How To Create A Social Media Report

How To Create A Social Media Report

Sep 10, 2021 14 min read

If you are in charge of social media management within your organization, you are likely expected to develop reports on your brand's social media activities and campaign ROI.

A social media report is the best proof of performance you can give to your social stakeholders.

Makes sense, right? You are given responsibility, and you justify it by backing up with proof.

An in-depth social media report should analyze your goals, strategies, and actions on all social channels to explain your failures and fixes. This will allow your stakeholders to make more informed decisions about branding strategies and positioning on social media and imply changes that directly affect the business.

A social media report is used to:

  • Assess how well your company is meeting its overall social media goals
  • Show how your efforts are helping to achieve those goals
  • See how your social media strategies are performing
  • Demonstrate your adaptability and plans for future campaigns

But, it's not always easy to translate social media results into something easy to understand across the board.

And if you're not sure where to start? We are here to help. As a social media marketer, you are probably used to seeing numbers and metrics flooded on your screen daily. To present these complex metrics to your team into easily digestible formats, this post covers 10 steps that turn you into a social media reporting wizard by creating jaw-dropping reports. Let's take a microscopic look!

Step #1: Choose Goals - What's Your Reporting Purpose?
Step #2: Decide The Stakeholders - Find the Audience Of Your Reports
Step #3: Select KPIs & Metrics To Track - Let The Numbers Speak
Step #4: Decide The Reporting Time Frames & Format - Your Reporting Approach
Step #5: Prepare Structure - Tell A Story With Reports
Step #6: Collect Data - Get Gathering
Step #7: Choose The Right Visuals - Make Your Presentations Good Looking
Step #8: Include Learnings & Insights Section - What Do You Plan Next?
Step #9: Things To Keep In Mind While Reporting
Step #10: Choose Tools To Prepare Reports - Crush Your Goals Within Clicks

You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.

Step #1: Choose Goals - What's Your Reporting Purpose?

Interestingly, the first crucial step into building a great social media report should be taken before you even start doing your job.

You should have on your mind what you wish to achieve with your social media report. The critical point here is to operationalize the abstract SMART objectives that make your report more tangible and measurable.

SMART goals will make it much easier for everyone in your team to understand the value of the data that you provide through reports. After all, numbers would be hard to evaluate without proper context.

Here's how you can rely on the principles of SMART goals with great confidence:

S - Specific: What exactly do you need to achieve?
M - Measurable: How do you plan to measure the result?
A - Achievable: By what means do you think the goal is to be achieved, and whether it can be achieved through those means?
R - Relevant: Determination of whether the goals you set are valid. Is the goal really required?
T - Time-bound: Set the point in time by which the goal should be achieved.

This way, you can set goals that are easy to communicate. It will also make it simpler for you to adjust goals in case you deviate from the actual ones at any point in time.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to set milestones on your way to check regularly if your efforts are heading in the desired direction.

Step #2: Decide The Stakeholders - Find the Audience Of Your Reports

Consider for whom you are crafting this social media report.

You will have to make separate reports for different audiences as not every piece of information is essential for and should be known by all the members of your organization.

Your social media report should provide clear benefits of your social efforts for the success of the brand. See what information they might want to know from your report?

This step will influence every granular information you include in your report; it's the style, structure, and even the cadence of your social reporting schedule.

Social media reports are not one-size-fits-all.

For instance, when you share the report with your creative team, you will likely analyze every individual post-performance and share actionable insights. But when you are reporting to senior management, you will focus on high-level data points and how they impact the company's bottom line.

Your goals and target audience of the social media report will go hand-in-hand.

For example, if you are trying to convince the marketing director to invest more money into video content production, an ideal goal might be to show them a piece of video that performed well recently.

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Step #3: Select KPIs & Metrics To Track - Let The Numbers Speak

Metrics provide accurate data with proof to show how valuable social platforms are in communicating with your potential customers.

This step is essential to evaluate because different stakeholders value different social media metrics.

And it's also up to you to wisely choose the metrics that matter the most to your stakeholders. How else could you show them that you are aligned with their goals?

Also, refine, identify and include the essential metrics that will be worth presenting to every stakeholder of your organization as a whole.

Contact project stakeholders to see if they hope to see specific statistics in your social media report. The metrics you choose will also depend on which social platforms you use, your marketing strategy, and your goals.

Choose metrics you can really learn from and which have the capability to influence decision-making.

There are dozens of social media metrics and KPIs you can use when reporting your performance. Here are some of the critical metrics you should consider:

Impressions

Tracks how many times your post has been shown to social media users. It tells you a lot about how successful you are at raising brand awareness on social media.

Reach

How many social media users have actually seen your post? If your reach is high, but engagement is low, it indicates that your content doesn't resonate well with your target audience. And this implies that you either need to work on your targeting or your messaging.

Engagement

Reflected in the form of likes, comments, and shares. A high engagement rate means your followers view your content as helpful, informative, or entertaining. Sentiment analysis lets you know the prevalent opinions of your target audience and indicates the specific pain point bothering them.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Shows how much traffic your social media pages drive to your landing pages. CTR is the only way to track if the links that you are sharing in your social post are being clicked on or not.

Social Media ROI

Is the money that your organization is investing in social media paying off? When you want to show how important a social media strategy is for your brand, tracking the direct sales, revenue, or lead generation that comes from social media is important.

It can be really time-consuming to create reports; that is why it is crucial to pick the metrics that are the most predominant ones.

Not every social metric you predict as important ones will change with the frequency of your report submission. Such metrics aren't to be reviewed regularly to get a fresh perspective on your social channels and hence should only be included when a change is observed.

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Step #4: Decide The Reporting Time Frames & Format - Your Reporting Approach

You have created realistic and measurable goals. You have also determined to include the metrics showing impressive strides and opportunities for growth.

But your stakeholders want results. What they need even more from your reporting is a clear picture of when the goals will be achieved and how they will know it is making a difference.

Creating a timeline to show when you will start driving results will strengthen the trust with your stakeholders that you are working hard to build a solid social presence for their brand. Including the timelines in your social media report, such as the work in progress and opportunities for further growth will give the client an idea to be realized.

Reporting Time Frame

Following a fixed timeframe for reporting helps to regularly track all the essential metrics that you have selected. Decide the regular intervals at which you would want to review your organization's progress and performance and accordingly create these reports.

It can be generated randomly at your will or when your stakeholders ask for it or at regular intervals like daily, weekly, monthly, half-yearly, or yearly. To make the process a bit easier, allot time in your schedule at regular intervals for social media report creation according to your frequency of reporting.

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Formats Of Reports

Would you want to create an entire social media report just to know that you had to make it all over again in a different format because the format you created was not easy to share?That's why it's crucial to decide the format of the report before you begin with start making reports.

Your social media report should seamlessly adapt to your workflow. Then be it sharing a link, presenting a slideshow, embedding, or downloading a PDF/PNG. No more jumping from tool-to-tool to design different types of deliverables.

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Step #5: Prepare Structure - Tell A Story With Reports

When your report aims to tell a story, the sections of your report should be structured in a way to help that story move forward.

Build an outline for your reports before you even get deep into the nitty-gritty of the core research.

Think deeply about the formatting, organizing, and ordering your report to present your findings and making it easier to answer any of your stakeholder's questions that might arrive your way.

A well-structured report will make data stand out on its own and not bog people down to understand what you are trying to say with each slide.

Here's a structure that you can use.

  1. Introduction
  2. Points to know before you start to present
  3. Goals - A quick summary of your intended objective, strategy, and tactics
  4. KPI Performance - Snapshot of campaign's performance
  5. Social Performance Summary – Showing a brief summary of changes and actions
  6. Channel Comparison – How does traffic compare among different channels through time?
  7. Account Overview – Summary of social account performance
  8. A Detailed Look & Comparison on the performance of several social pages (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter) and their top posts.
  9. Referrals – How many users arrived at your website via social media?
  10. Progress Chart - How much goal is achieved, how much is left, and when will it be achieved?
  11. Conversions – Which social platforms and campaigns are contributing towards your goal completions?
  12. Conclusion - Summarize critical insights from campaign analysis and how they will inform future campaigns
  13. Next Steps - Show the next steps in progress and the deliverable dates
  14. Ask For Feedback - To know if your report was helpful and if there was anything they wished you had included?
  15. A Metrics Glossary - Include toward the report's end or in an appendix. A good glossary should explain commonly used metrics in your report, how they are calculated and why they are significant to achieve business goals.

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Step #6: Collect Data - Get Gathering

Once you know what you are reporting and how you are reporting, it's time to start collecting data.

Social media reporting can be a lengthy process, and if you are not a numbers person, it seems pretty exhausting. But data succeeds in telling brilliant stories about the success and impact of your social efforts.

It can give you powerful insights into what your audience desires from your brand. Data also provides you with clarity of thoughts from reports and think of ways to move the needle on the most critical metrics for your business.

When you are creating the initial draft of your social media report, bookmark all your data sources. Create a folder for the analysis page of each social channel you want to analyze in the report.

If you are tracking clicks to your website, ensure you are crawling from only one primary location, like your tracking URL builder or a traffic tracking tool like Google Analytics.

For context, it is an excellent practice to provides past results as well. If you are reporting for a campaign, comparing its data with old campaigns will highlight what you have achieved in this turn. If you create a regular weekly or monthly report, keep track of your previous weeks or months results to see current trends.

The more well-known social media sites, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, TikTok, Snapchat, provide their in-built insights section with analytics, metrics, and the info you need to create a social media report. But there now exists social media management tools that will make your task much more straightforward.

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Step #7: Choose The Right Visuals - Make Your Presentations Good Looking

Once you have a winning structure for your report ready, you are ready to fill out data in your slides and design a report that is appealing to look at and ready to be shared.

It does not necessarily mean that the data you provide can be easily interpreted.

When you look at your post insights or tracking dashboards, they might appear as modern hieroglyphics. But they mean something, right?

Well, let's get straight to the point; a number chart would appear pretty boring to your stakeholders.

While a digital chart would ease some pain by providing data in an organized manner, using visuals is a better way to portray your growth and success metrics.

  • A line chart is good to show the growing number of followers over time.
  • A pie chart is ideal for showing clicks on different pages of your website, like blog pages or case studies.
  • A bar chart would be acceptable to display the number of engagements on each platform.

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Such charts would seem more eye-catching than the usual columns and rows of scattered numbers on a slide. Further, using these charts, it becomes easier to illustrate what you want your stakeholders to take away from the reports.

Visualizations are compelling only when they are seen in the right context. For instance, a 20% growth this month looks great, but it may not be a significant result if last month's growth was 40%.

Here are a few tips to add the proper context to your charts and graphs.

  • Provide appropriate descriptive titles to graphs and charts that describe their purpose. "Monthly Sales Growth in 2021" looks better than just "Sales Graph"
  • Add axes titles
  • Add data labels where required
  • Use tooltips that show information on hovering over a chart element
  • Mention assumptions and caveats as footnotes

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Step #8: Include Learnings & Insights Section - What Do You Plan Next?

There's no point in creating a social media report if you are not analyzing what the report means. This is the best way to filter your social efforts and create more successful social campaigns next time. It will also keep you accountable by setting goals for the next quarter based on your past performance.

At the end of the report, provide a blueprint to describe what should be done and how your efforts should be molded to achieve goals. Your reports are not the end goal of your planning process. In fact, the planning, reporting, and decision-making cycle is the foundation of a sustaining and healthy growing business as it helps to better plan the next steps.

Your social media report will not be complete without including actionable insights. Collecting data is essential for reports but is not enough. Remember, data without insight is worthless.

If you want to ensure that you have done the job well, you need to assign meaning to the data you have collected, which is where insight comes in.

Insights help to drive change and influence future decision-making. As a social media manager, you will have to describe some actionable insights based on your KPI and actions.

Based on the actionable insights that you include, it will become easier to establish the next steps, such as

  • If you want to increase the number of followers on your page, you will have to post more quality content consistently.
  • If you want your social media followers to interact with your content, you should create posts that allow people to share their opinions, such as polls.

...And so on and so forth.

Step #9: Things To Keep In Mind While Reporting

Give your stakeholders a little insight into how you approached and created the report. This helps you make up for questions that might arise and shows that you didn't just throw some numbers in the report haphazardly.

Get to the point and do not fluff anything in the report. Your audience would always be more interested in knowing the necessary parts and what the outcome means for them and the brand as a whole. Miswriting something will degrade the accuracy of your report, thus putting a question mark on your trust.

Not everything that you understand in the report will be understood by your stakeholders. They might not understand why a certain number is good or bad or is essential. Be prepared to break down such concepts in the most elementary way possible.

Sometimes numbers won't fully reflect the results of a campaign. Perhaps you have partnered with a key influencer to promote your campaign. Or maybe a compelling testimonial has arrived through social media that you can use in future marketing campaigns. Include some room in your social media report to account for all such forms of success that match your goals.

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Include a brief analysis and comparison with your main competitors in your reports. In the field of marketing, it is advisable to be aware of your competitors' actions and how they are proceeding with their efforts. Not only will this provide an interesting benchmark to assess your page's performance, but it will also become an inspiration for your content.

Don't hesitate to spice up your report with additional comments for the data you provide. Explain why you think these numbers were acquired and what it actually means for the brand. You may also consider including a brief insight into your future strategy to show that you are constantly learning from previous results.

Step #10: Choose Tools To Prepare Reports - Crush Your Goals Within Clicks

Did you ever feel anxious by reading the above steps and thinking how long it might take for you to create a social media report? Then, this step will make the creating process much easier and help you design the perfect social media report with millimeters of accuracy. Creating a social media report becomes much easier than you think with Statusbrew.

If you want to avoid the hassle of extracting data by logging into every social account, you need a tool like Statusbrew that brings all your social media analytics into one dashboard. It pulls in data from all different social media platforms and displays precisely what you need in a single interactive dashboard.

With Statusbrew, you can refine the look and feel of your automated dashboards up to any granular level. Build custom data visualizations that can be shared with your whole team. Redesign your reports according to your brand by adding your logo.

Stausbrew reporting feature provides a data-backed answer for every question a social media manager can have under the sun.

Paid campaign performance reports, hashtag insights, keyword reports, tag insights, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google My Business reports, audience breakdown. You name it, and Statusbrew will assist you to prepare that report.

Get started by booking a free demo and bring your data story to life with just a few clicks.

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a content writer at Statusbrew. She is fond of writing content that compels people to slow down and look more closely to discover the unknown stories.