Building a monthly social media report is the best way to keep track of your growth and improve your social strategy!
Whether you’re presenting your analytics to your boss, team, or client — or you’re just trying to measure your progress — tracking your metrics in a social media report is key to getting a more complete picture of your account’s performance.
In this blog post, we’ll take you step-by-step through building your own social media report with real examples. We’ll also be sharing free social media reporting templates to help you track your own social media analytics.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Best Practices for Building Your Social Media Report
As a social media marketer, you’re probably used to seeing numbers and metrics flood your screen on a daily basis. But how do you make sense of all of it? Or better yet, how do you explain it to your team or clients?
Creating a social media report is more than just finding out which photo, video, or stories performed best. It’s about turning your data into actionable insights.
Truly understanding how your content performs — by tracking account metrics and insights over time — is key to building a successful social media strategy for your business.
Never built a social media report before? Here are a few best practices to consider:
Social Media Report Tip #1: Identify Your Social Media Marketing Goals
First things first, what you include in your social media report is completely dependent on your social media goals.
If you’re a new brand that’s looking to build awareness, your engagement and follower metrics are the most important. If you’re a publication trying to drive people to your website, you’re probably pretty focused on website clicks.
Whatever your priorities, your social media marketing goals should always tie back to your short- and long-term business goals.
Example of Later’s social media report
That being said, since you’ll be tracking your social media growth on a month-to-month basis, it’s best to keep your report focused on your short-term goals. These goals can be more campaign or product-focused, including things like:
How many clicks/sign-ups did you receive on your most recent campaign?
How does this differ from previous campaigns?
How did our audience respond to the new product launch?
While every company’s goals will look a little different, it’s important to clearly identify a set of your own to help you make sense of your social media analytics.
Social Media Report Tip #2: Keep It Short and Sweet
If you’re presenting data to a team or client, keep things concise and to the point. People tend to doze off when it comes to talking numbers, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making compelling conclusions. Plus, they can also refer back to the numbers later on.
Chances are that your team or client has no interest in every little detail of your social media performance from the month.
However, it’s important to show off the value of what you’re doing day-to-day. You should think of your monthly social media report as a highlight reel that sums up your wins, losses, and opportunities.
Example of Later’s monthly social media report
Lastly, keep in mind this is a monthly social media report. While your quarterly or yearly analysis will include a ton of in-depth information, your monthly report should be much more succinct. It’s about keeping track of your data, drawing insights from that data, and making sure your strategy is on the right track.
Keep in mind also that numbers alone can’t tell a story — it’s up to you to make sense of what they mean! In most cases, your team or clients may look at your metrics without a real idea of what any of it actually means.
That’s why it’s important to present your social media report in a results-oriented fashion, tying together your goals, methods for reaching them, and outcome.
Now, let’s jump into the nitty-gritty of how to actually create a social media report!
We’re going to walk you through each section of what your social media report should include, and we’ve made it a little easier with our free reporting templates!
To help you create a gorgeous presentation, we’ve created free social media reporting templates with both PDF and Google Slides (Powerpoint) versions!
Just fill out the form below to create your own analytics report and start showcasing your results:
First, you’ll need to determine what type of reporting style works best for you. While no reporting method is better than the other, we’ve included a few of the most common (and effective) types of reports below.
Here are a few ways you can build your monthly social media report:
1. Excel Spreadsheet
One of the more common ways to track your social media analytics is by using an Excel spreadsheet to track month-over-month growth.
This is a great way to create a more complete view of your growth trajectory, without having to flip through different pages or open multiple presentations. You can also use Excel formulas to quickly make comparisons in your data, calculate percentage rates, or display graphs.
To help keep all your data organized, you can now export your Instagram analytics as a CSV file with Later’s Instagram analytics! That gives you one less thing to worry about when it comes to monthly progress reports.
In Later’s analytics tab, you’ll find the “Export CSV” button next to your different analytics sections, like Overview, Post Performance, and Story Performance.
Select the date range that you’d like to download your analytics for, click the “Export CSV” button, and your file will download to your computer!
Note: Exporting Later Analytics as CSV files are only available on all Later Business Plans.
2. PDF Social Media Report
While an Excel Spreadsheet works well for internal tracking, a PDF social media report is better suited for sharing with a team or clients.
For example, if you’re sending out an overview of your social efforts to members of your team, this is a great way to do it! Just attach it to an email or send it off in your company chat. PDFs are also easy to print, so you can bring it along to a meeting or file it away to reference later on.
3. Google Slides / Powerpoint Deck
Using Powerpoint or Google Slides for your social media monthly reporting is best for… you guessed it: presentations!
Whether it be an in-person or virtual meeting, a slideshow is a great way to present your social media analytics to a team or client. It can also give your social media report a much more professional look and make it easier for your audience to follow along.
Once you’ve determined what type of report (or reports) will serve your business best, it’s time to start filling in the blanks!
Our free social media report templates are broken down into three main sections, including: a monthly overview, platform breakdowns, and key learnings & takeaways.
First, you’ll want to start with a snapshot of your overall social media efforts. When building your social media report, it’s best to start with a wider view and then hone in on important KPIs and how they tie back to your strategy.
We’ve also included a section to copy and paste your notable social posts from the month. This is a great way to highlight your efforts and show off your best work!
Social Media Report Section #2: Social Media Platform Breakdown
Next, you’ll want to dive into each social media platform. Each platform has slightly different metrics to measure your performance.
We’ve created separate sections for the most common social media platforms in our reporting templates, including:
Instagram & Instagram Stories
Facebook & Facebook Stories
We’ve also included four different reporting sections under each platform, including: Strategy, Metrics & MoM Growth, Growth & Wins, and Insights.
This section should include a brief summary of what you did last month in order to reach your business goals. Typically, your team members or clients are already aware of your strategy for the coming months, so this section should simply act as a reminder.
Did you launch a new campaign? Amp up your influencer marketing efforts? Switch up your posting times?
As you make tweaks to your strategy each month, it’s important to take note of them! These notes can serve as “markers” in your metrics and can help you draw better conclusions about changes in your report over the following months.
Next, it’s time to add social media analytics to your monthly report!
In this section, you’ll want to include your monthly metrics as well as your month-over-month growth.
In most cases, your monthly metrics will just be a quick copy and paste from your platform analytics dashboard. Social media analytics have come a long way and make it easier than ever to grab all the data you need!
To calculate your monthly percent change, subtract the metric from the previous month from the current month. Then divide the result by the previous month’s metric and multiply by 100.
For example, let’s say you have 436 followers in June and grew to 562 followers in July. Your equation should look like:
436-562 = 126
126/436 = 0.29
0.29 x 100 = 29%
This means that from June to July your business saw a +29% change in follower growth.
The easiest way to calculate these changes is in your Excel spreadsheet before transferring the numbers to your social media report template. All you have to do is set up a quick formula and the program will do the math for you!
We all love to celebrate victories, and this is the time to do it!
In order to track your growth, you’ll want to look back at previous monthly reports. By comparing the current month’s performance to those in the past, you’ll be able to better identify new victories and milestones.
Maybe you discovered a certain type of content resonates well with your audience? Or an influencer in your industry gave you a shoutout?
Remember, small wins are still wins and can help you better guide your strategy over the coming months. Don’t be discouraged if none of your posts went viral. Rather, consider what your smaller “wins” are telling you.
Whether your wins are big or small, this section is all about showing the value of your efforts and learning from your failures and achievements.
Once you’ve dug into your social media analytics for each platform, it’s important you make sense of what these metrics actually mean. Think of this section as a “wrap-up,” condensing what you did, how it performed, and how it will guide your strategy in the upcoming months.
For example, let’s say you’re running an Instagram account for an online beauty store. While you’re digging into your Instagram Stories views, you notice a lot of ‘Exits’ around the first few slides.
Although your analytics can tell how many Exits you received, they don’t tell you why people are exiting your stories. So it’s up to you to pay attention to how different types of content perform against each other!
Is your audience most engaged when you’re sharing product photos? Or do they tend to prefer behind-the-scenes footage? Are they swiping away from photos but tapping forward on video content?.
Lastly, if you tried something new this month and it flopped, consider it an “insight.” Sometimes social media losses are the best guide when making updates to your content strategy!
This is your chance to really tie it all together. Think “big picture” while also wrapping up conclusive information that will better guide your strategy the following month.
This is the time to revisit your “growth & wins” and sum it all up!
It’s key to track overall patterns and learnings when digging into your analytics, as many different factors can affect your day-to-day success. Testing different types of content and features can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and help you create a fine-tuned social media strategy that truly resonates with your audience.
Is there something that worked particularly well? Maybe you discovered video content performs exceptionally well on Instagram, and you want to make sure to do more of that! Or maybe your influencer marketing efforts are bringing a ton of traffic to your website, so you suggest to ramp up those efforts.
Regardless of the win, make sure you reiterate the metrics or “proof” to back it in order to make a case for continuing this strategy down the road.
If something didn’t work, it’s important to own that too!
For example, if you notice that your reach is declining, you may want to rethink the type of content you share. Don’t be afraid to switch things up (just make sure to track when you do!) to find out what your audience is most interested in seeing.
Nobody likes delivering bad news. But most often, your team members or clients will appreciate the transparency. This is a great time to present “tweaks” to your strategy so you can have a more successful month ahead.
As you know, social media platforms are constantly changing. While it’s likely your team or clients aren’t aware of all the changes, this is a great place to make them known.
Think of your “opportunities” as a section for news and updates. For instance, if Instagram has launched a new stories sticker, let them know you’ll be testing it out and how you plan to use it to your advantage. Or if you’re planning to make the dive into IGTV, pitch a few ideas you have to grab your audience’s attention.
This is also a great time to discuss any holidays or events that are coming up. How will you be participating on social? Is there a specific hashtag you should be using?
(Tip: download our free social media holidays calendar to keep up with all the holidays and big events!)
Lastly, make sure to refer back to the “growth and wins” section. While you don’t need to rehash the details, take those learnings and describe how you’ll make use of the new discoveries in the months ahead.
How to Access Your Social Media Analytics
Tracking your social media analytics is key to understanding your audience, optimizing your content, and evaluating your overall performance.
So before you dive in, you’ll want to make sure you have access to all your social media analytics and insights!
Here’s how to find your social media analytics for each social platform:
Start by tapping on the menu icon in the top right corner of your Instagram profile and then click on the “Insights” tab. This will open the analytics for your business profile.
Once you open your insights, you’ll be able to find a ton of metrics and analytics for your posts, stories, and audience demographics.
Note: Instagram analytics are only available if you have an Instagram business profile, which is just one of the many reasons we recommend making the switch!
If you don’t have a business profile yet, you can create one in just a couple of minutes by following our step-by-step guide here.
To access your Instagram Stories Insights:
Similar to the analytics for your Instagram posts and account, your Instagram Stories analytics can found by tapping the “Insights” button in the top right corner of your Business Profile.
Here’s what Instagram Stories Insights look like on iOS:
Once you open your Instagram Insights, switch to the “Content” tab at the top of the screen. Here you’ll see data for both your regular Instagram posts as well as your Instagram Stories.
To get a deeper look into your Instagram Stories analytics, open your story and swipe up for a full list of insights. This will pull up a number of important metrics that can help you measure the success of your Instagram Stories.
Using Later Analytics to Track Your Instagram Performance
Later’s new Instagram Analytics feature gives you you the Instagram metrics you know and love from the Instagram app, plus more data in an easy-to-browse interface on your desktop.
You’ll also get up to 3 months’ worth of Instagram Stories analytics with Later, instead of just 2 weeks in the Instagram app.
If you’re not a fan of trying to cobble together screenshots from the Instagram app, then Later’s Instagram Analytics might be a good option for you.
Start by logging into your Later account on your desktop computer. From the menu bar on the left, navigate to the Instagram Analytics tab. You can switch between different social profiles to see analytics for your individual Instagram accounts.
To help you optimize your stories and get more views, Later also offers Instagram Stories analytics!
On the Later platform, you can track and rank stories by impressions, reach, completion rate, average views per user, and the number of replies each story received. This makes finding your best performing content a cinch!
Instagram Analytics are available on all Later paid plans.
Facebook & Facebook Stories Analytics
To access your Facebook Insights, head to your business’s Page and select “Insights”:
Here, you’ll be able to access your Insights Dashboard. You can also navigate to different sections of your analytics on the left side of your screen:
To access your Facebook Stories Insights:
The first option is to navigate to one of your active stories and tap the eye icon in the bottom left-hand corner. This will pull up a list of people who viewed your story.
You can also see stats on how your Page’s stories are performing once you turn on your Facebook Stories Insights. To do this, head to your Page on desktop and click on Insights at the top.
In the left column, click Stories and then click “Turn On.”
Ready to take the plunge into Facebook Stories? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Stories to get started!
To access your Twitter Analytics, tap on your profile image in the top right corner and select “Analytics” from the dropdown menu:
Here you’ll find a monthly account summary, as well as a breakdown of each month’s top performers.
To see your profile analytics, click Analytics at the top of Pinterest then select Profile. Pinterest profile analytics is organized into 4 sections: Impressions, Saves, Clicks, and All-Time:
You’ll see all metrics as a daily average. Use the date picker to see data for specific time periods, and the All apps menu to filter profile data by device.
You can also click “Export Data” to export your metrics to a CSV file.
As an official Pinterest Marketing Partner, you can use Later to track and measure your Pinterest growth and see how your Pinterest follower count has grown and changed over time. Just check out your Pinterest Analytics from your Later app!
You can also take a deep dive into your post content and see which individual posts have performed best over the last three months!
Sign in to YouTube, click your account icon, and select Creator Studio.
In the left menu, select Analytics.
Finally, choose the report you want to view.
As you’ve learned, building a social media report is much more than recording your social media analytics! While social media analytics provides you with the data, it’s up to you to keep testing and tweaking your content strategy.
Now that we’ve walked you through the social media reporting template, you’re ready to get started!
Don’t forget to download your free social media reporting templates!