Digital Marketing Dictionary: Social Media Edition

Published On: 17 November 2020

2020 has been a wild rollercoaster ride for small businesses in Canada. Ever since public health measures were put in place, people started spending more time online, especially on social media. DataReportal analysis shows that 3.96 billion people use social media today, accounting for roughly 51% of the global population.  

Because of this reason, a lot of businesses started leveraging social media platforms to reach out and connect with their target audience.  

Creating a social media marketing strategy is as essential as understanding the different metrics in a social media report.  

But do you know what social media metrics to look for in a social media campaign report?   

To help you get started, our social media marketing dictionary will help you understand the important metrics and features of social media. It’s vital to know what to look for in your next social media report and what to communicate to your social media marketing team.  


What is engagement? In simple words, engagement means how many people are interacting with your content.    

Every social media platform has different forms of engagement and they often go by different names. The most common are: like, share and comment. 

A high engagement rate means the audience finds your content interesting. 

Impressions vs Reach  

Frequently used but often confused, impressions and reach are both important metricif your business goal is to spread awareness around your brand.  

But what is the difference between impressions and reach?   

Impressions are the number of times your social media content is displayed, whether it was clicked or not. If your ad was displayed 500 times on social media, your impressions would be 500.  

Reach means how many unique people saw your content on their timeline. In a perfect world, every single follower of yours would see your content. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in social media marketing. 

Paid Reach vs. Organic Reach 

Organic reach is the number of eyes that have seen your post once without putting money in advertising on a social media platform. 

On the other hand, paid reach refers to paying a certain amount of money to social media platforms to share your content with a wider audience. The audience, pre-determined by the brand targeted to reach a relevant audience, comprises of people who are likely to be interested in your content, product or service.   


A call to action (also commonly known as CTA) is a prompt to get your target audience to complete a specific task. A good CTA can do wonders for your social media posts; it can drive more visitors to your website, generate sales, and increase leads and conversion rates.  

CTA is a button or a clickable link that will ask your audience to sign up for a free trial, download a PDF template, call your business, or visit your website. A clear CTA makes it easy for the reader to do what you want them to do.   

Why does a CTA matter? If you do not have a clear and actionable CTA then it is highly unlikely that people will click on your ads even if they do see it on their feed.   


Click-throughrate is a marketing metric that measures how often people click on a link, ad or email. In other words, CTR % = Impressions/Clicks X 100.  

A higher CTR means more people are clicking on your ad but there is no magic number to aim for. It is always advised to do A/B testing of your ads on social media to see which ads bring a better CTR.   

Why does CTR matter? If people are clicking on your ads, they are interested. If your CTRs are low then clearly your target audience does not approve of your content.  


Cost per click runs on a pay-per-click bidding model where you pay every time someone clicks on your ad.  

Why does CPC matter? Because it is directly related to your ROI on advertising. Ideally, you should try to keep your CPC low and your ROI high. 


There you have it, a breakdown of the most important metrics you need to know as a business owner if you are just starting with social media marketing. Use your knowledge of these metrics to communicate your goals with your marketing team and understand reports to see where your money is going.   

Still need help from an expert team in creating an integrated social media and digital marketing strategy? Contact our team of social media marketing professionals in Brantford today to get you back on track and bring a positive ROI going forward.