Part I—Social Media Campaign Reporting: Getting from ‘Fact’ to ‘Act’ in a Glance

Part I—Social Media Campaign Reporting: Getting from ‘Fact’ to ‘Act’ in a Glance

Apr 2, 2012

That which will be known and understood must first be reported.

Your Social Media Marketing Campaign is kicking it and everyone wants to know how it’s working.

Management, familiar with KPIs, is interested in top line improvements, leads generated, lifts in offline purchasing, etc.

Marketing looks to success markers like overall brand effectiveness measures and attitudinal shifts, or the number of coupons downloaded, 18-24 year olds who’ve become fans on Facebook, CRM signups, etc.

In either case, no one wants to be overwhelmed with data and have to sift through tons of data in order to get timely assessments of the progress of the campaign.

Today, it’s all about quick looks and prompt feedback.

But Social Media Marketing Campaigns produce almost an overabundance of data metrics and statistics that need to be collected and analyzed before results can be properly determined.

Data metrics (facts) have to be interpreted in a meaningful way in order to create valuable information, which becomes knowledge only through a clear understanding of its underlying significance.

Actual knowledge derived from reliable information provides executives with the foundation for exercising sound judgment in forming relevant opinions, making appropriate decisions and acting wisely.

But in business, few marketers are philosophers or mathematicians with the large amounts of available time necessary for taking regular deep dives into parsing online metrics.

Still, marketers need to know the meaning of all that data in order to proceed in a logical manner and understand if their campaigns are effective.

Typical metrics to follow in order to get a relevant measurement of your post-campaign performance on, say, Facebook include:

  • Total number of fans (are we popular?)
  • Stable positive growth (are we losing fans?)
  • Number of user wall posts and interactions (are we compelling?)
  • Total engagement rate on your Page (is it dropping?)

Yet simply getting from “fact” to “act” can be an overlong (and often confusing) process.

Rather than just being provided as a data dump, campaign results need to be rescued from all the minutiae and presented to management in a concise and informative way, with accompanying actionable insights and recommendations

Enter the Social Media Marketing Campaign Report

Reporting for Duty

A report is a formatted and organized presentation of data and statistics that describes in detail the results of a campaign and objectives met.

In addition to being a collection of data, the report should be a gathering of insights with an evaluation of the campaign and a record of performance and accomplishment regarding all coordinated activities.  A comprehensive report:

  • Shows all the points of interaction with users – the clicks, the shares and retweets, the comments and likes on Facebook, subscriptions and views on YouTube – all the actions that users have taken in response to your messages.
  • Shows numbers and stats indicating how well your messages resonated with your audience.
  • Shares access to the meaning of customer touchpoints so this data can be mined to identify trends and patterns.

Various reports can be used to measure the performance of your campaign initiatives.  You can view and/or share by generating them as pre-formatted PDF files or by using comma-separated values (CSV) file downloads (a popular format for transferring data from one application to another because most database systems are able to import and export comma-delimited data).

Closed loop reporting is a capability for measuring the effectiveness of a particular campaign on the Web by tracking which viewers of which promotion actually bought which product, requested a catalog, or took other specific actions on the website.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA)—the most widely used website statistics service—generates detailed data about website visitors, tracking traffic from all referrers.

Integrated with AdWords (Google’s main advertising product and main source of revenue), GA enables users to review online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions (goals) like sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, etc.  With GA you can create, save and edit custom reports that present the information you want to see organized in the way you want to see it.  A drag-and-drop interface lets you select the metrics you want and define multiple levels of sub-reports. Once created, each custom report is available for as long as you want it.

But GA has its critics.  “In everything from wording (bounce rate is a bit vague) to layout (in order to get a detailed analysis of how your marketing is doing, you need to visit multiple screens), it’s not very user-friendly,” according to Cloud Marketing Labs.

There is an alternative to analytics limbo.  To avoid digging through reports, you can put all the information you need on an email-able custom dashboard.

Dashboards—Get the Picture?

In information technology, a dashboard is a graphical user interface (GUI) that, somewhat resembling an automobile’s dashboard (though it’s more likely to be interactive), organizes and presents information in a way that can be easily read by even the most casual observer.

The purpose of the dashboard GUI is to quickly inform marketers and management as to the meaning of data derived from monitoring business performance and show them how a campaign has made the company brand stronger and the bottom line better.

Dashboard GUIs provide users with quick access to information or common tasks.  Via the use of charts, graphs, and maps, reports are often shown in the dashboard to provide a quick and easy overview of current business performance.

The aim of such data visualization is to integrate information from multiple components into a unified display.

When regularly measuring and analyzing Web data for your website, the dashboard is an important resource that can either stand alone as a deliverable for actionable insights or as an addition to an analytics memo.

The dashboard GUI is most effective as a single page of information which helps decrease the clutter effect caused by adding charts in text.  In an effective dashboard, there should always be an obvious balance of behavior, experience and outcomes (achieved results).

The dashboard is a highly visual display of data presented in an insightful way that standard metric analytic software usually doesn’t provide for the untrained eye.  As a result of this limitation in monitoring software, a number of Social Media Dashboard applications have hit the market.

Part II: Social Narrative Reporting – The Art of the Story

Contact Digital Eye Media for information on how to Create and Manage your Social Media Marketing Campaigns: P: 657.229.8394; sales@digitaleyemedia.com.