Raquel Trinidad, Channel Enablement Manager, Sysomos
If you do any kind of social media marketing, you can’t overlook the importance of creating reports that summarize your results. Reports help you, your boss or your client understand the benefits of your efforts. They also point out the strengths and weaknesses of your campaigns and point you in the right direction, helping you plan more effective strategies in the future.
Many people, however, find the very prospect of social media reporting a little frightening. What exactly should go into your reports? How do you organize your data into a format that’s easy to understand? Let’s look at why reporting is such an essential aspect of social media marketing and why it doesn’t have to scare you.
What You Need to Know About Your Social Media Campaigns
Some reports are written for appearances, to show someone that you’ve been keeping busy. A good social media report, however, contains truly valuable information. Social media is all about stats and information. Reports help make this information understandable. Some of the basic data that every business needs to be familiar with, such as:
- Views. You want to know how many people read, watched or listened to your content.
- Shares. What kind of content are your followers most likely to share?
- Lead generation. What are the most effective approaches for generating more leads?
- Sales. For websites that sell products, what type of content leads to sales?
- CAC. For advertising campaigns, you have to know the cost for acquiring each customer.
This type of information is essential, but it’s not that hard to acquire. Using a variety of free and cheap tools, you can find out a great deal about your basic stats and visitors. Facebook and Twitter provide many helpful insights and you can use Google Analytics as well. To get the most out of social media reporting, however, you have to dig deeper.
To gain truly valuable insights, you have to know what people are discussing on social media. You want to know what your customers, potential customers, competition and anyone who’s involved with your industry are saying. This includes things like keywords, popular memes and videos, brand mentions and discussions of popular culture events such as music, movies, sports and festivals. This type of information, when delivered in reports, allows you to make better business decisions.
Benefits of Social Media Reports
Informative reports provide many benefits to your business.
- Helps you focus your future social media efforts. By analyzing your current stats and getting insights into social media conversations around the world, you can make more informed decisions about how to use social media. For example, which social networks does your audience use most frequently?
- Guides your decisions about product offerings. The better you understand your audience, the better you can serve their needs. Social media reports can provide you with information about what your customers and prospects need and want. Keeping track of trending topics within your industry, for example, can give you ideas for new products and services.
- Keep up with conversations about your brand. It’s essential to know what people are saying about you on social media, whether it’s positive or negative. If you wait too long to respond, it can do permanent damage to your reputation. Effective reporting lets you stay on top of any conversations about your brand, allowing you to take appropriate actions in a timely manner. For example, you can defuse many complaints and negative comments by reaching out to the persona and addressing the issue.
- Understanding your competition. Reports can also provide you with crucial insights into your competition. You want to know what people are saying about your competitors, good or bad. You can learn from successful moves and avoid mistakes made by other businesses in your industry.
How to Make Social Media Reporting Less Painful
While there are many benefits to having detailed reports on social media data, the whole process can be complicated and time-consuming. It requires you to pull data from numerous sources, identify what is relevant and organize it in a format that’s easy to understand. A good report isn’t only informative, it makes complex information simple. Whether it’s for you, your business partners, your boss or your clients, creating a truly helpful report takes time and effort.
This is why the best solution is to find a company that can collect and deliver this information to you. It saves you a great deal of time to have a service that specializes in social media services to create reports on your behalf. This makes it simpler for you to understand the data. If you have to turn the reports over to someone else, it lets you present a professional and helpful report without having to spend hours compiling it.
Every business has particular needs, so you really want someone who can create customized reports for you. There’s no point in hiring someone who is simply going to feed you stats you could find yourself in a few minutes.
Getting the Most Out of Social Media Reporting
Reports are the product of detailed research and analytics on social media. There are a few ways to acquire the reports you need. You can set aside a certain amount of time to compile information yourself. This may require you to do extensive research and to learn a great deal about the workings of social media sites. You can hire a social media manager who can do this on your behalf. Or you can find a reputable service that will create customized reports for you as you need them.
However you choose to go about it, social media reporting is an unavoidable aspect of running a modern business. Rather than viewing it as something undesirable or scary, you should look at it as an opportunity to leverage the powers of social media for your own benefit.