A guide to social media analytics and reporting

So, you’ve realized the importance and value of an effective social media campaign. You’ve started posting, but how do you know it’s working?

The answer: social media analytics.

Analytics are critical to getting the most out of social media. The data you gather from your social media platforms helps define and guide your social media strategy. It helps you set goals and recognize whether or not you are reaching them. It helps you understand your audience and how to cater your content to maximize impact. It helps serve as a benchmark against competitors. And it helps prove your social media worth, impact, and budgetary needs. Ultimately, gathering social media analytics enables your company to make smart business decisions.

What Metrics Should You Track?

It depends on your goals! If your goal is:

  • Engagement: You should track likes, comments, retweets, engagement rate, and account mentions.
  • Awareness: You should track impressions and reach.
  • Share of Voice: You should track volume and sentiment.
  • ROI: You should track referrals and conversions.
  • Customer care: You should track response rate and time.

Where Do You Find These Metrics?

Most major social media platforms provide internal analytics for business accounts. The depth and specificity of the analytics vary by platform, but each provides at least some insight into the effectiveness of your current social media campaigns.

We’ve touched on how fundamental social media analytics are to success, so why not rely on a tool completely devoted to analysis? Using native analytics is certainly helpful but analyzing each of your channels in isolation is time-consuming and does not provide the full picture. Social media analytics tools give you a more detailed view of metrics over extended periods of times, across multiple platforms, and between competitors. Check out this list of 12 Social Media Analytics Tools to get you started.

What Do You Do Once You’ve Gathered the Metrics?

Once you’ve gathered the metrics, it’s time to put them to use. Building a social media report is the best way to keep track of the valuable data you’ve collected. It’s more than just finding out what content performed best; it’s about turning that information into valuable insights that can impact your business strategy moving forward.

  • The Daily: Daily reporting is for yourself. It involves tracking as much information as possible that is pertinent to company goals. Often the most notable daily metrics revolve around engagement on the content you are posting that day, but you should also keep note of timing, audience, listening, and competitor metrics. Keeping consistent daily logs of your activity allows you to notice trends over time.
  • The Weekly: Weekly tracking for a supervisor needs to focus on progression towards the company’s goals. These include benchmarks and KPIs that revolve around specific goals within the organization. Reports should include a significant amount of data and summarize social highlights, but they should not be as extensive as reports gathered on a daily basis. Instead, the most important data should be synthesized into results, piecing together goals, the methods for reaching them, and both the good and bad outcomes. You need to show your immediate boss what worked, what didn’t, and opportunities moving forward.
  • The Monthly: Monthly reporting to a management team should be the most concise type of reporting. Let’s face it — management would not be able to make sense of a lot of the information you gather on a daily basis. It is your responsibility to put together a report of graphics and insights that illustrate the most essential data. Reports should include an overview of wins and losses, threats and opportunities, overall performance and trends, and any other recommendations that may affect the overall direction of the company.

Conclusion

Social media is a very valuable tool when used correctly. But the only way to fully know if you’ve used it correctly is by measuring and reporting the results.

Social media reporting is much more than numbers. You need to understand the meaning behind the numbers and communicate with your staff about how you can adjust your strategies moving forward to improve them. At times, keeping logs of these tiny metrics may seem tedious, but the benefits will pay off in the long run. Your social media performance and overall company performance will improve as a result, and the management staff will recognize the value you add to the company.