What Are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity Metrics

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If you use social media to promote your business, then it’s important to track your performance. On the surface, it seems the most obvious metrics to monitor are followers and likes. If people are following you and liking your posts, it must be working, right?

Maybe not. These types of metrics are what are known as ‘Vanity Metrics’ and they’re probably not the best way to measure how well your social media strategy is working.

What Are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity metrics are so-called because they make your account look good but don’t hold much weight when it comes to looking at the bigger picture. After all, who wouldn’t be impressed if you told them your account has 10,000 followers? But if those followers don’t become your customers then it doesn’t matter how many you have.

The most common types of vanity metrics when it comes to social media are followers and likes. If you’re a business owner, then your reason for using social media is most likely to drive sales of your products or services by building awareness of your brand. Therefore, you want your content to be reaching people who have the potential to become customers. Having a lot of followers alone doesn’t mean you will make more sales. You need to have the right kind of followers.

Likes are even more meaningless. Sure, it feels good when you post something and see the likes rolling in but think about your own behaviour when it comes to social media. How often do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your feed, double-tapping on the majority of posts? Just because you’ve liked a post, it doesn’t mean you have any intention of making a purchase.

In short, vanity metrics boost your ego, not your business.

Despite this, vanity metrics do still serve a purpose. With most social media platforms having moved away from chronological feeds, having a decent number of followers and likes will increase the likelihood of your content bring seen.

While the inner workings of social media algorithms remain a mystery, it’s clear that the more likes you get and the more followers you have, the more people your posts will be shown to. In order to reach as many people as possible, you need to be getting plenty of interactions.

What Should You Focus On Instead?

In order to evaluate whether or not your social media strategy is working, you first need to identify what you are trying to achieve. Then you can tie certain social media metrics to your business objectives.

For example:

If you want to increase brand awareness, then you should be looking at the reach of your posts.

If you want people to visit your website, then you need to monitor website clicks.

If you want to educate or inform your followers, then you should keep track of how many times your posts are saved.

Of course, you can still celebrate reaching a milestone number of followers. Just make sure that when it comes to making business decisions, you remember to look a little bit deeper at the metrics that really matter.

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