We’ve all heard about vanity metrics. Metrics that make us feel good, but don’t actually lead to sales or action.
There are standard vanity metrics like visits, pageviews and time on site. I would also include geographic location, real-time analytics and total registered users as vain in most cases.
It’s time to recognize social media metrics as vain.
Likes, followers, views, comments, pins, shares, stumbles, and plenty more would fall into this category. People spend more and more time and resources on social media, but is anyone looking at ROI? There are plenty of people hypothesizing on the value of a like or a follower; When presented alone – I say their value is zero.
Facebook and Twitter are to thank for the worst kind of vanity metrics.
They have both done an amazing job convincing businesses everywhere that a social media presence is a necessity. So we all race for more likes and more followers. We spend half our day on their platform being served their ads and making them money. We’re all just working for Facebook and Twitter.
Ridiculous amounts of time and money are spent on social media to grow social media vanity metrics.
Stop doing that! The only business you are helping in that scenario are the social media sites. Start paying attention to the metrics that matter. Social media is just another source of visitors. Start treating it like one. Calculate time and resource allotment the same as SEO, ads, guest posting and affiliates.
Likes and re-tweets are not making you money.
Figure out what business goal justifies the time you spend on social media and start quantifying. A common goal is sales. If you’re on Facebook to send people to a sales page you better be tracking how many customers actually came from your Facebook page and how many converted to customers.
Social media vanity metrics focus on quantity, not quality.
Stop looking for more re-tweets or likes. Shift your thinking. Pay attention to what type of content brings in visitors that convert. Adjust your social media strategy to bring in more VALUABLE visitors, not just MORE.
I’m not here to discourage the use of social media. There are advantages of building a community and getting to know your customers. I want to propose a shift in how we think about social media.
Stop putting all your best work on platforms that aren’t making you money.
Don’t send people to your Facebook group to start the conversation and community. Instead, why not create a private membership site or forum. Stop leaning on the success of other platforms. Step up and build your own community if you want to find true success.
Thanks for reading.
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More Resources to Fight Social Media Vanity Metrics
Article and podcast about measuring social media ROI the right way.
Free Google Analytics dashboard (with explanation) to measure social interaction on your site. I would add a bit more about goal conversions to this dashboard, but it’s a great start.