Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, oh my! Social media has become an essential marketing channel for both B2C and B2B companies as part of their marketing strategy. However, only 1 in 3 marketers are able to measure the return on investment of their social activities. That's terrible!
In order to continue being effective on social media, marketers like you (and me!) need insight into what’s driving clicks and engagement on social media -- and more importantly, how that data compares to historical efforts. With that information, you can easily make continuous improvements to your strategy. However, surfacing that information could mean spending hours pulling and comparing historical reports.
Not anymore for HubSpot customers like you! We're excited to introduce Social Reports, a new addition to our social media marketing app, Social Inbox. Reports breaks down your social media strategy with analytics on your published messages and their impact on your bottom-line business goals, all on one page in your HubSpot software.
In this post, I’ll walk through Social Reports and how you can use each report to improve your social media marketing. Ready? Go!
Get started with Social Reports by logging into HubSpot and clicking on “Reports” under “Social” in the main navigation:
This report allows you to compare your social efforts historically by choosing the time frames you’d like to see in your data. (Tip: If you ever forget what this report does, read a description by hovering over the report in the on-page report navigation. In fact, this is true for all reports in Social Reports):
This report (along with others in Social Reports) also has three sub-sections that are chock-full of great social data for you. These sections are called:
Here’s what you’ve published
Here’s what your followers thought
Here’s the impact on your business
Let's discuss each sub-section and what it does.
1. "Here’s what you published" will show you the number of messages published through Social Inbox for the time frame you’ve selected, which you’ll do on the on-page navigation in Reports:
You can always choose which channels or platforms you want included in your Compare Time Frames report by clicking into the “Filter Channels” menu and selecting which channels you’d like to display information for:
This view is meant you give you a quick snapshot of how you’re doing in the time frame you've selected. In the instance above, I’m viewing my current social marketing this month to-date. As you can see from the cumulative report, it’s easy to see progress for the month. If you’d like, you can switch that to a bar chart view at any time in most reports:
2. "Here’s what your followers thought" is where you’re going to get some juicy, nitty-gritty details on your social marketing. The section is topped with an easy-to-read paragraph, summing up your status on you social marketing for that time frame, like the example below:
Let’s break it down. The first blurb is your key takeaway for that time-frame comparison of data:
The second announcement is how many clicks your messages received in that given time frame. Now, this is where Social Reports gives you something you've never seen before and would have been terribly difficult to figure out on your own. Not only does this report provide you historical information on your own social marketing, but it'll also provide you with that awesome benchmarking data I mentioned before. The benchmark data compares you against other HubSpot customers also using Social Inbox to publish to an audience around the same size as yours:
You can see this data come to life in the first chart under this section.
The final copy on this section breaks down your interactions on your published messages for that given time frame.
Interactions include mentions, replies, comments, likes, favorites, retweets and +1’s on your published content. If you want to break the interactions out in smaller groupings, you can choose to see the interactions individually under the corresponding chart:
Please note: If you want details on a certain message you published, the best place to go for that is your Published messages dashboard. That way, you can start with the message and see the data, which is the opposite of how Reports work. When looking at any chart in Social Reports, you can click into those messages, which will bring you to your Published messages dashboard.
3. "Here’s the impact on your business" shows you how many fans and followers you gained on social media this month, as well as how many visits to your website social media as a channel has contributed:
How You Can Use the Compare Time Frames Report
As you change around the time frames to compare your progress, consider not only your historical data but the benchmarking data as well. The historical data will tell you where you’ve improved in your strategy or where to put put more effort. The benchmark data can give you tips on what to change or what to continue doing in your social strategy so you can keep getting the kinds of engagement and interactions folks with your same size audience reach are getting.
This report is great for showing you at a high-level if your social media strategy is getting you the kind of engagement you want. You can also see whether the platforms and channels you are using are working for you, so if necessary you can stop spending your valuable time creating content for a channel that doesn't work.
In fact, that’s what John Heinrichs, Associate Professor at Wayne State University uses it for:
"Analyzing the Compare Time Frames report showed me that we do not have a clearly defined social media strategy. Social Reports highlighted that for me in a manner that was easily shareable with management."
This second report gives you the same level of detail as Compare Time Frames, but the focus is on comparing the social platforms you’re using against one another. As a reminder, a platform is a specific social network -- like Facebook or Linkedin.
To check it out, navigate to this report in the on-page navigation in the tabs.
First, you’ll notice that you can change the time frame of the data by toggling the time frame drop-down menu in the upper right. By default, the report is broken down by the platforms you publish to, seen by the legend on the right. You can always choose to filter out platforms in the “Filter Channels” menu above the chart.
How You Can Use the Compare Platforms Report
This report is great for discovering which platforms are performing the best for you in terms of individual message data. You can also look at which platforms are best impacting your bottom-line business goals, like visits from social media to your website.
Now, it’s easy to tell which platforms are most effective for you on social media in a glance. At least that’s how Brianna Smith, Social and Digital Marketing Strategist at Fpweb.net uses it:
"Social Reports has had a big impact on my daily social media activity because I can quickly compare how I am doing this month so far compared to last month. This makes it easy to adjust my strategy if I see that I am behind in one or more areas for the month."
This third report digs one level deeper than the Compare Platforms report, allowing you to see how each channel on each platform performs individually. Channels, in the case of this report, means the specific assets you can publish to on each platform. For example, if you were the admin of two LinkedIn Company Pages, those are considered two distinct channels. The legend on the right shows you which channels are included in the report, which you can change anytime with the “Filter Channels” menu above the chart.
From here, the report provides the same information as the Compare Platforms report, just displayed with a focus on the channels you publish to as opposed to overall platforms.
How You Can Use the Compare Channels Report
This report is great for reporting on how individual channels are contributing to the overall success of your social media efforts. You can really dig deep into individual Twitter accounts or LinkedIn groups -- where all the good stuff is happening.
Jared Bauman, President of shootdotedit, uses this report to figure out his best social marketing channels:
"This is the exact report I have my Marketing Coordinator run for me. Numbers like interactions per message or clicks per message are exactly what I want to know. In the end, I use the data to determine if more Tweets or Facebook posts increase total interaction and interaction per message. That's an important metric for me."
If you’re using the HubSpot Campaigns App, buckle up -- this new report will knock your socks off! You can now report on all social messages by campaign. In other words, any message you’ve tagged by campaign when scheduling a message to post can now be reported on in this report. You can choose any campaign to look at from the drop-down menu provided, or even go to that particular campaign in the Campaigns App right from this screen:
From here, the report provides most of the same information as the Compare Channels report, minus the “Here’s the impact on your business” section.
How You Can Use the Campaigns Report
This report is great for digging into individual campaigns and seeing which platforms are providing you with the most interactions or clicks. Now, when you create more inbound marketing campaigns, you’ll know which platforms to always include in your campaign plans.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you have an ongoing campaign, you can switch the time frame for the data displayed in it’s usual place in the upper right. You can also decide which channels to include in the report using the “Filter Channels” menu. If you have several campaigns with social messages included, check them out individually. How do they differ from one another? Did one campaign’s social messages do better than another? Why?
Asking yourself these questions can help answer what you see in the “Here’s what your followers thought” section. Scott Stern, Founder and Chief Strategist at Red Stripe Strategy, said this was his favorite part of Social Reports:
"I'm so happy you've added these analytics! The way you've summarized the findings in plain text is probably the best part. I was using HootSuite and this is a better way to consume the information."
If you’re already using Social Inbox, our Reach report didn’t go away with Social Reports. Instead, we refreshed the report to also include relevant social media ROI findings from the Sources Report:
By default, all of the available platforms in Social Inbox are included in the Reach report. You can still export your Reach data or change the time frame of the data displayed on the chart. You cannot change the time frame of the information displayed from the Sources Report -- it will only show this month to date -- but you can always dig deeper by visiting the actual report under "Reports" in the main HubSpot navigation.
How You Can Use the Reach Report
This report is great for easy sharing with others, and gives you a top-level snapshot of how big your reach is across social media while giving you the important bottom-line business metrics you need, like the visits, contacts, and customers generated by social media each month.
While this isn’t the report to use to really drill down into what’s working, it’s likely this report is the one your manager or C-level executive cares about. It’s easy to digest, and provides just enough detail so others don’t get bogged down by individual elements of your social media marketing. In fact, that’s why Rob Sobers, Director of Inbound Marketing at Varonis likes it:
"I basically wanted one view that can answer, "How is our social media working for us this month?" I don't want lots of detail. I want to know if our follower base is growing (and by how much) and whether people are engaging with the stuff we post. That's it. Simple. And this report does that for me."