5 Tips for a Social Media Report Your C-Suite Will LoveLauren BerryBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
Gone are the days when a screenshot of Facebook’s Insights tossed into a deck would make people smile and approve larger budgets for social. Social marketing has grown up. Along with that coming of age, social marketers have a responsibility to justify its existence, value, and contribution to the brand. Where marketing managers and directors were perhaps the highest people looking at social marketing reports, the C-suite (your executive team) is engaged, involved, and interested more than ever before. While that may be exciting, scary, or just another day in the office, reporting to the C-suite takes a different approach.
Our enterprise client partner Lauren Berry and I have talked with countless heads of digital, CMOs, and others, and we’ve learned a few key tenets that help us form our thinking around reporting for the C-Suite. This is experience that we’ve used to help social marketers develop their own executive reporting program around the world.
At About.com, we’re constantly competing for eyeballs and attention. In a place where social content is increasing every day, having a way to understand how our social content is driving on-site behaviors and how our audiences are engaging with our social content is incredibly important. The sheer volume of social posts we create daily means boiling the associated metrics down into something that we can show stakeholders, and that takes a ton of work. Simply Measured’s dashboards take all the heavy lifting off our plates so we can focus on insights and strategy. – Matthew Knell, VP of Social Media and Community Strategy for About.com
We’ve boiled those ideas down into a list to help get you started thinking about how to report not just to your boss, but your boss’ boss (or maybe even your boss’ boss’ boss).
1. Know Your Business Goals
Without a clear understanding of what is expected of your marketing team, you can’t accurately show how social marketing is impacting and influencing those goals. Are you on the hook for increasing brand awareness or driving conversions? Those are two very different end goals and have incredibly different metrics attached to each.
2. Ditch Metrics That Don’t Ladder Up
Social community growth may be something that your social marketing team loves to see going up and to the right, but does it align with the story you need to be telling executives? Choose a set of metrics that show a logical link between actions your team takes and business goals.
3. Less Can Sometimes Be More
Most executives have pretty busy schedules, so giving them something that is impactful and easy to digest (think one page) can help make an impression, but not lead to data overload.
4. Get Visual
Charts and graphs are often more impactful than tables and can offer more visually appealing content to the reader. Think about how your executives consume information and design to that standard.
5. Timing Is Everything
An executive is in and out of meetings all day and emails likely pile up. Find out not just when, but how your executives would like to receive your social marketing information and deliver based on those findings.
For some, being able to receive a link in their email they can view on their mobile device might be the best way to ensure they’re reading, or perhaps it’s a PDF delivered right to their inbox.
Ultimately, the idea of executive dashboards is as varied as the companies building them. If you keep these five tips in mind, you can start building, refining, and sharing your reports fairly easily.
Ask the Pros
This list is based off real conversations we’ve had with our biggest and smallest clients alike. Recently, we visited a leading enterprise brand in the finance industry who was paying a large amount of money to an agency to produce their monthly social media wrap-up. The wrap-up was 60 pages! Do you know who reads a 60 page wrap-up? Nobody. And especially the executive at the top who is responsible for budgets. On the flipside, we worked closely with a large retailer to formulate a one-sheeter (the deliverable preference of their CEO), that highlighted the social marketing team’s monthly accomplishments in terms of revenue, impressions/reach (brand awareness), and engagements (customer loyalty). The CEO and President of the company has now committed to attending the social team’s weekly meetings once per month.
Simply Measured’s Professional Services team can help with guidance, experience, and implementation along the way. They’ve helped deliver custom executive dashboards for industry-leading companies around the world – each tailored specifically to the needs of those companies and their teams.
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