Creating social media reports can seem like a simple, routine task; export the data, enter it into a spreadsheet, throw it in a template and ship it off to the boss or the client. However, data is one of the most valuable parts of social media, and it can’t be a mindless exercise.
Your reports can show you which strategies are working and which are not. Done correctly, your social media reports can guide your tactics and help bring optimal results. Here are the five steps to follow when creating a social media report from scratch.
Define Your Goals
Before you jump into your social media strategy, it is imperative that you understand what defines your success on social media. Having clear goals helps you set expectations for yourself and other stakeholders. What metrics are most important for your business? Outline your core goals and identify how you will consistently measure them. Tracking these metrics over time will help you determine how each of your campaigns performed and reveal any peaks and valleys in the data.
Define Your Recipient
How granular should you get? It depends on your audience. While you may be interested in figuring out how certain pieces of content performed relative to one another, your boss (or you boss’ boss) may only need to know high-level data.
It may be a good idea to build both a detailed report for your key stakeholders and a quick-view for less involved individuals. That way, you always have the details to back up any questions that may arise.
Define the Time Frame
The period of time covered in each report can be determined based on the established goals, but can also be based on the purpose of the report. After a specific campaign, it might be necessary to generate a report detailing that particular campaign in addition to a general report.
Typically, social media reports are created weekly, monthly or quarterly – however it is up to you and the recipient to decide what is best. If the decision is to only present data reports each quarter, or yearly, it can be beneficial to take the initiative to create a report monthly to provide specific information when generating the actual deliverable report.
Tracking your metrics in a regular cadence keeps you close to the data, alerts you to any changes, and helps you determine when changes in strategy are necessary.
Decide the Metrics
You know why you are making the report, who you are making it for, and how often you will be making it. Now you have to determine what the report will contain. Now, you must decide which KPIs will prove the success, or lack thereof, of your efforts.
Here are some of the most common data points for social media reporting:
- Volume of content – How much content are you posting? Is it too much or not enough? When you post less or more often, what happens?
- Reach – How many people are seeing your posts? Do you see trends in reach or impressions during certain timeframes or on certain types of content?
- Engagement – What is the quantity and quality of your post interactions? What type of content triggers more engagement than others?
- Audience – Who is seeing your content? What is their demographic profile? Are you reaching your target audience?
- Clicks – How many people are clicking on your posts? Is the content inspiring someone to find out more?
Design the Report
This can be the most challenging step. Based on the feedback of the recipient(s), how do you organize the data in the most logical and comprehensible way?
Here are a few golden rules to follow. First, just because you can fit a ton of data on a single sheet, doesn’t mean that you should. One page per section is a good starting place. Be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Building a report may be an exciting task, but when you’re in the nitty gritty of your growing social media strategy, you don’t want it to be something that takes hours upon hours.
Add insights that are actionable. Including the top posts, ads, or campaigns is a fantastic way to let the recipient know which activities were the most beneficial.
That’s it! With these five steps, you’ll be creating top-notch social media reports in no time!