A succinct guide to what you should include in social media reports
Naomi Ross from Sydney Design Social joins me to provide a succinct overview of the elements you should include in social media reports. Naomi also discusses the value of reviewing historical data and trends, the point at which your results should inform a strategy review, plus why you should never gloss over unsatisfactory results in a report.
Here is a summary of the topics discussed within this podcast episode.
“Never just copy and paste insights or analytical data into a report. You need to interpret, analyse and understand that information, so you can adapt your strategy to take it into consideration"
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more about social media reporting. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF CREATING MONTHLY SOCIAL MEDIA REPORTS?
Regularly reporting allows you to:
track your results against the KPIs/goals
predict and leverage trends
understand what content does/doesn't create sufficient engagement
refine your strategy
WHAT ELEMENTS SHOULD BE INCLUDED WITHIN A REPORT?
Overview: Recap on the successes of the previous month/period of activity, highlight the opportunities of the coming month/s, discuss any challenges or observations and clarify the goals and focuses of the next period. This section should be at the top of your report but is usually the last element you complete.
Channel insights: Provide detailed analytics for the channels you are responsible for. For example, your Facebook insights may include the number of total fans as well as new fans from the last period, the number of page impressions and engaged users, the engagement rate, top posts by impression as well as a recap of paid advertising activity versus organic. For Instagram, it may include the total number of followers and comments, the number of likes, year-on-year comparison, etc. You want to be taking note of each individual post's performance, as well as how that post compares to the other posts that month, and in the context of the broader campaign.
Website Interaction: If you have access to Google Analytics for your brand's website, it is helpful to correlate the engagement of posts with relevant website activity. For example, if one of your goals for that month was to increase the awareness of a new menu and you're directing people through to the new menu on the website, you'd want to include the analytics for the menu page on the website, to clarify how many people were driven to that page during the period and how that compares to previous periods.
Results benchmark: How are your results to date, or for that period, tracking against the goals or KPIs you need to achieve?
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MONITOR TRENDS?
By reviewing historical trends, you can identify what elements have impacted your results previously, positively and negatively, and adapt your strategy to be mindful of these
They provide you with a benchmark of what you can expect in a similar circumstance
You can leverage opportunities that trends present
SHOULD I DRAW ATTENTION TO ANY SPIKES OR DIPS?
Absolutely. You should be explaining any obvious or unusual fluctuations and not glossing over them. Provide context and an explanation as to why they have occurred or may have occurred. If it's a one-off and you can't identify any obvious cause, then let your manager/client know you're aware of it and you will monitor to see if continues. It's important you display initiative in understanding why something as occurred and how you apply any learnings to future strategies.
WHERE CAN I ACCESS THE ANALYTICS/INSIGHTS TO CREATE REPORTS?
The native channels themselves offer comprehensive insights so if you're just managing one account, this is the most cost-effective and reliable source. Facebook Insights can be accessed from the page itself as well as Facebook Creator Studio and Instagram can be accessed via the app or Facebook Creator Studio. Most third-party social media management platforms also have reporting capabilities of varying detail and reliability.
When it comes to creating the reports, look at developing a template which you can utilise each month in a program of your choice such as Powerpoint, Canva, Word or Excel. Review the insights and insert into your template. Alternatively, you can use the document created by your social media management program but it may not necessarily display information in a manner that is conducive to your needs or be as aesthetically pleasing as you'd like.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU NOTICE DIPS OR TRENDS THAT ARE NOT IN LINE WITH YOUR GOALS?
If your reports display a consistent dip and you cannot identify an obvious reason for it, chances are it relates to your content and the fact it's not connecting with your audience.
Review your copy, imagery and hashtags, as well as your paid strategy. Take note of previous post with high engagement and see if you can identify a trend that led to the strong engagement and apply that knowledge to future posts. Also review the general quality of your imagery. Perhaps your imagery was shot six months ago and has very wintery tones and you're now in the middle of summer so those images now no longer resonate with your audience.
Keep a close eye on your competitors social media accounts and do a quick review of how they're tracking. If you see their engagement has also been affected, maybe it's a broader issuer. Or, if they seem to be doing very well and you're not, analyse their copy, images and hashtags and identify how it's different or more compelling than yours. Leverage those insights to make tweaks to your strategy, where relevant.
If you would like more tips on managing social media, you'll find additional episodes here.