Five years ago, social media reporting consisted of showing how make likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc. your client’s social content received, i.e. engagement. Well, social media reporting is slowly growing up and should be called social business reporting.
At the end of the day, clients are looking at agencies like d50 Media to implement integrated programs that impact business in some way shape or form. While sentiment, share of voice and all those other squishy measurements are still widely used in reporting, it doesn’t tell your client’s holistic story.
At d50, we measure lead, engagement, conversation and traffic impact. This approach gives our clients a 360 degree view into their social media presence across channels, how they are performing and what impact they have had on business objectives.
To get you up to speed, here are five steps to help your brand create robust social business reports that can help drive strategy.
1. What’s the Situation?
You should start each social business report with a situational analysis that outlines the assignment and provides market context. What are the client challenges they are trying to solve with social media and how are they currently being addressed? That should be the start of any social business report as it’ll dictate where the program might need to go.
2. What Are Your Competitors Up To?
Brands don’t operate in a bubble. They compete against other similar brands. It’s important for your social business reports to clearly articulate what your competitive set is doing in the space. After all, you’re competing for tweets, Facebook status updates, video views, etc. What is your competitive set doing that’s driving sales, engagement, conversation and website traffic impact. Additionally, what are they doing wrong that you can learn from?
3. What is Your Brand Up To?
At this point, it’s time to take a look in the mirror. What is your brand doing in social media? How are those efforts impacting your business positively and negatively? What did you learn from the past week, month, quarter, year, etc.? How have you tracked those differences and what have you done to improve or mitigate them? It’s important to pit your brand against your competitive set as it relates to sentiment, media mix (where the conversation is happening), share of voice and social referral traffic to your web properties. All of these benchmarks will show you whether or not your content is sticking; what brands are driving the majority of the conversation online; and, what portion of that conversation are you driving (or not driving for that matter)?
4. What’s the Scoop?
Once you get out of the research trenches, it’s time to take a step back and provide a summary and analysis. Provide three bullets per competitor that indicates whether the brand is listening and casual or participating and sharing, for example. This step will potentially give you insights as to your competition’s online marketing strategy. This step is also helpful in eliminating what you perceive as competition (based on what the target audience is saying about the various products, services, brands in relation to one another, etc.).
Provide your team with strategic recommendations based on your social business intelligence that have specific goals. For example, one goal may be to increase SEO rankings of a specific keyword over a three month period or increase social referral traffic to the product page of your website by 40% over the next quarter. Make the goals real and digestible. Additionally, when providing recommendations, be sure to take into consideration the time and resources needed to reach those goals. For example, some may be attainable with existing staff and resources, while others may need outside resources or additional budget.
What tips and advice would you provide to those brands struggling with social business reporting?