What are vanity metrics?
It can be easy to get caught up in vanity metrics when trying to assess your success in the fast-paced world of social media. Although vanity metrics do have a place - usually as a starting point, they often don’t tell you what’s really going on. Though, we have to admit it can be nice to have a quick look at them for a bit of an ego boost every now and then (so long as that’s not all you doing).
Vanity metrics are the numbers you get by barely scratching the surface of available data. Website hits, followers, and likes; you need to dig a lot deeper to get a clear picture of your social media and how it is (or isn’t) working for you. This is because although great as a guide, vanity metrics fail to show you levels of engagement and interaction with your brand and your content. There’s no point in getting caught up in the numbers game when it fails to provide you with the detail you need to make improvements.
What should you focus on?
Looking at consumption metrics can act as a further spring board for social media analysis. Consumption metrics relate to how many times a post was viewed, or the reach of a post (the potential audience number). The reach or views of your posts can help to give a better representation of how you’re doing, but it’s still not giving the full story. You know they saw it, but did they like it, were they even paying attention? Did it drive traffic to your website? Did they comment? Likes, followers and views don’t mean much unless you’re engaging readers.
Here at r//evolution we know the importance of encouraging interaction beyond a simple like, view or follow, to help build brand awareness and online communities. A Facebook Like is no good if users never revisit your page after hitting the button the first time around. You need to do research and know who your followers are, and when they’re online, in order to be sharing relevant information with them, encouraging interaction with the content you’re putting out there.
Focussing on engagement
To analyse engagement levels you need to consider comments, shares, likes, retweets, repins and lead generations to see how your content is being received. Make sure you have all the facts and stats and only then can you reassess strategies and make better decisions when it comes to your social media. Vanity and consumption metrics are a starting point, but you need to appreciate how all of these separate statistics are linked and working together, to discover what they’re really telling you.
And always remember - social media is social. If there is no engagement or interaction with your social media presence then you can do better. You need to build connections and networks and be of benefit to them. Share engaging content which is actually of interest to your readers! In other words, a feed full of salesy messages is not doing your readers any favours, so you can bet it won’t be doing you any either. Put counting to one side, and start engaging.