As a digital marketer, you know all too well that communicating your brand strength during this ongoing pandemic is rife with challenges. Yet, there are still ways to make progress during this time and boost the bottom line.

A key move to make now, and on a regular basis as the COVID-19 crisis continues, is to take a thorough measurement of your social commerce metrics. They've almost certainly been affected through these past unprecedented months.

As defined by Big Commerce, social commerce is the process of selling directly through your social media platforms, using direct checkout from within the network your customer is on. There is big potential for sales through social commerce; Deloitte reports an 18% gain in digital sales growth in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019.

How do you crunch your social commerce data so you can see your brand's selling strengths and weaknesses through the pandemic? According to data from Sprout Social, it's key to take advantage of built-in features offered by the social network you sell on, or through third-party analytics. So which areas do you need to evaluate specifically?

Performance tracking of products and as tracking relates to your ads. This is a no-brainer: correlate how well your ads are serving you sales-wise.

Reaction to your product photos. If these aren't up to par, this can have a significant drag on sales. Check audience feedback for impressions, but also ask yourself if your images are really as eye-catching and clear as they could be.

The performance of shoppable posts. Are you getting the in-real-time sales you'd hoped for by incorporating them into your content? If not, why not?

The performance of buyable pins on Pinterest. Are they engaging both existing and new customers?

How well your keywords are drumming up interest on social media. Do you need to do a deep dive to see what alternative terms are more popular and relevant right now?

How many direct messages you send, and the reception back from your demo regarding your products. Do people respond with questions and enthusiasm or is interest waning during the pandemic?

How many consumers take advantage of your promo codes. If you don't sell essential items, you may see lower engagement. Make your promos more attractive — flash sales can be a great start.

What the comments you receive tell you about your brand performance in a big picture sense. Listen to how your audience's feelings and needs are evolving. Don't think static — know that what they want from your brand will continue to be in flux for the foreseeable future.

Conversion numbers. How well are you doing across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more? Look at each individual platform separately.

Shifts in buying patterns that you can tie directly into consumer behavior because of the pandemic. Acknowledge and adjust.

Shifts in buying patterns that may be due more to the quality of your products, or due to any changes your brand may have made shortly before the COVID-19 crisis began. If a newly instituted change has not paid off, it probably needs to be eliminated for now.

How well sponsored posts and influencer posts are working for you. You may well find that both of these approaches have gone cold, as consumers are much more definitive and discerning as to what they are willing to spend on. If so, pull back for the time being.

Now that you have a clear idea of which segments of your social commerce approach are hitting the mark, and which parts aren't, the real work begins. Zoom with your team and brainstorm to convert these social commerce metrics to real-time brand marketing tweaks, shifts, and improvements.

You want to swiftly fix what is not working and do more of what works now. Open up your way of thinking; don't stay wedded to the concepts that worked six months ago.

This is the time to focus on customer-pleasing quality. So, give your audience what it wants now and on a flexible basis as the pandemic continues. Do it wisely, and you'll have successfully optimized your brand’s social messaging and features.