If you own or work at a full-service digital marketing agency, it’s likely you offer social media management services for clients. If so, you know that building true engagement and a loyal audience is easier said than done.
From creating unique content, writing captions, running Facebook ads, scheduling posts, and responding to comments—the time it takes to build your social media presence and following is a long game. After all, there’s a reason your clients came to you for help.
That said, after you’ve picked your social media management tools, built a winning social media strategy and are executing it for clients, there’s one more critical piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked: social media reporting.
If you’re posting consistently across multiple social platforms, the process of gathering all your data and measuring how effective the campaign is a challenge for marketers. Also, the time it takes to manually create reports on social media performance takes away from billable hours that could be used either improving your client's campaigns or prospecting to scale the agency.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can solve these challenges and automate your entire reporting process with a dedicated social media dashboard.
What is a Social Media Dashboard?
A social media dashboard is a live reporting tool that allows clients and small businesses to access all of their data on their own schedule. Each platform has its own unique social media metrics that measure engagement and an analytics dashboard specifically for social media allows you to automatically pull in these metrics and intuitively display the data in real-time. In short, a dashboard makes the process of monitoring multiple social media accounts and reporting on the results much more efficient.
How a Social Media Dashboard Helps You Stand Out from the Competition
The digital age is all about on-demand data, and client reporting is no different. While some clients may prefer periodic social media reporting, others want to be able to log in and review their campaigns at any time. A social dashboard allows you to offer clients 24/7 access to their data and stand out from the competition.
Displaying social media data across multiple platforms in a unified social media analytics tool not only saves time for clients, but can also help you quickly see what’s working and what needs adjusting to hit the campaign's goals. For example, with AgencyAnalytics you can display a single feed of social media posts across all channels. This allows you and your clients to scan recent posts and identify what type of content is performing well on each social channel.
Step-by-Step: How to Create a Social Media Dashboard
Depending on the client, you may want to create a dashboard for each social media platform. In this section, however, we'll review our social media dashboard that you can use and other dashboards we provide that aggregates multiple social networks into a single, unified view.
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In particular, we’ve included the following 8 sections in the template:
The first section in our social media dashboard tracks the number of subscribers or new followers for each connected account. Although it may be a vanity metric for some, tracking your followers gives you a gauge of how the client's reach and the audience is growing over time.
2. Conversions from Social
Next, if you’re running an ROI-focused social media marketing campaign, you’ll want to track the exact number of conversions coming from each platform. You can specify what a conversion means to your client by setting up "Goals" in Google Analytics and automatically track them with our integration.
3. Traffic from Social
Another key metric to monitor is the traffic coming from social media. Monitoring traffic from each platform can help you improve your CTAs in each post. As you may know, a portion of social traffic will come from people clicking on the link in your bio, although the majority often comes from each post's CTA telling people where to go next.
Next, we have a section to track comments on each platform. Monitoring comments is one of the best ways to measure engagement and see what type of content is working for the audience. The dashboard displays comments from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram in a single view, which makes responding to each one that much more efficient.
Monitoring the number of likes on each post is another engagement metrics that helps you optimize the quality of your posts over time. Depending on the platform, likes can play a factor in the reach of each post so this is something to monitor over time:
6. Total Number of Posts/Videos
If you’re managing a social media campaign for clients, the number of posts or videos on each platform is often a key deliverable. Displaying this metric in a social media dashboard clearly shows your client that you’re tracking and honoring the commitment you made in the contract.
7. Posts/Videos Feed
Another useful section to include in your social media dashboard is a feed for each platform so you don’t have to constantly switch back and forth between different apps.
8. Demographics and Geographics of Subscribers
Finally, we have a section that tracks some key demographic and geographic information such as country, city, gender, language, and so on.
How to Tell a Story With Your Social Media Data
Now that we’ve discussed what to include in your marketing dashboards, let’s look at how you can take reporting a step further and tell a compelling story with your data.
To do so, we released a feature that allows you to add annotations and goals to your line charts and time-based charts. This feature opens up a whole new level to your reporting as it gives you the ability to highlight important information directly within each chart. You can use this to tell stories with your data and ensure that clients are aware of your achievements.
To do so, simply open the widget settings and you'll see options to add annotations and goals in all date-based line and column charts:
Once you’ve added your annotations and goals, they will automatically be displayed on the chart as shown below:
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Automating Your Social Media Dashboard Reporting
One of the key factors of success when running an agency is focusing on the most high-value tasks and automating the rest. Although we won’t discuss automation in-depth in this article, here are the 8 steps to automate your social media dashboards discussed in our guide to Automated Reporting:
Before starting your dashboard or report creation process, it’s recommended to have a clear understanding of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, your reporting frequency, and which team member is responsible for each client report.
2. Creating a Campaign
After you’ve completed the preparatory work, the next step is to create a campaign for each client. In AgencyAnalytics, a campaign refers to a single website, so in most cases, each client will have their own campaign.
3. Connecting Your Data Sources
After you’ve created a campaign, the next step is to connect the relevant data sources. If you’re managing social media campaigns, this will automatically pull in data in real time from each platform. We currently have 60+ marketing integrations and are adding new ones each week.
4. Choose Between Sending Reports or Creating a Dashboard
After you’ve connected your relevant data sources, the next step is to decide between sending periodic reports or creating a live dashboard. We reviewed our social media dashboard template above, although we also have prebuilt dashboards for:
5. Customizing Your Social Media Dashboard
Next, if you want to create a more customized dashboard, you can either create a dashboard from scratch or use a template and modify it using our drag-and-drop editor:
6. White Label Your Reports
Once you’re happy with your social media dashboard, the next step is to white label it with your agency’s branding. Our white label features include the ability to customize logos, and color schemes, plus you can add your own custom domain and email on the Agency plan and higher.
7. Add Personalized Comments to the Marketing Dashboard
Although we’ve discussed automation in the section, a key piece that you'll want to keep doing manually is adding your own insights and commentary to the dashboard. This lets you highlight the results achieved that month, important KPIs, and your plans for next month.
8. Create a Client Account
Finally, when you're ready to share your dashboard with clients, you can create an account for them by clicking on the “Users” tab from your root campaign dashboard. From there, if you can on “Create User” you’ll be guided through the process of creating an account for your client:
Summary: How to Build a Social Media Dashboard
As discussed, it's easy to get lost in the overwhelming amount of data at your fingertips when managing a social media campaign for clients. Also, the time it takes to collect, aggregate, and report on the data each month adds up quickly.
Building a social media dashboard helps solve this by automatically pulling data from each platform, displaying the data intuitively, and automating the process by sending clients their own 24/7 access.
In summary, dashboards improve the social media analytics process by showing you everything that’s taking place on each channel in a single place.
This not only saves you time, but also helps you to demonstrate the value of your services to clients by clearly displaying exactly how much traffic, conversions, and revenue you’re driving to their bottom line.
If you're ready to get started with a social media dashboard, you can download our prebuilt social media report template below:
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Peter Foy is a content marketer with a focus on SaaS companies. Based in Toronto, when he’s not writing he’s usually studying data science and machine learning.Read more posts by Peter Foy ›