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Most social marketers are at their best plugged into social networks, sharing amazing content, writing fantastic headlines, engaging audiences and finding new ways to automate simple tasks. But they’re not always fantastic at simplifying the results of their work, or conveying its benefits to bosses or clients. And unfortunately, it can be wildly difficult to find out what the best way to condense all of that activity is!

If you want to be able to explain your progress with your social media marketing, you need to be able to condense information readily, hand-pick statistics and analytics relevant to your goals, and provide insights which communicate a cohesive story about your products. And there are even plenty of social media reporting and analytics tools to help you!

So we’ve put together an easy how-to guide on how to create reports worthy of sharing with clients, bosses, and coworkers which can simplify information and make the benefits of your work easier to understand for everyone.

Define The Stats Which Matter

What data should you put on the report? With luck, all of your campaigns are attached to a single goal: like increasing followers and brand awareness, or increasing traffic to a website. Or, it could be that someone has requested a report measuring ROI. In all of these cases, the goal of the campaign (or the report) will inform you on what statistics and analytics to include. In general, the most useful things to look out for are:

  • REACH.  Reach is the number of people who are likely to be aware of your social media efforts online.  It includes followers and unique advertising impressions.
  • CLICKS.  How many people are clicking on your posts to go to your website.
  • COST.  The cost of advertising and man hours in your social media marketing.
  • ENGAGEMENT.  The number of shares or comments! Ideally, you should be able to parse out new numbers for all the different kinds of engagement.

Determine Your Time frame

Depending on how frequently the report is given, you should break your data down into different time frames so that it’s easier to compare data in smaller segments and more readily identify strategies which work or ones which don’t. Usually, this will be either weekly, monthly, quarterly, or by campaign (from start to finish). Always pick a timeline which provides actionable information, but won’t cause the reader to get bogged down by too much information.

Organizing Your Graphs

So you’ve defined your key metrics and your time scale! And now it’s time to decide how to organize your information. If you’re wanting to compare trends or demonstrate ROI, it’s usually better to organize sections by time frame, including data for all relevant metrics in that time frame. If your report is about meeting specific goals, it’s usually better to organize by metric and, within that metric, show and describe different trends over time.

Conclusion

It can be hard to put together comprehensive reports which are easy to follow, convey information easily and quickly, and demonstrate the effects of your work in an easy fashion. But if you follow a simple set of steps when creating your report, it can definitely be easier than you expect! Organize your key statistics, and determine how you want to organize your information. Showing a clear line of logic rather than simply pasting many graphs can make the information easier to digest. Make certain that every graph has a description, and that at the end of each segment of your report, you write a paragraph summarizing the data holistically.

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