Social Media Dashboards: 6 Ingredients to Make Them Successful

Person typing on laptop with social media reactions and comments appearing.

People are spending more time on social media than ever before – two and half hours a day, to be exact. We use it to keep up with the latest news, interact with friends, celebrities, and brands, and that’s when we’re not sharing the latest silly memes and GIFs. However, we are also turning to social media more for customer service and to share experiences we’ve had with brands, good or bad.

One study shows that half of Americans would choose “word-of-mouth” as their primary information source if they could only pick one. Understanding how people talk about your brand on social media is crucial in driving decisions that will help gain and keep customers long-term – not to mention attract new ones.

With so many conversations now taking place on social media, a well-constructed social media dashboard is crucial for any brand to keep up with the chatter. Let’s look at six items your social media dashboard should have to ensure you’re able to quickly and effectively glean critical insights from the data.

But first…

What is a social media dashboard?

A social media dashboard is a reporting tool that pulls data from all your social profiles and other public sources of feedback, allowing you to centralize your social media monitoring and social network analytics efforts in one single interface.

By combining your social insights in one place (without needing to switch between accounts), social dashboards allow you to more easily do the following:

  • Track and compare customer engagement across all your social media profiles
  • Understand how people are discussing your bran (and your competitors) online
  • Measure the impact and success of social media marketing and advertising campaigns
  • Flag, escalate, and address urgent posts in one place

Now, let’s look at how you can create a social media dashboard to help your brand do each of these successfully.

What makes for the best social media dashboard?

In addition to providing flexible aggregate and in-depth reporting tools, social media management dashboards should empower stakeholders to take the next step to ensure positive customer experiences.

Here’s a look at six key functionalities they should give you.


1. It should go beyond just traditional social media networks

It may sound counterintuitive to include data outside of traditional social media networks inside a social media dashboard. However, consider this dashboard’s primary goal: To help you grasp how people are talking about your brand online. That’s why the dashboard’s scope should include anywhere people can discuss and share opinions about your brand.

Here are some of the data sources your social media dashboard should pull from. They should also help you gauge customer engagement on these channels, including any comments, reactions, and any other engagement metrics possible with each source:

Social Media Networks

Public Sources of Feedback

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Customer review sites and FAQs
  • Online forums (e.g., Reddit)
  • Blogs
  • News sites


2. It should help automate your social media analytics.

In the age of social media, speed is crucial. Being too slow to flag urgent posts or spot trends can make or break your social media management efforts.

A social media reporting tool must be updated in real-time. That’s a given. However, they should also help quickly make sense of the often-overwhelming number of messages and posts, so you can act swiftly (more on this later).

Going through each post manually can be incredibly time-consuming, not leaving many opportunities for quick action. Leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help automatically sift through posts as they come in, even help extract details and trends using the following:

  • Sentiment Analysis: Are people talking about your brand positively or negatively?
  • Keyword Analysis: What words are coming up when people discuss your brand?
  • Topic Categorization: What are people talking about when discussing your brand?
  • Associations: What other topics, ideas, products, and/or competitors are people connecting to your brand?

Screenshot of Astute Social looking at customer sentiment per topic


3. A social media dashboard should go beyond social media listening – it should help you act, too.

A well-structured social media dashboard should help you flag key posts and findings as they come in. However, it should also have features that enable agents to escalate and act on these, too, without any potential communication breakdowns that can occur along the way.

A social media dashboard should include features that help key stakeholders act right away to ensure positive social and customer experiences today and help inform your overall social media strategies. For example, the ability for individual users to set up their own dashboard that comprises their own personal key metrics, charts, and preferences can go a long way to analyze the social media data that are most pertinent to their goals and act quickly.

4. It should help compare yourself to your competition (share of voice).

Good social media dashboards give your brand a full grasp of your social media presence. However, the best social media dashboards help you determine how your company compares to your closest competition.

Who is driving the conversation on specific topics (share of voice)? Are people speaking positively about certain items with your competitors, and more negatively with you? How do their social media strategies compare to yours?

Great social media dashboards ensure you avoid tunnel vision. They help give context to your social media efforts by enabling you to leverage the social media analytics features you are using for your own efforts for them as well (e.g., sentiment and keyword analysis, topic categorization, etc.). Overall, a social media dashboard should help you identify opportunities to inform and continually improve your social media strategy by giving you a side-by-side comparison with your competitors’ social media presence.

Screenshot of Astute Social looking at share of voice


5. It should help facilitate collaboration between departments.

Replying to followers’ DMs. Scheduling posts to highlight new content. Updating followers on company activities. Promoting and tracking the performance of new social media marketing campaigns. Strong social media management requires different departments harmoniously working together.

A social media dashboard should provide a springboard to inform key stakeholders with real-time insights. It should also drive collaboration to help organizations get the most out of their social media presence.

For example, consider how not responding to a complaint on social media can decrease customer advocacy by 50%. We’ve already established that a social dashboard should help social media managers quickly flag urgent DMs and mentions right away, and identify trends and sudden changes in sentiment and keywords used by followers. However, it should also streamline the process of escalating these items internally to appropriate customer service agents. By empowering stakeholders with insights they can use to quickly take any necessary action, you can help ensure that followers have a seamless, fluid conversation with your organization without needing to jump through hoops.


6. Social media management dashboards should help you track your team’s performance.

A social media dashboard should not only help organizations track what your customers say and do on social media. It should also help you gauge and trend your team’s activity over time, too.

Social media is a powerful customer service tool. As customer expectations for great experiences keep rising, so are their expectations for quick responses from brands when they reach out to them.

Tracking metrics like average response time (or first-touch response) in your social media dashboards can help evaluate just how quick and effective your team addresses customer questions and concerns. As well, it helps identify ways you can continue meeting growing customer expectations for minimal response times.

Get the most out of your social media dashboards

At Astute, we help global enterprises all over the world deliver exceptional experiences across the customer journey.

Astute Social, our proven social media management software, helps organizations make sense of the millions of conversations taking place on social media every day, empowering them with the tools they need to power their social media efforts and meet growing customer expectations.

Learn more about Astute’s customer engagement solutions and see first-hand how our technology and expertise can enhance your customer experience. Set up an appointment today.

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