With so much consumer and market data available on social media, the modern brand has a unique opportunity to learn about its target customer. And knowing how to create a social media analytics report is an important part of this process!
To achieve its goals, the organization must not only invest in robust tools for information gathering but also figure out how to keep everyone on the same page. Social media analytics reports are efficient for updating different departments and creating a cohesive social media strategy.
What Is a Social Media Analytics Report?
A social media analytics report gives an account of a brand’s social media performance in an organized, succinct manner. It is designed as a compilation of relevant information that can be used by the stakeholders to track progress, develop new strategies, and improve decision-making.
Social media analytics reports are created by the marketing department of the organization or external social media marketing companies. The audience includes the social media marketing team, relevant department managers, and top executives of the company.
In addition to the automatic reporting features built into most social media marketing tools, a human touch is needed to achieve the level of detail required without overwhelming the audience with information.
Additionally, the format of the report may vary depending on the mode of presentation: Live, slideshow, shareable document, etc.
And, of course, it’s important to know what to include in the report and how to put the information together for effective presentation––and we’ll get to that next!
What Should Be Included in a Social Media Analytics Report?
The contents of social media analytics reports may vary primarily because of the audience. If you are showing a busy executive how that one aspect of the multi-faceted organization is doing, you may want to keep it brief and skip to the bottom line – what’s the ROI?
On the other hand, if you are working with the product development team trying to sharpen the details on product features, target customers, and release date, you may include information on SOV, brand passion, and sentiment.
If you are the head of the social media marketing department charging up your team for the coming quarter, you will need to go in even deeper.
The following is an overview of what to include in your social media analytics reports. You can use it to tailor your reports to specific audiences.
1. Total Return On Investment
The return on investment (ROI) is the leading factor that helps determine how effectively the organization’s resources have been used in social media marketing. Even busy executives with little time to spare will want to see this.
Surprisingly, according to Statista, more than a third of marketers find it difficult to measure their social media ROI.
If you’re unsure, this is the formula:
Social ROI % = [(Total Revenue – Total Investment)/Total Investment] x 100
However, as a marketer, remember that there are other factors that contribute to the ROI that should be included in social media analytics reports. (And this is probably why many can’t arrive at a definite figure.)
In particular, a conversion is an objective metric and a strong indicator of performance. Conversions can be measured by sales made, or you may measure your conversions by values which don’t necessarily translate into hard cash, and may be considered more on the subjective side. But tracked over time, they tell a powerful ROI story that cannot be denied.
Examples include subscribers to the email list, attendees to a webinar, respondents in a study, earned media, etc.
ROI is more than simply a dollar amount. Source
Other metrics that you can include as part of ROI include the email open rate, click-through rate, and website visits.
2. Share of Voice
Share of voice (SOV) is one of the most important metrics in branding. It is a way to determine brand awareness and visibility on social media by analyzing the share of conversation among the different brands in the vertical.
Modern social listening tools can track all the conversations and analyze them to calculate your brand’s SOV. They can, for instance, calculate your SOV based on mentions of the brand or products and services relative to competitors.
This can be used to know the brand position in the market. Tracked over a given period, it can show you whether your brand is getting stronger or weaker. Thus, the report can dive into other factors affecting SOV such as trends and fads, product launches, crises, etc.
Here is an example of how Rival IQ helps brands determine SOV.
SOV helps gauge brand health. Source
For hashtags and keywords, your social media listening tool will use the same criteria as with mentions. Audience engagement can be harder to track as it comes in different ways. Is a Like the same as a Comment? How does a Share compare? On top of that, how do competitors compare on these parameters?
To make it easier, you can break it down to specific pieces of content rather than the whole campaign. Say, your most recent post performance compared to competitors’ recent posts.
Reach and impressions are great for catching the chunk of the audience that sees but doesn’t engage with the content. Social media platforms typically have analytics tools that provide data on content reach and impressions as well.
3. Sentiment analysis
Sentiment analysis is a level deeper than SOV. Beyond reporting on the share of voice, you also want to show whether the conversation is positive, negative, or neutral. It helps put in perspective the brand reputation and customer expectations.
Sentiment analysis tools use natural language processing (NLP), an AI-backed technique that breaks down natural speech to reveal how consumers feel about a particular brand or product. Some tools can reveal specific emotions and feelings rather than the simple polarity of the sentiment.
Other metrics for sentiment analysis include Passion Intensity, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
Passion Intensity is a measure of how strongly the consumers feel the emotions they have towards the brand. In NetBase Quid®, a brand passion index also includes the conversation volume for scale.
The NPS is a measure of customer satisfaction that is based on how likely they are to recommend the brand. It is calculated by finding the difference between brand promoters and detractors i.e. those who would recommend against those who wouldn’t.
The CSAT is another gauge for customer satisfaction. However, while NPS measures a customer’s enthusiasm about the brand, CSAT is focused on recent purchases. It is calculated as a percentage of the positive responses against all responses.
4. Competitor analysis
A competitor analysis reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. This information can be used to find opportunities in the market, protect your brand from threats, and generally improve the social media marketing strategy.
Through description and visualization, the report should make it clear who your competitors are. Use pictorials, graphs, charts, color schemes, and other elements to illustrate your position relative to the competition.
Depending on the audience, you can provide more detail on each competitor. Already, at this stage you have some competitive intel from calculating SOV. You can do what you did for your own brand to determine sentiment, passion, and customer satisfaction.
Similarly, find out what the industry averages are and compare to your performance and that of your competitors. By comparing your brand to the industry and competition, you get a better picture of where you stand than if you only went by your results.
Rival IQ is the top tool when it comes to social media competitive intelligence. It is equipped with a powerful dashboard with the ability to generate automatic, customizable, and exportable reports. Here is a screen grab of the dashboard:
Compare your social media performance to understand your position in the market. Source
Other competitive factors to include in social media analytics reports include the tools used, influencers contracted, and partnerships with other brands.
You’re not just going to call up the marketing manager of a competing brand and ask to see a list of the technologies they are using. Luckily, when technology runs, it leaves footprints that can be tracked using tools such as Datanyze, SimilarTech, and DataFox.
NetBase Quid® is great at scanning the market for both new technologies and partnerships occurring in the market. Additionally, it will help you discover the influencers promoting your competition. You can use the intel to lure them on your side or find their more powerful peers.
5. Executive Summary
Your report should have an executive summary that distills all the information into the main points. This is both for the sake of those who don’t have time to go through the entire report and also those who do but would like to know what to expect.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for writing the executive summary. You can start by describing the report and providing context. Is it a new report, a follow-up, or an impromptu?
Then highlight the key points. What is the social media marketing ROI for the period? How is the brand being discussed alongside others in the market? How do customers feel about the organization?
Finally, provide a conclusion which may include recommendations on what needs to be done.
You can have the executive summary appear first on the report but be sure to write it last. You have to review the whole report before you can summarize it.
Social Media Analytics Tools
As hinted earlier, you can find a vast amount of social media analytics data from the platforms themselves. Most of the leading social networks offer their advertisers and brands powerful in-built second-party analytics tools.
While you may need to invest in third-party tools, leading social media analytics tools do not leave much to be desired. The following are the most popular among marketers today:
- Facebook Insights tracks Facebook page and post performance showing metrics such as audience demographics, impressions, engagement, and click-through.
- Instagram Insights works similarly to Facebook Insights and provides an additional capability to improve content visibility through hashtag discovery.
- Twitter Analytics provides insights on Twitter account activity. It shows metrics such as audience demographics, tweet performance, and click-through.
- TikTok Analytics is available to all TikTok Business and Creator accounts. It provides metrics on TikTok performance from how individual posts are doing to overall account metrics.
- LinkedIn Analytics helps businesses measure post performance and also improve their content creation. It provides metrics on impressions, click-through, and engagement.
- Pinterest Analytics offers pin performance as well as content improvement features. You can see pin activity through impressions and click-through and also find relevant keywords for your brand.
- YouTube Analytics shows video engagement rate and audience demographics.
- Google Analytics is not a social media analytics tool but it is very social media adjacent. While it doesn’t gather data directly from social media, it shows metrics on website visitors including where they come from e.g. social media.
You can use this information to measure your social media marketing activities and calculate ROI. And you can create head-to-head reports in Rival IQ, comparing your brand’s activity, engagement and audience metrics against a competitor on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok!
Best Practices for Social Media Reporting
Want your social media analytics reports to be effective? The following tips may help keep you on the right track:
1. Consider Your Audience
We have mentioned that your social media analytics reports may vary in format and content depending on the audience. You want to tailor it to fit the reader’s role in the organization.
If the report is for yourself, you may use the most expedient approach. You can have typos in there, you can abbreviate everything to sound like you’re in the SEALs, you can use code words, etc. As long as you understand it.
If you are sharing it with team members and other departments, the language should be formal and follow the organization’s guidelines. The contents should be as discussed earlier – give relevant information.
If you only want to create a general report, there is a risk of losing some of your audience but it’s doable. Make sure to have a complete yet concise summary for the TL;DRers. Also, organize the information so that it is easy to find.
Then, apply these best practices.
2. Focus On Value Metrics
Avoid the temptation of presenting vain metrics just because they are available. Value (valuable) metrics are crucial to your social media marketing goals, vain metrics are not.
This means that value metrics may change from brand to brand and even between campaigns. However, your social media analytics tools, whether native or third-party will readily provide you with all kinds of metrics.
To avoid information overload, confusion, and time wastage, limit your social media analytics reports to relevant metrics
3. Use Data Visualizations
Data isn’t most people’s cup of tea. But this isn’t the primary reason to use visualizations in your social media analytics reports.
The human brain processes visual information faster than text and numbers. Thus, data visualizations help you achieve your objective by making your reports easier to consume, remember, and apply.
Luckily, it is easy to generate data visualizations for your reports. There are tools dedicated to this task. You upload your data to the program and it’s regurgitated in the form of beautiful charts, and graphs.
With NetBase Quid®, you don’t have to export the data to a third-party program. The platform is equipped with data visualization features that work automatically without overriding your authority to customize and brand them.
4. Provide Competitive Context
It’s easy to overlook the competitors when preparing social media analytics reports. After all, this isn’t about them, is it?
Without competitive context, your report automatically creates a blind spot for the brand. Success and failure are wholly determined by your internal goals.
On the other hand, competitive context allows you to evaluate your goals, not just the performance. Failure or success may mean that you aimed too high or too low, giving you an opportunity to adjust your targets.
5. Automate The Reporting
Automating your social media analytics reports isn’t just about generating them on command. Automated reporting means other employees and decision-makers in the organization can access the information they need easily.
With automated reporting, they often don’t even have to seek out the information. Rather, it flows to them in real time through the channels created.
When you want to create social media analytics reports, think of the NetBase Quid® suite of tools and particularly Rival IQ. Our platform is built with cutting edge AI technology that allows it to access the data you need from social media and the entire web.
It readily integrates with the social media platforms as well as third-party tools to allow easy, holistic, and comprehensive analysis of the data collected. Additionally, it has a powerful dashboard that offers a single source of truth for the organization’s data.
Reach out for a demo today to see exactly how we can help you take not just your reports but your entire marketing strategy to a higher level.