So far in this Spry series, we’ve discussed how to set goals for your social media marketing, matching your metrics to your goals, and where to find the social media analytics that you want to monitor. As the final piece of the analytics puzzle, we need to discuss reporting on your social media data.
There are a couple different ways to approach your reporting: ready-made “cookie cutter” reports which are populated and built by social media scheduler tools and then there are customized reports which are usually built using the raw data pulled from your social media platforms.
Pros and Cons of Using Reports From a Social Media Scheduler Tool
Most of the currently available social media scheduling tools offer a reporting feature built into their tools. This will generally pull data from their tool and insert it into a report for the user.
- Ease of use and a quick turn-around
- Sometimes you can “customize” the reports by uploading a logo for branding purposes
- Consistency of the metrics being reported
- Can be a good “quick look” or overview of how things are going
- Do you trust the numbers?
- Have you cross-checked the numbers the tool offers up against the raw data?
- Do you know exactly how the tool is defining the various metrics?
- Less control over what is or is not included in your reports
Pros and Cons of Building Custom Reports Using Your Social Media Platform’s Raw Data
If you’re unhappy with the ready-made reports offered by your scheduling tool, or you just want a deeper understanding of your data, many of us who manage social media accounts will prefer to build out a fully custom analytics report using the raw data pulled from the insights or analytics section of the social platform itself.
- Fully customizable to include or omit whichever data points you decide are appropriate
- Trustworthy data
- Consistent definitions
- Vastly more time-consuming to create
- You will need to use a secondary tool to “pretty up” the data, which is usually exported from the social media platform in the form of a spreadsheet
What Metrics Should Your Social Media Analytics Report Include?
To answer this, refer back to what your goals are for your social media marketing. Report on the metrics that make sense for tracking your goals.
Additionally, we would recommend that you include your overview data points from your previous report for quick reference on how your content is performing. Watch your trends and how your audience responds.
How Often Should You Report Back On Your Data?
There’s no definitive answer on how often you should report. Really, it boils down to how often does it make sense to report? If you’re doing work for a client and reporting to them, how often do they want reports? Be sure they’re paying for your time building and discussing those reports.
Here at Spry, we generally report on our progress every month, or every 3 months. You do not want to report too frequently, or you could miss the bigger patterns developing within your data. And, of course, if you do not report frequently enough, you can miss out on some opportunity to improve.
But, on the other hand, there’s always opportunity to improve from precisely where you are right now. So get out there and get to work!