Join the 100,000+ social media professionals using Hootsuite Academy

  • Track your progress
  • Access community discussions
  • Test yourself

Video Transcript

Using the data provided by Hootsuite Insights to chart trends and insights over time can help inform your approach to social media, marketing and sales, all of which can make a significant impact on your business in the long term.  But to make this happen, the data needs to get into the hands of stakeholders who are able to take action on it.   

By compiling a Report or creating a Board in Hootsuite Insights, you’ll be able to easily share the data you gather with colleagues and senior leadership.

Boards function well as a sort of command centre, providing an interactive, high level, day-to-day view of activity.  For example, if you notice a significant change in the number of mentions in your stream overnight, that’s your cue to check out the mentions to see what’s driving the bump in activity.

Reports, on the other hand, are best for sharing more detailed metrics with your team, managers and executives. A board can be converted into a report, and vice versa, but it’s a best practice to pick one format and stick with it, to make it easier to compare results over time.

To build a Report, navigate to the Reports view. You can build one from scratch or select from a template. If you’re not yet certain what metrics will be useful in the long run, start with a template. In this case, we’ll use the Stream Snapshot report. Enter a descriptive name, select the stream from which data will be pulled, and then click Create.

The Report will now populate with widgets displaying a variety of different metrics. There are a few key widgets you should always pay attention to.  The first is the conversation map, which shows the prevalent content of your stream.  The second is the Sentiment widget which indicates the general tone of the conversations happening in your stream. Sentiment can be tricky to pinpoint accurately, and we’ll cover the steps to get an accurate measurement in the next video. Third, pay attention to the widgets showcasing the number of mentions, exposure, and retweets, since they give you a sense of the volume and reach of the topic your stream is built around.

Use the plus sign to add additional widgets, that may be useful to you. For example, let’s say you wanted to see the number of mentions per platform. Click the plus sign and select Chart Comparison. Under Data source, choose your stream and under Breakdown, choose Platform.

For easier viewing, you can also change the size of the widget - in this case let’s make it large to have a better view of all the platform sources.

You can drag and drop the widgets into place to reorder them and prioritize information you find most important. You can also edit each widget by selecting Edit, and change the text at the top of the widget to give a more descriptive explanation of the metric. Or you can delete a widget altogether.

If you need to add more context for the report - for example, if it’s going to the CMO who’s not part of the day to day marketing operations, add a plain text widget to insert an additional description or your company logo. Last but not least, you can add a title page for a professional touch or for branding purposes.

To email yourself a copy of the report, simply select the frequency and click “Email as PDF.” If you’d like to regularly share the report with team members and senior leadership, click Edit and add their email addresses, separated by commas in the “Recipient” box. They will now get a PDF copy of the report delivered to their inbox automatically at the cadence you’ve set. For a Weekly cadence, they’ll receive the report every Monday, for Monthly, on the first of every month.

You can share access to Boards as well - however, the people you share them with must have access to the Hootsuite Insights Dashboard.

Once a report or a board is built, it will collect data over time, as long as you don’t make changes to the stream from which report data is pulled. If you need to make changes to a stream, or simply want to delete the report but don’t want to lose the mentions you’ve collected, you can export those mentions as a .csv file for future reference.