How to write an impactful social media report for clients

June 24, 2021
Kyra Goodman

Your social media report should show your client what working, what’s not, and give them insight into areas they can improve - here's how to write a jaw-dropping social media report for your clients.

Social media reports are developed to present and track relevant data about your client’s social media activities over a specific time period. It’s an effective way to show the client what you’ve been working on and how you’re crushing your goals.Social media reports are used to:

  • Assess how well the client is meeting their overall social media goals
  • See how their social media strategy and tactics are performing
  • Show how you are helping them achieve their goals
  • Demonstrate your adaptability for future campaigns

At first glance, creating a report seems simple. The reality is that you need to put a good amount of thought and effort into who you’re presenting it to and what you’re trying to prove. If done right, reporting can be one of the most important parts of social media marketing. It showcases your value as a social media manager and makes it more likely the client will want to continue working with you. Your social media report should show your client what working, what’s not, and give them insight into areas they can improve. Haven’t written a social media report before? Don’t worry! Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to write a social media report for clients.

How to write a social media report for clients

1. Define your goals

Like anything in marketing, you need to understand why you’re doing something before you do it. What you include in your social media report depends on your social media goals.Let’s be honest – followers and engagement are great, but at the end of the day, it’s all about your client’s business success. You need to demonstrate how your social media efforts have helped grow your client’s business. This could be through efforts that increase sales, bring in new customers, or retain existing customers.For example, if you’re executing a social media marketing campaign to boost sales on a specific product, you may want to look at engagement on a post about that product or the number of clicks to the client’s e-commerce store. This shows the client that your social media efforts are having an impact.

2. Identify your target audience

Consider who you are crafting this report for. What information might they want to know? Your report must provide clear benefits to the client to be successful. Focus on what’s important to your target audience. You can even go as far as to make separate reports for different audiences.You might have already made this connection, but your goals and target audience go hand-in-hand. If you’re trying to convince the client of something, make sure you’re speaking to the right person and show them the information they need to make a decision.For instance, are you trying to convince the Marketing Director to invest more money into video production? A good goal might be to show them a piece of video content that performed well over the last month.Depending on your target audience, you may want to consider briefly summarizing your key findings in the introduction of the report. Higher-ups may not have the time to go through the entire report and want to see the main takeaways immediately.

3. Specify the time frame

A social media report should show improvement over time. You want to demonstrate that your strategy has resulted in success for your client. Remember: If they see your value, they’re more likely to continue working with you. Even better, they might refer you to other businesses in their network.A good rule of thumb is to align your social media goals and reporting with the rest of the client’s business timeline. If they evaluate their company goals monthly, it makes sense to do monthly reporting so you can show how social media is helping them meet these goals. If they review their goals quarterly, you may want to align your reporting to stay in sync with them.Ask your client what works best for them. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  • weekly
  • monthly
  • quarterly
  • campaign start to end date

At this step, you should decide how you will measure progress. Are you comparing your social performance month-over-month, or year-over-year? Maybe you’re comparing different influencer campaigns to see which was the most successful. These measures of progress will influence which data you include in your report.

4. Provide a strategy recap

Don’t force your target audience to remember the goals set in your client social media strategy. Instead, quickly recap the major goals, strategy and evaluation metrics in the introduction of the report so that everyone has the same level of understanding going into it. These goals should tie directly back to your client’s business goals and create a clear understanding of how social media will be used to help reach them. This ensures that the report presentation runs smoothly and creates a clear start (the goals), middle (the findings), and end (whether the goals were reached or not).Don’t have a strategy in place? No worries. Check out our guide to creating a winning social media strategy.In addition to outlining overarching goals from your client’s social media strategy, it helps to write down platform-specific goals under each section of the report. This section should include a brief summary of your social media goals for each platform and what you did to try and reach those goals. For example, did you launch a new Facebook campaign to increase clicks to your client’s website? Are you increasing your influencer marketing efforts through Instagram to boost impressions? This shows the client the tangible steps that you’ve taken to try and meet the goals in their strategy.

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5. Identify relevant information for each platform

Now that you’ve identified your audience, pick out the information that they want to know for each platform. Social media platforms have tons of metrics you can look at - it can be overwhelming to decide what’s most important.Don’t fill your report with unnecessary details. Know your purpose and refer to your goals to make sure you’re choosing the right details for your report. Check out our social media report template for some suggestions of which metrics to look at for each platform.Once you’ve decided which metrics you’ll be presenting from each platform, dive into the analytics for each of the client’s social media platforms. Each platform has slightly different metrics that you’ll use to measure performance. Don’t know where to look? Our social media report template provides a helpful guide on how to find analytics for each platform.To save time on this step, consider a social media scheduling tool with built-in analytics. Sked Social provides you with detailed insights for Instagram and other social media platforms to let you know what’s resonating with your followers. See how your account is comparing across metrics like top posts, engagement rates, content styles, follower growth and more with our 7-day free trial.

6. Present key metrics & growth

To create a full picture of your social media efforts for your client, fill in the key metrics that you identified above in a table. You can list data such as:

  • Follower growth/new followers
  • Website traffic from social
  • Likes and comments
  • Saves
  • Sends/shares
  • Impressions and reach
  • Direct messages
  • Link clicks

These will be the most relevant pieces of data for your specific audience. You’ll want to include your metrics as well as your growth so you can show improvement.For visual marketing platforms like Instagram, you can also include a screenshot of your top-performing posts and stories. A picture is worth a thousand words. Screenshots can help to visualize what types of content are performing well. If you see common threads, you can create more similar types of content or make a case for investing more in top-performing content types moving forward.

7. Include other relevant data

This section is where you’ll bring in other pieces of data to support your main findings. These metrics might not be as directly related to your client’s business goals as the ones you share in your key metrics, but it still helps to create a fuller picture of the client’s social media efforts.Here are some ideas:

  • Number of posts in the specified time-period
  • Net followers (amount of followers gained - amount lost)
  • Number of likes/saves/shares
  • The average amount of comments
  • Number of clicks on a post
  • Top followers (highest engaged)
  • Top-performing hashtags
  • Top-performing posts for each platform

Increasingly, people have turned their attention away from so-called “vanity metrics” such as likes and comments in favour of saves, shares and other better-performing engagement measures. While saves, shares and sends speak to how your content will perform on social media algorithms (like Instagram’s), it’s good to keep an eye out on the micro-level data. Metrics like these can be a bit more granular, but they can highlight trends that you don’t always see from a higher level.

8. Analyze your findings

This is the real meat of your report. It shows your client what the data means and how it fits into the complete picture of their social media and other marketing efforts.If you brought in data from previous reports, this is where you use it to compare, note significant shifts, and think about what might have caused them.Look at the areas of growth. What contributed to this growth? Here’s an example:“We saw a 25% increase in post saves from last month. This is because we focused on more educational content pieces this month that people felt would be valuable enough to save and refer back to later.”If you’re finding that you’re not reaching the goals you set out in your social media strategy, don’t panic. Refer back to the data. Is there something that could’ve caused a slowdown in traffic or clicks this month? Perhaps you posted two fewer pieces of content than the previous month. It’s better to acknowledge your shortcomings and be able to provide an explanation. This shows your client that you’re capable of critical thinking and creates opportunities to work on these target areas.You can also analyze your top posts from each platform and consider what aspects made them more successful than the others. Take note of these for your content strategy, as you may wish to repurpose them or build upon them later.Lastly, it helps to put your analysis in the context of larger industry trends. Social media is all about social moments - context matters. Is there a certain viral video or trend happening this month? Take note of these in a section called “insights” along with how they might’ve affected your client’s social media accounts. Think about future opportunities to join in these conversations.

9. Celebrate your wins and victories

You’ve been working hard on your client’s social media. Now, it’s time to show off that hard work by highlighting your wins for the client.Below your general findings and analysis, include a section for your social media wins. This is where you’ll highlight areas of growth and how your efforts helped the client get there.This section should showcase your value as a social media manager. If you created a new content calendar or post scheduling system which resulted in a 10% increase in content volume, let your audience know about it. If there were areas of weakness that you identified in prior reports, highlight what tactics you put into place to improve upon them.There’s no win too small to celebrate. Social media isn’t always about having the fastest growth or collecting the most followers. We’re not saying that a huge increase in sales or a surge in follower growth doesn’t feel great, but the small things like increased engagement or a boost in the number of impressions for the client’s page can be just as meaningful. It’s more about quality over quantity. Your wins should show that your content is resonating with the client’s target audience and is getting seen by more people. More eyes = more potential future customers.

10. Conclude and provide a learning summary

Now that you’ve presented a complete picture of the client’s performance across all social media platforms, it’s time to package your findings into a neat summary. Your final section is where you will summarize the main takeaways from the report. Look at what worked, what didn’t, and what opportunities there are for improvement. You can even go a step further by breaking down the data into recommendations for each platform. A social media strategy isn’t stagnant. It should be a document that’s always evolving. These changes will come from the findings in your social media report. Think about how the data will inform your future strategy. If something isn’t working, it never hurts to pivot and try something new. The best way to keep your social media audience engaged is to try new things, take risks, and listen to the story your data is telling you.

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