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5 Best Practices for Month-End Reports on Social Media

posted December 5th 2014, 8:14 pm by Nicole Nelson

[caption id="attachment_1910" align="alignright" width="300"]Best Practices for Month-End Reports on Social Media Photo Credit: juhansonin via Compfight cc[/caption]

The only way to know if your efforts on social media are working is to track the results. After all, how do you know if what you are doing is working if you don't have numbers to compare it to? If you haven't been tracking your social media platforms before now, start right away. It's early enough in the month - you can still create a month-end report. Before you get started, though,  read our best practices for month-end reports on social media. Here are the metrics you absolutely need and the manner you should go about getting them.

Best Practices for Month-End Reports on Social Media

1. Consistency

It's a broad term, but we mean it in the broadest sense. Be consistent in how you measure your numbers. Be consistent in the dates of the report. Be consistent in your labeling of charts. Be consistent in when you create the report. Be consistent in what you report on each month. Be consistent in everything.

Tip: Try using a standard format. For example, we always start with a quick summary, head right into bullet points of numbers for the month, and end with charts showing trends and performance. Pick a format that works best for your company and stick with it.

2. Simplicity

Ideally, your month-end report should be easy to scan over. The main points of the report should pop out at the reader in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Collect your data, but then present it in as simple a way as possible. We use a lot of bullet points, charts and images.

Be simple also in your Executive Summary at the beginning of your report. You don't need to be nitty-gritty detailed here - your numbers will speak that detail for you.

3. Next Steps

Think about what's next. It's all well and good to have the numbers for each month, but if they aren't guiding your next month's social strategy, what's the point of compiling a report? There is none.

Instead, give a quick summary of what this report means for next month. How will you improve next time?

4. Use Graphics

Too many numbers make the mind spin. Keep your readers' minds intact by sprinkling in charts, images and color between the raw data. Think of it from a design perspective: What looks pleasing to the eye? Reports don't have to be boring; when they aren't, they're read more often.

5. Brevity

Your report should be exactly as long as it needs to be. Don't include charts that don't matter. Don't include statistics that don't effect the bottom line. Don't include graphs that don't reinforce your central message.

And one last final reminder - remember to give credit where credit is due. Are you reporting on a statistic? Make sure you have a reference page for it. Keep your reports clean, concise, consistent and you'll be fulfilling most of our best practices right away.

Live long and report monthly!