Creating a monthly social media report is one of the best ways to track growth and even improve your business social strategy. This report can be used internally (to your boss or team) or presenting it to your client. Tracking your social media metrics in a report is key to get a more complete picture of your account performance.
In this blog post, we will explain step-by-step how to develop your own social media report with real-world examples; we’ll also be sharing free social media reporting templates to help you track your own social media analytics and 20 key performance indicators (KPIs) you should follow - don’t worry, formulas are included - to measure the success of your campaign.
As a social media marketer or a business owner, you’re probably used to seeing numbers and metrics flood your screen on a daily basis. But how do you make sense of all of it? Or how do you explain it to your team or clients?
Let’s get started !
Creating a social media report is more than just finding out which post, photo, video, or stories performed best. It’s about turning your data into actionable insights. Truly understanding your content and its performance - by tracking account metrics and insights over time - is key to build a successful social media strategy for your business, and even better, be able to adapt it or change it when something isn’t working.
If you have never built a social media report before, here are a few best practices to consider:
Consideration #1: Identify Your Social Media Marketing Goals
First things first, what you include in your social media report completely dependent on your social media goals.
If you’re a new brand that’s looking to build awareness, your engagement and follower metrics are the most important. If you’re a publication trying to drive people to your website, you’re probably pretty focused on website clicks. Whatever your priorities, your social media marketing goals should always tie back to your short and long term business goals.
That being said, since you’ll be tracking your social media on a month-to-month basis, it’s best to keep your report focused on your short-term goals. These goals can be more campaign or product-focused, including things like:
• How much did your social media growth this month?
• How many clicks/sign-ups did you receive on your most recent campaign?
• How does this differ from previous campaigns?
• How did our audience respond to the new product launch?
While every company’s goals will look a little different, it’s important to clearly identify a set of your own to help you make sense of your social media analytics.
Consideration #2: Keep It Short - Keep It Sweet
If you are presenting the report to a team or client, we recommend that you be concise and direct. Don't beat around the bush when it comes to numbers, make sure you present compelling conclusions. Also, they can always go back to the data when it suits them.
It is very likely that your team or client will not be interested in every little detail of the monthly report, however, it is important to clearly show the value and progress of all the effort you make every day. It is advisable to think of this monthly social media report as a summary of the gains, losses and possible opportunities.
Finally, please note that this is a monthly social media report, and therefore it should be concise. You can include more detailed information in your quarterly, semi-annual or annual report. This report is intended to monitor data, obtain information from it and ensure that the strategy implemented is appropriate.
It's amazing how if we pay attention to the numbers they can tell us a story, but it's up to us to make sense of what they mean. This is where the importance lies, in presenting our social media report in a results-oriented manner, linking your goals, the methods to achieve them and the outcome.
How to Build a Monthly Social Media Report
Now let's see how to really create a social media report! We'll guide you through each section of what the social media report should include, and how to get this data on each platform.
To create your own report and start showing your results we have developed the following steps:
Step #1: Determine what type of social media report works best for you, your team or business. You will need to determine the type of reporting style that works best for you. No one reporting method is better than the other and it all depends on your goals. However, we have included below some of the most common (and effective) reporting types.
3 ways to build your monthly social media report
- Excel Spreadsheet
- Google Slides / Microsoft Powerpoint / Prezi
1. Excel Spreadsheet
One of the most common ways to track data for your social media analysis is by using an Excel spreadsheet to track your development month by month.
This is a great way to create a complete view of your growth path, without having to flip through different pages or open multiple presentations. You can also use formulas to quickly make comparisons in your data, calculate percentage rates or display graphs.
To help you keep all your data organised, and make your life easier, there are applications like Later where you can export data directly from Instagram as a CSV file.
While an Excel spreadsheet works well for internal tracking, a PDF social media report is more suitable for sharing with a team or clients.
For example, if you're sharing an overview of your social media strategies with your team members, this is a great way to do it. You can attach it to an email, send it flat, even use it as a presentation. PDFs are also easy to print out, so you can take them to a meeting or archive them for later reference.
Is always possible to edit your social media report in PDF, you can use tools like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator or whatever PDF editor you are most comfortable with.
3. Google Slides / Microsoft Powerpoint / Prezi
When it comes to presentations, Powerpoint or Google Slides is the way to go and share your monthly social media reports.
A slide show - whether it's a virtual or physical meeting - is a great way to present your social media analysis to a team or client. It can also give your report a much more professional look and make it easier for your audience to follow. There are great tools in the market such as Prezi, where you can create interactive presentations to use on and off-line from scratch or even upload your existing ones from PowerPoint.
Our free social media report templates are broken down into three main sections, including:
- A monthly overview
- Platform breakdowns, and
- Key learnings & takeaways
Social Media Report Section #1: Monthly Social Media Summary
First, you'll want to start with a summary of your overall social media efforts. When building your social media report, it's best to start with an overview, then move on to using the important key performance indicators (KPIs) and see how they link to your strategy.
We can also include a section to copy and paste your notable social media publications of the month - this is a great way to highlight your efforts and showcase your best work!
Social Media Report Section #2: Social Media Platform Breakdown
Next, you'll want to dive into each social media platform. Each platform has slightly different metrics to measure your performance. We'll want to create separate sections for the most common social media platforms in our reporting templates, including:
• Instagram & Instagram Stories
• Facebook & Facebook Stories
We have also included four different information sections under each platform, including: Strategy, MoM's Metrics and Growth, Growth and Profits, and Perspectives; which we will look at below:
This section should include a brief summary of what you did last month in order to reach your business goals. Typically, your team members or clients are already aware of your strategy for the coming months, so this section should simply act as a reminder. Did you launch a new campaign? Optimised your influencer marketing efforts? Switch up your posting times?
As you adjust your strategy, it is important to take note. These notes can serve as "markers" on your metrics and can help you draw better conclusions about changes in your report over the next few months.
Metrics & MoM Growth
Next, it’s time to add social media analytics to your monthly report!
In this section, you’ll want to include your monthly metrics as well as your month-over- month growth.
In most cases, your monthly metrics will just be a quick copy and paste from your platform analytics dashboard. Social media analytics have come a long way and make it easier than ever to grab all the data you need.
To calculate your monthly percent change, subtract the metric from the previous month from the current month. Then divide the result by the previous month’s metric and multiply by 100.
For example, let’s say you have 436 followers in June and grew to 562 followers in July. Your equation should look like:
436-562 = 126
126/436 = 0.29
0.29 x 100 = 29%
This means that from June to July your business saw a +29% change in follower growth. The easiest way to calculate these changes is in your Excel spreadsheet before transferring the numbers to your social media report template. All you have to do is set up a quick formula and the program will do the math for you.
Growth & Wins
We all love to celebrate victories, and this is the time to do it!
In order to track your growth, you’ll want to look back at previous monthly reports. By comparing the current month’s performance to those in the past, you’ll be able to better identify new victories and milestones.
Maybe you discovered a certain type of content resonates well with your audience? Or an influencer in your industry gave you a shoutout?
Is important to remember that small wins are still wins and can help you better guide your strategy over the coming months. Don’t be discouraged if none of your posts went viral. Rather, consider what your smaller “wins” are telling you.
Whether your wins are big or small, this section is all about showing the value of your efforts and learning from your failures and achievements.
Once you’ve dug into your social media analytics for each platform, it’s important you make sense of what these metrics actually mean. Think of this section as a “wrap-up,” condensing what you did, how it performed, and how it will guide your strategy in the upcoming months.
For example, let’s say you’re running an Instagram account for an online beauty store. While you’re digging into your Instagram Stories views, you notice a lot of ‘Exits’ around the first few slides. Although your analytics can tell how many Exits you received, they don’t tell you why people are exiting your stories. So it’s up to you to pay attention to how different types of content perform against each other.
Is your audience most engaged when you’re sharing product photos? Or do they tend to prefer behind-the-scenes footage? Are they swiping away from photos but tapping forward on video content?
Lastly, if you tried something new this month and it flopped, consider it an “insight.” Sometimes social media losses are the best guide when making updates to your content strategy.
Social Media Report Section #3: Key Learnings and Monthly Takeaways
This is your chance to really tie it all together. Think “big picture” while also wrapping up conclusive information that will better guide your strategy the following month.
This is the time to revisit your “growth & wins” and sum it all up!
It’s key to track overall patterns and learnings when digging into your analytics, as many different factors can affect your day-to-day success. Testing different types of content and features can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and help you create a fine-tuned social media strategy that truly resonates with your audience.
Is there something that worked particularly well? Maybe you discovered video content performs exceptionally well on Instagram, and you want to make sure to do more of that! Or maybe your influencer marketing efforts are bringing a ton of traffic to your website, so you suggest to ramp up those efforts.
Regardless of the win, make sure you reiterate the metrics or “proof” to back it in order to make a case for continuing this strategy down the road.
What Didn’t Work?
If something didn’t work, it’s important to own that too!
For example, if you notice that your reach is declining, you may want to rethink the type of content you share. Don’t be afraid to switch things up (just make sure to track when you do!) to find out what your audience is most interested in seeing.
Nobody likes delivering bad news. But most often, your team members or clients will appreciate the transparency. This is a great time to present “tweaks” to your strategy so you can have a more successful month ahead.
As you know, social media platforms are constantly changing. While it’s likely your team or clients aren’t aware of all the changes, this is a great place to make them known.
Think of your “opportunities” as a section for news and updates. For instance, if Instagram has launched a new stories sticker, let them know you’ll be testing it out and how you plan to use it to your advantage. Or if you’re planning to make the dive into IGTV, pitch a few ideas you have to grab your audience’s attention.
This is also a great time to discuss any holidays or events that are coming up. How will you be participating on social? Is there a specific hashtag you should be using?
Lastly, make sure to refer back to the “growth and wins” section. While you don’t need to rehash the details, take those learnings and describe how you’ll make use of the new discoveries in the months ahead.
Get your Free Social Media Report Template HERE!