To most social marketers, metrics like impressions, engagements, conversions and clicks need almost no explaining. These are the numbers you’re likely already tracking on a regular basis to help measure your social performance and identify areas for improvement.
While these metrics may make complete sense to you and your team, things like follower count and reach are as good as gibberish to an executive who doesn’t work in social. Worse still, when an executive can’t immediately see the impact of social on business goals, the harder it is for them to see the value in social at all. As a result, this makes it difficult for social teams to ask for the executive buy-in and investment they need to take their social strategies to the next level.
This is where social media reports can help you bridge knowledge gaps at the executive level and translate the raw data into a narrative that resonates with anyone in leadership. Armed with an executive summary of your social media report, you’ll be able to convince even the most skeptical of executives about the impact social can have on your business.
Eager to dive into your social media reporting? Get your copy of the toolkit here for free!
An executive summary of your social media report gets you the buy-in you need
One of the reasons why executives brush off social data is because it’s not always clear how it impacts their respective disciplines. And when leadership can’t immediately connect how social influences different parts of the business, they’re less likely to throw their support behind the social team’s efforts.
This is troubling because according to the Sprout Social Index™: Edition XVI, 41% of social marketers say they need buy-in from their leadership teams in order to make a greater business impact with their strategies. With something as simple as a monthly social media reports, marketers can build trust with their leadership team and clearly communicate why executives need to invest in social media.
I’ve always believed one of the most important roles of a social media lead is to educate internal stakeholders to get that trust and buy in. You were spot on.
— Jen Hartmann (@jenalyson) October 15, 2020
The ability to communicate your social results can also help you secure executive buy-in when it’s time to ask for things like additional budget and resources. Suppose you want to increase your budget for a paid social campaign. You stand a much better chance of winning your finance executive over if you can show them how your social campaigns are performing and measure the return on investment.
Don’t underestimate the power of personalizing your reports
To ensure your social report has the greatest impact on your executive team, it’s important to tailor the content and language used based on your audience. Your sales executive, for example, isn’t interested in a report with engagement metrics but you can hold their attention if you share conversion data and other insights that directly impacts new business.
Do you tailor social reports based on the stakeholders who ask for them?
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) September 8, 2020
Put yourself in the shoes of your reader as you begin to build your report. What social metrics and insights matter most to an executive in marketing or product? If you’re sending a report to an executive on the product team, will they find data around message volume and sentiment essential for their team’s strategies? The more you can tailor your report to your stakeholders’ preferences and offer insights directly related to their goals, the more valuable it will be.
Here's what I've learned about social media reporting:
• Make it easy to open
Use a format your audience prefers. If the report is meant for a specific person, find out how that person likes to consume information—spreadsheets, graphs, in-person meetings— and use that method.
— Jenny Li Fowler, 이경실 (@TheJennyLi) June 23, 2020
Brevity is also key when building your executive summary social media report. Don’t try to stuff every last detail into your report. Your leadership team is looking for key highlights and insights that are specific to their goals, but don’t have the time to dig through a multi-page report. Be concise—your executive summary should make it easy for any executive to quickly digest and understand the impact of your social efforts.
Consistency is key for an effective social media report executive summary
So you’ve done your data analysis and compiled the need-to-know insights into one report to share with your leadership team—great! Now it’s time to make reporting and data sharing a regular habit.
Consistently communicating your social results to the executive team keeps stakeholders informed of everything you’re doing and helps build trust between leadership and social. These updates can be as simple as a weekly Slack message with timely insights or as in-depth as a monthly report. Communicating your social results on a regular cadence eliminates any ambiguity in your social strategy and ensures executives are always looped in on relevant efforts.
If the idea of consistent reporting sounds daunting or you’re unsure of how to create a monthly social media report, we’ve got you covered. In our latest social media reporting toolkit, we’ve gathered the tools and templates you need to stand up your own reporting system. Ready to send your findings to your executive team in a way that packs the greatest punch? Download the toolkit to get started on your social media reporting today.
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