How to Design a Powerful Social Media Dashboard: 5 Tips
One of the most critical aspects of building a robust digital marketing strategy is engaging your audience in a consistent, meaningful way online. Social media platforms offer a huge opportunity to do this, yet it’s easy for your brand voice to get lost in the noise these channels generate if you don’t continually test and track your efforts.
Failing to optimize your social media strategy puts you on the path toward poor performance, wasted time, and misallocation of your marketing budget. If you’re serious about social media marketing, you need powerful reporting technology with built-in social media dashboard templates that empower users to continually improve performance.
What is a Social Media Dashboard?
A social media dashboard is a tool that marketers can use to track the KPIs from all social accounts to ensure strategies are being executed as intended. While you could create your own reports using spreadsheets, it’s much more effective to use a social media dashboard to automate the process. Dashboards pull data directly from your social platforms and summarize performance in easily digestible visualizations that update automatically based on the latest data.
If you’re interested in using social media dashboards to monitor marketing performance and optimize your campaigns, here are five tips for success.
Tip 1: Start With Your Goals and Strategy
Before investing in a dashboard tool, it’s important to first have a clear understanding of your social media marketing goals. Essentially, you need to be able to answer these questions:
- Which business goals are you working towards? (Engagement, brand building, lead generation, sales, etc.)
- What strategies will you use to work towards these goals? (Social campaigns, giveaways, strategic engagement, paid advertising, etc.)
- Which social platforms will you use to achieve this? (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Defining the exact make-up of your strategies before you implement them is paramount. This means investing in a dashboard reporting tool that includes all the integrations and key reporting metrics you need to monitor progress.
Tip 2: Integrate Your Social Performance Data
Most social media platforms have their own native reporting tools, which leads many marketers to (mistakenly) believe that they are sufficient enough to track performance. While your Facebook Insights Report and Twitter Page Report are valuable, you need to view your data holistically to understand social media performance overall.
When you use a reporting tool that creates social media dashboards, you can integrate performance data from every major platform, including:
- Facebook Insights
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Insights
- Instagram Ads
- Twitter Analytics
- LinkedIn Pages
- LinkedIn Ads
- and more
If you have any additional social media performance data you want to add to your dashboard beyond these reports, you can import it using CSV files, or arrange for data to be regularly uploaded automatically.
Tip 3: Track the Right KPIs
Next, you want to ensure your dashboard reports include the critical data points you need to examine campaigns and work towards achieving your social media marketing goals. With that, there are likely certain KPIs that you’ll want to prioritize and view quickly at a glance. You could build your dashboard reports from scratch, yet the best strategy is to start with a premade template and then customize it to highlight your preferences. Templates include widgets dedicated to the most important performance indicators built right in, affording users the opportunity to rearrange them, switch them out, and build a custom dashboard to fit performance goals more accurately.
Some important KPIs to consider are:
It’s important to look at the total number of followers you have on each social platform and how they’ve grown over time. The great thing about dashboards is that you can see a combined total of followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can understand, therefore, how your social media efforts are impacting your follower growth overall.
Likes and Shares
Tracking how many likes and shares your posts get isn’t just for social media influencers. Marketers can learn a lot about how their content is resonating with their target audience by how they react to it. Tracking your likes and shares across social media channels also tells you a great deal about how each platform is performing. Your number of likes ultimately gives you an idea of how many potential leads you can target on a platform.
Impressions and Reach
These metrics show you how many people could see your posts in their social feeds, regardless or not of whether they have interacted with them. Having high reach and impressions is important to gain visibility for your brand and increase potential engagement. If your impressions and reach are low, you may want to change your posting strategy or invest in boosting posts to garner increased visibility.
Having a large number of followers actually isn’t all that important if you’re not doing a good job of engaging with them. There are plenty of brands who build their following and post frequently but are never able to truly interact with their followers and nurture them as leads. That’s why it’s really important to monitor your engagement rate and make sure your marketing efforts work to improve it.
Engagement rate has a formula:
(Total social interactions [Likes, comments, shares, clicks, etc.] /Total number of followers) x 100
Essentially, if you get 1,000 social interactions a day with ten thousand followers, your engagement rate will be much lower than if you got the same number of interactions with only a few thousand followers.
If you’re investing in paid ads, other important metrics to include might be:
- Ad impressions
- Ad reach
- Bounce rate
- Conversions and conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
Your main dashboard can include reports on any KPIs you want through the use of customizable widgets.
Tip 4: Dig Into Your Reports For More Insights
Social media dashboards give you a quick, valuable overview of social media performance with insightful reports. The main benefit of dashboards, though, is the opportunity they offer to zoom in on different reports and break down your data to surface more actionable insights. With just a few clicks, you can change your reports to show performance for different time periods, or filter data by platform, content type, conversions, and more.
By digging into your dashboard reports, you can get a better understanding of how different factors are influencing performance. For example:
- Compare engagement and conversions on different social channels
- Compare the performance of paid versus organic campaigns
- Perform topical analysis to better understand social conversations
- See which posting times drive the most engagement
You can also examine other key metrics that can reveal opportunities for improvement and inform you where it’s best to invest your marketing efforts, namely:
- Social media bounce rate
- CTR from social to web content
- Conversions by network
- Time on site by network
- New visitor acquisition by network
Succeeding in social media marketing isn’t just about growing your followers, engaging them, and driving traffic back to your website. You want to find the people who are most interested in what your business has to offer, target them on the social media platforms they spend their time on, and optimize CTR and conversion behaviors to drive your marketing goals. Your social media dashboard provides all the data insights you need to achieve this.
Tip 5: Monitor the Effects of Your Efforts and Adjust
If you want to get the most value out of your social media dashboards, then this is the most important tip you should follow. Social media dashboards aren’t just for checking how you’re doing – they’re designed to help you monitor performance and determine how your marketing campaigns are influencing key goals.
Once you understand how your social media engagement performs as a baseline, you can introduce different marketing initiatives to improve it. Dashboards help you monitor week-over-week engagement changes to see if your efforts are paying off.
Your dashboards can also be used to understand how your marketing campaigns help your brand perform compared to competitors in the social media space. You can monitor changes in factors such as:
- How many followers you’ve gained in a certain period of time compared to your competitors
- How much engagement competitor posts are getting compared to yours
- How your share of voice has changed over time
Dashboards provide the most value when you utilize the actionable insights they expose to create refined, more optimized social media marketing campaigns. Intelligence gleaned from your dashboards can help ensure your efforts are always focused on the right platforms, the right audiences, and the right tactics to achieve your goals.
Designing a Social Media Dashboard – The Bottom Line
Social media marketing offers huge opportunities to engage your audience, build your brand image, generate leads, and drive conversions. However, you can end up wasting a lot of resources on social channels if you don’t monitor performance effectively.
Building dashboards is the best way to surface the insights you need to understand how your marketing efforts are driving key goals across your social outlets. Start by investing in a robust reporting platform, then follow the tips outlined in this article. You’ll end up with all the data you need to build a winning social media strategy.
At Centro, our universal reporting and analytics dashboard empowers marketing teams to make better, data-driven decisions for campaigns. You can view metrics from programmatic, direct, search, social, and connected TV via one platform. Ready to learn more? Get in touch with us today!