Six principles for Social Media reporting for Community Managers

Note from the editor: Pedro Rojas has been so kind as to let us have this article from his blog (in Spanish) which mentions amongst other things, how to use Zyncro for the management of information found in Social Media analysis.  At Zyncro we believe this case study to be perfectly adaptable to other information “reports” generated within the different departments of a company and for this reason have decided to share it. Thanks @SeniorManager.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I must confess that I like writing about these topics because they really demonstrate that Community Management is a profession with objectives, strategies, tactics and results; seeing as a social networks fan probably does not need to register their activity as opposed to a Community Manager.

The client needs to know “what” they have invested in and reporting is the best way to show this.  To begin with, here are two reflections…

  • A Social Media strategy is of no use to us if it cannot be measured.
  • It is pointless to establish objectives if they are not monitored afterwards.

There are hundreds of follow up reports and templates in existence that can be created from the use of KPIs that have been established at the start of the Social Media Plan, but they must all meet the following six principles, based on the well known: “What, who, when, how, where and why”, but in this case applied to Social Media… as follows:

1. What information should be included?:

The information should be balanced in terms of quantitative and qualitative and in a coherent proportion to the company, with the networks used and with the number of professionals involved: but always geared towards goals and objectives.

They should reflect numerical data that points towards implementation of the strategy, using date and KPI order in such a way that they can later be added or subtracted (as needed) but always recording developments.

It is also convenient to include competitor information depending on the strategy and the business model of the type of brand.

2. Who should reports be aimed at?:

Regardless of the type of strategy or organizational complexity of the company, reports should be created as the client need requires; this refers to the tone, the vocabulary, semantics, syntax and editing style with a focus towards the complete comprehension of all of the information by somebody who has never been exposed to the 2.0 world or its culture.

In general, one person from the client company is assigned to receive them and forwards a copy to the strategy manager.

3. When is information recorded and when are the reports handed in?:
 Daily record and follow up templates must be designed in order to have “sentiment” (positive, negative and neutral).  Nonetheless, sensitive content and/or information reports or criticism should be handed in on a weekly basis. 
Monthly and trimestrial reports may be a summary of the weekly including the parallels of the least crucial representative information for decision making.

4. How to report: 
Reports should be simple in structure but powerful in terms of information that demonstrate a result oriented focus as well as the most determining factors.  It is of no use to know that twitter followers have decreased if there is no indication as to the possible causes; the aim is not “reporting for reporting’s sake”.  There is a need to complement the report with analysis and commentary of results as well as possible deviations or corrective suggestions.

What the Community Manager does on a daily basis is not at question, moreover we are concerned with what is actually “happening” in each network based on analysis carried out on the variables involved and the facts obtained.  This is the value of the information that will allow us to make decisions if necessary.

5. Where should reports be handed in?: 
Daily follow up reports should be accessible to the people involved via tools such as DropBox, Zyncro or BaseCamp.   The content of weekly, monthly and other reports can be “captured” with some type of graphic and be “accompanied” by commentary to later be presented in person or be made available for their review and analysis in spaces where they can be most visible; this also includes virtual applications as well as allowing for a printed version to be attached to the typical notice board.

6. Why do we need reports?:
 To be clear, a Social Media Plan constantly evolves and is where we can outline a path towards the achievement of objectives, a path full potholes and “dangers” (literally), and for which we need a guide in order to determine what works and what does not.  Applying Social Media as a method is simple trial and error and there is no time to lose.  For this reason it is necessary to know what is happening right now as and when things take place and not next week.  The value of numbers in Social Media is incalculable and measuring strategy in order to know the results of what we are doing is fundamental.

Reflection

Appropriately designed reports are like a type of map that allows us to move forward with our social media plan.

They allow us to learn a lot about the current and future strategy which is why its design must include graphics, analysis and overall relevant anecdotal components in order to continue to evolve.