In a world where “going viral” can be a good thing, it’s important to remember that a piece of content receiving a large number of likes and shares on social media isn’t necessarily going to bring you anything but an ego boost and a flash of fame.
Those likes and shares are considered vanity metrics – good for monitoring brand awareness or sentiment but are not the valuable metrics you need to show true impact and return on investment for your social media production.
Examples of Vanity Metrics:
- Content views
Vanity metrics are easy to track and can look impressive. It’s great to celebrate increased numbers on social media and they are important measurements for brand awareness, optimizing campaigns and their target audience, and testing reactions. They are also free and easy to gather and understand.
But these values can be different from platform to platform. Shares on LinkedIn are not the same value as retweets on Twitter. And it’s also important to keep in mind that while people may be liking and sharing your content – is it for the reason you hoped for? Or has the message been altered by the audience in a negative way? In that case, higher numbers are not a reason to celebrate.
Because vanity metrics can be bought and interpreted in misleading ways, they should be avoided when measuring the true value of your social media campaigns and planning future content.
Use metrics that show ROI
One common pain point for marketers is showing leadership the ROI on social media campaigns. It can be tempting to impress the boss with green arrows showing increased followers and likes. But it doesn’t answer the question: how does this translate to reaching our goals as a company?
To answer that, you need analytics that show the value of your content. These are actionable metrics that are paired with a company goal or objective.
Examples of Actionable Metrics:
- Repeat pageviews
- Visitor recency
- Number of content comments
- Content shares
- Conversion rates
Actionable metrics show how content correlates to results, such as number of sales or new clients. It takes time to gather this data and see the true picture (could be a year or more) while thoroughly assessing the customer journey.
Tracking metrics in a simple spreadsheet works well for those who have only a few platforms and goals to measure. But when these begin to grow, it may be time to consider purchasing software or using online programs to maintain a consistent tracking system.
Social Media Analytics Resources:
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Insights
- Instagram Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- LinkedIn Analytics
- LinkedIn Demographics
- Sprout Analytics
- Hubspot Analytics
Platforms evolve quickly and make changes to how they report and monitor analytics. It’s important to stay up to date and adapt your tracking methods when new data is presented in new ways.
Don’t stop at the tip of the iceberg
Vanity metrics are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analyzing social media impact. Know your audience and create content that is relevant and valuable. Pair specific business goals with the metrics you aim to obtain, set timelines for these goals, and maintain consistent and thorough monitoring. You will see ROI and still enjoy the rush of likes and follows as your social media campaigns become successful.
Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR