Are you struggling to prove how effective your social media marketing is to your clients? Are you frustrated that the reports you can provide today are really nothing more than surface-level vanity metrics?
You’re not alone. Most marketing agency owners—55% in fact—do not currently measure the ROI of all the social media work they’re doing for their clients.
And as a result, 65% of agencies struggle to attract and retain clients. Does that sound familiar?
Fortunately, there are solutions. There is a way to actually track and measure everything you’re doing on behalf of clients on social media and tie that into business results and impact that will ensure you and your agency are part of the strategic decision-making process.
That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Agency Accelerated.
We are live every other Wednesday at 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Make sure to subscribe to the calendar on the Agorapulse website so you don’t miss any episodes.
Today’s guest is Theresa Anderson, Head of Agency Business. Theresa brings over two decades of diverse marketing experience to her role at Agorapulse. Over the course of her career, she has worked with Fortune 100 enterprises, served as Program Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Rollins College, and managed all aspects of communications and marketing for one of the top ten marketing agencies in Central Florida.
This breadth of marketing and leadership experience makes Theresa ideally suited to head the development and growth of Agorapulse’s agency business. Her responsibilities include working directly with agencies to understand their unique challenges and championing solutions that work in the real world.
To realize this mission, Theresa will develop and deploy peer-to-peer networking and learning opportunities, negotiate partnerships with key vendors, and work to ensure the needs of agencies are represented at every level of the organization. From product design to marketing campaigns, Theresa will serve as Agorapulse’s direct liaison and advocate for the company’s growing base of agency clients.
A story: Fiona from Brayola
When we first talked about doing this interview, Theresa mentioned the story of Fiona from Brayola. Fiona was a social media queen and managed everything by herself for Brayola: comments, questions, and messages that came into the company’s social media accounts. She did this by using Agorapulse.
With Agorapulse, she was able to realize efficiencies and streamline all of the administrative tasks that go around managing such a robust social media presence. But the problem was she was just one person. Even with all Agorapulse’s tools, she needed help. Fiona created a team in the Philippines to help her manage all of the engagement that was coming in.
Unfortunately, her boss came to her one day with an invoice for $2,000 and asked if it was really money they should be spending. He asked, “Is this worth it?” Fiona knew it was worth it, and it was working. They were seeing a lot of comments and traction on social media, which turned into sales and traffic to the website. But she couldn’t prove it.
Fiona figured out that if she could create custom UTM codes and make sure they were used in every single post that her team was making, she would be able to track what was happening and prove they were making an impact in the real world in real life.
To do this, Fiona created multiple spreadsheets and instructed her team to copy/paste the social media posts and UTM codes to make sure everything was tracked. This went on for several months until Fiona had enough statistics to show her boss.
Not only was the $2,000 a month worth it, but her team was bringing in an additional $2,000 a month in pure revenue. This was enough for Fiona’s boss to see that the resources she needed were well worth the cost.
However, Fiona had a nagging feeling that it shouldn’t have been so difficult to get this information. Afterall, HubSpot tracks links and activity in a CRM, and she could go back to Facebook to look at traffic. Why couldn’t she do that with organic social and Agorapulse? So, Fiona went to Emeric Ernoult, our CEO.
This question turned into a passion project for Emeric. He and his team spent three years creating a feature to solve the problem of proving the value of all the work that is done on social media.
Agorapulse’s new social ROI feature is the first of its kind in the industry and allows social media teams and agencies to take their work from theoretical to practical. It changes social media from “something we maybe need to do,” to being absolutely business-critical.
For many businesses, social media is seen as a necessary evil, a cost center that has to be added to the balance sheet. We know we need social media, but we don’t know why. Many clients don’t even ask why; they just know it needs to be done.
As a marketing agency, imagine you have a client who knows they need to do social. They give you the budget to keep it going, but you get blank stares when you come back and ask for additional money to support your campaigns.
The ability to translate social from brand awareness to brand building and revenue-building is a game-changer that means that agencies can suddenly justify bigger budgets and a bigger presence in the strategic business decisions that are being made.
Instead of calling social media in at the end of the project or launch of an important business, agencies now have a case for why it should be involved early in the process.They can now say. “We can make the needle move for you. You just have to bring us into the process, give us a budget, and give us the tools to make it better for you.”
What is the difference between measuring engagement vs. measuring ROI?
Many agencies measure social media engagement by tracking their likes, comments, and shares. However, there is a difference between measuring that and measuring ROI.
Internally at Agorapulse, the team phrases it as business impact. Likes, shares, and comments are great engagement, and that’s a language many clients can understand. But the business impact of social media is a tougher decision and sometimes requires more of an education.
As the agency, you need to go to the client and explain that while likes, shares, and comments are great, there is more to social media than just engagement. What if you could show the client how social media has real business impact?
Business impact consists of three things:
- Lead generation
- Visitor behavior
For agencies, the business impact is super valuable for when you go to the client and make a case why they should renew their contract with you. You can show that you’re gathering leads, moving people through the funnel, making leads, and tracking where they’re going.
For example, if you know a particular topic results in a lot of traffic to a certain landing page on the website, you can change your tactics to get the most out of what’s already naturally occurring in the process, such as adding a specific form to capture more lead data.
With the new social media ROI tool, the internal Agorapulse team has seen that sometimes the posts with the most engagement don’t have the same amount of business impact as posts with fewer likes but direct people to fill out a form for more information.
There is a difference between the quality and the use of both kinds of information. It’s up to agencies to use this new tool to arm themselves with the information they need to be the most effective for their clients. Without it, they’re making decisions in the dark.
How does Agorapulse work with agencies?
Agorapulse is constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of their clients, and the new ROI feature is a great example of how they’re taking their tools and giving them an agency-facing value. Sometimes the value proposition isn’t always intuitive. It is crucial to be able to translate a feature and show agencies how it can benefit them and their clients.
We also share education in places like our Blogs and Agency Accelerated. With this content, we fill in the gap between what you want to do, what you can do, and what you should do. Education is a huge part of the journey to being a successful agency and continuing to grow.
We believe in making sure agencies have what they need to be successful and that everything we’re delivering as a company is practical. Our tools are great, but making sure they are accessible and have practical value in everyday life of our customers is a game-changer.
For agencies who want to learn more about measuring social media ROI and utilizing Google Analytics, sign up for a free workshop from social media data expert Chris Penn. In the workshop, Social Media ROI, A Step By Step Guide, you will learn:
- What Are We Measuring?
- The State of Social Media ROI Today
- How to Prove Social Media ROI
- When ROI is the Wrong KPI
And much more.
To learn more from Theresa, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. You can also reach out with questions by email.
Remember to subscribe to our calendar to get notified before each episode of Agency Accelerated, live every other Wednesday at 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
The Agency Accelerated podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Give us a listen, rate, and subscribe.
If you’re looking for another way to increase and diversify your agency’s revenue streams, Agorapulse has a free webinar to help you do exactly that. Head over to bit.ly/AddAgencyRevenue to sign up for How To Add Agency Revenue By Adding Social Media Services. Get ready to learn and start driving more revenue from social media services.
Expand to read the full transcript or find a section by timestamp.
[00:00:00] StephanieLiu: Are you struggling to prove how effective your social media marketing is to your clients? Are you frustrated that the reports you can provide today are really nothing more than surface level of any metrics? You’re not alone. Most marketing agency owners, 55%, in fact, do not currently measure the ROI of all social media work they’re doing for their clients.
[00:00:20] And as a result, 65% of agencies struggle to attract and retain clients. Does that sound familiar? Fortunately, there are solutions. There’s a way to actually track and measure everything you’re doing on behalf of clients on social media and tie that into business results and impact that will ensure you and your agency are part of this strategic decision making process.
[00:00:41] That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Agency Accelerated.[00:01:00]
[00:01:06] Welcome back to Agency Accelerated, the show for agencies who want to get bigger. Stick with us to learn how you can simplify your growth strategy with practical tips from the marketing pros. I’m Stephanie Liu, and I’m poolside here in sunny, San Diego. And today, we have one of those fun, rare instances where my guest isn’t a hundred miles away, but right here with me in California.
[00:01:27] Theresa Anderson, Head of Agency Business brings over two decades of diverse marketing experience to her role at Agorapulse. Over the course of her career, she has worked with Fortune 100 enterprises, served as Program Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Rollins College and managed all aspects of communications and marketing for one of the top 10 marketing agencies in Central Florida.
[00:01:48] This breadth of marketing and leadership experience makes Theresa ideally suited to have the development and growth of Agorapulse’s Agency Business. Her responsibilities include working directly with agencies to understand [00:02:00] their unique challenges and championing solutions that work in the real world. To realize this mission, Theresa would develop and deploy peer-to-peer networking and learning opportunities, negotiate partnerships with key vendors and work to ensure the needs of agencies are represented at every level of the organization.
[00:02:17] From product design to marketing campaigns, Theresa serves as Agorapulse’s direct liaison and advocate for the company’s growing base of agency clients. Hello, Theresa! Welcome to the show.
[00:02:29] TheresaAnderson: So good to see you. It’s so beautiful here.
[00:02:31] StephanieLiu: Isn’t it?
[00:02:32] Big poolside. Oh my gosh. I think I can do a podcast like this all the time.
[00:02:37] TheresaAnderson: Yeah, I could sit on your podcast all the time.
[00:02:42] Every single time. The harbor noises in the background, are you kidding me?
[00:02:45] StephanieLiu: It’s beautiful. So, Theresa let’s set the stage a little bit and make everyone listening really uncomfortable. When we first talked about doing this interview, you mentioned this story of Fiona from Brayola. Can you tell me about what Fiona was struggling with?[00:03:00]
[00:03:01] TheresaAnderson: So, Fiona worked with Brayola. Brayola got into social media and Fiona was queen of all things social media. All by herself, she was managing all the many comments and questions that came into the company social media accounts using Agorapulse. So that was great for Fiona. It helped her realize some efficiencies.
[00:03:20] She was able to streamline all of the administrative tasks that go around managing such a robust social media presence. But the problem was, she was just one person. So even with all Agorapulse’s tools in her toolbox, Fiona needed help. So Fiona reached out, created a team in the Philippines to help her manage all of these comments and interactions that were coming in.
[00:03:41] That was great. It was successful. Fiona could breathe a little bit. And then all of a sudden, the inevitable day happened where her boss showed up with an invoice and said, Fiona, is this really money we should be spending? It’s $2,000. Tell me that this is worth it. Then Fiona said, wow, I know it’s worth it.
[00:03:59] [00:04:00] I know it’s working. I know we’re seeing a lot of comments, a lot of traction, and those tractions are turning into sales and traffic to the website, but she couldn’t prove it. She had nothing to show her boss to say, this is money well-spent. So partially because Fiona is a genius, Fiona went and figured out that if she could create custom UTM codes and make sure they were used in every single post that her team was making, that she would be able to track what was happening, that they were making a big difference. They were making an impact in the real world in real life.
[00:04:31] Fiona got to work. She dreamed a spreadsheet, probably multiple spreadsheets. And she got the team out there copying and pasting and copying and pasting to make sure that everything was tracked. This went on for a couple of months. Fiona opened up the billboards and the statistics, and she was vindicated, completely vindicated.
[00:04:47] She took those numbers. She marched into her boss’s office, put them down on the table and said, here it is. Not only is the $2,000-month that we’re spending right now worth it, we are actually bringing in an additional [00:05:00] $2,000 a month in pure revenue with this team. Wow. That was all the boss needed to see. His support went from zero to a hundred. Fiona had the resources that she needed and all was well with the world.
[00:05:11] All with right with the world. Except for one thing. Except that Fiona had this nagging feeling that it shouldn’t have been so difficult. It shouldn’t have been so hard for her to get this information. After all HubSpot tracks all of her links and activity through the CRM, and then, she can go into Facebook and see how that traffic’s happening.
[00:05:29] Why can’t she do that with organic social? Why can’t she do that with Agorapulse? So Fiona being the go-getter that she is, she just reached out to Emeric, and Emeric is our CEO. She put the email directly to him and said, Emeric, what’s going on? Why can’t I do this? So Emeric being the amazing leader that he is said, yeah, why can’t we do this?
[00:05:50] And so he started a search. We grabbed a bunch of people from the team and said, how are we going to solve this problem for Fiona? So, this became a passion project for Emeric, and it took [00:06:00] three years to pull together a feature within the Agorapulse platform that would be able to solve the problem.
[00:06:07] Proving the value of all the work that’s done on social media. So this new feature, which is a first of its kind in the industry, allows social media teams and agencies specifically to take their work from theoretical to practical, to make it from being possibly something we have to do maybe into something that’s absolutely business critical.
[00:06:32] StephanieLiu: Love it.
[00:06:32] So it’s great that the Agorapulse team jumped in to solve Fiona’s problem. But how does the ability to measure ROI for organic social media affect agencies specifically?
[00:06:42] TheresaAnderson: So for many businesses, social media is seen as a necessary evil, a cost center that has to be added to the balance sheet. We have to have social media.
[00:06:53] We know we do. Our kids told us we have to. We know we have to do it. We know it’s an [00:07:00] expense. We know what has to be done, but we don’t know the why. Then a lot of clients, honestly don’t even ask why. They just know what has to be done. So enter your marketing agency. You’ve got this client. They know they need to do social.
[00:07:11] They’re giving you the budget to keep the lights on and keep social media going. But a lot of times when you come back and ask for additional money or additional funds to support your campaigns, you get blank stares. The ability to translate from brand awareness to brand building and revenue building is a game changer.
[00:07:34] That means that agencies can suddenly justify bigger budgets and a bigger presence in the strategic business decisions that are being made. So instead of just calling social media and in, at the tail end of a project or a launch or an important business initiative, they now have a case for why they should be involved early in the process, because they can say, hey, we can make the needle move for you.
[00:07:57] You just have to bring us into the process. You just have to give us the budget. You [00:08:00] just have to give us the tools to make this better for you.
[00:08:03] StephanieLiu: Love it. Give me the tools that I’ll make me be even more successful in my position. So we’ve talked about measuring the ROI of social media, but lots of agencies are measuring social media engagement by tracking their likes, comments and shares. What’s the difference between that and then measuring ROI?
[00:08:20] TheresaAnderson: So the way that we phrased it internally is business impact. Really, like, shares and engagement. Those are great. And likes, shares, and comments, and that kind of engagement. That’s a language that a lot of clients understand.
[00:08:33] So it’s easy to fall into that. This is what they understand. This is what they want to see. Show me what kind of comments we got. That’s easy. The business impact of social media is a tougher decision and sometimes requires an education. Sometimes requires you to come to the client and say likes and shares and comments. Those are great. But what if I could show you how this could have real business impact? So for us, business impact is three things. It’s [00:09:00] sales, which everybody loves. It’s leads and lead generation. And it’s visitor behavior. For agencies, that business impact is not only super valuable. When you go to talk to the client to make the case for why they should renew with you or stay with you.
[00:09:17] Brilliant. Got to have those stats. Got to show them that you’re making money and that you’re gathering them leads and you’re moving people through the funnel and you’re tracking where they’re going. But from a real practical, strategic point of view, agencies need these numbers because it allows them to tailor their efforts around what’s working.
[00:09:37] So if I know that a particular topic results in a lot of traffic to a certain landing page on my website, I can now change my tactics to get the most out of what’s naturally occurring in this process. So if that means adding of a specific form where I know they’re going so that now I’m capturing more lead data on them, then I’m able to position that based [00:10:00] on facts, based on what I know is happening.
[00:10:01] I know they’re going here. We’ve actually been able to see inside of the tool, that sometimes the posts that get the most engagement, don’t actually correspondingly get the same amount of business impact that sometimes something that doesn’t seem to get much likes can get a ton of people going to the website and filling out a form to get more information.
[00:10:21] So there is a difference between the quality and the use of both kinds of information. It’s up to agencies to use this new tool, to arm themselves with the information that they need to be the most effective for their clients. Without it, they’re making decisions in the dark.
[00:10:36] StephanieLiu: I like that one. You’re gonna have to use that one again.
[00:10:39] I love all of that. So let’s talk about what agency life is like when you’re part of the Agorapulse family. Can you tell me about how you specifically work with agencies?
[00:10:49] TheresaAnderson: I think the ROI feature that we’ve added here is a really good example of how we’re taking the tools that we’re making and we’re giving them a agency facing value.[00:11:00]
[00:11:00] So sometimes that’s the value prop that isn’t always intuitive. So being able to translate a feature and take it to agencies and say, hey, this is why you’ve got to have this, not just the general basic value prop for anybody posting for their small business. But if you’re posting on behalf of clients, here’s how this can benefit you.
[00:11:17] So that’s one of the ways that we’re helping agencies put some practical spin on the tools that we’re creating for the general audience. Other things that we’re doing is education like this, the great things that you and Mike are doing with Agency Accelerated, that kind of content, filling that gap between what you want to do and what you can do and what you should do.
[00:11:38] There’s education all along the way of that journey of being an agency and being successful and growing. That’s my job, to make sure that they have the tools. It’s Emeric’s job, obviously, because he cares about making sure that agencies have what they need and that everything that we’re delivering as a company is practical.
[00:11:55] I think that’s a big thing, too. A tool is great, but if the tool has practical [00:12:00] value in my everyday life, then that’s a game changer. So my mission is to make sure agencies have the tools that they need and that if we don’t have them, we’re making them. And if we do have them, we’re making them accessible.
[00:12:14] StephanieLiu: I love that. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by and I don’t tell people, it’s not like I’m in Agorapulse every single day. Whether it’s on my desktop, my iPad, or just even on my phone, because there’s the mobile app. It just makes me doing my job so much easier for me. So, Theresa, for agencies who want to learn more about how to measure social media ROI, and actually use Google Analytics the way it should be used.
[00:12:37] We have a super interesting workshop that’s coming up, right?
[00:12:40] TheresaAnderson: We do. Google Analytics is a mixture of dread and love. It really is. You love the analytics that comes out of it. You dread logging into it. So if they’re not changing it or updating it or moving around your stuff, Google Analytics can be a big challenge for everyone, but especially for agencies when they’re dealing with [00:13:00] complex footprints.
[00:13:01] Because we knew that was going to be an issue, because we knew that taking this ROI feature and putting it into use was going to require interacting with Google Analytics and tying it together with the ROI feature, we reached out to Christopher Penn. He is a genius. He is a superstar in this area.
[00:13:17] And so we thought if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it with the best. We got Christopher Penn on board to do this series for us. That’ll just walk you right through what you need to take this from theoretical to actually useful in your everyday life and your everyday business.
[00:13:33] StephanieLiu: I love that. And anyone that’s interested in joining the link to be a part of this workshop with Christopher Penn, just head on over to https://social.agorapulse.com/chris-penn.
[00:13:44] So the link for that workshop, friends, you’ll be able to find that in the show notes. So we’ll have that for you. So , Theresa, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much. It’s been just fun hanging out with you this entire time, especially sunny San Diego, all the good things. Can you [00:14:00] tell folks where to connect with you and to learn more?
[00:14:02] TheresaAnderson: Sure. So, I am on LinkedIn. Obviously everybody is always welcome to reach out to me there and connect with me there. But also, I am making my personal email address available if anybody has any questions, not just about the ROI feature, not just about measuring social media, but if you have anything that you need an outside thought on, I’m here for you.
[00:14:22] So Theresa, which is T H E R E S A @agorapulse.com. You can reach me there. You can reach me on LinkedIn. I’m happy to connect with you, learn more about your business and figure out ways that we can support you.
[00:14:34] StephanieLiu: Love it. All right. So that’s all that we have for today, friends. Our next episode, we’ll not only kick off season four of Agency Accelerated, but also starts us in a four-part series devoted to exploring the holy grail of social media marketing.
[00:14:46] How do you actually prove social ROI? We’ll be talking to Jessica Phillips from the Now Marketing Agency on how her team is measuring ROI and reporting it to her agency clients, followed by Grey Anderson. Grey is a Google Analytics [00:15:00] guru who will help us make sure we have GA set up properly to report goals and conversions. Steph Hermanson , an acclaimed speaker on social media will show us how to create ROI driven activity. And then Jay Acunzo will be on the show. Jay and I are going to dive deeper into topics like brand awareness and resonance. And how the heck do you even measure the ROI of that? Subscribe to the show, if you haven’t done so already and get on the calendar at agorapulse.com/calendar so you never miss a single episode and I’ll see you and your agency accelerating into the next show.