Social Media Marketing Reporting

You’ve used analytics to measure your progress towards your goals at every stage of the marketing funnel. You’ve analyzed the data to make informed decisions about social media strategy. It is time to share those learnings and decisions through a social media report. Social media report is a document that presents and tracks relevant data about your social media activities. Social media reports allow you to visualize and present social media data, justify a strategy to colleagues or clients, and gain valuable insights.

Understand social media reports

Social media report can be anything from a quick email with a few key data points, a snapshot of a particular post-performance on a given platform, a spreadsheet with detailed data from all of your social platforms, or a slideshow with key findings and analysis. It is important to understand what components are generally included.

Social media reports need to be tailored to their audience, for example, marketing team members, stakeholders and clients who have different needs and different information they want to know. Reports might include more or less detailed data on a specific item depending on who the audience will be. For example, a report created from marketing team might include detailed data about a particular social media campaign, while one created for managers might focus more on campaign highlights.

Report should include the data most relevant to the audience and to the company’s social media KPI. A KPI (key performance indicator) is a measurement used to gauge how successful an organization is in its efforts to reach a business or marketing goal. Social media KPIs are used to assess whether a social media marketing strategy is effective. They are determined by a campaign goals such as awareness or engagement. A useful social media report will focus on the KPIs and metrics that are most relevant to the business. For example, if a business has a social media KPI related to reach, then a report might highlight data about impressions, audience growth rate, or follow account.

Reports frequency also varies and can be customized depending on what data will be reported and how the insights will be used. Most social media platforms allow data to be pulled from analytics tools based on specific data ranges or reporting periods. For example, social media reports could be produced weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Let’s put everything together as a report. A report focuses on a campaign’s performance on Instagram in a particular week, and the main goal of the campaign was engagement. The report would include relevant campaign information for that week, such as date range and the number of posts, followers gained or lost, likes, comments, shares, link clicks, and video views.

Many social media reports also include charts or graphs. Visualizing data with charts can help an audience understand the information in the report. These charts can be created using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or HubSpot, or reporting tools on individual platforms.

An effective social media report also provides context that helps the audience understand the report and connect to the story the data is telling. Reports should indicate how the data relates to particular KPIs. For example, our reports might include a comparison of data in the current reporting period to the previous data. A report can compare the number of likes in the current reporting period to the number in the same reporting period last month and highlight any growth.

This allows the audience to spot trends, not progress, and identify issues. That brings us to analysis. This is the part of the report that explains what the data means. For instance, analyzing the number of engagements per post could help identify the types of content that resonate best with a target audience. This section should include an evaluation and explanation of why the campaign may have gotten the results it did. The reasons behind the data can help marketers determine and justify to their audience how best to adjust their strategy.

Social media reports help marketers convey key information about their strategy, activities and progress towards their goals to others. Understanding what goes into a social media report helps prepare you to contribute to them and read them for insights that can improve your social media strategy.

Types of social media reports

There are three types of social media reports to ensure that all stakeholders get the information they need. The best way to provide comprehensive data on every aspect of the campaign is to present each type of report to necessary stakeholders.

Operational reports

Operational reports give team members real-time updates and information on metrics like audience growth rates, impressions, click-through rates, and more. These reports provide social media marketers with the data they need to track a campaign’s success fast, so they can adjust their strategy when necessary.

Operational report example
Operational report example

Insight reports

Insight reports offer more than just raw data to your team members and stakeholders. They provide storylines that help explain your campaign. The insight reporting purpose is to search for meaning in the data and communicate that meaning at a high level to stakeholders. These reports answer questions like: why are your click-through rates high? Which social media platforms generate the most leads? Does your audience prefer video-based or image-based content, and what does that mean for your budget? What trends do you see in the data and why?

Insight reports example
Insight reports example

Informative reports

Informative reports mostly use to provide company leadership with a broader understanding of campaign performance. Larger metrics like return on investment (ROI) and other key performance indicators (KPIs) are presented in informative reports because they show the value of campaigns at a high level. These reports should be clear and concise, as company leaders may not have a lot of time to analyze insights.

Informative reports example
Informative reports example

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio can help you leverage data to tell stories by using visualization tools like charts and tables, sharing your insights with team members, and speeding up the report-creating process. It also offers collaborative features so that teams can work together to create reports. Learn more about Google Data Studio and Google Data Studio Templates.

Present a social media report

Once your report is ready, it is time to present the findings. Giving a presentation is an essential skill that you will eventually need, and that only gets better with practice. Let’s discuss how to present your social media report effectively.

When you’re delivering your report, you need your audience to understand the key points you’re making about the data you’re sharing. But you also want to connect with them emotionally. For example, if you’ve grown your social media audience by 30% on LinkedIn in the last quarter, share your excitement! Or maybe inject surprising statistics, entertaining anecdotes, or a particularly favorable customer review received on social media platforms into your presentation. Tapping into your audience’s emotions will grab their attention and help keep them engaged. 

Make sure your audience is following you, pace yourself, speak slowly, keep your sentences brief, and use intentional pauses.

Guide your audience through your presentation by helping them notice what you’ve noticed about the data, and transition between sections by using phrases like “building on this point” or “as I mentioned before.”

Check-in with your audience periodically throughout the presentation to find out if they have any questions. If your audience isn’t familiar with a social media term or metric, for example, you may need to define it for them.

As you’re presenting, you also need to be flexible. For example, someone may have to leave your presentation unexpectedly, other attendees may arrive late, or answering people’s questions takes longer than you had planned. Consider the approach you’d take if you had to shorten your presentation. Know the most important points you’d want to make, and be prepared to share only those points should the unexpected occur. You should also be ready to pivot the discussion according to what is most important to your audience. If your audience contains your company’s finance analyst or upper management, for instance, they may want to spend extra time discussing data relate to conversions.

Be well-prepared. Ample practice can help you identify things like awkward phrasing and other issues. Or, if you tend to feel a little nervous before you present, good preparation can help calm your nerves and make you feel more confident. Preparing ahead of time also helps you identify and come up with answers to the types of questions your audience might have. It gives you time to prepare to justify the strategic decisions that you want to make if any member of your audience has concerns about them.

For example, you’d like to expand your social media marketing efforts to a new platform, but a manager is concerned about having the resources to do so effectively. By having prepared for this type of response in advance, you can clearly explain both why you think expanding to a new platform is a sound strategy and how you plan to reallocate resources to make this possible. You might practice delivering your presentation to a member of your team and invite them to offer feedback, ask questions, or share concerns.

These techniques can apply to all of your marketing presentations. To recap, connect with your audience, pace yourself, guide your audience, check in with your audience, be flexible, and lastly be well-prepared.

Happy learning and good luck!

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