How to Ensure the Right KPIs Rise to the Top

by Tedi O’Brien

We get it – data isn’t sexy. Presenting the next viral hit to your client can be a lot easier than explaining why their commercial didn’t perform well as an Instagram post.

But we’re here to change that perspective. Our goal? To coach you on how to make your clients care about the numbers.

Telling your clients a story with data they’ll actually care about comes down to one key thought process: What are their business goals? Determining what key performance indicators (KPIs) best accomplish those business goals will help bring social media analytics to their turf.

For example, if your client wants to increase brand awareness, preach reach! If you have a client that wants to understand if they’re reaching the right audience on social media, Engagement Rate is the perfect pH test.

Picking the right KPI is the first step in your story.

Next, use context and qualitative information to turn those numbers into a thriller fit for someone who has never seen data. Your clients may be familiar with key analytics, or they may have never considered Impressions on Twitter. You’re always better off providing more.

Laying the groundwork is an easy way to give quick context. Help your clients set expectations, goals, or benchmarks to put any data you send their way into perspective and to allow for stronger insights.

You can also visualize your data to turn unrecognizable numbers into an easy-to-follow graphic. Showing your client their benchmarked engagement rate next to the post performance you’re explaining will allow them to quickly pick up what you’re putting down.

Bringing this back to a storybook setting, your “happily ever after” to send the data off into the sunset should be key insights. Key insights are… well… key! This is especially true when you don’t have the opportunity to walk through a report with a client in person.

Key insights allow you to bring everything back into perspective and help you to provide your client with exactly what you need them to know.

Key insights should accomplish 4 things:

  • Summarize what you shared
  • Explain anomalies
  • Point out trends
  • Inform future decisions

Summarize what you shared

Use your key insights to summarize the most important points from your report. This is your opportunity to send exactly what you want them to remember straight to top-of-mind.

Explain anomalies

Did you lose 400 Facebook followers in one day? Did one wacky video outperform every other piece of content for the month? Give your client the “why” behind data anomalies in your key insights.

Point out trends

Keep an eye on trends in your content performance and use the key insights to call them out. This could be anything from posts on Tuesday being the most successful to GIFs consistently performing poorer than photos on Instagram.

Inform future decisions

Take advantage of key insights to not only inform but also to make recommendations for future social media efforts. You can channel your qualitative insights to make a strong case for a social recommendation, like changing post cadence or a tactical channel approach.

Your client may deprioritize reporting and analytics in favor of planning and moving forward, so it’s important that you tie the two together with a nice little bow. Show them that what you’re bringing to the table informs the work they’re pushing forward!

Bonus tip: Read the room. Are people snoozing? Back off the number talk and make actionable insights to bring people back to life!


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