Reporting in social media can be a little tricky. For me, personally, it’s the biggest lift in the three stages of social media strategy for live events—planning, executing and reporting—but this is the only moment you have to showcase your work and the successes that resulted from your event strategy.
Choose your performance toolkit.
Unlike a media report or a marketing report, where you can often plug in a date range and see exactly what statistics you’ve accomplished, a social media report requires you to get a bit more creative. It’s important to determine ahead of time what software tools will report the information that you most need.
Every social media platform has the ability to give you basic performance statistics. Additionally, there are free options galore across the internet, not to mention all of the 30-day free trials you could get lost in.
While these are not deep-dive analyses, they can be useful if your organization cannot necessarily invest in a social tracking and analytics service. Keep in mind, however, that some of the free options have a time stamp on them; so, you may want to record the data in the weeks prior to your event, as well as immediately after your event. This will give you an opportunity to note average performance numbers for comparison purposes, as you’re trying to showcase the success of your event’s performance.
Once you determine what your tools will be, you can monitor them accordingly throughout your event campaign journey.
Hunt for successes.
The hunt for success stories on social sometimes requires you to think outside the box. It’s a good idea to set some end goals for metrics when you create your event plan. However, because you’re on a 24-hour global news cycle, many factors can negatively or positively affect your ultimate performance data.
Impactful trends to look for are called key performance indicators (KPIs). USGBC’s vendor, Sprout Social, suggests these data points:
- New followers. Your follower count isn’t the be-all and end-all of your social presence, but it is a number you should strive to tick upward. You can drill down from network to network, or look at these numbers across all accounts.
- Reach. Note the difference between reach and impressions. Expanding your reach should translate into expanding your audience.
- Engagement. Shares, comments and likes are valuable currencies for social marketers. Increasing engagement proves that you’re posting content that people want to see.
- Clicks. Like engagement, click-throughs highlight compelling content. These can be divided into link clicks or promotion-specific clicks.
- Posts. How much content is your business pushing out? If you see a correlation between more posts and higher engagement, you’re more inclined to ramp up production.
- Traffic. The more traffic coming to your site via social, the better. You can measure this easily in Google Analytics. This tactic is less applicable for event reporting, but still interesting to note.
Once you collect all the information, it’s your duty to find a narrative that tells the story of these KPIs, from the beginning of the journey to the end. This includes lessons learned. Though the lessons may not be classified as “successes,” they provide clutch tips for when the event rolls around the following year.
Graphs are great—as long as they’re illustrating greatness. If your graph takes a dive in engagement on the day of your event, it’s not necessarily something you would want to draw attention to.
Additionally, make sure you clearly explain what your audience is looking at. Always assume you’re presenting your work to someone who has never seen a social media glossary.
Show, don’t tell.
It’s always a good idea to show your work and share your top-performing content.
This is a nice opportunity to highlight influencer or partner engagement. It’s not just your performance metrics that matter; showcasing how others engaged with your event hashtag is equally important, though harder to report on without access to that entity’s KPIs. Embedding these examples in your report is a great way to share these wins.
If there were any contractual commitments made to sponsors or guests, those posts are also wise to share at this point.