No matter how much time humans spend on social media, it can still be hard to convince people of its value for a business. I've been a social media marketer for years, and I still sometimes struggle to show my colleagues and execs the impact that social media can have on a growing business.
One thing I've found to be super helpful is doing a monthly report on results. Showing the rest of the company how social media is playing a role in its growth can help you get more resources—which leads to even more growth. And the cycle continues.
Here, I'll share the monthly social results template I created and walk you through how you can use it to promote your results and get more buy-in for your social media program.
Social media reporting template
Here's my social media marketing results template. Make a copy, and adjust it to work for your company and your role.
In terms of sharing it out: I post it to our internal blog and then promote that post on Slack in our #social-media channel. But depending on how you usually communicate with your team, this could all be pasted into an email you circulate; you could turn it into a quick 10-minute presentation that you record and send out; or you could send it piecemeal in Slack, making each section its own message in a thread. Whatever you think will have the highest signal, go with that.
Before you share it, though, here's how to fill it out.
Impact on the business
Since the goal here is to show the value social media has for your company, I suggest leading with metrics. And not just any metrics: the metrics that matter most to the people you're speaking to (your manager, cross-functional colleagues, and execs).
Instead of talking about follower count, for example—that'll come later—you'll talk about things like how much traffic your social accounts drove to the website. Here are some examples of things you might say:
There was an X% month-over-month increase in visits to the website from social (a total of Y visits).
Social contributed to X% of purchases made.
Those signing up/purchasing from social contributed $X.
If you have a data science team, definitely ask them to review your numbers so it's a little more authoritative.
Breakdown of site traffic
Traffic to your website will almost always be a metric people are curious about: which platform is driving the most traffic? So in the template, I also include a breakdown of site traffic from each social channel (by percentage).
If you have some ancillary platforms you get super minimal traffic from—maybe you have an old company Pinterest board that you don't update anymore—don't feel like you need to include those. You can always add an Other category to cover all those.
Platforms by the numbers
First, copy this table so you have one table for each of your primary platforms (assuming you have more than one). Then, fill them in:
Number of posts that month
Number of impressions that month
Number of engagements that month
Average EPP that month (engagements per post; divide the number of engagements by the number of posts)
Engagement rate that month (divide the number of engagements by the number of impressions)
Number of followers (total, not new)
There are two rows: one for the raw numbers and one for the month-over-month change, so people can see how things are progressing. Depending on how long your social program has been running, you might switch this to year-over-year change to account for seasonality.
Channel growth at a glance
Here's where you'll focus on follower growth. Each time you fill this out, you'll move the columns to the left (deleting the oldest) and add the current month. Pretty simple.
If follower growth isn't a primary metric for you, you can skip this. But I think that showing growth (vs. just numbers, as you did above) is a great way to demonstrate that things are moving in the right direction. It can also help combat any concerns about lower raw numbers, which are bound to be there on certain platforms.
So you've hit them with numbers—now tell them what they should take away from those numbers. Depending on what you've been working on, this section could have all sorts of info in it, but here are some examples of things you might say:
This month, our engagement rates and engagement per post increased on both X and Y platforms, despite an overall lower number of posts. This shows that focusing on quality over quantity can move the needle.
We saw a much higher rate of follower growth this month. We hypothesize that this is due to our efforts with X as well as continuing to post Y, which resonates with our followers.
Our post about X caused a massive spike in our mentions and engagement on Twitter. We'll continue to post related content to keep the momentum going. In the future, we'll also prioritize Y type of post.
Focus on things you think people might ask you about the numbers. For example, if there was a big drop in one metric, address that instead of trying to avoid discussing it.
Anecdotal evidence can speak wonders, and people love to see what customers are saying. Pick a few examples of people showering your company with praise on social, screenshot them, and drop them in. Try to pull examples from various platforms if you can.
What's on deck?
Here's where you'll tease what's coming up next month, to be sure people keep reading your updates. Are you launching a new experiment? Starting work with an influencer? Trying out a new platform?
The more exciting the better here, so if you don't have any big splashes—and sometimes you won't!—it's ok to cut this section. For example, if the most exciting thing you're doing is A/B testing a new Instagram template, it's probably not worth including. Instead, you can include it in next month's Key learnings section once you have some results to show from it.
How can you get involved?
If you work at a 50-person company, you should be getting at least 50 engagements on everything you post (unless you have some social media hermits on your team). But it's up to you to get people to engage with your content. This obviously requires more effort than just a reminder in your monthly update, but you should use every opportunity you have to promote your channels.
In the template, I've included some boilerplate text you can use:
The best and easiest way you can help is by engaging with us! Like our posts, comment, and share them to your feeds. The more engagement a piece of our content gets, the more likely it is to be rewarded by the algorithms cross-platform.
Do you have an idea for social? Drop it into Slack or DM me @[your handle]. Let's see if we can bring it to life.
Start with that, and adjust it to fit your needs. You can even link to the company accounts for easy access, or drop in some suggested copy that people can put in their own posts about your company.
What's going on in the social media world more generally? Here, you'll talk about updates to social platforms and other trends in the world of social media marketing.
There are two main reasons you should include this in your update:
It helps people better understand the nuances of the social media industry. The more they know about it, the more they'll be able to understand its value and how it can help your business grow.
It positions you as an expert in social media marketing, showing that you're aware of the trends and demonstrating the research-intensive nature of the role.
I know that's a lot, but I hope the template makes it easier for you to report your results on a regular basis. If you don't have time every month, start by doing it quarterly, and go from there—any sharing of results is a good thing. Now go get yourself more resources.