Hootsuit has been around since 2008 and is currently one of the most popular ways to manage social messaging on Twitter, Facebook and more. When it was first launched it's main focus was on making it easier to manage multiple social media platforms through one interface. These days this is just one of the benefit's it offers. On top of the ability to link from 3 (free), 50 (Pro), or unlimited (Enterprise) accounts Hootsuite can also make stat graphs.
Hootsuite comes with a number of standard reports covering such important topics as how have your followers changed on Twitter and what would your Facebook analytics look like should you log in yourself. Where Hootsuite really adds value though is in it's flexibility. It does make it easier to manage standard reporting through aggregation and scheduling.
The most important thing, before designing your reporting strategy, is to understand who will consume these reports, what they need to see and what best explains the value of the channel. Implementing best practices like taking advantage of Ow.ly links for posts made through Hootsuit is important for getting the most out of Hootsuite's Analytics.
- Plan your reporting
- Implement best practice
- Track links.
- Set up appropriate profiles within the limits of your account.
- Link Google Analytics.
After identifying who needs what kind of information is the next step is to do the work. After you've planned who needs what, look at just how many reports you can create with your account and plan what you can create to cover everyone's needs. Chances are you might need to supplement these with reporting from Google Analytics or other systems. From here setting up the reports, the people to share it with and the frequencies is all very straight forward.
Before any of this can be done though, it's vital to plan how you will meet your own goals with Hootsuite's points system. Those with free or Enterprise accounts don't need to worry about this, but if you have a Pro account you do. By default a Pro account will have 50 points a month to use on reports. These limit the number of different modules you can use to create your reports. For example a Twitter Profile Overview report won't use any points but the "Twitter Engagement - Detailed" report will cost you 50 points. Standard reports range from 20 to 50 points, with a number that are only available for Enterprise users.
The custom reports also are tied to the points system. Customising a report lets you set up a send frequency as well as change the headers and other personalise the report to match your brand standards or provide more informative headings for the modules. This also lets you build reports summarizing activity for more than one social media network and tweak the reporting to match the purpose of the report.
- Plan Reporting
- How many distinct reports are needed?
- How can these requirements be met by available resources?
- Design and build reports
- Plan required look and feed customisation.
- Use Standard reporting where possible.
- Design required value added customised reports.
Cross Social Network
One of the great things about custom reporting is how this will let you create cross channel reporting. Showing Google Analytics geographic reports along side with Facebook demographic information is one way to link social media to the brand's over all online activity. Reports featuring engagement metrics (Twitter mentions and follows reported with Facebook likes and Insights reports for example) along with other external reporting is invaluable for covering impact of multi-channel marketing campaigns.
The options available in Hootsuite are pretty extensive, and it's far too easy to create an exhaustive data puke of a report that will account for you're account's points. If you don't have a paid Hootsuite account and you do want to get into their analytic tools, take a look at what is available first and calculate how many points you will need to accomplish what you are already generating and what would answer the most commonly occurring questions.
If you already have an account and the points, just start experimenting with the reports you are already generating. Like any other form of reporting, getting the most out of Hootsuite's analytic tools is going to rely on presenting information that matters to those that need to see it, be it better campaign reports for the most important people in the room, or summaries that let you zero in on the things you need to change or manage right now.
Anthony works as an SEM Manager in the tourism and travel industry. Most of his free time is lost to creating comics about the digital industry, writing blog posts and drinking coffee.
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