Imagine you're working on a social media campaign. You've used analytics to measure your progress towards your goals at every stage of the marketing funnel and you've analyzed the data you've gathered to make informed decisions about your social media strategy moving forward. Now it's time to share those learnings and decisions through a social media report. A social media report is a document that presents and tracks relevant data about your social media activities. Social media reports allow marketers to visualize and present their social media data in an easy to understand way. They help justify their strategy and the decisions they've made based on the data to colleagues or clients, as well as provide them with valuable insights. Depending on your role, the size of your company, and what resources are available you might be adding to a report someone else creates, making one yourself or just reading over a report for insights. Additionally, a social media report can be anything from a quick email with a few key data points, a snapshot of a particular post-performance on a given platform, a spreadsheet with detailed data from all of your social platforms, or a slideshow with key findings and analysis. Regardless of your contribution to the report or how the data is presented, it's important to understand what components are generally included. To begin with, there are some things marketers need to consider when crafting a report. Social media reports need to be tailored to their audience, for example, marketing team members, stakeholders and clients who have different needs and different information they want to know. Reports might include more or less detailed data on a specific item depending on who the audience will be. For example, a report created from marketing team might include detailed data about a particular social media campaign, while one created for managers might focus more on campaign highlights. Also, a report should include the data most relevant to the audience and to the company's social media KPI. A KPI( key performance indicator) is a measurement used to gauge how successful an organization is in its efforts to reach a business or marketing goal. Social media KPIs are used to assess whether a social media marketing strategy is effective. They are determined by a campaign goals such as awareness or engagement. A useful social media report will focus on the KPIs and metrics that are most relevant to the business. For example, if a business has a social media KPI related to reach, then a report might highlight data about impressions, audience growth rate, or follow account. Reports frequency also varies and can be customized depending on what data will be reported and how the insights will be used. Most social media platforms allow data to be pulled from the analytics tools based on specific data ranges or reporting periods. For example, social media reports could be produced weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Now that you understand what marketers need to consider when putting together a social media report, let's discuss some specific elements that might go into one. Let's say a report focuses on a campaign's performance on Instagram in a particular week, and the main goal of the campaign was engagement. The report would include relevant campaign information for that week, such as the date range and the number of post, followers gained or lost, likes, comments, shares, link clicks, and video views. Many social media reports also include charts or graphs. Visualizing data with charts can help an audience understand the information in the report. These charts can be created using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or HubSpot, or reporting tools on individual platforms. An effective social media report also provides context that helps the audience understand the report and connect to the story the data is telling. Reports should indicate how the data relates to particular KPIs. For example, our reports might include a comparison of data in the current reporting period to the previous data. For example, a report can compare number of likes in the current reporting period to the number in the same reporting period last month, and highlight any growth. This allows the audience to spot trends, note progress, and identify issues. That brings us to analysis. This is the part of the report that explains what the data actually means. For instance, analyzing the number of engagements per post could help identify the types of content that resonates best with a target audience. This section should include an evaluation and explanation of why the campaign may have gotten the results they did. The reasons behind the data can help marketers determine and justify to their audience how best to adjust their strategy. Social media reports help marketers convey key information about their strategy, activities and progress towards their goals to others. Understanding what goes into a social media report helps prepare you to contribute to them and read them for insights that can improve your social media strategy. Coming up, we'll discuss how to present a social media report to stakeholders.