Whether you are a freelancer, the owner of a company or a social media manager working for an agency, at some point you will have to face the necessity of evaluate a set of data that summarizes the strategic and editorial activities implemented for communication on social networks.
Data analysis is a necessary and fundamental activity and it’s often very complex, especially for the work of a social media manager (or similar figures such as the analysts if you work in a very structured agency): the evaluation of numerical data and their interpretation provides, in fact, the “thermometer” of the situation, i.e. the measure which allows you to understand if what you’ve been implementing on your customers’ social networks (or on your business’ social networks) has had a positive outcome.
But how is a good report structured? Which data should we get analyzed? Which statistics should we enter and which ones should we exclude?
Below is our guide in a few simple steps.
Let’s start assuming that there is no "standardized" and optical report that can satisfy all customers.
Some will only be interested in certain data, while others will find it completely irrelevant.
The first phase, i.e. the definition of the objectives, is really important because it delimits the perimeter of your analysis and makes it meaningful in the eyes of the client you are asked to provide it to.
What does your client do? With which goals did he address to you (boosting interactions, increasing brand awareness, lead generation, conversions)?
Find the main focus of your analysis and split it in different points, because among the fundamental aspects of a report what we find in the first place is relevance.
The second key aspect to create a good social media report is to establish the correct time window that delimits the performance analysis. You may be an expert social media manager and have agreed regular reporting dates with your client (weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, just to give some concrete examples!); or you may find yourself in the situation in which your customer has carried out special activities (events, ad hoc collaborations with influencers) in addition to the activities that you already follow for him.
So, ask yourself what is the correct analysis period to find the right data as well as if there is a similar comparison time window to make any possible comparisons with similar activities carried out in the past.
As we explained in step one, it is very important to focus on data that is relevant to the client and the activity for which you have been asked to provide a report. It is correct to include information to support the activity you are carrying out, even with generic but relevant data concerning the pages. Don't forget, however, that your goal is to focus on numbers that are most important to your customer’s relevance performance. Assuming a client has skimmed through all the social media management books or 'speaks' the same language as us when it comes to ROI, engagement and coverage is wrong: it is up to you to prove the validity of your work in simple, usable and relevant terms.
Once you figure out which data are most interesting, it's time to look for them.
Don't worry, you are not alone! TThe main social networks provide all page-related metrics in-app or via desktop. Regarding the Facebook group, you can rely on the provided Insights which will return to you all the necessary data. Furthermore, there are many tools (just to cite a few examples: Iconosquare, Ninjalitics, Fanpage Karma, Talkwalker) that return you aggregated and even more complex data, allowing you to create time windows of data comparisons with only one click.
Once you have identified the main metrics, you need to put them in a specific document. You can share it in pdf, using Keynote or PowerPoint as a tool to set it up; if you work in an agency, you probably have a graphic designer who will have created a standard template for you and your colleagues that allows you to replicate pages while maintaining catchy and non-boring graphics. The mistake not to be made is to fill the slides with texts that your customers will not read or that, in the long run, will turn out to be difficult to scroll and interpret. Present your document by organizing it in bullet points, graphic expedients and coloured icons that make it as user-friendly and less boring as possible.
The correct organization of numbered slides for each topic will be very useful in order to maintain the rhythm of the report and its fruition. We recommend that you conclude your document, especially if it is full of numbers and comparisons between data, with some "Takeaways": some sort of short pills that describe the progress of the business in short and very concise points. It is a good idea for the report to be accompanied by an email written specifically for your client, summarizing the main points that emerged during the analysis.
Ultimately, a report is rated interesting when it is clearly explained, concise but at the same exaustive and relevant: keep these main pillars in mind to get the point and... Good luck!