How to Create a Social Media Report: A Step-by-Step Guide
Creating reports is inherent to every social media management activity. At first glance, it may seem like a simple routine task - you pull your best numbers in one spreadsheet, export data from social media tools, and put it all into your template (or borrow a template from someone else). Send the report to your boss or your colleagues - that’s it.
If it really were that basic, you wouldn’t be reading this article. The truth is, reporting is one of the most valuable and crucial parts of social media marketing - and it deserves your due attention.
Without reporting, you’re going into social media marketing blind. Social media reports show you what works and what doesn’t. Sure, you can see that, say, some of your posts perform better than others, but only a comprehensive report will help you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your social media strategy.
The ongoing reports which provide an overview your progress on social over a certain period of time are essential to revising your strategy.
You can also create one-off reports to analyze specific activities like campaigns or contests. Additionally, there are research reports which can (and should) inform your marketing decisions based on social data.
Regardless of the type of report you’re creating, the core process is similar. Here are the five steps to follow to generate any type of social media report from scratch.
Step 1: Define your goals
Before you do something, you need to understand why you’re doing it. A comprehensive social media report dedicated to your ongoing activity will reflect whether you’ve hit your goals, how your strategies are working, and what your successes are. It'll also explain any failures, and show you the ways to address them efficiently.
For instance, thanks to your report, you and your team could discover a decrease in your engagement numbers in November and attribute them to either a change in your content strategy or the holiday season.
As for specific reports, to make them as helpful and actionable as possible, pose a specific question. For example, a report focused on a marketing campaign might ask, “did the campaign drive spontaneous conversation among the target group of 15-34-year-old male sports fans?”. A research report could ask “What do Millennials who live in big cities want from an Internet service provider?”
Step 2: Define your recipient
Who will receive the report? How can it benefit them? Think about the decisions your reports are supposed to inform and support.
- Does the head of sales need to understand how many leads come from social?
- Does the community management team want to know the efficiency of their strategy?
- Do you want to convince the head of marketing to invest in video content production?
These are just some questions that may come up in your social media marketing endeavors. As you might have noticed, defining goals and recipients go hand-in-hand - who needs insights, and why they need them, are the main questions to build your report around.
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