The impact of the pandemic has had an immense impact on businesses, particularly SMEs. Traditional bricks and mortar marketplaces have shifted online, and the dramatic digital migration has forced SMEs to consider new ways of marketing their business.

Undoubtedly, social media has become a necessary marketing tool for those wanting to amplify their brand in the saturated online market, with 92 per cent of marketers stating that social media has helped to increase exposure. However, not all social media channels are built with the same purpose in mind, and each platform serves a unique purpose for businesses.

Here, we explore the social media channels that have dominated in 2021, and consider the tactics SMEs can use on each channel to ensure they’re using social media to its full potential.

Define the goals and objectives

Early in the campaign’s development process, you must consider what your business wants to achieve by leveraging social media marketing. From building brand awareness to reaching prospective customers and driving new leads, or all of the above, when it comes to choosing a social media platform and judging the success of a social campaign, it’s important that businesses know their objectives.

After deciding your goals, the next step is to determine how you’ll track progress. The best way to do this is to use the social media metrics that match your objectives. Common metrics include organic reach rate, click-through rate, video view rate, engagement rate and growth rate. Below, we break down the five social media metrics that matter when measuring the success of your digital campaigns.

  • Organic reach rate

Organic reach rate measures the number of unique accounts that have seen your social media post. Excluding reach that is the result of paid promotion, organic reach provides insight into how your business is connecting with new customers. To increase organic reach rate, the first step is to narrow your focus. Hone in on a couple of social platforms, then work to understand what content performs best on your platform of choice.

The 2021 Social Media Benchmark Report from Metigy and Social Status found that leveraging Instagram’s features resulted in the highest performing organic reach rate at an average of 10.79 per cent. The results show that knowing how to use the platform effectively provides vital insight to help you craft a digital strategy that generates more organic reach.

  • Click-through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) identifies the ratio of clicks a link gets against the number of impressions. Popular for electronic direct mail (EDM), this metric is used on social media to create content directing users to a website or link.

Although surprising to some, LinkedIn generates strong results for businesses in this area. Our research found that the platform delivered the highest CTR across social media platforms at an average of 4.30 per cent, compared to only 0.38 per cent on Facebook.

  • Video view rate

Video view rate (VVR) counts the number of people who viewed your video content. VVR is most effective on Facebook, boasting a whopping 45.46 per cent view rate on average. Given these stats, it’s clear that video content is a useful tool, but how can you use it to your advantage and grow your VVR?

Ensuring you have clear and concise captions and an engaging thumbnail will direct attention to the video. Additionally, using subtitles can also help boost your watch rate, and creating a call to action will encourage viewers to engage more thoroughly with your content.

  • Engagement rate (public and private)

Engagement rate is the metric used to measure how involved your audience is with your content. Public engagement measures the engagement from your followers (likes or comments) divided by your followers. Private engagement, on the other hand, is the number of engagements divided by the overall reach. Typically, private is used to track your own success over time.

This metric is particularly useful if you’re looking to expand your exposure, with YouTube leading the pack with the highest public engagement rates, averaging 0.66 per cent. Instagram takes the top spot for private engagement rates though, at an average of 7.95 per cent.

High engagement rates prove your content is valuable to your followers and helps boost your position in the almighty algorithm. Additionally, engaging your audience is a surefire way to build relationships and handle customer issues in a timely manner.

  • Growth rate

Growth rate refers to how quickly your social profiles are growing, typically measured at the beginning and end of every month. As digital networking gains in popularity, we’re seeing LinkedIn again tops the charts for the fastest growth rate at 2.82 per cent.

Growth rate is typically the most understood of all the metrics, and is a sign of how well all your other metrics are performing. Creating unique content, posting at the right times, using hashtags and engaging with followers are all tactics that will help to improve your growth rate.

As more consumers shift online and social media continues to boom, businesses must consider tactics to optimize social media results. In addition to measuring metrics, businesses are turning to AI-supported digital marketing tools to help build data-informed strategies and boost productivity. With these strategies, businesses can cut through the noise to successfully reach their desired audiences and ultimately, generate stronger results.