How to create Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard?: Simplified 101

By: Published: July 22, 2020

GOOGLE DATA STUDIO SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media platforms have become a marketing tool for many businesses, both small and big enterprises. When running your social media marketing campaigns, you need to know the marketing efforts that are working best for you. It may be daunting for you to sift through Google Analytics reports and spreadsheets for this, especially if you’re not comfortable with data and mathematics. That’s why you should build a dashboard. 

A dashboard can help you to get answers to your questions quickly and make sound decisions without spending hours doing maths in Excel spreadsheets. Google Data Studio is the right tool to help you build a social media dashboard for tracking your social media marketing metrics. This blog will take you through the steps to create an awesome Google Data Studio social media dashboard.
Let’s see how this blog is structured for you.

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

Ensure that you have the following:

  • A Google Data Studio Account. 

What is Google Data Studio?

google data studio social media dashboard- google data studio logo
Image Source

Google Data Studio is a tool for data analysis and visualization. It was developed by Google. Most organizations store data to extract information from it. Sometimes, this data is too huge for processing with spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel. In such circumstances, there is a need for an advanced tool that can be used to analyze huge volumes of data. That’s the reason why Google developed Data Studio. 

Google Data Studio allows you to establish connections to multiple data sources and extract your data for analysis. After loading your data into Google Data Studio, you can visualize it using various tools provided by the platform. Examples of such tools include line charts, pie charts, bar charts, and Google maps. It’s after visualizing your data that you can extract hidden insights from it. Google Data Studio allows you to collaborate on a project with your colleagues. In this way, you can combine efforts and quickly generate reports from data. Once your report is ready, you can share it with others via email. 

Key Features of Google Data Studio

  • A Nifty Dashboard: Data Studio’s dashboard and user interface are similar to those of Google Drive. As a result, you’re familiar with the tool’s user interface. The following are the most significant items with which you will commonly interact:
    • To find reports, templates, and data sources, use the top-right Search Data Studio box.
    • In the Recent section, you can adjust the visibility of Reports, Data Sources, and Explorer.
    • From the left-hand menu, you can create a new Report, Data source, or Explorer. You’ll also find shared products and the Templates gallery in this section.
    • By choosing the gear icon in the upper right corner, you can edit numerous fields in the User preferences.
  • Multiple Data Collection Sources: Data Studio eliminates the need to handle several copies of Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel files associated with your work. The tool can examine raw data from over 800 data sets via 490+ data connectors. As a result, data may now be imported from third-party sources such as Funnel, TapClicks, Amazon Seller Central, Asana, Jira Cloud, and others. You can also grant the tool access to and analysis of data from Google products including Campaign Manager 360, Google Analytics, MySQL, and Google Sheets. You don’t have to worry about data quality or security when you utilize Data Studio. It protects your data both in transit and within the tool by utilizing powerful encryption technologies.
  • Performance-Driven In-Memory BI Engine: Assume you’re providing a project performance report to a client. Even though you have premium and cutting-edge data visualization tools, the presentation is suffering because the data is constantly loading. Furthermore, lag may be increased while working with various data sources. Data Studio features sub-second performance thanks to the BI Engine developed by the Google Cloud BigQuery team. It’s an in-memory data access and analysis solution that can interact with your on-premises BigQuery data warehouse. As a result, you may display real-time data from hundreds of different sources in a single dashboard that refreshes and loads in real-time.
  • Ease of Use: Its online interface is straightforward to use, and Google Workspace users are already acquainted with it. The report editing environment supports full drag-and-drop operations. Custom property panels are available for each object used in your reports. When you utilize Data Studio’s ready-to-use templates, you don’t need to know much about graphs and tables. The Templates collection contains eight distinct sorts of report categories to pick from.

Advantages of Using Google Data Studio

  • Free utility: The primary advantage of Data Studio is that it is completely free and available to everybody. You can use it for free, just like any other Google feature. All you need is an internet connection.
  • Customizable: Google Data Studio allows you to generate custom reports and offers a number of designs, styles, and other options. There is also a report gallery where you may find community-created reports. And there are numerous templates to select from.
  • Shareable Dashboards: Google Data Studio promotes a similar network. This means you can share your reports with your colleagues using either the reader or editor access. You can share them by email or link.
  • Connectors for Google Data Studio: One of the best features of Google Data Studio is the ability to connect to several data sources (Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, Google Sheets, SEO performance, Ads spend, mentions, and so on) from a single dashboard. Furthermore, you can combine data from several sources to generate the desired dashboard. Accessing all of the data you require at once will save you a significant amount of time and energy. And this is incredible.

Why Create a Social Media Dashboard?

  • You may be running social media marketing campaigns to promote your brand. Most social media marketers don’t rely on one social media platform to promote their brand. Instead, they run multiple campaigns on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, etc. 
  • It is of great importance for you to analyze the performance of your social media marketing campaigns. This requires you to track the number of metrics such as the total number of views, likes, and the number of conversions for your ads. This may not be an easy task, especially when you use traditional means to track and analyze such metrics. The best approach to analyzing such metrics is by visualizing them. 
  • Visuals such as graphs and maps will make it easy for you to extract insights from the data collected from your social media marketing campaigns. It is achievable using Google Data Studio. You can use it to create a dashboard that can help you to track your metrics from your social media marketing campaigns on different social media platforms. It will simplify your social media marketing efforts. 

Hevo Data: Export your Data Conveniently

Hevo Data is a No-code Data Pipeline that can help you combine data from multiple sources and visualize it in Data Studio. It provides its users with a simpler platform for integrating data for analysis. It provides you with a consistent and reliable solution for managing data in real-time, ensuring that you always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. Your job will be to focus on key business needs and perform insightful analysis using BI tools. 

Let’s discuss some salient features of Hevo:

  1. Simple: Hevo offers a simple and intuitive user interface. It has a minimal learning curve.
  2. Fully Automated: Automate your data flow without any custom codes. Set up once, and Hevo will take care of all the future changes.
  3. Fault-Tolerant: Hevo automatically detects any anomalies in the incoming data and notifies you instantly.
  4. Scalability: Hevo can handle millions of records per minute without any latency.
  5. Secure: Hevo offers two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption and makes sure your data is safe.
  6. Schema Management: Hevo maps your incoming schema to your output schema automatically.

Give Hevo a try by signing up for a 14-day free trial today.

Steps to Build a Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard

In the next few sections, you will learn how to create a Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard. At this point, you should know the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you need to measure. The best KPIs to measure are those that increase revenue and reduce costs. 

Examples of these metrics include Follower count, Impressions, Reach, Leads, Conversions, Engagement.

You can create an outline that specifies the kind of dashboard that you need. It will guide you when you are adding visuals to that dashboard. You can then begin to work on it as directed below. 

1. Connect Google Data Studio to your Data Source

Now that you have an outline of your dashboard, it’s time to connect Google Data Studio to your data source. Follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Log into your Google Data Studio account using your Google account. Use the URL here.

Step 2: You will be taken to the “Reports” page. Click the “+ Create” button located on the top left corner of the screen. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K5wWGIOmN_nDAaws70yq4-Zao4GnNT2n7f-en9WaL24/edit?usp=sharing

Step 3: You will be taken to a page that shows all the Google Data Studio connectors available for you. You will also see a set of partner connectors that can help you connect to other data sources. If there is no connector for your data source, you can export the data into a CSV file and load it into Google Data Studio via the File Upload connector. In this article, I will be using Google Sheets, so choose the “Google Sheets” connector. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Google Sheets

Step 4: If prompted to authorize, click the “AUTHORIZE” button to allow Google Data Studio to connect to your Google Sheets account. If you have not logged into your Google Sheets account, you will be prompted to do so. Just go ahead and log in using your Google account. 

Step 5: Select the spreadsheet of your choice, and then the worksheet.

Step 6: Click the “CONNECT” button located on the top right corner of the screen. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Connect

Step 7: Click the “CREATE REPORT” button located on the top right corner of the screen. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select create report

Your data will be added to the report so that you can begin to work on it. 

2. Select Theme for Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard

Google Data Studio has many templates that can help you get started with creating a social media dashboard. However, it will be good for you to begin from scratch as you know what you need to measure. So, first, choose a theme and layout. Just click the “Theme and Layout” button located on the menu bar. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Theme and Layout

The “Theme and Layout” window will be opened on the right side of the screen. Choose the theme you want to use from the “THEME” tab of the window. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Theme

Configure the layout settings for the theme from the “LAYOUT” tab. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Layout

3. Add a Date Filter for Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard

You should add a date filter to your dashboard. It’s always recommended to set the date range to 30 or 90 days, depending on your account, marketing goals, and site traffic. If your account has less than 10,000 visitors per month, use 90 days as the default. When you add the date filter to your dashboard, you will be able to filter and adjust the date dynamically. To add the date filter, use the following steps:

Step 1: Click the “Insert” button located on the menu bar. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Insert

Step 2: You will be presented with many tools that you can choose to insert into your dashboard. Choose “Date range”. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Data Range

Step 3: Click where you need to insert the date range inside the dashboard. The date range should be added to your report. 

Step 4: To set the default date range, click the date filter and move to the properties window on the right side of the screen. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Default data range

Step 5: Select the default date from the dropdown and click the “APPLY” button. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Click Apply

Congratulations! You have added a date filter and set the default date range. 

4. Add Charts to Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard

It’s now time to add charts to your dashboard. Google Data Studio allows you to add different types of charts to your dashboard. For example, we can use a bar chart to visualize the total number of users and sessions for each social media platform. This section will cover the following types of charts:

1. Bar Chart

Follow the steps given below to add a bar chart to your dashboard:

Step 1: Click the “Add a chart” button located on the menu just above the dashboard. 

Step 2: Scroll down to the “Bar” section and choose a “Bar chart”. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Add Chart

Step 3: Drag and click inside the dashboard to drop the chart. 

Step 4: Click the chart and move to the properties window shown on the right side of the screen.

Step 5: By default, the bars come slanting horizontally. Click the “STYLE” button on the properties window. Choose the chart with vertical bars from the “Bar chart” section. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Style

Step 6: Choose the dimensions and metrics for the chart from the “DATA” tab of the Properties window. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Dimensions and Metrics

You have generated your chart as shown below:

Google Data Studio Social Media: Chart Generated

2. Line Chart

We can also add a line chart that shows the relationship between the time spent on a page and the number of goals accomplished. Do the following steps to add a line chart to your dashboard:

Step 1: Click the “Add a chart” button located on the menu just above the dashboard. 

Step 2: Scroll down to the “Line” section and choose a “Line chart”. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Line Chart

Step 3: Drag and click inside the dashboard to drop the chart. 

Step 4: Click inside the chart and move to the properties window shown on the right side of the screen.

Step 5: Set the dimension and metric for the chart. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Dimensions and Metrics

You have generated a line chart as shown below:

Google Data Studio Social Media: Line Chart

3. Pie Chart

Let’s add a pie chart to help us compare the bounce rate for different social media platforms. Follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Click the “Add a chart” button from the menu. 

Step 2: Scroll downwards to the Pie section and choose “Pie chart”. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Pie Chart

Step 3: Drag and click inside the dashboard to insert the chart. 

Step 4: Use the properties window shown on the right side of the screen to set the dimension and the metric for the chart. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Select Dimension and Metric

You have added a pie chart to your dashboard as shown below:

Google Data Studio Social Media: Pie chart created

5. Share Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard

Now that your SEO dashboard is ready, it’s time to share it. Click the “Share” button located on the top right corner of the screen. 

Google Data Studio Social Media: Share Dashboard

Enter the email addresses of the people you want to send the report to, choose whether they can view or edit, then click the “Send” button. 

Limitations of Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboards

The Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard that we create has several limitations. Some of the limitations are listed below:

  • Some custom metrics cannot be used in Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard. A good example is period comparisons. 
  • You can’t analyze or visualize your social media marketing metrics in real-time, do not forget that social media data changes very quickly. The closest solution to this is by first moving the social media data into Google Sheets, then setting Google Sheets as the data source. 

Conclusion

In this article, you have learned why you need a social media dashboard and how to create a Google Data Studio social media dashboard. This blog has also covered the limitations of creating Google Data Studio Social Media Dashboard. But, if you want to integrate data from multiple sources, you can use Hevo.

Hevo is a No-code Data Pipeline. It offers pre-built integrations from 100+ data sources. Hevo will let you experience hassle-free data replication at a reasonable price.

Give Hevo a try by signing up for a 14-day free trial today.

Share your experience of creating a Google Data Studio social media dashboard in the comment section below.

Nicholas Samuel
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Skilled in freelance writing within the data industry, Nicholas is passionate about unraveling the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects.

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