Making the Grade: Social Media Reporting To Impress Your Bosses
Confession time: When I first landed my job as a college social media and web content coordinator (actual title), I had zero idea how to track our social media efforts. I distinctly remember sitting there, blankly staring at the computer not only wondering if what I was reporting on was accurate, but also how I would confidently present these social media reports to the administration. “Please don’t ask me the difference between impressions and reach,” I thought.
Thankfully, I worked with a team of people who were supportive and provided ample time to get it right. And get it right, I did, though it took a lot longer than I would have liked. Social media reporting is hands down my favorite part of developing digital strategies now. Here’s my approach:
Decide when to report – I typically pull reports weekly, but that’s mostly because I like the satisfaction of seeing what worked and what didn’t while it’s still fresh in my mind. For most purposes, monthly social media reporting is fine. Before long, you’ll have the process down to a science and can quickly fill in the data using the template we’ve included. Common timetables for social media reporting include:
- Pre and Post Campaigns
Decide what matters
Gaining followers is a big measure of success, but it’s not the only one. I’m a firm believer in tracking engagements, too. I want to constantly be tweaking my content to make sure the people who follow my pages are interested in what I’m sharing. Reach and impressions are a little out of my control, thanks to social algorithms, so I compare my engagement for every post with industry averages. You don’t have to list every post one-by one, instead, pull only the five highest-performing and lowest-performing posts. To calculate your engagement, simply divide the reactions (likes, shares, comments, clicks) by the number of people your content was served to and multiply it by 100.
For social media reporting, you’ll also want to include:
- Website conversions (Google Analytics)
- Follower growth
- Campaign details
- Audience demographics
- Competitive analysis (Detailed below)
Size up the competition
I always include a look at competitors’ pages in my reports. It takes a little more time and research, but there’s no better feeling than saying “we easily outperformed X this week” to your boss. You can’t effectively calculate engagement because you’re not privy to their post reach, but setting up Pages to Watch on Facebook will make them easy to keep tabs on. From there, you can see how many times they posted, their average engagement and their follower counts. I like to place these stats in a table to keep things easy to ready and organized for social media reporting. The chart below is tailored to Facebook, but it can easily be adapted to other platforms.
Tools of the trade
By now, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this information. Thankfully, it’s 2017 and there are tons of (mostly) free resources that can make social media reporting a breeze. Here’s what I have handy at all times:
- Percentages Calculator for engagement
- Google Analytics
- Tailwind for Instagram and Pinterest reporting
- Keyhole for hashtag tracking
- LikeAlyzer for metrics and context
- HootSuite and Buffer for blogs and resources
- Canva for on-the-go graphics
Now that we know how reports should be structured, I’d like to point what you’re probably thinking- “There are plenty of platforms that will spit out reports for me.” You’re correct. Hubspot, Hootsuite, Buffer and Spriklr are all incredible platforms to have. However, some marketing departments can’t afford all of the bells and whistles. There’s also a tremendous amount of growing and professional development that happens when you’re diving deeply into every aspect of your role as a social media manager.
Updated: Oct 30, 2020