If you are involved in social media management that it’s important that you regularly report on your successes (and failures). But, that doesn’t mean simply running reports from Google Analytics or Facebook Insights and forwarding spreadsheets and PDFs to executives. You have to use the data to “tell a story” and that involves more work than “print to PDF”. Once you have the data behind your success or failure, it’s important to wrap it into a story that provides context. For example, don’t provide someone with the GA report on visits from social media platforms without explaining to the end user what the data means and the conclusions you’ve reached. Similarly, if you had a success social media campaign, but the ROO (return on your business objectives) wasn’t necessarily easy to quantify because it involves brand equity or goodwill, it may be better to produce a case study. Here are my tips for a successful case study:
- Keep it short! I suggest less than one page. Execs don’t have enough time to read their emails, so they sure aren’t going to read a 5000 word beast of a case study. Short = good. The shorter the case study the higher it will most likely be read and shared.
- Be specific, but don’t worry about the nitty gritty. This is a high level overview of something you did. If you get stuck, see #1 above.
- If the case study had a long threaded conversation, just provide the highlights. You can include a screen shot of the thread as an addendum if your audience wants more details.
- 2-3 sentence intro (who did what and why it matters)
- 250 word body (the details of what happened)
- 2-3 sentence conclusion (further explaining the value this generated for the business)
Here is an actual case study we published based upon a win we had at American Public University System back in 2010. We still share it to this day to help communicate why we do things the way we do. And we produce new case studies every quarter to help tell / share our story.
Here’s a template that you can download to get started. Feel free to share and use this as necessary. I’d love a shout out in the footer as the creator (Created by Dan Soschin for American Public University System www.apus.edu). Please give credit where credit is due.