05 Mar Vanity Metrics vs Actionable Metrics
Have you ever found yourself getting affected by not seeing hundreds of hearts under your Instagram photos, or likes pouring in on your Facebook posts? Have you been almost obsessively checking how many people followed and unfollowed you on your accounts? Then, my friends, you might have been struck by the vanity metrics virus!
What are vanity metrics?
Vanity metrics are surface statistics such as a number of followers, subscribers, likes and similar. Over the recent years a social media culture of an obsessive counting of these numbers has not only developed but completely “blossomed”. However, that is not at all a good thing because while bringing you satisfaction and ego-stroking, these flashy numbers do not mean much if the far more important metrics, such as engagement or conversion, or actionable metrics as they are called, do not keep up.
It has gotten to a point where, (although far less popular now), people have even started buying followers and likes, which we do not believe we really need to even explain are a complete waste of time. The numbers may look great on your profile, and you will have the bragging rights of “my company has 10 000 following its Instagram”, but they not only produce no benefit at all, but they also entirely ruin your insights into organic engagement.
Do likes mean nothing?
We are not saying these vanity metrics are completely useless. Organic followers and likes improve awareness of your brand, more people will know of your company and, if done right, might remember it next time they need something you offer. Inserting a shameless self-promo – we can help you out with that too, as we train and offer social media management. More people share your content – more people will see it. So no, followers and such can mean something, but it is not what you should spend all your energy and focus on!
What are actionable metrics?
Actionable metrics are the ones that will give you a pretty good idea on what actions you can take to have positive impact on your social media. Instead of focusing on how many likes a post might have received, think about reach – the number of unique accounts that have seen the post and by just seeing it are now more aware of your brand.
Which metrics should I focus on?
Here’s some more handy stats you should keep your eye on:
Profile Visits – the number of unique accounts that have clicked on your profile as a result of seeing your post, ad or social profile button. If you figure out which way ahs brought you most visits, this can give you a good idea on what you are doing is working.
Website Clicks – the number of people who have taken a step further and clicked on your website from your profile or promoted post. Similar to profile visits, this will allow you to figure out if and which of your content is driving traffic to your links and help you adjust accordingly.
Time spent viewing a post (for example, a YouTube or Instagram video) – this can help further understand what exactly is compelling to your audience and develop that more because there is no better source for improving your social media marketing strategy than the very people you are trying to market to.
Impressions, particularly from where – location, feed/home, hashtags, boosted. This insight tells you how many times (even if a single account has seen your post more than once) your post has been seen. For instance, using location-based impressions can give you a great idea of locality-based ideas for content that might, as a result, convert to potential clients.
Follower engagement rate – gaining followers is not useless at all, but it becomes useless if they simply do not interact with your content at all. An account might have 50k followers and have poor engagement rate which means their audience is not interested in what they’re offering on social media. In fact, engagement rate is a rather important metric that deserves its own blog post, so on that later.
However, the best advice we could give you on which metrics to focus on is to consider your business goals, as they are what dictates what you should track. There are some questions you should ask yourself when it comes to that, and if you need help, feel free to contact our team, as they can help you with helping you better understand and improve your social media strategy.