Developing a social media annual report that shines

Jackie Vetrano
Mar 19, 2019 · 8 min read
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In the age of technology, many social media managers are finding there are more and more data points available – both natively and within other tools – to measure social media efforts. But with an increase in data comes an increased likelihood of confusion for managers and their teams. Which data points matter? Are the number of “fans” important anymore?

As social media became a larger part of the digital strategy for many institutions, these growing data points have been gathered up, thrown into charts, graphs, and presentations and then sent off to senior leaders to show the ROI of efforts.

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A page from UGA’s annual social media report

Collecting Data

Tackling an annual report can sound like a daunting task, especially because many social media platforms give you only a small window to download data from the previous month. “I set a monthly reminder on my calendar to go and collect all the data whether or not I have enough time to analyze it,” Kalena explained. It’s this consistency in monthly reporting that is the key to an organized and robust annual report.

From monthly reporting to an annual report

Jamie and Kalena, like many social media managers, initially developed their annual report as a larger version of the monthly dashboards and sent it off to the same groups of stakeholders they always had. On the whole, it would provide a great deal of numbers, but not a lot of context around them.

The difference between an annual report and a year-end summary

While the idea of an annual report and a year-end summary seem synonymous, there are slight differences in the execution that make it worthwhile to consider when creating a game plan.

UGA’s decision

The end of 2018 was the first year that Jamie and Kalena had year-over-year data, and they were excited for the opportunity to showcase improvements as well as highlight a well thought-out strategy behind the efforts from that year — in part thanks to Jamie joining the team in April 2018.

Elements of a great annual report

Data

Whether you like them or not, good data is the core of a good annual report. As Kalena and Jamie quickly realized, it is very important to consistently gather data from all platforms on a routine schedule in order to develop an accurate report at the end of the year.

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UGA uses bar graphs and arrows for displaying followers.

Context

Data visualization is great, but without context, others may feel left in the dark. An annual report should provide the details about:

  • What the trends imply or inform
  • The efforts executed
  • The overall strategy for each platform
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UGA clarifies the landscape of Instagram as well as their own strategy on the platform.

Design

It goes without saying that readers are much more likely to want to pick up a clean, stylized report rather than a black and white word document. When designing the report, consider brand colors and fonts. Better yet, team up with the graphic design team to develop a template that can be used year over year.

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UGA uses a larger and bolder font to drive home major data points.

Examples

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UGA describes video efforts on Facebook with a screenshot.

Related efforts

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UGA highlights the efforts and outcomes of their Digital Dawg ambassador program.

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