Social media marketing is all about engaging with your audience and building a community. It’s about delivering the content that people want to see, and the best way to figure that out is through reporting.
Reporting shows you what has been working well and what hasn’t. It’s like removing the blindfold and lighting a torch, to help you see where you should go next.
What is social media reporting?
On every email your company sends, you would expect to see a report that includes how many people have opened the email and if they engaged with it, allowing you to judge how well it performed. Social media reporting is just like that, it shows you how well your social media platforms are doing and what posts have been the most popular.
Why you should report on social media
You may have heard the phrase ‘actionable insights’ thrown around by marketers and social media managers but put simply it basically means using analytics to make decisions on what to do next.
Getting actionable insights is the best way to drive your business forward as you figure out what is and is not working it. It’s all about making progress, rather than sticking to the same thing and hoping for different results.
For instance, if you notice that one of your posts has worked particularly well, developing a social media report can help determine why through trends. You may notice that your social media posts containing medical device statistics perform particularly well, or posts including images perform better than just plain text. When you notice these trends, you can begin to do more of the posts that work and see more success.
Likewise, social media reports can help you to quickly spot problems. For example, if you notice that you have begun to lose followers, you can look at the content you posted when your followers began to drop. If you notice that you started losing followers around the time you started posting twice a day instead of once a day, you could deduce that your followers don’t enjoy two posts a day and then stop to protect your follower count.
What can a social media report tell you
It may seem surprising, but the numbers from your social media can tell you a lot.
Which platforms are working
What are the differences across platforms in terms of how well you’re performing? Is one platform performing a lot better than the others? Is one platform really underperforming? What are you doing differently?
Looking at this data will help to tell you where to really focus your time. If you simply cannot get anywhere with one platform, perhaps it is just because your target audience isn’t there, and maybe it’s better to dedicate your time to somewhere you are going to see more success. If you’re unsure where you should be focusing your social media efforts, you can read our article about the differences between social media platforms.
Which content is best?
Are some of your posts better than others? What makes it different? When you can nail down what your users enjoy seeing from you the most, you can keep creating more of it.
When is the optimal time to post?
In our article on social media strategy, we spoke about the importance of the timings when you post. Developing a report is when you can dive into your posting times and see what times have worked best for you. You can figure out when your target audience is online and ready to engage and get in front of them at just the right time.
What data points should you look for in a social media report?
With so much data available, it’s hard to know which are the key metrics and where to start when it comes to creating a social media report template. Here are some of the things you should concentrate on:
CTR is available to look at when your post includes a link. It is determined by the number of people who followed the link, divided by the number of impressions (which is when at least 50% of your post has appeared on someone’s screen). That result is then multiplied by 100 to give you a percentage.
Click through rate is important to look at as it gives you a good idea of how well your post is performing in terms of moving users through their customer journey, whether it is registration for a webinar, or maybe just a visit to your website.
When you have gathered enough data points, you can analyse which posts have performed well in terms of CTR and the ones that haven’t performed as well. You can compare them and see what it is about the higher CTR posts that are making them successful, can you spot a trend in the visuals? How does your call-to-action statement differ? This is how you create actionable insights to see a continually higher CTR.
Engagement rate looks at how many likes, shares, impressions and comments your posts get to measure the amount of social interaction they have received. Different platforms will calculate engagement rate differently, but one way to do it might be to divide the number of interactions by the number of followers.
Measuring engagement is extremely important to help you understand which of your content your followers are enjoying the most to create more of it. Likewise, if your engagement is down, it may mean that you’re not doing enough to encourage it, you could try ending your posts with a question, and ask users to comment. After a while of doing this, you can check your engagement rates again, to see if it has worked.
The number of shares that your posts are receiving is a particularly good metric to look at and try to improve upon. This is because as your posts are shared, they potentially get in front of new people, and the more people that can see your posts, the better.
Your number of followers is probably the easiest metric to track, and can be quite a useful indicator of how your posts are resonating with your audience and whether or not you’re growing your brand awareness.
If your followers are growing, it can mean that your recent posts are doing exactly as they are supposed to, and creating a connection with your audience, or providing with useful or entertaining information that they want to see more of. Likewise, if your follower count is falling, it can be an indicator that you need to readjust your campaigns to be more like what your audience wants to see.
Using Google Analytics, you can see you how much of your website traffic has come through social media. It is different from CTR as it gives you a good idea of how your social media is performing as a whole in terms of driving traffic towards the website, rather than just how individual posts are performing. You can even see which platforms are driving the most traffic.
There needs to be a goal that is driving your social media campaigns, and if that goals is to increase sales, you will probably want to drive users towards your website. If you find that traffic from social media is not as high as you would like, it could be useful to start creating more content that links back to your website. This will make it easier for followers to navigate there. As well as this, you need to ensure that you have linked to your website somewhere on your social media page.
How often should you create social media reports?
Effective marketing campaigns are reported on at least once per month, which is a good place to start. Although you could report more often, waiting a month between reports allows time for trends to develop. When you have more data, it acts as more evidence for your conclusions and therefore, you can feel more certain about your next actions.
Social media reporting tools
Although a month seems a long time to wait between reports, you’d be surprised at how quickly it comes around. Reporting can be a long process if you sit and do it manually, but luckily, there are many tools to help.
Google’s Data Studio is a particularly good tool as it allows you to draw in data from different platforms, such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, to create one customised dashboard. Although setting up a template may take time, your reporting should be a quick and streamlined once you have set it up. You will only need to take the time to sit down and analyse the data to make conclusions as to what your next steps should be.
Look back to get ahead
If you post on social media without looking at the numbers and reporting on them, you’re basically going in blind. You may think you know what is working well, but actually, when you see the trends that develop you might be surprised. Although reporting may take time, it is definitely worth the effort. It will help you on the journey of getting closer to your goals as you start making data-driven decisions.
About Podymos Podymos is a dedicated medical device marketing agency. We are passionate about sharing relevant knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can visit our services page, or get in contact with us.
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