Let’s consider this scenario: You’re solely responsible for your client’s social media marketing or perhaps working with a team, either way, you’re killing it! You’re sharing meaningful content, compelling headlines, and seeing a beautiful kaleidoscopic mix of owned, earned and paid media surrounding the brand.

You’ve implemented multiple ways to improve your social media strategy. Engagements are up and the world of automation has allowed your impact to be boundless! It seems as though people are waiting eagerly to consume the next piece of content you serve, and you see how you manipulate perception and traffic through the tapping of keys, a swipe of a finger, and clicking of a mouse.

Yes, you see that, but is there a way for you and your client to both appreciate all the efforts being made? There is!

Why You Need A Social Media Report

A comprehensive social media report can be key to explaining your progress on social media. You can gain a plethora of personal insights which will help to maximize social media performance and understand what has been stimulating engagement, driving clicks, and ultimately what isn’t.

An effective report will:

  • Identify business goals and strategies
  • Highlight online successes
  • Prove the return on investment (ROI) of social campaigns
  • Demonstrate effectiveness in meeting objectives
  • Explain short-comings and provide insight in how to address them
  • Monitor the performance of content
  • Provide insight into audience behaviour
  • Benchmark social media performance against those of competitors

Presenting results to highlight the power of online advertising that can be understood across the board can prove to be daunting, as not everyone will readily understand the different nuances of social media. However, reports are a good way to present valuable data and information to clients.

Generating Social Media Reports

There are three categories of reporting you can generate:

  1. Standard Reports: These use key metrics to highlight progress (eg. increases in followers, engagement, traffic to website, positive sentiment, etc.)
  2. Individual Campaign Reports: These tend to be qualitative in nature as it analyses a one-off campaign (eg. an event, sale or product launch).
  3. Research Reports: These are particularly important as they provide data on a particular topic or trend, garnered through social listening.

The ABCs

Here is what you have to keep in mind when creating an insightful report:

A. Identify Your Stakeholders

Knowing who you’re generating reports for and why will greatly influence its contents and structure. Identify what department/position the report will be sent, and tailor accordingly.

B. Establish Business Goals

Before you draw conclusions and explain how the numbers indicate that with an increase in the budget the ROI will be even greater, it is important to keep in mind what the social media strategy goals and objectives are and align the report to that. For example, if a goal is to increase customer retention by using social media marketing to drive persons back to your website, then your report should include a metric based upon returning visitors. How will you prove successes and value?

C. Ask S.M.A.R.T Questions

Similarly to the goals of your digital strategy, the report needs to be S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Allotted. To achieve this, you’ll need to build on the questions asked when identifying goals to determine how the report will answer. For example, in generating a report on a weekly sale, you can ask- How many Facebook coupons have been redeemed this week against those that were redeemed last week? A monthly report could seek to answer how many sales can be attributed to social media influence in directing traffic to the website or in-store.

D. Choose Which Metrics To Track

Social Media Reporting Rule #141: Just because you can report on something does not necessarily mean you should. A social media report is simply a collection of data and stats – knowing what should be in it, and why, is important. If you show a handful of negative comments, your client may panic.

Be conscious. Be wise. Choose metrics that you can learn from, and which will inform decision-making, both for current and future campaigns. This is generally influenced by what social media networks are used and your specific marketing strategy and goals.

Here are a few social media metrics to consider:

  • Audience & Demographics: Location, gender, language, interests, occupation, age
  • Reach and impressions: People that saw your posts
  • Engagement: Clicks, comments, shares
  • Leads: Visitors that may become customers
  • Conversions: Leads that become paying customers
  • Content: How many, how often, how successful
  • Click-through with bounce rate: Website visitors and how long they stay

E. Establish a Timeline

As metrics are influenced by time, reports are generated to a specific period and should remain consistent unless otherwise decided. The 3 most common timelines are: weekly, monthly and quarterly. Reports can also be generated daily or specific to only one period as previously mentioned, as some metrics need to be tracked more frequently.

F. Present Visual Results

Attention spans have been increasingly decreasing. How often do we scroll or skim through to get to the point of something we’re reading? Similarly, reports should be direct and to the point. Boring reports won’t be read, while complicated reports won’t be understood or remembered.

As a rule of thumb, break your reports into a 30:70 ratio of text to graphic. Make use of colours, graphs, charts, word clouds and interactive timelines to breathe life into reports so as not to put your reader to sleep. Text should remain minimal and used for short descriptions and overviews on your analysis.

Choosing the right tool for your report will essentially determine its presentation. There are numerous tools available now that will generate beautiful graphical representations of your data. With a selection of the metrics you want to include, these tools will assist with generating a comprehensive report specific to the timeline you’ve chosen.

The Takeaway

Before you start reporting:

  1. Identify your stakeholders and define business goals and KPIs
  2. Determine what questions your report will be answering
  3. Identify the metrics you’ll need to include
  4. Choose a social media reporting tool that gives the data you need and presents results with clarity

Even though reporting on social media performance might seem challenging, it can be made easy with a proper approach. #TeamDigita is filled with talented and creative marketing & design gurus, ready to generate, analyze and produce a winning report, aligned to your individual goals.

It’s time to truly assess if you are having success on social media, contact us to connect!

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