A social media report is a data-driven proof of what you have accomplished on social media. It is a simple presentation that shows the value and impact of your social media marketing strategy, presence and performance to your clients or key stakeholders.
A useful social media report informs your subsequent marketing decisions learned from previous campaigns on what works and what doesn’t.
Social media reports help you and your marketing team assess whether your efforts are paying off. A positive ROI is a good signal for businesses to stay on that path. It’s not enough to say you drove traffic to a particular website, show your workings.
Further, creating a social media report is not just about pulling numbers from reporting tools, packaging them in a Google spreadsheet and sending to your colleagues, boss or client. It requires some attention to detail and turning the data into actionable insights.
So how do marketers interpret, visualize and present social media data or convey social activities coherently to make sense to the stakeholders? Let’s discuss!
Steps to Creating a Social Media Report
Step 1: Establish your social media goals.
Your social media report should focus on the predetermined social media goals that matter the most to your business. These marketing goals must always tie back to the short-term and long-term business goals. If the goal is to build brand awareness, for example, then engagement and follower metrics are vital.
A comprehensive social media report should demonstrate whether you hit your business goals, how the strategies are working, and identify successes or any failures.
Ask yourself what SMART questions you want to be answered by the report. Since tracking will be on a month-to-month basis, keep your report focused on short term goals. Pose a specific question for specific reports to make them actionable as possible.
- How many newsletter subscriptions did you receive per post in April?
- How many clicks did you receive in April?
- How does this differ from March?
- Did the May campaign drive conversation among the target group of 20-45-year-old small business owners?
Step 2: Define your stakeholders.
Establishing who will receive your report is key to selecting relevant metrics for your presentation. The stakeholders include, but not limited to, sales team, marketing team, PR agency, customer support, and senior management.
Know your audience and tailor the report according to who will read it, its relevance and what will benefit them. Your team may need more granular detail to help understand what worked well and what didn’t.
Your manager or client might only ask for overall business revenue or financial figures. The higher you go in the company, the less savvy they may be to social; hence the report should be more concise. If writing for yourself, include useful information that you can easily understand and refer to.
Step 3: Determine the best reporting timeframe.
All social media channels allow one to pull data from their native analytics based on specific date ranges.
For the sake of this article, we shall only focus on the Monthly Report;
- It has a significant sample size data that offers objective performance comparison vs the previous month.
- It contextualizes short term impact to avoid changing plans.
- It assesses trends and incidents noted in weekly reports.
Step 4: Choose the metrics to include.
As mentioned, the metrics you report on should accurately reflect the success or slip-up of your marketing strategy. Choose parameters you can learn from, and which will inform your decision-making in the future.
Your choice should also be dependent on the social networks you use, and what your stakeholders want to view.
When tracking and conveying your multiple social media KPIs, ensure the metrics tell a cohesive story. The reporting between awareness, lead generation and conversion should, therefore, be holistic and interlinked.
Step 5: Design and present the report.
Organizing the data collected and presenting it most logically and understandably is challenging. The reporting scope should be within the context of business resources, the scale of social activity and intended audience needs.
If you want to customize or design your own report, use programs such as Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets, Google Sheets, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Infogram or Photoshop. Convert the final form to a PDF before you share to your team or client. Platforms such as Buffer, Sprout Social have ready-made free templates for use.
Some general tips to consider when creating a report
- Start with a broader view, then hone in on important KPIs and how they tie back to your business strategy.
- Please keep it simple and easy to grasp.
- Present your insights in a clear, context-driven way.
- Do not overwhelm the reader, space out the information.
- Focus only data you have access to. You can add more reporting tools in the future.
- Visualize the data to show progress, trends or what’s important – and put life to the report.
- Incorporate actionable insights to highlight the most effective activity.
The perfect social media report outline
Provide context with a quick summary of the predetermined goals, the strategy used, and success metrics.
B. Success snapshot
Show a quick overview of the most relevant results for the month.
C. Data tracking
Provide some previous month’s results for context and to track any ongoing trends. Report the numbers relevant to your campaign. Add stand out results that are worth noting as long as they apply to your goals.
Analyze what the data means beyond the numbers. The number of engagements is an excellent metric, but what’s even better is analyzing the number of engagements per follower or post.
Always provide a competitive context with the previous month – and also how you stack against your closest competition. Check for the growth of the competitor audience and assess if you are growing at the same rate. Analyze how their content performs on social media and who gets shared the most.
E. Key Learnings and Takeaways
Taking action is the mainstay of social media reporting. Revisit your wins to learn what tactic worked and reiterate the metric to make a case for continuing with the strategy.
Check what didn’t work and let your stakeholder know the meaningful and SMART targets you will take next to improve your strategy.
Report on the current opportunities that you wish to test for the next month. Pitch ideas that capture attention.
How to access Social Media Analytics
Social media reporting tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer Analyze provide a centralized analytic dashboard where you choose what to track. Nowadays, almost all social media platforms have generated their own analytics that is easily accessible.
Tracking your social media analytics and insights is vital in understanding your target audience, optimizing your social media content, and evaluating the overall performance. Here’s where/how to access the data you need for each of the popular social networks;
Open your Twitter profile and tap on your image at the top right of your screen. Click Analytics from the drop-down menu. You will find key monthly performance data for each tweet, audiences, Top Mentions, etc. You can export the data to add in your report.
You can only access Facebook Insights on your Business Page. Tap on Insights in the top menu, and you’ll find highly visual data on the dashboard that details the reach, likes, followers, engagement rate, etc. It also provides data from 5 competitors of your choice. You can export the data in a format that works for you.
Facebook Stories Insights are available as well on the left side of the Insights menu, but you have to opt-in manually. To check who viewed your stories, tap the eye icon in any of your active stories.
Switch to your Business Profile to access Instagram Analytics. Tap on the menu icon on the top right of your profile page and click on the Insights tab.
It will open your Business Profile Analytics where you’ll find a ton of metrics for your audience demographics, posting hours, posts and stories reach and impressions, profile visits, etc. You cannot export data from Instagram, so a manual input in your social media report would suffice.
You can also use third-party apps like Later to track your performance on Instagram. It has Instagram stories data for a whole three months instead of the two weeks analysis IG offers.
On our company page, click the Analytics button on the top menu. Choose Updates, Visitors or Followers to get access to impressions, traffic and engagement rate. Export the data to use in your report.
Convert your account to a Business account if you haven’t. You can connect it to your website. Analytics are at the top left of your profile’s page. Here you will find the analysis on Saves, Clicks, Impressions, Ads, etc.
The date picker helps choose the specific data you want to see for a particular time. You can also export the metrics to a CSV file to incorporate to your report.
Tap your account icon and select Creator Studio. Select Analytics on the left menu and choose the report you want to see.
Every modern business requires a comprehensive social media report justifying its campaigns. Building such a report and presenting to colleagues and clients in the best possible way is much easier when you know what to focus on.
Summarize what you learned, and how those lessons will help revise and improve your content marketing strategy for the future. If you are new to this, check online for amazing free templates to guide your reporting.
Tell us, how do you build your social media reports? What data points do you find most useful in your reports?