09 March 2023 |

📊 Everything you need to know about Social Media Reporting


Steal my exact process

Social media reporting is one of the highest ROI activities you will do as a social media manager.

Why do you need to prioritize reporting as a skill?

Simple. It’ll make you more money.

It is the main tool you have for proving the value of organic social to your CMO and other leadership. Done right, a strong Social Media Report will:

→ Get you more + better salary raises at your current job

→ Increase the LTV of your clients as a freelancer or agency

The best social media reports craft a narrative around organic social. The stronger the narrative you can tell about organic social success and tying it back to business metrics — the more compelling the case for a raise, promotion, or contract renewal.

It works similarly to how founders think about investor updates. If they can tell a compelling narrative around how the company is performing and the plan they have to scale — there’s a pretty good chance they’ll end up getting more money.

How often should reporting be done?

Here’s how I approach it:

  1. Weekly reports
  2. Monthly reports
  3. Quarterly reports

They all follow the same structure (more on that in the next section) but they differ in the scope of what is covered. The larger the time window, the more you are looking at overall trends versus individual pieces of content.

For the weekly reports, I do reporting on Friday and look at the past 7 days of performance.

What is the best way to structure a social media report?

The best reports highlight:

→ Where you were before

→ Where you are now

→ Where you are going in the future

→ Highlight any roadblocks you are facing

You want to highlight the improvements made, and always be future-pacing what will be done in the future.

Here is my template to do exactly that:

✅ Data

✅ 3 major wins

✅ 3 opportunities

✅ Roadblocks

Let’s examine each in some more detail.

The data 📊

I use Sprout Social to keep track of organic social media data across platforms. It’s the gold standard (also a dream sponsor for Social Files so if anyone from Sprout is reading and can make that happen … lmk)

One of my favorite features is that you can literally download a PDF report filled with all of your social data. No more manually inputting it into a Google Sheet.

I just wish Sprout could track data for LinkedIn personal profiles, too. That’s my only gripe with them.

Download the PDF.

Link it in your report.

Job done.

As a bonus, I like to call out 1-2 stand-out stats from the report. Your boss may not always have time to look through it, so this is a simple way to call out what matters.

The wins 🎉

There’s a common misconception among social media marketers. You think bragging is obnoxious and you’re worried you’re only going to annoy your boss and other leadership.

You’ve been told that you’re supposed to keep your head down and work hard.

In other words:

Real G’s move in silence like lasagna.

Legendary bar. But not always true.

Your boss isn’t paying as much attention to the details of your work as you think they are.

(Unless they’re micromanaging… in that case, RUN)

They have their own projects and their own objectives that they need to hit. Do you think they noticed a one-off tweet that popped off? Do you think they noticed a TikTok that over-performed?

Maybe. But by assuming that, you’re risking them never seeing your accomplishments.

Use the ‘3 wins’ section of the social media report to not-so-humble brag. Make sure your boss has eyes on all the dope shit you and your team are doing.

And when you do this, tie these wins back to business metrics. ALWAYS.

Here’s what I mean…

Instead of saying: “Impressions are up 27% MoM”

Say: “Impressions are up 27% MoM, which means we’re getting in front of more of our target audience and staying top of mind for people who may eventually buy.”

Again. It’s about crafting a narrative.

🥷 Another ninja-level tactic to apply when highlighting wins (to increase your chance of getting a raise at your next performance review) is to literally ask your boss what they want to see from you to give you a raise.

Get that in writing via email — and frame your metrics + reporting around that point.

The opportunities 🔮

You can never get complacent as a marketer — and you can never let your boss or client get the impression that you’re getting complacent.

Perceived complacency means:

→ Bosses won’t be as likely to recommend you for a raise

→ Clients will think it’s time to part ways

Instead, you need to be future-pacing. You need to plant the idea of all the sick strategies and greatness you are going to implement as a social media manager.

Doing this on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis ensures that your superiors are always in the loop on what you are working on. There is never any concern that your work isn’t bringing value to the company.

Again. Narrative-building makes you less and less replaceable.

Examples of opportunities to call out in your reports:

“We are going to test LinkedIn carousels in our content calendar 2-3x in the coming week to assess performance and identify new ways to grow follower count and impressions.”

“We are going launch [brand name] on TikTok to open up a new organic acquisition channel”

See how that all works?

⚠️ The roadblocks

Ideas without resources are kinda… useless.

If you find yourself blocked for any reason, you need to communicate this to your direct report so you can either:

  1. get the resources you need
  2. redirect the plan appropriately

There’s an important nuance to keep in mind here:

Whenever you present a problem, also present a potential solution.

This keeps you from coming across like you are complaining — and frames it as you being proactive (because you are).

An example?

Instead of saying: “I don’t have the bandwidth to test Instagram carousels right now”

Say: “I don’t have the bandwidth to test Instagram carousels right now. But I plan on sourcing a contract social media designer to make those assets with my direction. What budget do I have available for that?”

You always want to come to your boss with a solution in mind. If they reject your proposed solution, that is on them.

Being proactive tends to be noticed and rewarded, however.

Final thoughts

I had (and still have) a lot of resistance to this. I have a bias to ‘get shit done’ instead of ‘report on the shit I plan on getting done.’

Well-intentioned, but you will fumble the bag if you don’t get proactive about reporting.

The good news is, as you’ve seen today, the format is simple:

→ Present the data

→ Highlight 3 wins

→ Highlight 3 opportunities for growth

→ Identify roadblocks and propose solutions

That’s all I’ve got for you today.