In marketing, not just social media marketing, measure of your success is driven by how well your measure your own performance. And how well you present it to your client or your boss.
Working as a social media analyst for over four years, I have seen myself that delivering results and showing results are not one and the same thing. Even if the needle is moving in the favorable direction, you need to convey that to your client in a way which is simple and understandable.
To do so well, you need to track your data well. Your client or your boss is not going to believe your words. You need to show numbers. And only and only the data can prove your point.
I try to share some insights in this article about how I reported social media performance to my clients.
What was the objective?
Even before you start reporting, you need to ask yourself, “What is it that I am trying to achieve?” Many marketers are just trying to make their social media look aesthetically good which possibly will not have much impact on your business metrics.
If you’re a social media marketer who is reading this, ask your client or your boss what exactly she wants to achieve. Once you have agreed on it, turn that objective into a SMART objective–a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objective.
In practice, “to increase traffic” is not a good objective. It should look like this: To increase social media engagement by 20% in the next three months. It’s specific (increase of 20%). You can measure it (using social media analytics tool). Achievable? Indeed. It’s relevant for your business as it will have direct impact on your lead generation and revenues. And it’s time bound (within three months).
Choose your KPIs
Once you have decided the objective, you need to decide which metrics will be the best ones to measure this performance.
Carrying the above example here, you can track engagement (likes, favorites, retweets, comments, and shares) directly from your social media channels or your social media analytics tool.
We recommend a more comprehensive approach when choosing KPIs.
Engagement is a wide metric. It includes applause (likes and favorites), conversation (comments and replies), and amplification (shares and retweets). Plus, engagement itself is a parameter which depends on total followers, reach, and impressions.
So when tracking success, in this example, if you’re only tracking engagement, you are not doing justice to your social media efforts. That’s why we recommend to divide your KPIs into three parts: primary KPIs, secondary KPIs, and influencing KPIs.
Primary KPis are the metrics which determine the success of your social media campaign.
In our current examples, total engagement is the primary KPI.
Secondary KPIs are the metrics which are a part of primary KPis and give more insights into the objective.
In this case, secondary metrics will be applause, conversation, and amplification. This gives a breakdown of what kind of engagement was more dominant during the social media campaign.
Influencing KPIs are those metrics which influence the outcome of your primary and secondary KPIs. If your campaign was successful or your goals were not achieved, you can take a look at your influencing KPIs to find the reason.
There are so many metrics associated with social performance. You need to understand all key social media kpis that you can use while reporting.
Choose a reporting format that suits you
You need to understand what kind of social campaign you’re doing. Is it relevant to track data daily, weekly, or monthly? Or how frequently does your client want to see the reporting done?
You cannot just show numbers. That might look good but may make it difficult for your client to understand. We recommend that you show visuals to your clients. So when you have chosen the metrics you will track to measure performance, you need to choose the graphs that will make a good representation of your data.
Also list the the actionable insights you want to look at. Each graph and data point must give an actionable insight. This will help you improve your social performance by taking actual steps
Choose business metrics to include
You can also track some business related metrics. This might not be directly aligned with your social media objective, but this will help you acquire more data points. And the more data points you have, the better strategy you can create next time.
Map the format in Excel
Now you can map this format in Excel. There are various social media analytics template already available. This one from Hootsuite can help you track basic metrics. This one from Smartsheet is more interactive and detailed.
Here’s the one I used for social media reporting to my clients.
If you know basic how Excel works, you can create a social media reporting in Excel easily. Or you can use Google Data Studio to create real-time interactive graphs.
Mention next action steps
Data don’t mean anything to the client as long as you don’t show the next steps. And certainly, if it’s not working out, you cannot ask for suggestions from your client. You need to offer solutions.
Use your reporting sheet to write down the key areas that needs improvement. And mention the steps you will be taking to improve the low lying areas.
With all these information, there is no client which will not understand your perspective. If you have any questions or queries about the reporting, you can write down in the comments and I will be happy to share it with you. You can even contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to design a social media reporting template.