Data Dashboard for Paid Social Campaigns


Written by Conor Ross

Conor specialises in data visualisation, designing and creating bespoke data dashboards and automated reports with Google Data Studio. With a background in Psychology and Research Methods, he also works on projects focused on improving customer experience and website usability through A/B Testing and Personalisation in Google Optimize.
September 6, 2019

It can be time-consuming to keep track of all your Paid Social Campaigns, with each campaign running on a different channel or platform. Using Google Data Studio, you can collate your Paid Social data into one dashboard, allowing you to get a quick overview at a glance, or analyse performance on a much deeper basis.

We’re big advocates of using Google Data Studio for reports and dashboards, as you’re given a degree of freedom not catered for on other platforms. While the majority of Data Studio reports we see focus on Google Analytics and Google Ads, there are numerous other connectors you can use to import data and begin creating a dashboard.

Data Source Connectors for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Unfortunately, there are currently no native connectors for social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While there are alternatives available from third-party providers, each of which has its qualities and distinctions, but there is another option.

One of the most widely used connectors for Data Studio is Google Sheets, allowing you to quickly turn any spreadsheet into a live data source. By exporting your paid social data from its native channel, and importing this into a Google Sheet, you can bring entire datasets for paid social campaigns into Data Studio. Here’s an example of a Paid Social overview using simulated data.

Once you’ve got your spreadsheet and report set up, a quick data import from each social channel is all it takes to update your dashboards with the latest data.

We have some key tips to keep in mind when you’re putting together your Social PPC dashboard in Data Studio

Use A Dimension to Define Social Channels

Add a column to distinguish between the different social channels. It’s unlikely this will be in your data export by default. This will act as a dimension and allows you to filter your campaigns by social platform.

Take Care of Naming Conventions

When creating new dimensions, metrics, and formulas in Data Studio, the process is much easier if you’ve labelled these clearly. Data Studio won’t let you import a sheet with repeated labels, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Get Creative with Data Visualisation

Don’t be afraid to try out different methods of Data Visualisation. There are lots of different ways to present your data, and there’s not necessarily an incorrect solution. Try out some different charts, graphs, and tables, and you’ll quickly find the best way of visualising your data. This will help users when it comes to interpreting the data and analysing performance.

A Messy Dataset Isn’t The End of The World…

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to worry too much about tidying up your data before importing it to a Google Sheet, as you can use Data Studio to sort through the spreadsheet and pull through the relevant information. The fewer changes you make to the original export, the easier it is to update the spreadsheet.

…But try to stick to one tab!

If you can, keep your final dataset in one tab. This not only reduces the number of tabs you need to work from and the connected data sources used in the report but will also allow you to add comparison metrics for previous time periods.

There are plenty of benefits to building a custom dashboard for Paid Social campaigns, and the combination of Google Sheets and Google Data Studio gives you complete control over the data and its presentation. We highly recommend trying this out, as not only will you get the benefit of a brilliant overview of Paid Social content, but you’ll improve your prowess with Data Studio as well!

We’ll have more content for optimising your Paid Social activities throughout this month, so stay tuned to the GlowMetrics blog and Twitter feed. If you have any questions regarding setting up a dashboard, please feel free to get in touch and leave a comment below.


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