So you’ve jumped into the world of social media, posting smart, insightful and (dare you say) witty posts on a consistent basis. Followers are building and engaging and sharing your posts. You’re getting a good vibe.


If that proverbial tree falls in the forest, and darn nobody hears it, did it make a sound? Well, the truth is: if that tree is your social media campaign, then the tree might as well have stayed standing. Like anything else in life, it’s not enough to crush it, but you have to package and present your achievements in a way so that the extent of their importance is easily understood and completely appreciated. So keep these tips in mind.

Define your goals.

Before you set out to create your report (and, in fact, before you even launch your campaign), know your objectives. This could include boosts in:

  • Reach: Companies like this because, of course, the more followers, the larger the reach. A big number also suggests popularity. However, experts agree, that more important than the sheer number of followers is how engaged they are (see below).
  • Engagement: Social media is a tool for building relationships. The more engaged your followers, the better—when they share, retweet, or respond to your content, they help spread the word about your brand. Facebook’s feed prioritizes posts that come from friends and family over those that come from a brand; it also puts more weight on those where people respond with a reaction as opposed to simply liking it. What’s more, when an ad comes with an endorsement from someone in their network, viewers have 55 percent higher recall than non-social ads, reports Nielsen.
  • Traffic: The viewers coming to your site from your own or others’ social media posts are your potential customers. Because they ended up on your site as the result of reading something specific, they’re likely already in the market for something you’re offering.
  • Mentions: Keeping track of when, where, and how your brand is mentioned lets you gain helpful feedback. You can retweet and share the positive mention to keep the good word of mouth going (which is a great free way to market your brand) as well as engage and strengthen the bond with the source of these positive mentions. As for negative mentions, they’re useful too. They let you know where your brand needs work and allow you to respond positively to make things right.
  • Conversion Rates: All the above are important because they increase the chances that someone will become your customer. By assessing the social media posts that are sending customers over, you can know what sorts of social media campaigns are working best and where to spend your resources.

Different brands might emphasize the importance of different key performance indicators, so you need to figure what matters most to you.

Track your progress.

Free online tools, such as HootSuite, Buffer and Mention can help; or, if you want a more detailed picture, utilize more sophisticated options, with a wide range of fees (including Synthesio, Sprout Social, Sysomos, all three of which landed on the top of PC Magazine’s social listening list).

Figure out how often to report your information.

You likely look at your progress week-to-week with your team to tweak your strategy, but you might want to make a presentation to your clients quarter-to-quarter so you can assess longer-term goals and effectiveness. You may also want to create a one-time report to explore how well a particular campaign has done.

Have a clear layout.

Don’t bury what you’ve accomplished in a dense report laced with jargon. Use charts and graphics. Make the values showing growth easy to see (and therefore easy to appreciate and remember) with bold fonts and intuitive graphics, such pie charts and bar graphs.  Compare your results with those from last quarter, or the same time last year to note trends. Also, compare them with that of your competition, and try to spot areas you’re coming up ahead and those you can work further on. You can also glean other insights: for instance, are certain posts resonating with more followers? What do the most successful months have in common?  What types of posts lead to conversions? The data can be overwhelming, but harnessed and presented in a smart way, it transforms into a powerful tool.