing of it, so manually, we would actually have to just even put the name of the person that had written the comment as the last one to know and the timestamp so that we could go, “If we haven’t quite got all of these, we have to scroll back through the notification.” [00:10:00] So it was a real kind of pain for us, because we knew how critical it was to not miss a comment.
Inevitably, we would actually just go on the comment instead of using Facebook, and just continuously go down and make sure that everything had been done, which is time and efficiency, which is something that is also really important to kind of manage as well, because we also have to forecast if we put X amount of money on a particular ad, and we’re going to get another [00:10:30] 500 comments, how do we staff that? Because it’s also done on a timely matter. We need to make sure that these comments are being answered, because speed was also part of the kind of equation, because you couldn’t respond two weeks later. That didn’t have as much value to it.
Emeric Ernoult: So if you were to give an average number of comments the team was getting per week, what would it be on a weekly basis?
Fiona Abrams: Per week, on a weekly basis? It would be anything from [00:11:00] 500 to 3000. It varied on the time of year. Also, it varied on sales and various different things, so it was a lot though. It was a lot, because we had quite a small team to kind of manage this, and these were also people that were part of our customer service team, which for us, and I know a lot of people that use social moderation, they use a marketing team. But for us, it felt right to kind of use the people that were already talking to the customers, already knew their pain, already knew how to talk to them, to [00:11:30] converse as well on the social media. We trusted them to do it, and a lot of the time it was to do with products, and these are the people that know the products the best.
Emeric Ernoult: Yeah. If you were to evaluate how many of those comments were comments from actual prospects, people who were really genuinely interested in the product you sell, versus comments from trolls, spammers, or comments you just have to remove, do you remember how did that look like?
Fiona Abrams: Off the [00:12:00] top of my head, I would say it was 80% of them were interested people, because it was intimate apparel. People looked to other people, and also it’s not a well-known brand. It was a marketplace, so people didn’t know the brand, but they wanted to understand and know it. This is where we built our community, was the fact that women were engaging, and especially return customers were engaging and going, “Oh. I’ve tried this,” and they would essentially sell the product and sell the comments for us, because they felt kind of compelled to [00:12:30] want to write on it. It was a mixture between those returning customers and those new customers, and essentially we would always be rewarding the customers that were kind of reinforcing the positivity about how great it was, how amazing their Brayola was, or their experience.
So it was kind of a double-ended. It was kind of that acquisition side of it, where we wanted to say how amazing we were, but at the same time it was giving more credit to our customers that were like, “Thank you so much for [00:13:00] giving your opinions and having this,” and within that, we found that we would always offer something there. For us, we always felt that every single comment needed a link, whether it was directly to the [inaudible 00:13:15], because sometimes people don’t want to click on the ad, because if it’s something they’re not familiar with, they don’t want to be taken to a page that they don’t trust, because it feels wrong.
If it was in the comments, which had been directly from the brand, we seem to find that kind of connection and that kind of [00:13:30] reassurance that, “Okay. This is somebody that’s actually taken the time to talk to me, to give me something or give me something different that wasn’t on the ad,” especially when they’re expressing, “Oh. I don’t have my size.” Well, that’s great. Well, we can give you something else. So it was kind of so tailored and personalized, and that’s kind of where that personal response really mattered and kind of brought in that community to do it.
Emeric Ernoult: Oh. That’s an amazing point. I never thought about that, but basically it makes a ton of sense. Because [00:14:00] you were taking the time to engage with them, answer the questions and address their concerns, they were more willing to go wherever you were sending them, adding those links rather than clicking on an ad that that’s an ad.
Fiona Abrams: Exactly.
Emeric Ernoult: So it’s nothing human. Just for body.
Fiona Abrams: [inaudible 00:14:19] market people. We don’t care about the marketing guys. We care about the people that are actually-
Emeric Ernoult: Yeah. I don’t tell the marketing people. They’re the customer support people.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. Who cares? It’s an ad. If they want me to click on that, I’m not going to click on it, but if somebody tells me to click [00:14:30] on something, then yeah, I’m going to trust that person. That’s kind where it was, and it was simple things by always signing the name of the person and having that personal connection, or if somebody didn’t feel comfortable, we would reach out to them in both areas. We’d reach out to them in a private message, and we’d reach out to them on the ad so that we were always giving them that reassurance that, “Hey, we’re here. We’re here to help you. We want you to come and visit us,” And that was kind of our brand ethos. We wanted to help everyone that we possibly [00:15:00] could.
Emeric Ernoult: And that eventually, you’ve found out, it was leading to generate two to three percent of the overall revenue of the company?
Fiona Abrams: Yes. And that’s why we kind of-
Emeric Ernoult: Which is quite big.
Fiona Abrams: Which is a big amount, especially when, at the time, we were turning over $1.5 million, so in itself, it meant that the time that we were taking to write these, it was well worth it. Inevitably, we would incentivize the girls to do it, [00:15:30] and we could track it on a weekly basis. And we had a target, and we didn’t make it salesy, but it was very much like, “We want to show your worth here, because this is how important it is for the business.” It kind of almost gamified it a little bit for them to be able to see it, because actually, other than metrics that are very much about work, how much you’ve done, and how much you’re doing this, that are generally surrounded in customer service, this [00:16:00] was a different kind of approach to it. But we would never want the girls to come off salesy or pressury, because I think that also can lead to a different and potentially unsuccessful area. But it’s really identifying the needs of the comments and addressing that.
Emeric Ernoult: Yeah. That makes total sense. Now I want to ask you the trigger question. So you told me, and you were right, managing comments on Facebook ads is a pain in the butt. If [00:16:30] you do it natively, it’s borderline impossible.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, definitely.
Emeric Ernoult: So there are tools that can help you do that. We’re one of them. There are others, but we’re one of them, but adding links with UTMs, with trackable parameters to each and every one of them, is beyond a pain in the butt. It’s worse than hell, because you have to copy and paste for each and every link.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, and at times we would find that maybe the girls, [00:17:00] and I say girls because it was a team of girls, not just any other reason, but the girls would potentially, if we were sending them to a search page and they had put a number sign instead of a question mark, then that link would go nowhere, and it would kind of take them to a 404 page, which kind of kills the object of the reason why we were doing it. So if we would keep specific days, and if we generally didn’t see, “Well, why didn’t we get anything that day, or why was the no traffic from [00:17:30] any of the links? What happened?” we’d have to go back and kind of revisit it, so there was a kind of quality kind of assurance that we didn’t have, that we’d to add extra work in to go backwards just in case things hadn’t quite worked out, but the flip side was that, once we did do it right then we had a lot more visibility into what was working and not working.
Emeric Ernoult: Okay. Now, what I want to hear from you is why did you go through that pain? Why did you do it?
Fiona Abrams: I think, so [00:18:00] we generally found that it actually came natively at the beginning, not on social media. So we wanted to understand, when we recommended a product internally in customer service, was it doing anything? The only way we could do that was by putting a UTM tracking link in it, and it was then when we kind of decided, “Well, if we can do it here, why can’t we do it on other platforms when we’re engaging and talking to customers and advising them on different areas of the site and different products?” It kind of came [00:18:30] from that, and we thought, “Well, there’s no reason why not.” The issue we had was that, until we found a shortener, it looked really ugly. And again, that really long link kind of is a bit frightening for a customer to suddenly think, “Well, what are they putting on?” So for us, it made sense.
As soon as we kind of trialed it out, we saw that, really, for us, within our first 20 links, it was me that always kind of started it off and had to go through it, because I’m kind [00:19:00] of a person that I’m not going to make people do things unless I’ve genuinely done it myself a good solid time. We would just continue to do it, and obviously being able to track it and see things actually happening, even if it’s not about the revenue, even if it’s just about getting visitors to the site, it gives that recognition, and it was kind of that reinforcement of seeing, “Oh. This does work, and there are people that are clicking on this,” and then, “Okay. Well, what can we do if, we’re doing it 10 times almost, if we do it 100 times, what will that create?” [00:19:30] Because we were reinforced by that kind of positivity of seeing visitors and seeing transactions, that it was a no-brainer for us that we just had to keep going with this force.
Emeric Ernoult: Did you get any pressure or ask questions from the people you were working for, about you got approved that it’s worth doing?
Fiona Abrams: It got approved pretty fast. I think with the first $500 of just initially just putting it in, especially in the early stages where kind of [00:20:00] every order, we were always watching the orders and seeing it. So anybody that could say, “Well, I bought in an extra $500 today,” was like, “Wow. Okay, so if you can do that now, what can you do if you do it $100?” Again, it’s that scaling it up. What do you need to do to scale it? So I always had the support of the team, and especially when it comes to generating that revenue, you can’t ignore something that does work, especially when you’ve already put the kind of effort into that initial ad spend. You’ve already spent the [00:20:30] money, and you are now essentially getting this as the aftermath. This is the next kind of stage of what you can be generating.
Emeric Ernoult: So tell me something. I heard some of our clients who are worried about using shortened links, so you were shortening the links because those tracked links with UTM, source medium, blah, blah, blah, you said they’re quite scary, they’re quite long.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. They’re long.
Emeric Ernoult: And they’re quite [00:21:00] not cute, not fancy. So you minified them. Have you ever thought about the potential negative impact of minifying links, and have you ever tested anything regarding that?
Fiona Abrams: No. I think, because for us we always had the image that would kind of crop up, so it would have our message. Then, whenever the link came up, we would kind of display the product image. So that, in itself, took it away essentially [00:21:30] from the naked eye of having that image. If the image wasn’t displayed, the success of it definitely wasn’t as high as it could be, but once people could see where that link was actually directing you to, and occasionally we would, if the image for essentially on a search page wouldn’t bring up the actual item we would want, there was a time when we could change the image, I’m not sure whether that is still the same now.
But by putting that kind of relative image, it kind of, again, gives that reassurance, that kind of [00:22:00] emotional idea that that person is sending you to the right place. Generally, we have no reason not to. We want them to see and be exposed to the products that we have for them and that we’re kind of giving them the advice on. So for us, that image held over the fact that we were using that link, and I think by the time we kind of got used to it, we actually customized the link itself. So it would say Brayola instead of, I think we used Tiny at one point and [00:22:30] various others before they wanted extra money.
Emeric Ernoult: If you use, you can use your own, you can pay for a paid account and use your own domain there.
Fiona Abrams: Exactly.
Emeric Ernoult: So there are ways that they can customize it, absolutely. But you’re right, on Facebook, they will give you the minified version, the description, the image, and everything, so you get that element, “Okay. That’s where I’m going,” so that makes total sense.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah.
Emeric Ernoult: But what I hear as well from you is that the credibility and trust in that link was mostly [00:23:00] coming from, “Oh. That person engaged with me, helped me answer my question.”
Fiona Abrams: Exactly.
Emeric Ernoult: So I’m not questioning the validity of the link. It has to be valid, because why would that person send me a spammy or silly link if they’ve just spent five minutes trying to help you with my question?
Fiona Abrams: Exactly, and I think the thing is as well, because it was so specialized, it was really important for us to make sure that, because I think at the time, obviously, there was a huge amount of like, “Oh. It’s just a spam bar. Oh, it’s just a robot that just anybody comments, and we’ll just add extra [00:23:30] comments to boost up the algorithm, and then that that’ll help.” And it wasn’t about that. It was definitely about reaching out, and there was kind of internally a strategy that you could never write the same thing twice. You had to constantly be changing the words, changing the language that you use, that would show that if somebody was to just go and read all the comments, that actually no, this person, these people, or this team were unique and were actually genuinely helpful.
Emeric Ernoult: It’s all about human being.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. That it wasn’t a kind of just, “Thanks for your comment,” on 100 [00:24:00] of them down the road, which isn’t going to help anyone.
Emeric Ernoult: So that’s a lot of customized work, personalized work for each and every person that came to your ad, asking questions or making comments. It’s a lot of work, so it makes even more sense to measure the outcome you’re getting from that work, right?
Fiona Abrams: Yeah. Exactly, exactly. And not everybody can use Google Analytics in a way that is clear and that the team couldn’t see it. It was just what we [00:24:30] could report to them. There were many times where, like I said, the links were broken or people maybe couldn’t be bothered to create a new link, so they just used one that they’d use previously because we used to have also a list of different links that we would use to try and speed up the kind of efficiency. If we knew we were always recommending one particular project and it was that person, all they had to do was change the month of the day, and that would be the one that they use, so it was a long process.
Emeric Ernoult: [00:25:00] Tell me, let’s get technical for a minute. Let’s get geeky on the link, the UTMs, and everything. So tell me a little bit more how you constructed the link. So you got sourced. The source was what? Facebook? How did you call it?
Fiona Abrams: So our source was Facebook ad, because we also would use-
Emeric Ernoult: Facebook ad.
Fiona Abrams: Yes, so we would also use the UTMs when we were posting comments on the actual post itself. So if we were just doing a Facebook post to the wall, we would also use the link in there as well. So it had to be Facebook [00:25:30] ad, so we would differentiate between it was a post or an ad.
Emeric Ernoult: Got it. What was the medium?
Fiona Abrams: I will tell you exactly what it was. Our UTM source was customer_service. The medium would’ve been Facebook ad, and then the campaign would be the item_recommends_the [00:26:00] name of the agent that was doing it.
Emeric Ernoult: Wow.
Fiona Abrams: With the date at the end. Yeah.
Emeric Ernoult: Wow, wow, wow.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, so that was it. Yes.
Emeric Ernoult: So every single link, you were adding to every single response to every single comment would be customized up to the name of the author?
Fiona Abrams: Yes.
Emeric Ernoult: The date at which it was posted.
Fiona Abrams: [00:26:30] Yes, and the item that it was being done about. We had, basically, all the information we had, but obviously when we pulled the information, the idea was that we wanted to be able to identify any of the ones that stood out the most, and the ones that kind of increased most revenue or had the most hits to it, we could then go and pinpoint, look back, and see who did it, what product was it on, and what day was it on, so we could then go and find out [00:27:00] exactly what had gone back.
So it was kind of our only way to give rewards to the person that had put that comment down, but also we were able to see, “Okay. Well, what works?” and then take that, and go, “Well, why was that working, and can we make that better somewhere else and can we use that?” So it was constantly kind of looking at whatever data we could grasp and be able to then put it into, “Okay, so this worked for this. Let’s try it again on this. Everybody do something similar to this,” and sometimes [00:27:30] that method worked, and sometimes it didn’t.
Emeric Ernoult: So one thing I’d like to get back to is two things actually. The first one, can you remember how long it took to get each link done? Because you had to add the item, the person, the date, the campaign, the premium, the medium, the source, and everything. How long did it take to get every link done per comment?
Fiona Abrams: So generally, so obviously customer service, that side, [00:28:00] didn’t work. We didn’t need to change it, and the UTM medium didn’t change. So it is only the campaign that we would have to change each individual time, and this is where we would have lists of the same ones so that we would try and make it quicker. The only thing you’d have to change is your name and the date.
So it was very much kind of post-it notes everywhere on computers and great copy and pasting [00:28:30] skills, but it was also very much open for error at this point, because it was so manually done. There isn’t really a non kind of, at the time, way of being able to make sure that these links didn’t go right, and sometimes they put the wrong date in. It can mess things up, or they’ve forgotten to the product name and the product number in, so the data wasn’t 100% accurate, but again, for us it was just something to track, be able to look back [00:29:00] on, and have a baseline of something.
Emeric Ernoult: Okay. The second question is about what was actually worth it. So if you look back at all these data points that you were inserting in those links through the UTMs, through customizing the UTM to the extreme-
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Emeric Ernoult: … Looking back, I suppose the customer service, yes, it was helpful, because it gave credit to your team for the business they were [00:29:30] generating. The app comment, of course, same thing. But the team member, I understand that you were rewarding team members based on what they were able to generate, like give them recognition of the work that they they’d done, because it was so manual and so time-consuming, that you had to encourage them, “Look, you’ve done that this week and this one. That’s amazing,” so that was very useful. What about the date and the item? Was that something you actually leveraged and used?
Fiona Abrams: Yes, [00:30:00] for sure. The date, really, was just to be able to identify where it came from. So that was kind of understanding that area. But for the product, it kind of gave us an understanding of where next for the strategy in terms of, “Well, actually, we’re suddenly recommending a lot of this product or suddenly recommending a lot of this particular size,” because occasionally we would throw in sizes if we felt like there was a trend coming in. That would really help encourage or give back to the product team. This is [00:30:30] selling like hotcakes on social media, because actually we weren’t constrained to whatever the ad had on it, which I think was really important.
So while the ad itself was performing potentially very well to get the comments and the engagement through, what we would then see is, “Well, what’s the next thing? What are these customers actually saying?” And it’s a really important kind of area to be able to go and understand, “Right. Well, where’s this pain? What are they looking for, and how can we use that?” That kind of goes back into understanding the customer voice, because [00:31:00] this was the voice of the customer, and this was how we can move our growth strategy, was by listening to what they needed and also taking some of their language, that how they would describe their pain, to be able to then put into the next ad to know that, “Okay. Well, this group of people are really struggling with what? Right. Well, let’s put it into an ad. Let’s create it for another project, and lets kind of drive that and see what audience that brings.”
I think that, in itself, really helps, and understanding the sentiment. There are many times where we’d [00:31:30] advertise the coupon code or anything that was helping women get money off, and internally there could have been a problem or there could have been an error, and all of a sudden, you get this feedback on an ad about how it’s not working and how this isn’t, or the redirect isn’t there, any internal problems. Because we were managing it in such a kind of strict way, we were able to jump on that straight away and kind of fix it, feed it back, and give the information out. So there was kind of almost like a plan in place, because somebody was [00:32:00] always managing and always monitoring this area, because it was so valuable to us. It’s really kind of listening to your customer and identifying those pains.
Emeric Ernoult: That makes sense. I have two last questions before I can free you. My first question to you is, all these links are going to Google analytics on the tech stack you were using to measure the outcome of those links, was Google Analytics. [00:32:30] They were going there. Was it easy to get it out from GA and put it in a format that you can look at as a team and analyze, or how did that feel like?
Fiona Abrams: No. It was a manual process the whole time. There was no exporting. It was just a matter of daily, going through, identifying what had happened, and picking potentially our top 10 of what had happened that day. You know, always keeping top of the revenue. So we would track the revenue each [00:33:00] day. We’d track the amount of visitors that we’d come to, and we’d kind of look at all of the different products and links, and kind of take that, but it was all a manual process. We knew we had the data. There was no extraction. We didn’t have, at the time, any data, analysts, or anybody to go in and pull it. So for us, as a small business, we just had to manually go in and pick out what we thought or deemed was important, which we could have missed a lot of things. We could have missed a lot of opportunities because of the kind of tools that are [00:33:30] available to us.
Emeric Ernoult: Okay. That makes sense. I had the same experience. I think GA native is quite chaotic and messy, and having tools that help you visualize are easily very useful.
Fiona Abrams: So for us, it would be a matter of just searching our kind of sources and taking the campaign name and using that, or just searching for the agent’s name and using that as an identifiable feature to know, “Okay. Well, [00:34:00] what has this person done?” and try and kind of locate that. But it was never easy. We kind of trusted what we had, and we just went with it. But there was no kind of reassurance that, “Actually, yeah. We’re getting the most from this, and this is what we’re doing.” We could never kind of manipulate it in the way that we would ever have wanted to.
Emeric Ernoult: And my last question is about, that was what you’ve done at Brayola, and then you left Brayola and [00:34:30] you moved to LTV Approach. Have you done things that were close to that practice since then, or was it something you did at Brayola, and you never had the same practice again? All these comments on all the ads, replying, and putting the UTMs-
Fiona Abrams: Yes.
Emeric Ernoult: Have you done something that would look like that after LTV Approach, working for LTV Approach and your clients?
Fiona Abrams: Yes, [00:35:00] we did have another client that we kind of pushed this approach on, because they were having a similar kind of traction to it. Obviously, with our conversations and knowing that you understood what the importance of this feature is, we kind of just pursued with it, because for us it still always is an important thing, and because it was a similar industry, we knew that it works. [00:35:30] If it works for one, it will definitely work for another. The issue is it’s down to resources, and sometimes companies don’t have the resources to do it, because inevitably it’s a full-time job. It can be a full team, depending on the size of the business, to look after these comments.
I think it’s down on us, as kind of consultants, to be able to share our experiences and share where we know these best practices now are, because we’ve seen it with our own eyes. We know that it works, and it’s that perseverance. It’s kind [00:36:00] of making sure that it’s done in the right way. I think that that is a huge part of it, is that it has to be done in a way that is right for your customers, because if it’s not and you’re not listening to them, then it won’t give off the right effect and you won’t get success with that revenue. So it is a matter of managing it, using it, and learning to pivot, I suppose, in that communication. So we have kind of pushed it on some of our clients, and some have seen it, some haven’t. [00:36:30] But for us, it can be a game changer.
Emeric Ernoult: Okay, and as a final comment, knowing that it took me between three and four years to build the product that sold all these pains that you’ve described today, does that make you hate me or like me
Fiona Abrams: Both, because I wish I could take it back in time. I think, to be honest, it’s something that the industry [00:37:00] needs, and I think that not enough is put on that kind of, it is a cost center. I get that. Having to do these things is laborious, but the efforts that it takes, and any tool that can make that more efficient is all aiding to it. It kind of goes into that worth of why people do it, and also it’s not just about hard revenue. It’s about that customer experience. You’re getting to talk to your customers. You’re getting to actually go on that shop [00:37:30] floor, be where they wanted to be. This is where they’re talking about a certain product or a service. You get to get down to their level and start talking to them and engaging with them, and that kind of interaction is going to give you that retention and that new acquisition that you need.
It’s just a way of measuring how well you do in that forum. You don’t have a physical store potentially. You have an online store, and you need to be in as many places as possible. For you to have that ability to [00:38:00] do it on social media is, again, even if it’s not about that revenue, even if it’s just about getting people to your site, that in itself is enough and to see that. Otherwise, you have no visibility, and I think more data in itself is great, and maybe it’s a conversion thing. Maybe you’re getting people there, and the product’s not right, the service is not right, or the communication’s not right. It gives you that feedback, and it’s those kinds of intuitive data that people need to be able to grow and kind of scale their business, [00:38:30] because that’s what it’s about. We can’t grow if we don’t have the data and you don’t have that visibility.
Emeric Ernoult: Yeah. I obviously can’t agree more. Customer service and talking to customers is not going away anytime soon. We have to do that. Social media is one of the avenue where we can do that, and where we not only have to but want to do that, because we want to learn from them. We want to learn, as you said, what works, doesn’t work. If they’re not clicking, they’re not going, they’re not buying, we want to understand why. So that’s also a good reason [00:39:00] to go and track things, absolutely. If we have to engage with them and answer their questions, we may as well try to measure how it went after we did so, so it makes total sense.
Fiona Abrams: Yeah, and this is the thing, and I think that the importance of measuring that kind of emotive side, so understanding whether or not they are happy when they’re commenting, sad when they’re commenting. What is that emotion that’s there? Because that, in itself, that sentiment kind of analysis is also really critical [00:39:30] to know where you stand in the market, how people are feeling, and kind of using that emotion to then put into your marketing strategy to be able to use that is really key.
Emeric Ernoult: Fiona, we’ve been on for 40 minutes. I think I’ve taken enough of your time. I want to thank you so much. It’s already like 8:30 your time. Thank you so very much for spending this time with me. Again, this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time because of that [00:40:00] very special story, that very special story, which is that the origin of us spending a year building this into our product, so it does mean a lot to me, and it meant a lot to me that you came in and told that story, shared that story with me today. Thank you very much.
Fiona Abrams: Well, thank you for building for it.