If you work in marketing, whether in a brand or agency, reporting is a fact of life, and let’s be honest, it sucks. It’s boring, it takes up too much time and it can often seem really pointless.
That doesn’t mean we can avoid it, but with tools like Vizia.io it doesn’t have to be a pain. You can read here the benefits of live and on-demand reporting, and how it can help you save time. But that’s not what this blog is about. We want to share with you some key tips to make your social media reports stand out – hopefully making the whole process more enjoyable.
Here are our (tried and tested) top 10 tips for more effective social media reporting.
1. Know your audience.
There are a few questions your need to ask yourself before even starting the report. Firstly, who is the report for? Is it going to be sent to your teammates or will it be consumed at an executive level? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you define what information needs to be included and will also determine the cadence of your reports – Perhaps your teammates need a weekly overview on performance but the executive/ C-suite want the monthly overview.
2. Identify the objective
This step may be harder than you think as it requires you to define what you want the reader to experience or take away from your report. You can even get philosophical about it and define how you want them to feel; informed, energized, excited, concerned. It’s important to remember that you’re in a position to tell a story with your data so having an understanding of the objective and goal is essential for crafting the right message.
3. Define the right data
Obviously, the main ingredient of your report is going to be the data, so you need to be clear on exactly what sources and metrics you want to include. This may seem obvious, but being really clear on what data is important to both the audience and the objective will reduce the risk of data overload or irrelevant information – which can be a deterrent to the reader.
4. Start with the key points
Some people skim and some people read every minute detail – either way you want to make sure you deliver the key points from the get-go. This may be the performance KPIs for that period or your key takeaways. We’re all short on time so make it as easy as possible for people to achieve the aforementioned objective. Following this initial data break out the information by campaign or source, whatever makes the most sense to the audience and objective. This is where you provide the detailed information, just don’t fall into the information overload trap.
5. Think about the layout
This comes back to the story aspect, where the flow of information can’t be underestimated. There are a few things to bear in mind:
6. Give context
Make sure to add notes explaining the data at hand. Help people orient themselves around the insights being shared and more importantly, make sure they don’t deduce the wrong findings. Another key way to give context is to include benchmarks. For instance, benchmarks from the previous period – has performance improved or worsened? Industry benchmarks are also really useful in understanding where you stand against competitors. This data can be gathered natively from the social platforms themselves or using tools like Brandwatch and Buzzsumo.
7. Share key take insights/ takeaways
This is your report so share your perspective. This is the ultimate context-giver and storytelling mechanism. Again, be mindful of your target audience and what the report objective is. By sharing these takeaways you will also be able to give updates on how they have progressed in subsequent reports.
8. Include next steps
It’s all well and good presenting the data and getting it in front of the right people, but the process falls short without the ‘so what’. Deepen trust and provide clarity for report readers by detailing the next steps and how the data will be actioned. This article from Google explains the importance of closing the insight to action loop.
9. Encourage feedback
Good, bad or indifferent, feedback in all its forms is generally helpful. It can expose details that you missed or present questions that lead to greater learning or understanding. Additionally, it means you can tap into the collective intelligence of the group and share responsibility for progress. It’s often best to be clear on how you would like to receive the feedback to avoid a bombardment of messages across different internal channels.
10. Constantly iterate and optimize
With each of the above points, you can constantly improve. Are the KPIs right for the audience? Does the format need to be tweaked? Can the storytelling be improved? Can more feedback be encouraged?
With Vizia.io, we’re giving our users the ability to create impactful reports from the offset. With live and on-demand data you can ensure your recipients are always getting the most up- to-date view, while viewer metrics drive accountability between the creator and consumer. You can even see the exact slides getting the most views so you can optimize content and iterate in real-time.
Try it for free and let us know what you think.
100% free. No credit card required to get started.