Social media is not a band-aid approach for the brands you work with and for. Strategy, tactics, objectives, and reporting are specific to the client and their particular needs, and which outcomes are most relevant to goals presented.
However, you can base your reporting off of five simple questions and cultivate to specific cases. In elementary school, many of us were taught the 5 Ws of the introduction paragraph — all items that needed to be addressed at the start of any paper. The 5 Ws are: Who, What, Where, When and Why. These serve as a solid foundation of questions you should automatically ask when creating a reporting template.
Every brand and C-Suite wants to see results and proof of those results. This is where reporting comes in and why it is so important.
Your brand and company should determine the capacity and resources necessary before asking these questions and throughout implementation. Also, figure out which departments will be handling these questions, delving into who the point person will be.
1. Who: is your report going to?
Tone, semantics, and the way information is presented play an integral role in the beginning stages of reporting. If it takes a couple reads for the person to digest the first impression of information, change the approach. Overwhelming brands with reports will only cause further questioning and bewilderment at what you do all day. Crafting it in language that is easily understood is key.
2. What: information should be conveyed?
Depending on the brand and size, you could be reporting any number of qualitative and quantitative metrics. The type of information shared should be reflective of the brand’s objectives and end goals. This should also include any benchmark information that a brand can utilize.
3. Where: will it be distributed?
Chances are that this report won’t just stop with the direct contact of the brand or, if on the corporate side, your boss. Customer service, the C-Suite, Sales, and General Marketing might see it as well. That consideration should also play into the “What” — information is great, but if it doesn’t apply to them, they won’t get it.
4. When: does it need to be delivered?
Each brand has different needs and wants. Most will ask for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reports. A healthy compromise can be daily monitoring and alerts for any big positive or negative mentions, with monthly reports as well. Be prepared to insert this information into quarterly reports.
5. Why: is the specific reporting beneficial?
If the report is a jumble of numbers, it will mean zilch to the company. Value and quality play a major role in this question, because it’s a waste of time otherwise. Questions will be asked no matter what, and a person must be prepared to answer them. Presenting solid proof and results for why things are happening to a brand is just as important as the information you are providing. If there is no value behind the numbers, it loses its pull.
How would you answer these specific questions? Are there any you’d like to add? What makes sense for your brand?