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HOW TO – create a FREE report for your clients!

Original post from Simply Measured.

Even though the intention of this post was for impressing your boss, this would be a great FREE report for your clients!

1. Start with a Snapshot:

Your weekly report should operate the same way a piece of content would: like a funnel. Start large, with a complete snapshot overview of your “social health” and trends from across all your key social channels.

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This chart, from Simply Measured’s Cross-Channel Social Performance Report, highlights key metrics from your owned channels, highlighting audience, activity, and engagement, while showcasing period-over-period changes to help highlight growth or loss of traction over the previous week.

To make your weekly summary even easier, all Simply Measured reports are directly exportable to PowerPoint, emailable at the click of a button, or even Tweetable if you’re feeling particularly transparent about your week:

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“I usually include this metric snapshot in a slide, and then below it will have 3-4 takeaways that set up the rest of my report,” says Furubayashi. “This lets me set the tone right off the bat, but also get any big points on my boss’s radar quickly. You don’t want to bury the lead.”

2. Focus on Goals:

After presenting your snapshot, your next step should be to focus on your goals and the KPIs surrounding them. If you have specific metrics you’re reaching for each week, month, or quarter, hone in on those, and address the impact you made. If your goal has been to drive more traffic to your blog from Twitter, focus on those click-thrus.

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This component of your report should focus on easy-to-track numbers so that you can give week-over-week summaries of how well you’ve done, and what might be missing. The sample above

“Since we have a heavy focus on content here, I spend quite a bit of time analyzing site traffic” says Furubayashi, “When I’m looking at this myself, I use our blog report and Google Analytics to look at specific campaign UTMs, but for this purpose, I share a chart from our social traffic report. It showcases trends and totals for all of our major social channels.”

3. Zero in on Key Initiatives

If your main activity for the week was engaging with influencers, identify the progress made to that point.

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The point here is to focus. Don’t overwhelm your boss with 8,000 charts – they don’t care. The value of your data is only as strong as your ability to use it. In this context, that means not overwhelming with unneeded metrics. Focus on what you and your boss have decided is important and save the extraneous stuff for your own analysis.

“Look, I get it. There are a lot of cool charts, and you want to share EVERYTHING you did this week,” says Furubayashi. “But it’s important to keep it simple and focus on your main objectives and value-drivers. One or two slides max for this section.”

4. Identify Opportunities:

Your weekly report shouldn’t be strictly for looking back. The purpose any measurement or reporting is to understand what happened, so you can use it to plan for the future. Take some time to analyze the data you’ve shared and speak to the opportunities to double down or correct mistakes. Without a little honest reflection, you’re wasting your boss’s time, and your own.

“I always include a slide of Key Learnings from the week, and another one with my plan for the coming week,” says Furubayashi. “This lets me point out areas where I missed the mark in a constructive way, and showcase my plan to fix them. It also gives me an opportunity to talk about why I won in specific areas and how I plan on investing more in that area.”

5. Don’t Sugar-coat it:

The best advice I can give for your weekly report is to be honest with yourself, and honest with your boss. We all want to position ourselves as successes, but it’s not constructive to do so without addressing our failures. This is the immense – and sometimes ignored – value of social data; we’re able to see exactly where we went wrong, and address the issue. Don’t ignore this. If a campaign failed to achieve the results you were hoping for, there is a lot you can learn from it. Believe it or not, your boss will appreciate your ability to recognize this.

“I may geek out over data more than the average CM, but when an initiative doesn’t work out, I don’t consider it over,” says Furubayashi. “It means I get to dig into the data around the campaign to figure out where I went wrong. It’s like a puzzle. When I’m putting my report together, I always make sure to call out those things and let my boss know I’ll be doing that.”

6. Keep it Short:

You have to put this together every week. Don’t make more work for yourself. It’s also important to remember that your boss has to read it every week and he or she won’t want to take on a novel each time.

“Your boss is probably pretty busy, so it’s best to keep it short, efficient and informative. Make sure your weekly review showcases the high level stats and plans, but hold off on the nitty-gritty details. Every boss appreciates getting quickly to the point.”

How do you develop your weekly report? What are the most important areas of focus? Let us know in the comments!

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