How to create a social media report

Social listening report header


Social media channels are an essential part of digital marketing strategies. Measuring your social media performance and proving campaign results in a social media listening report can be painful. You need to know the metrics that matter, and the KPIs to use. What you should be presenting to your team, your clients, and management.

Even if you’re already doing weekly or monthly reporting, those detailed spreadsheets won’t please the boss. They want to see a high-level overview.

This social media reporting guide will explain why analyzing and reporting social results is crucial. Follow the seven steps to create your social media reports, and learn:

  • What you should include
  • Which metrics to track
  • How to choose a reporting tool
  • What to present

We’ve suggested several social media reports to present. Take your pick based on your audience, business goals, and what you want to prove.

Here's an example social media report template - you can download all three simulated Talkwalker social media reporting templates now.

Talkwalker consumer intelligence dashboard for Coca-Cola, showing share of product attributes, results over time, reach vs engagement. Ingredients has the largest portion, over packaging and flavor. A reporting and analytics tool to help create your social media report.

Example dashboard for Coca-Cola, showing the share of product attributes, results over time, reach vs engagement. ‘Ingredients’ has the largest share of mentions, over ‘packaging’ and ‘flavor’. Talkwalker Social Listening

Social media reporting

What do you reply when asked, “What’s the ROI of your recent social media campaign?”

“Incredible… we got 1500 more followers, 45 shares, 22k likes…”

Nice engagement, but how did it help your bottom line?

It can be hard to translate social media metrics into something understood across the board. Not everyone has your insights into the many marketing channels you use. You need to be able to explain all that your team is doing and the goals you’re hitting, to justify your budget. A visual, comprehensive social media report - social media audit - will explain all.

The secret of successful social media reporting is comparison. Compare how your channels performed before vs how they perform now. This Q3 compared with the last Q3. And, how you position your social marketing campaigns against your competitors

Proving the value of social media

Don’t ever, ever assume that senior management understands social media, or what your job involves. It’s up to you to educate them. To prove your team’s value. To prove your value.

23 social media tips - teasing the first one - Employ a savvy social media manager - needs to be a project manager, support engineer, copywriter, strategist, branding expert, data analyst.

What is a social media report?

First up... the definition of a social media report. A social media report uses data, stats, and metrics to prove the value of your social media strategy. Done well, the best social media report will steer you in the right direction for future social media campaigns. You'll also learn what isn't resonating with your followers, and be able to pause or stop campaigns.

Example social media report for Coca-Cola, showing Community Impact page. Social community growth by channel.

Simulated social media report for Coca-Cola, showing Community Impact page. Social community growth by channel, with explanatory notes.  Talkwalker Social Listening

Your report will explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Your targets and the results you’ve achieved. It’ll justify your budget.

  • Measure the ROI of social media campaigns so you can prove their value and targets met
  • Show your clients how their social accounts are evolving
  • Identify successes and failures, to improve, repeat, or delete
  • Save time with automated social media reports - including videos, images, and comments to make them easier to understand

What should a social media report include?

First, your report should include an overview of your social media strategy. A summary that'll help readers understand what your social media report will cover.

It will explain your intended goals for your social activities and how they link to your business strategy.

  • Do you use your social channels for social commerce?
  • Does your company use social media management for customer service?
  • Are you using social media to increase brand awareness?

At the end of your report, answer the following questions. This will demonstrate what you’ve learned and how you’ll improve your social media strategy.

  • What do the numbers show you about your strategy?
  • What did you learn about your audience?
  • If results were poor, is it a seasonal issue?

A successful social media strategy fully understands how and why your content performs the way it does. The big wins and the disappointing fails.


Now you need to drill down and provide comprehensive, measurable goals. Follow SMART goals, so you can track and report your results easily and accurately.

The number of goals depends on your social strategy, team size, organization size of your organization, etc

SMART goals for your social media report, with explanations under. Specific - what do you want to do? Measurable - how will you know when you've done it? Achievable - can you accomplish it? Relevant - is it worthwhile? Timely - when exactly do you want to accomplish it?

SMART goals - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely.

As you become more proficient at tracking and analyzing, you can add more goals.


Time to choose the data you'll use to measure and confirm your goals. Remember, SMART goals need measurable metrics.

For instance... you're looking to increase your leads by 30% in Q2. There's your success metric - show how many leads you generated.

While each team will have its own set of metrics depending on their goals, data to include for measuring your social strategy are...

  • Leads
  • Conversions
  • Revenue
  • Return on investment - ROI
  • Share of voice
  • Sentiment
  • Customer satisfaction - CSAT
  • Net Promoter Score - NPS

Include all the metrics you need to prove your results and demonstrate social media strategy success.

Results per social media network

Now you need to find results for each of your social media channels. 

Owned channel performance - results per channel for social media reporting

Owned channel performance - results per channel for social media reporting.  Talkwalker Social Listening

The data you include will depend on your goals and metrics. For instance, for each social channel, you could include...

  • Follower growth/loss
  • Number of posts for reporting period
  • Engagement rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Top-performing post
  • Top mention
  • Top follower

You must offer a comparison, i.e., compare Q2 results this year, with Q2 results from last year. If you're reporting on a specific social campaign, try to compare it with a similar one from the past.

When performing weekly or monthly reporting, always compare to the previous weeks and months, to identify trends. 

Wins & fails

Next, analyze. Highlight what was successful, and what didn't work.

Start with the numbers - focus on leads and revenue. Then concentrate on other wins such as,

  • Shared user-generated content or positive reviews and comments.
  • Content you could use in future website copy or marketing campaigns.
  • New influencer contacts that are happy to become brand advocates for your product.

Understand how you got the results, so you can improve your social strategy, and determine future social media goals. Were there parts of your strategy that didn't work? Find out why they failed, and how to turn those into a win.


Include a summary of all your wins, failures, and learning points. Plus, how these results will guide your future social media strategy.

Why do I need a social media report?

Tracking your social media campaigns -  owned and paid - will help you find what’s working and what isn’t. Budgets are tight, so you can’t afford to waste money on things that aren’t working.

Comparing your social media channels identifies which channels your audience favors. And which are bringing the most success with least effort. Identifying what content works and engages helps you replicate successes, and cut failures.

Track and analyze your competitors to compare your market impact, and find new opportunities to expand your community. Seeing the bigger picture helps prove your business decisions are effective.

Media amplification. Competitor analysis for social media report,  in simulated Talkwalker report. Coke vs Pepsi.

Talkwalker simulated report - track and analyze your competitors, to compare market impact. Talkwalker Social Listening

How to create a social media report in 7 steps

Creating an automated report is all in the preparation - who, what, why, how...

1 - Identify your audience

Who are you creating your report for?

  • Your marketing team,
  • Line manager
  • C-level?

You need to choose your audience so you only share what’s relevant to each stakeholder. Don’t force your audience to hunt for the information they need. 

The social media report you create for your team will be entirely different from the one you share with C-level.

Senior management won’t always have the time or inclination to read a heap of pages. Keep it short and simple.

2 - Set your goals

It’s important to focus your social media analytics reporting. What are you hoping to achieve from your social media reports? What are you trying to prove, to justify? 

  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement

Concentrate on the social media KPIs that matter to your business strategy and your target audience. While you have to be detailed, don’t bury yourself under data. 

You can break social media reporting into three categories...

  • Regular reports - using key metrics to demonstrate progress on social media - your brand alone, or include competitors and industry
  • One-off report - following a campaign, event, product launch - metrics and qualitative analysis to gauge success
  • Research reports - using social media listening to find actionable insights around a particular topic or trend

3 - SMART questions

Regardless of which report you’re writing, you should identify the questions you want to answer. As with your goals, ensure your questions are SMART...

  • Specific - real numbers with real deadlines
  • Measurable - how you'll track and analyze results
  • Achievable - ask questions that are challenging, but possible
  • Relevant - check you have the necessary resources
  • Timely - set a timeline, and stick to it

A report following a specific marketing campaign might ask - how much of your target group drove engagement?

A research report might ask - what do people want in their 40s from a clothing brand?

4 - Which metrics to track

You don’t need to report on everything.

The more you include, the greater your reporting task will be. What you choose to measure depends on your needs and which social networks you use. These can include X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. . Try to avoid custom metrics that’ll need manual calculation, unless vital.

Measure metrics that you’ll learn from, and that will inform your decision-making...

  • Leads - visitors that have the potential to become customers. You can directly tie leads from social to revenue.
    Target consumers with gated content, contests, events, demo sign-ups, newsletter subscriptions, etc., to increase registrations. Regular content that resonates with consumers will drive sign-ups.
    Use Trackable links (UTM code) to track generated or converted leads.
  • Conversions - a lead that became a paying customer.
  • Reach & impressions - the number of people that see your posts. It’s a metric that demonstrates the value of your content strategy beyond the total number of likes.
    Reach = total number of people who see your content
    Impressions = number of times your content is displayed.
  • Volume - track conversion size and number of brand mentions
  • Engagement - this is about the relevancy of your content. Analyze the quantity and type of engagement your social media channels and content receive. Include clicks, comments, and shares.
    Recognize which channels are performing well for your brand. Highlight posts doing better than normal. Identify pain points, so you can action for improvement.
  • Audience - identify who participates in conversations, the most active users, influencers. Present a breakdown of the audience and demographics to show you’re reaching the right market.
  • Content - tracktop-performing posts, and those that failed. Include the number of posts published monthly, to prove the activity of your team.
  • Clickthrough with bounce rate - track bounce rate of website visitors coming from social. Compare these to direct website visitors or those that arrived from a search engine or paid ad campaign.
    If your social media bounce rate is lower than those other sources, you you’re targeting the right people on social. And that traffic is more valuable to the business.
  • Bounce rate = % of page visitors who leave your site after only viewing one page. In social media, it would be someone clicking on a social media link, landing on your site/blog post, then leaving without looking at any other type of content.
  • Share of voice (SOV) - Mentions show how much consumers are talking about you on social. Find out how your SOV compares with that of your competitors.
  • Lessons learned - share social media insights you’ve learned with other teams in your organization. For instance: product feedback, technical issues, praise.
  • Executive summary - include a summary of your top achievements during the month. Keep it short - up to 5 bullet points.

You need to track a lot of social media data. When it comes to reporting results,  be shrewd with what you share. Not everything you’re monitoring is relevant to management.

Be consistent - report the same metrics in the same way, each time. Include percentage changes and benchmarks to make it easier for your audience to understand the results.

5 - Choosing the best social media reporting tools

Clarify your priorities and goals before you start looking for the best tool. Ask questions...

  • Where does the tool source its social data?
  • What’s the quality of data?
  • What relationship does it have with the social networks?
  • Can it track owned, earned, and paid social?
  • Does it include insights from the networks that you’re reporting on?
  • What type of customer support or account management does it provide?
  • What features are on its roadmap?
  • Does it offer multiple languages?
  • Does it have AI to accelerate your speed to insight?

Social media channels are evolving. You need a tool that will keep up with these changes.

A single tool is best, rather than multiple, or a different one for each channel. You’ll save time, money, and stress.

6 - Choose optimal reporting timeframes

Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and campaign-related. It makes sense to report some metrics more often than others. What does management want?

If you’re creating a campaign-related report, set benchmarks before you start. You’ll then be able to track improvements.

You can do a monthly report on published content. Include the number of sessions, page views, new users, goal completions, bounce rate, leads, and downloads.

If you’re targeting keywords, include page rankings for before and after the publication date.

With this information, you’ll see spikes and patterns, to better understand what’s working with your audience. For example, seasonal patterns during holidays, Christmas, Black Friday, etc.

7 - Presenting your social media marketing report

Once you have all the information, you need build your social media report. It's time to work on your presentation. 

Remember, not everyone you're talking to will have your insights. They may not understand all the data you present. Make it an easy read. 

Use graphs, charts, virality maps, Conversation Clusters, word clouds, social posts, and Influencer Networks. Whatever it takes to create social media reports that are easy to understand. Human brains understand images and are more likely to retain the information they’re illustrating. Include a short description of what they’re seeing, along with takeaways and analysis highlights.

Here are our tips for making your social data easier to grasp...

    • Break down your data per channel, and present separately. Thereby making performance analysis easier.
    • New user growth per channel
    • Lead generation per channel
    • Engagement stats per channel - comments, likes, shares, mentions 
    • Influencer interaction per channel
    • Revenue growth - conversions and ROI listed separately - per channel

How you present - the look of the report - depends on your audience, the depth of your reporting, and which tools you're currently using.  

If you can present everything clearly on a single slide... go for it.

For comprehensive results, a consumer intelligence platform can collect data, and automate results into an easy-to-understand report.

Selection of graphics for social media report - word clouds, emoji cloud, social media post.

Use a mix of data visuals to support and explain your results in your social media report. Talkwalker Social Listening

You should be ready to...

  • Understand what happened so you can plan the future - pull out last year’s data to target this year’s critical KPIs
  • Get to the point - don’t include anything that doesn’t impact your goals
  • Understand the data you’re presenting - don’t list numbers, tell a story
  • Be brutally honest - learn from your successes and failures. Never lie about or fluff over what the results represent. Ensure your team is ready to address negative results immediately
  • Make it actionable - allow the data to steer your decisions and plan how you’re going to respond

The goal of your social media report is to optimize your social media activities and benefit your bottom line.

Types of social media reports

Let's take a look at the various reports and periods that you could cover...

Time Periods

Choose those that will give you and management all the data you need.

Daily reporting

Used by the social media team to track daily changes. Can find spikes and troughs to enable fast response. What caused this? What action should you take?

Managing your channels means monitoring - in real time - your brand, product, and competitor posts. Address any issues immediately.

An issue can become a crisis in the blink of an eye!

Questions to ask...

  • What are your followers doing - sudden increase/decrease?
    Are spikes in followers genuine/fake/low quality? Have you tagged anyone or used a hashtag that’s attracting bots?
  • How are engagement levels looking for your content - increase/decrease?
  • Are there new influencers you can reach out to?
  • What’s the performance of the hashtags you’re using - increase in activity of those you’re following?
  • What’s your brand sentiment - positive/negative increase?
  • How are your competitors performing - increase in followers, sentiment, etc.?

Performance benchmarking shows how your business compares to your competitors and industry.

Punctual campaign reporting

Marketing campaigns - when successful - have a significant impact on company growth. Are you measuring this impact? It’s time you proved the value of your team and your campaigns.

A punctual campaign - a time-bound initiative - has a single/targeted message and drives one business goal. You’ll want to report on the ROI of each punctual campaign. Track audience engagement, and analyze the opportunities that resulted from your campaign. Depending on the structure of your campaign, measure these metrics:

  • What impact did the campaign have?
  • Were preset goals met?
  • How much traffic did the campaign drive?
  • How many leads did the campaign bring?
  • What was the engagement rate of customers?
  • How much revenue did the campaign influence?
  • How does this campaign compare to previous?

You need to track paid ads for performance and frequency, while keeping the budget on track. Optimize goals and allocate money based on what’s working and what isn’t.

Each social media platform has built-in tools to measure performance. For easier reporting, a single consumer intelligence platform will prove more efficient.

Metrics to improve future campaigns...

  • Which landing pages had the highest conversion rates?
  • Which blog posts took off?
  • Which emails were opened most?
  • Which social messages drove the most engagement?

Monthly reporting

Monthly reporting is for performance comparison over time. Watch for spikes and slumps. Is that spike a trend or a one-off incident? Determine this before tweaking your social media plan on an exception, rather than the norm.

You should include the following...

  • This month vs last month
  • This month vs the same month, last year
  • KPI movement - include acquisition, conversions, engagement, retention KPIs

This is for management, so be ready with the answers to any questions. More data, more questions...

  • Focus on crucial metrics - 3-5 max
  • Avoid including data you can’t explain
  • Use data visualizations to clearly show trends and progress
  • Tie the results back to business goals
    Example: goal = customer retention. Show increase in sessions coming via social media for returning customers

Quarterly strategy review

Your quarterly strategy review will help you maximize the performance of your marketing efforts. The goal is to assess how fit for purpose your strategy is, while learning from the previous quarter. This in turn, will influence planning for the next quarter.  

Your quarterly review should cover...

  • Current strategy, focus, and goals - what your social media campaigns will achieve, in line with business goals
  • Progress against goals - where is your team concerning targets - ahead or behind?
  • Hits and misses - what worked, what didn’t, why? Your review should cover reasons for successes and failures
  • Issues and resolution - why weren’t goals met? What improvements should you make? Who is responsible for this? How will you monitor and report the results?
  • Insights - what did you and your team learn that will help improve your social media marketing?
  • What data will you share across your organization that will improve performance?
    Example: share customer feedback and insights with the customer service team and sales
  • Next steps and actions - plan of action with roles defined, responsibilities, target deadlines

Brand protection reporting

Crisis management

When a brand faces a potential crisis, a fast assessment and reaction is crucial. Reporting on your online performance is only valuable if you’re honest, and face up to the truth. Establish a PR crisis management plan. It will significantly reduce the chances of damage to your brand reputation. 

During a crisis, listen, identify, review, respond

During PR crisis management - listen, identify, review, respond.

Share of voice report

Who are people talking about most, you or your competitors? What’s your brand’s share of voice  - SOV - in your industry? A spike in SOV isn’t always a good thing if a crisis caused the increase.

Understand how your brand is positioned in the market with a share of voice report. And uncover new opportunities for growth.

Brand performance reporting

Social network comparison

Compare results from all your social channels. Each channel is different, and might not be a fit for your brand. Try out some alternative strategies. If it doesn’t improve, concentrate on the channels that work for you.

Brand health report

Talkwalker analytics brand health for social media report template

Simulated brand health report - Talkwalker Social Listening

How effective is your brand in achieving your business goals? Tracking reputation, awareness, engagement, and positioning will give you an overview of your strengths and weaknesses.

Report the stats, and ask questions. An increase in your share of voice sounds great, but is it due to a potential crisis? Gathering all your results and analysis into a single report will give you the complete picture of your brand health.

Choosing a social media reporting tool

Now you understand why accurate reporting is so important.

And an industry-leading social media reporting platform can make it easier than ever. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a tool.

  • Can you choose the format of my social media report?
Your boss likes to present a PPT presentation to the board. Your team’s happy with a Word doc. Look for a tool that gives you multi-format reporting choices – PowerPoint, HTML, Word, PDF.
  • Can you use pictures in my reports?
Social media is all about visuals. A good social media reporting tool has to reflect this. Not just to make it pretty, but humans understand and retain data from charts, videos, and graphs.
  • Can you get all your results in one place?
360° visibility of brand health on a content performance dashboard allows you to quickly spot shifts in results. You can react fast and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Can you receive notifications about changes in your results?
Set up alerts to keep on top of new results or unusual activity that requires immediate attention. 
  • Are you able to badge your social media dashboard with your company logo
White labeling allows you to customize dashboards and social media reports with your corporate branding.
  • Is it possible to combine third-party data sources with your internal data?
Importing external data and adding to your in-house data will reveal correlations that could affect your marketing campaigns. For instance, a retail outlet could include weather data to understand what flies off the shelves before a storm hits.
  • Can you filter data for increased accuracy?
If your social reporting tool has rule-based tagging, you’ll be able to add filters to past and future data. Set these rules to flag negative mentions, delete irrelevant mentions or spam, and to assign mentions to teams around the world.
  • Can you save time and energy with AI support?
AI helps you decipher hundreds of posts quickly and efficiently. So spend less time analyzing data, and more time driving results.

The reporting function of Talkwalker Social Listening tools does all this and much more. To learn how it can make reporting a breeze, click below.



Share it