Written by Anna Sonnenberg

June 11, 2019 at 10:29 am

Stop Focusing Strictly on These Vanity Metrics for Your Social Media Content

As a social media manager, you monitor key metrics on each platform. But are you tracking figures that reflect progress toward your marketing goals? Or are you measuring empty metrics that don’t really matter? Stop worrying about these four vanity metrics, and start finding out what to monitor instead.

What Are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity metrics are numbers that make a brand look good on the surface. But when you look closer, you can see that these figures don’t mean much.

Tracking those metrics can give you the false impression that you’re taking your company’s or client’s brand to the next level (when you’re really not doing so). When you dig deeper, you’ll see that they’re empty analytics that don’t reveal real results and can’t inform your marketing strategy.

Those empty metrics are some of the easiest and most common numbers to feature in your social media reports. But if you want to help your company hit its goals, think about what really drives growth—and track that data.

Consider going beyond the following metrics and digging deeper.

1. Followers and fans

From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, follower numbers can reflect growth on your social media channels.

But on its own, audience size is more about popularity and less about actionable data. Social media growth might not mean much if your followers don’t engage with your content or you don’t attract your target audience.

Rather than tracking the number of followers you gain, think about paying attention to how your demographics evolve. Check Agorapulse reports for demographics like gender, age, location, and language. Dig into the native insights on Facebook and other platforms to learn more about your followers’ likes and interests.

Track demographics instead of vanity metrics like followers

Then analyze your follower metrics and your ideal audience. How do they compare, and how can you improve your results? Are you building the right audience for the brand, or is it time to adjust your messaging?

2. Impressions and views

Increasing impressions and driving more video views can signal that you’re reaching more people than ever on social media.

But impressions and views alone don’t reveal much. They might prove that a large number of people saw your content. Instead of solely focusing on impressions or views, factor in engagement, too:

  • How many reactions do your posts generate?
  • Do likes and shares increase along with impressions, or have your reactions plateaued?
  • Do your videos drive passive views or active conversions?
  • How does your engagement rate compare with competitors or peers?

Track impressions and engagement instead of vanity metrics like impressions

When you review social media engagement rates regularly, you get a more accurate idea of how your audience connects with your company’s content. Then you’ll know whether your social media strategy is helping you or holding you back from reaching your marketing goals.start free trial of social media management tool from Agorapulse

3. Link clicks

Whether you share links to products, blog content, or sales pages, tracking click-throughs lets you monitor the traffic you generate.

But for most companies, just driving social media followers to a website isn’t enough. Instead, you want to generate sales, prompt email signups, or encourage visitors to return to the site regularly.

How to track link clicks with Agorapulse

To collect more useful data, start by adding UTM parameters to links and tracking URL clicks in your Agorapulse reports. Then use Google Analytics to monitor user behavior and conversions on your website. When you dig deeper, you’ll find more than just how many clicks your content generated. You’ll also discover valuable information like whether they’re ready to buy and how much revenue they generated.

Track ROI instead of vanity metrics like link clicks

Take your analysis a step farther and assess the value of the link clicks you generate. Assign an average amount to your link clicks, and use Agorapulse reports to calculate return on investment (ROI) instantly. You can easily see how much value your link clicks contribute, turning a vanity metric into a meaningful measurement.

4. Mentions

Getting mentioned on social media can lead to good things for any brand. Mentions, of course, mean your brand is part of the conversation, whether people are talking at you or about you.

Tracking mentions alone looks more like a popularity contest and less like a true measurement of the impact you’re making.

Track awareness instead of vanity metrics like mentions

Rather than looking at mentions alone, include mentions in your brand awareness assessment.

Track your breakdown of social media mentions and shares to strike the right balance. Monitor your brand awareness over time to ensure that it’s always increasing—or be prepared to launch new tactics to put your company in the spotlight.

* * *

No matter how big or small your company’s social media presence might be, don’t let empty numbers distract you. Focus on measurements that matter to your social media marketing strategy.

Want more helpful, actionable content like this? Subscribe to the Agorapulse newsletter, and get the most recent blog posts and news about the social media channels you use most.

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Stop Focusing Strictly on These Vanity Metrics for Your Social Media Content

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over five years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.

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