Now that social media has been around for a few years and brands are starting to accept the need to be present on a variety of platforms, social media professionals are now asked on a daily basis to show the fruits of their labor. While so much of what we do is sentiment-based, you may think that they’re asking for the impossible. But the simple answer to their question: ANALYTICS!
We do a mix of quarterly, annual and semi-annual reports for a variety of our clients. These reports are customized documents that reflect and evaluate the social media ROI that we have for each client and translates that into terms that non-social media pros can understand. And while they (the reports, not our clients) are time consuming, they do help us justify that the money invested monthly in our services are doing things like enhancing brand awareness, increasing household penetration of products and services and impacting overall sales.
While our jobs require us to be on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all day (everyone is jealous, it’s ok), there are times when we have to show that what we’re doing is actually work: it’s strategic, it’s important and it’s necessary. Reports, no matter how frequently or infrequently you do them, aren’t fun. But they are, nonetheless, essential at showing the positive strides you’re making for the brand, but also to account for dollars being devoted to social media marketing.
If you’re not already doing regular reports, you probably should. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it may seem. There are lots of free and easy-to-use metric dashboards out there that can show you the numbers you’re looking for and that your client will want to see. Three of those most important to pay attention to are: audience growth, impressions and interactions. Facebook and Pinterest offer internal dashboards for businesses and brands. For Twitter and Pinterest analytics, there are great resources such as Sprout Social and TweetDeck that provide basic metrics. However, there are great web-based services that are costly, but give you in-depth metrics analyses and reports.
Who knows — maybe your report is an indication that you need to change your strategy or maybe it’s telling you that what you’re doing is AMAZING (and keep doing it). Either way, a report is a great way to communicate that growth to your clients, show them where their money is going, and if things are going well, give yourself a pat on the back.