Social media reports keep companies honest. They set a benchmark to measure against and offer qualitative, real measures that can impact future strategic decisions that span the entire organization. And there are ten data points you definitely don’t want to miss when creating these metrics. Let’s take a look!
We’ll explore these ten must haves for your next social media report:
- Net Sentiment
- Sentiment Drivers
- Brand Passion
- Top Domains
- Popular Media, Links & Posts
- Trending Items
- Timeline Comparisons
- Topic Comparisons
And these stats on social media demonstrate the need for clear social media reporting:
- 81% of organizations use social media analytics
- Facebook accounted for 23% of brand interactions on social media
- Instagram’s share of interactions rose to 67% in 2020
- Globally, over 6 billion people use social media and the number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025.
What is a Social Media Report?
With social media’s potential to drive sales, brand awareness, engagement and much more, brands are adopting social media analytics. In fact, 81% now include it in all of their planning. And due to this, it has become necessary to create a social media report to clearly outline priorities for your company, or prospective client – or risk getting lost chasing one white rabbit after another. So, understanding where efforts should be focused when it comes to online marketing is crucial.
And having real-time results that can be trusted and reveal strong and weak points in your company’s marketing supports your efforts. Boiled down, it’s a map that speaks to your online brand health by measuring marketing efforts, past and present. And it helps you create a plan of attack for the future.
And because the devil is in the details, many people get overwhelmed by what should be in their social media report. Luckily for you, we have ten data points that you really should include in every social media report. And these metrics should capture your own stats, as well as those of your top three competitors – two that are a close match in your category, and one that is aspirational. Let’s get to it!
1. Net Sentiment
Understanding sentiment allows you to get inside the mind of your consumers. How do you measure up, and how do they feel about you as a brand? Net sentiment tallies the score of negative to positive sentiments for you. A score of +100 means that all opinions of the brand, topic, or idea are positive, while a score of –100 means all opinions are negative. Most brands fall somewhere in between, with many hovering in the +50 category.
Net sentiment is the beginning of uncovering how consumers feel about you. The next step is understanding what’s driving these sentiments.
2. Sentiment Drivers
So, is it an attribute, behavior or simply an emotion that increased or decreased brand sentiment?
Understanding what is causing conflict or joy is integral to either confronting negative sentiments or supporting the care and keeping of happy consumers.
For example, our word cloud (below) reveals top attributes surrounding Groupon. Positive sentiment for this brand is driven by words like great deal and selection of product. However negative drivers seem to focus on customer service with attributes of worst customer service and negative return.
Consumers are increasingly loyal to experiences and that makes understanding sentiments all the more important. The way they experience your brand determines whether or not they’ll experience it again! And you can be sure they’ll tell their friends either way.
Another aspect to consider is how strongly consumers feel about it.
3. Brand Passion
Never underestimate brand passion. If strong enough, it can cause your brand to blow up in the best of ways. And a brand passion index measures how passionate consumers are about your brand vs competitors. It takes into account the intensity of the consumer sentiment expressed.
So, though your social media report may reveal a small amount of negative sentiment, the passion intensity could be high. This indicates an area you may want to track – one that you’d likely ignore as a minor problem otherwise, due to its volume. But, as we know, nothing spreads faster than negativity online, particularly when folks feel passionately about it!
4. Top Domains
After you’ve been through the emotional wringer, now it’s time to locate these passionate consumers. Where are they saying these things about your? Facebook accounted for 23% of brand content interactions on social media in the US in 2020 – and Instagram rose to 67%. Where are they beyond that though? And where are your consumers, specifically? This is another vital piece of information. If you don’t know where they are, you can’t engage and take advantage of that good (or bad) mojo.
This simple, yet critical, step tells your brand whether consumers are on Reddit, Twitter or some other domain, and how many of the posts/mentions are being generated on each one. And the best social analytics tools can provide quick sound bites of posts as well. Comparing how people are talking by platform can reveal significant differences. And this, in turn, helps you message out appropriately, by platform.
5. Popular Media, Links & Posts
Each platform will have its own post types and you’ll need to be familiar with them. And then you’ll want to watch for items attracting meaningful comments, sharing or engagement from your target audience. As a brand, you want to know which videos, imagery and text-based posts are catching consumers’ attention. And this includes media that may not mention your brand but may represent it visually. This is particularly important as it can make you aware of new and interesting ways that your consumers are using your products, potentially sparking a new campaign idea. On the flip side, it can also alert you to brand infringement, protecting your brands reputation.
And since you’re pulling information from online domains for your social media report, you should definitely add sources. What do we mean by this? Places like blogs, forums, comment data, news sites, professional, employee and consumer reviews, and more – everything on the social web, in fact. With so many consumers online, not all of them are in any one place. But they’re talking and you need to be sure to capture as much of that chatter as possible, if you hope for a well-rounded view of your brand.
This is why we offer LexisNexis News, which retrieves full-length, licensed, digital and print-only news articles from across the web, including international coverage. If you’re only pulling from places like Twitter, you’re only getting part of the story, and leaving your brand vulnerable.
On top of locating your consumers online, you need to be able to sort them in other ways. And this extends beyond geography to age, interest, profession, bio terms and ethnicity.
The benefit of this, is in providing a better understanding for the topics of conversation among specific audiences. This can improve your targeting immensely by not only engaging more authentically with your consumers, but uncovering new audiences which allow your brand to expand into fresh territory.
Social media analytics software captures the details which speak personally to your audience – and demographics adds the curated touch to your brand’s messaging.
8. Trending Items
Globally, over 3.6 billion people use social media and is projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025. This makes pinpointing trends critical if you want your brand voice to be heard. And you only need to go on TikTok once to see how popular hashtag challenges are, which always follow/set trends. In fact, hashtags are everywhere – as are emojis. So, a great addition to your social media report is a list of these trending hashtags, emojis, sayings and so on.
Your first step is identifying popular new things, terms, hashtags, emojis, brands, or people that are relevant to your brand. From there, sort out where your brand or client can fit in.
Maybe you need to harness hashtags as a part of your strategy. Or perhaps you notice an upward trend of people discussing sustainable kitchen products and it helps you make a pivot just in time to meet consumer demands and sentiments. And by tracking these trends, which you should also do, you can measure the volume change of items trending in the last quarter vs the entire year and so on. Trends move fast, be sure to track them!
9. Timeline Comparison
This is non-negotiable item in any social media report. A year ago, the term vegan may have been trending but now it may have switched to flexitarian. But you won’t know that unless you track conversations, terms and intel over time.
Everything changes and tracking these allows a brand to pivot in a moment’s notice to meet a new demand, or to avoid a PR crisis. You should be able to track by topic, theme, tag or even product over time to monitor for any changes – good or bad – allowing your brand to be proactive instead of reactive.
To use a timely example, we can see how wildly the conversation volume and sentiment fluctuates around cryptocurrency. Brands can click through to see what is driving each spike or dive in mentions and/sentiment. And they can set alerts on the same.
10. Topic Comparison
And for easy sorting, a topic comparison is vital to a social media report, especially when deciding where to spend your marketing dollars. By creating a topic about your brand, you can compare volume in conversation, observe similarities and differences to competitors and apply various themes for deeper analyses around customer service, price, quality or whatever makes sense. There’s a myriad of ways to explore topic comparisons, depending on your use case. No matter what it is however, NetBase Quid can help you sort it out, with insight you can trust.