Reporting on Social Media Performance? Develop the Right Strategy

@Sabrina | Measurement & Analytics

Report with attribution.Reporting performance is relative to the goals you are setting.  Having a frame of reference is crucial in order to know what is defined as good performance, poor performance — and with the right indicators, you’ll know why. Identifying the key drivers of success or failures of your social programs (i.e. social accounts, events targeted with social media assets, new social applications, and/or integrated contests) ultimately will allow you to become more adaptive to trends and capitalize on the social results.

Set A Reporting Plan

Identifying a reporting plan can be difficult, but it essentially comes down to understanding the type of results you want to demonstrate. Of course the involved parties (i.e. executive team members) are looking for demonstrable results to fund future programs and budgets. A brand’s reputation is ultimately at stake and providing data and analysis that proves there is a relationship should be tied into the overarching goals. Goals relate to your mission and provide insight into emerging trends and the tactics used to capitalize, as the chart illustrates below.

Identify the Appropriate Reporting Tools

Social media reporting tools come in many different ‘shapes and sizes.’ Depending on whether or not they are already integrated with your marketing and customer service programs the extent of accessible data may be at first limited. However, once the right tools are identified or set in place to suit specific needs, dissecting and working through raw data becomes less daunting and provides the right foundation for building historical analyses.

If required to implement a new reporting method for all things social/campaign related – the initial research stage of identifying reporting tools is crucial. Comparing available social media tools much like any purchasing decisions – comes down to basic needs and budget. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a social tool with too many features and gears you may not need for a hefty price. If it helps, write down exactly what your goals are and main KPIs. Then, go through your list and compare. If you have access to tools already used by supporting teams, find out what the gaps are, and work through the areas you need to build on.

Gather Results & Customize Formatting

Once you’ve got your hands on the data, it’s time to compile and structure it in a fashion that is easily understandable and matches with other departmental programs.  Start with top-level KPIs, and then work through identifiable trends for the defined time period. What stands out? Where does the data peak? What influenced one area but not another?  From the tools you have access to or included as part of your process, likewise determine if the provided ‘built-in’ charts, graphs and representations of data are useful.

After you have a good grasp on the data and how it represents you goals and strategies, work on crafting a visual presentation of the results. As noted in the point above, if the charts and data exports from your social tools fit your requirements, utilize them with how your goals match up. Ensure that you can customize your setup and overall formatting. If working from scratch with gathered raw data pulled in using the accounts you’ve applied, you have the flexibility to present with your creative eye that matches the required branding. The main point with each approach to keep in mind is to make sure that you are able to provide a clear and simple analysis. Less is more here.

Develop Supporting Analysis

As you finish your presentation of the final results, the final step involves developing a supporting analysis that answers the question – “What Happened?,” captures influential variables and resulting factors, and explains successes and downfalls with added insight into future programs. Remember to focus your analysis on the audience you are presenting to (digital, customer service, marketing, etc.) and tailor key areas to specific items that they are/may be looking to observe and utilize with their individual programs and goals.

Results with meaningful impact can substantiate the need for initiatives in the future. Ultimately, knowing how to measure, analyze and report on data effectively adds value and provides benefits to collaboration efforts amongst different teams.

Additions & Feedback

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