It’s almost impossible to overstate the complexity behind today’s social media marketing. Even a seemingly simple interaction — liking a post on Facebook, for instance — can generate millions of connections across multiple platforms. With the right analytics software, it’s possible to make sense of this avalanche of data. That’s good news for social media marketers. But today’s marketers now find themselves facing a new challenge: Creating social media analytics reports that their bosses can easily understand.
Here are five important questions to consider when creating your social media analytics reports.
- Who is this report for?
In building a social media analytics report, it’s important to consider the audience. A report aimed at the company’s CEO and other top executives, for instance, will typically feature only those KPIs that are the most relevant for high-level business and strategic decisions. This report might include overall growth data, audience and demographic insights, and comparisons to competitors.
By contrast, a report intended for the senior marketing staff will likely have a greater focus on a broader range of trends. The report might include a platform-by-platform breakdown of engagement data, brand keyword insights, and customer sentiment analysis. By catering your reports to your intended audience, you can ensure that the most relevant details are communicated clearly and efficiently.
- What does this report actually say?
Without proper context, even the most compelling data can lose its impact. A well-designed social media report should do more than simply present a set of facts and figures. It should also tell a story. This isn’t as difficult to accomplish as you might think.
Consider the report from the perspective of your reader. What’s the biggest takeaway you want them to have from this report? If brand mentions are up by 33%, how far into the report will they have to go to understand why?
- Is it understandable?
Even the most experienced marketers can struggle to keep up with the ever-growing glossary of social media marketing jargon. While another social media marketer can read a statement like “The latest A-B of our CTAs for the new PPC shows a 15% CTR increase” without blinking, not everyone on your team will be able to instantly translate that into English. The more comprehensible your reports are, the more useful they become.
This isn’t to say that you should “dumb down” your reporting, particularly in sections where a high degree of detail is essential. That said, a single sentence defining a specific metric or clarifying a technical term can go a long way toward helping the reader understand what the report is trying to communicate. Clarity is good, particularly for rushed executives who don’t have time to dig into obscure metrics or terminology.
- Is the information relevant and well organized?
Here’s a thought exercise: You’re the newly hired CMO of mid-sized SaaS company. Your first order of business is to find out what the company’s overall social media situation is. On Monday, you ask the staff to create a two-page social media analytics report for you. When you come in on Tuesday morning, that report is on your desk.
What information is on the first page? What’s on the second? What metrics would you expect to be given priority? What metrics would you not expect to see at all on a two-page report? After reading this two-page report, would you have all the information you need to create an outline for a social media strategy?
- Does it tell the whole story?
Without the right context to support it, any kind of data can be misleading. It might be impressive to create a report that shows a 25% increase in Instagram followers, for instance, as it suggests that your social media efforts are creating exceptional results. If you only had 20 followers to tart with, however, that 25% percent increase to 25 starts to look a little deceptive. If that 25% increase happened because your brand got an unsolicited shout-out from a major Instagram influencer, that’s also important context to include.
The goal of a social media analytics report is to deliver the highest-quality information possible to the target audience. As tempting as it can be to try to put a positive spin on negative trends, or to try and bury bad news in the footnotes, this is always a bad idea. These reports are intended to inform tough decisions, and that means telling the full story whenever possible.
Creating great social media analytics reports is much easier when you have the right tools. Today’s cutting-edge social media monitoring software can generate highly insightful, visually engaging, and intuitive reports in just a few clicks. If you’re serious about your social media, it’s worth learning more about today’s best social media reporting and analysis solutions.