Digital Marketing Basics: How to run a Social Media report with FREE tools

Digital Marketing Basics: How to run a Social Media report with FREE tools

You’ve got to grips with creating content for social media, but how do you know what’s working?

Regular social media reporting is essential. SME owners may be wary of frequent reports as it may not be seen as a necessity, but running social media reports weekly, monthly or quarterly can allow you to reach your business goals faster.

Some benefits of regular reporting are:

  • Measuring ROI (return on investment)
  • Finding out which networks perform best for your business
  • Discovering what types of content performs best on your channels
  • Understanding your audience
  • Seeing your audience growth
  • Working iteratively to create a better strategy as you go
  • Keeping your colleagues in the loop

Sounds good right? Here’s how you can run a social media report with free tools.

1. Metrics

First and foremost, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for. Knowing which metrics to keep an eye on will depend on your goals as a business, your target audience and industry.

There is a range of metrics that you can monitor, but some of the most important ones to measure for any business are:

  • Volume – Is your follower count increasing? Are they relevant to your business?
  • Engagement – are people interacting with your content enough? Are they interacting in the way that you’d like? Are your CTA’s (calls to action) strong and relevant enough?
  • Clicks – Are you driving clicks towards your website?
  • Reach – Are you increasing your reach monthly or is it flat-lining?

These are all good areas to start in, so reflect on your own social media goals and if any of these metrics line up.

2. Tools

Free tools are the best tools and there are so many accessible tools out there. The best tool for you depends on your business goals, KPI’s (key performance indicators) and metrics you want to track. Our top recommendations are:

Each tool is slightly different but simple to use. At J&R, our preferred tool for measuring social media analytics is Buffer, as its analytics tool interface is simple, easy to understand and can be filtered by metric, time and format.

How to use Buffer Analytics:

  1. Log into Buffer and select the social media account you wish to view
  2. At the top of the page, select Analytics
  3. Filter by the required metric

Buffer allows you to filter through the data by likes, clicks, replies, shares, and reach. These metrics are all individually important and each gives an indication of how you are performing on social media. For instance, reach is an indicator of if enough people are seeing your content on their feed, whether they have engaged with it or not.

4. Monitoring Social Media Referral Traffic:

Google Analytics, in particular, is an effective tool for measuring referral traffic. Referral traffic is when a user visits your website from a source outside of Google. This is a valuable insight on which external sources are the most beneficial for promoting your business. We primarily monitor referral traffic from social media, as we find that this is the most relevant traffic to look at for our goals as a business.

How to monitor social media traffic:

1. Open Google Analytics and select your site

2. Select Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

3. Select the Social Column

4. Click on Network Referrals

5. View the data

Google Analytics allows you to get granular with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn referral sources. You are able to view the data in a tabular view for each platform. Google Analytics also has a variety of other options for how you can view the data:

  • Percentage – Pie chart showing the contribution to the total for the selected metric
  • Comparison – Bar chart showing the performance of the selected metric to the site average
  • Term cloud – Shows a visual representation of keywords on the site
  • Performance – Horizontal bar chart displaying the relevant performance of the selected metric
  • Pivot – Detect data trends by rearranging the information in the table.

5. How we run our Social Media Reports

We conduct our social media reports once a week. This helps us with planning out the content for the coming week in the most strategic way possible. It’s important to check your analytics regularly, either weekly or monthly, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your content.

As a new brand, gaining followers and engagement are some of the most important metrics for us to measure. We ‘re keen to grow our audience and establish our brand whilst having meaningful conversations with relevant businesses. We may adjust our work the following week depending on what we found in order to reach these targets. For instance, if we find that image posts performed particularly well one week, we may schedule in three more for the following week to further boost our engagement rates.

For us personally, we have found that the best way to hold social media reports is verbally. By discussing your report with your colleagues rather than sending it to them, it is easier for everyone to contribute. Your colleagues may spot issues that you haven’t thought of or come up with innovative ideas for new content based on what has performed well.

Thanks for reading!

We hope that you’ve now got a good understanding of conducting social media reports! If you’d like to learn more, check out the other posts in our Digital Marketing Basics series. Or, if you’re after more social media specifics, read about how to effectively manage your customers on social media.


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