Just in time for the new year, we’ve got the only end-of-year social media template you need to help you strut your social stuff.
Many of us are nothing but stoked to usher in a new year (preferably one with fewer pandemics and elections), but we should still take a minute to reflect on how our brands and agencies performed on social media. Looking back helps us capture valuable lessons and earmark experiments for next year.
To help you out, we have a free end-of-year social media template you can download, and we paired it with a completed sample for inspiration.
Let’s raise a glass to the successes of 2020 and jump in!
Why you should use an end-of-year social media template
Managing one or more social media accounts is, as we all know, a serious undertaking, so reflecting on your success is critical. Running a check on your social media performance doesn’t have to take hours and hours, but it’s worth a little time for a few key reasons:
- Makes your brand (and you) look good: By pulling out a few easy-to-find metrics, you’ll be able to see the channels, posts, and campaigns in which your brand excelled this year. Don’t forget to compare your stats to your top competitors for critical context for your success, and of course share it with your team.
- Get a jump start on next year’s strategy: Taking note of what worked well this year, and jotting down a few ideas for what’s working well for your competitors, gives you a roadmap for exactly what you should be doing on social in 2021.
- Map your performance year over year: Investing a little time reviewing this year’s key social media metrics will give you even more to look back on next year to help you tell a story of how your social handles are growing and changing over time. (And you can always turn back the clock and review 2019 social performance if you get on a roll this year!)
Take a quiet afternoon while your coworkers are staycationing to review your brand’s 2020 in social. This end-of-year social review can be as quick or comprehensive as you need it to be, and don’t be afraid to go off-script by choosing other metrics or screenshots that are most relevant to your brand. We’ll walk you through exactly how to use it.
How to use the end-of-year social media template
If you haven’t already, download the free Google Slide deck, which includes everything you’ll need to get started, including the template slide and one we filled out that’ll help you see what goes where. Then, log into your Rival IQ account (or sign up for a free trial), and we’ll get started!
First up: pick a landscape
Select a landscape that contains handles for both your brand and your main competitors, or build one that focuses on a specific set of handles. Set the date range to include as much of 2020 as possible.
To fill out the first slide in the template, screenshot your social avatar and place it over the “Your social icon” placeholder. Then, just fill in your brand’s name, and you’re off to the races! That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Bonus points if you screenshot a grid view of your top social posts and use them as the background for this slide. To make that happen, head to the “Social Posts” dashboard in Rival IQ for your favorite channel and set the “Top Landscape Posts” table to grid view. But if you want to just have Rihanna presiding over your social success, we totally understand.
Next step: dive into channel-by-channel performance
Pick your favorite channel to get started. (Is it Instagram? Yes, we’re psychic.) Paste your social icon in the top left corner, and replace [channel] with the correct name.
The metrics overview slide is all about key numbers and graphs that show how you performed and grew on a specific channel over the course of the year.
Now try: key stats at a glance
To fill in the bottom left corner, head to your Overview dashboard in Rival IQ for the channel you’re studying. All four of those stats are in the “At A Glance” table at the top of the screen, so just screenshot and pop them in. Here’s the table you’re looking for:
Next up: followers and engagement total
Let’s fill in two other key metrics for the right half of the slide. Scroll down on the Overview dashboard for your followers vs. competitive average, which looks like the graph below. Pop that in the top right, and then do the same for its neighbor, engagement total.
When you’ve arranged all your metrics the way you like, spend a few minutes studying them. Are you way ahead of your competitors in one area? Did you grow your followers or engagement total significantly as compared to last year? Don’t forget that we have tons of automated insights in the Overview dashboard of Rival IQ as well, so poke around there too for other observations about what stands out about your social media performance.
Once you’ve gathered a few thoughts, jot them down in the top left quadrant of the slide so you don’t lose those valuable insights. When you’ve assembled everything on this slide, it’ll look something like this:
Voila! Now Fenty’s social media team has a snapshot of its 2020 Instagram performance, including a 15% increase in followers and way-above-average engagement totals.
You’re halfway done with your first channel! Now that you’ve created an overview of your performance on this channel, let’s spend a little time on what led to that success by jumping into top posts.
Just like above, you’ll want to pop your social icon in the top left box and specify your channel in the slide’s title. We’re going to focus on your brand’s performance only for this slide, so change your company filter in Rival IQ to focus on just your brand.
Next step: Find your top 6 posts by engagement total
Head back to the Social Posts dashboard for your chosen channel and click on the “View More” button in the “Top Landscape Posts” table. Use the layout dropdown to select “grid with details.” Then, sort by engagement total, or the metric of your choice. We like engagement total because it focuses on your absolute impact on social, but this template is totally customizable.
It’ll look something like this (but probably with less Rihanna).
Play with your browser Zoom and width to focus on the posts that are most relevant to you. In this example, we picked the top six.
Next up: engagement total per post in your top 6
Your overall engagement total per post helps set a baseline for the engagement you can expect (and improve upon!) in 2021. To find that number, average the engagement totals at the bottom of each post in your top 6 and divide them by the number of posts you’re looking at to fill in the average engagement for the top 6 posts. In this case, Fenty averaged 356,000 engagements per post, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Write up a sentence or two about commonalities or differences among your top posts. Are they all videos or carousels? Do they all feature your famous founder’s face? Nothing is too obvious.
Then: Top campaign or hashtag
On the right side of the “Top Posts” slide, we’ll focus on a top campaign or hashtag. We bet you’re intimately familiar with the strategies you tried this year, but if you need a little #inspo, head to the Overview dashboard where we pull out a few key insights to focus on. You can also review the Social Posts dashboard where we dive deep into top hashtags, popular topics that were mentioned in your posts, and more.
Once you’ve picked an area of focus, try tagging your posts using Post Tags to easily keep track of posts and pull out top metrics. Screenshot a few of the top posts, and then do a quick calculation or head to the Post Tags dashboard to see the average engagements per post for that hashtag or campaign.
Write up a sentence about what made this campaign successful and any lessons learned.
Finishing up: Calculate your overall engagement total per post
Since this slide focuses a lot on engagement totals, be sure to fill in the overall engagement per post in the bottom right. To find that number, pop back to the previous slide to divide your overall engagement total for the year by your total number of posts.
When you’ve assembled everything on this slide, it’ll look like this:
Now Fenty has a snapshot of all the posts and campaigns that made their brand successful this year.
Congratulations! You’ve completed one channel’s worth of your end-of-year social summary. Repeat this process for all the channels you were active on this year and you’ll be (almost) done.
Almost, you say? There’s one more slide to fill out, and that’s the 2021 To-Do List.
Extra credit: 2021 To-Do List
This slide will help you keep track of any experiments you want to run, any strategies or campaigns you want to, uh, borrow from your competitors, new channels you want to check out, and more. (It’ll also make sure you don’t get back from vacation at the end of the year and wonder, “Where do I start?”)
Here are a few recommendations and experiments for Fenty based on our quick study of their social performance in 2020:
Fenty’s 2021 To-Do List provides inspo and a place to start in the new year, like posting more about social justice, and trying more contests and giveaways.
That’s it for your 2020 end-of-year social report! Well, except for sending it to everyone you know and/or posting it on social, of course.
Other social media resources
We have a few other ideas for adding context to and showing off your end-of-year social media success, including handy reports and free tools.
Social Media Industry Benchmark Report: This report is the definitive guide to exactly what’s going on with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for 14 top industries like Health & Beauty, Travel, Food & Beverage, and tons more in 2020. Use this report to measure your social performance against your industry so you can see if you’re better or worse than the other top brands you’re competing with. We survey hundreds of brands in each industry for a comprehensive set of benchmarks.
Free head-to-head social analysis: Want a free report that pits your social success against your #1 competitor? Run a free head-to-head analysis to get granular.
The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media Engagement for Brands: Did you experience an epic dip in social media engagement in Q2? You’re not alone. We tracked the impact of coronavirus on 14 industries monthly between March and June for an in-depth look at how the pandemic was affecting engagement rates. Find your industry in this report and take a look at how the pandemic affected engagement rates for brands like yours to add additional context to your end-of-year social review.
Find the right social tools for your workflow: We tested and reviewed dozens of social media analytics, management, and listening tools to find the best one in each category and price point. Check out the lists to see if there’s a social media tool that can help streamline your workflow in 2021. Of course, we’re biased towards one analytics tool in particular…😈
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Wrapping it up
We hope this end-of-year social template helps you get 2021 started off right while finding a little silver lining in the tough year that was 2020. Don’t forget to send around your completed end-of-year social summaries to your colleagues, your boss, your mom, and anyone else who will listen–including us, on Twitter. We’d love to see what you come up with!