Social media marketing may seem simple: Create relevant content, post relevant content, and await business growth. However, this is just the logistical part of it. Most people don’t think about what really matters: the research and strategy usually done beforehand.

In order to get the most out of social media marketing, we must identify our client’s target audience and create a strategy outlining the social tactics that will attract this target and keep their attention. This consists of research that continues while  searching for content that will appeal to them.

Fast forward to a month from now. We’ve implemented our social media strategy, but how do we know our strategy is actually working?

Ideally, you’ll want to  show the outcome of your strategy in a way that your client will easily comprehend. A concise report that shows key performance indicators with references to specific information. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a spreadsheet, presentation, or Word doc. There are different formats for just about every client.

Creating a  comprehensive yet concise social media report is a difficult task that consists of making sense of data from a variety of different sources, such as reach, engagements, leads and conversions. It’s not easy to create a flawless report right from the get-go, but creating a solid one that your client will understand is definitely possible. These reports will also evolve over time; some of the information that once seemed critical may not be, while data that was once considered unimportant is now crucial to your success. 

Here’s a guide on how to create a social media report:

Design and usability: Keep the client in mind when designing your report. If you’re uncertain about what particular data may mean,then your client will definitely have trouble understanding it. A clean design makes information easier to read, easier to find, and easier to understand.

Data gathering: Everyone has their own preference of how they want to collect data, and there are usually two methods for doing so. The first method is to manually gather data from the analytics dashboards within  each social channel and import the data into your report – usually copying and pasting. The second method is to use a social media analytics tool such as Quintly or Social Studio that automatically pulls all of your data at once and provides an overview for it on a dashboard. This method usually takes the stress away from having to dig for data through each platform you use, however they do come with subscription fees that may not be affordable for everyone.

social media report

Analyze and evaluate data: Now that the data is in place, it’s time to make it easy to understand and provide a context.  

First and foremost, the two key questions that every client will inevitably ask is “how much does this cost?” and “how much will we make?” This is where return on investment (ROI) comes into conversation. It is essential to set these objectives using the S.M.A.R.T. framework (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

For example, if gaining conversions is an objective of the client, a goal would be a specific number of leads you want to drive via social media for that month. Another objective could be that you want to increase engagement and awareness, on social media. It would be ideal to set a number and a deadline such as: ‘We will increase engagement and awareness by five percent by the end of the month.’

Make sure to keep your S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind when highlighting certain data points in your report!

When explaining the findings to the client, keep things simple. Establish a general logic that conveys the importance behind each metric. This should reduce any confusion and  give them a better understanding of the data and why they should continue to invest in your strategy.

Other things to keep in mind

  1. Make the data accessible. Keep your data on hand whenever the client wants to view it. Refraining from sharing your data is not only inconvenient, but also makes the client think you are not being completely transparent with them. It is important to show all of the data, both good and bad. Since this is a process, there are things you’ll do that work and things that don’t. The things that don’t actually turn into very important lessons to be learned.
  2. Keep track of your overall performance. Benchmarking the progress of your social presence provides the growth that clients want and will show how well your strategy is working. They are also going to find that, when done right, social media efforts will grow and plateau, grow and plateau, grow and plateau. We started at X, we moved on to Y, and we’re headed for Z.
  3. Choose software to create your report. A manual export type of software, such as GoogleSheets has the pro of being flexible for creating a report whenever you need it. This option would allow you to make quick fixes and adjustments whenever you feel the need to do so. A con for using a manual software is that it can be time consuming to pull and input data into it. Using an automated software such as Quintly or Social Studio has the pro of streamlining data and automatically sending a report on a daily, weeky, monthly basis. Automated software aren’t as customizable as manual ones and usually have a cost which can be a con for some. Figure out what’s best for you and how much time you can dedicate to creating these reports.
  4. Finally, make sure the format you use is also ideal for sharing your report. A file that can’t be opened or requires a specific app to view it is of no use to anyone.

Following this guide will not only reduce stress, but will also give you the opportunity to focus on new ideas and strategies to improve performance in the future.

If you are seeking help on creating a social media report, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to work with you!