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Forget vanity metrics, here’s what you should focus on…

February 1, 2020

One of the easiest mistakes you as a business owner or marketer can make is to focus on “vanity metrics,” instead of the metrics that really matter. For those who are blissfully unaware, vanity metrics are data such as social media followers, subscribers, and other metrics that look satisfying on paper but don’t necessarily impact your business goals. They look great and positive in reporting but aren’t necessarily actionable.

 

However, engagement metrics help you understand how much of an impact your social media presence is having on your ability to attract, retain and convert potential consumers.

 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn follower numbers can reflect growth on your social media channels. Even trust in some cases. However, on its own, audience size is more about popularity and less about actionable data.

Always remember… just because someone follows you does not mean they’re engaged with your brand! So what should you focus on you ask? All of the below:

 

Impressions: This metric reflects how many times a post shows up in someone’s timeline. Month to month increasing impressions can be a signal that you’re reaching more people than ever on social media.

 

Link clicks: This metric shows how many people went to your website from your social media content. In most social media strategies, the goal is to get people to your website. If your content gets people interested enough to go to your website, you’re on the right path. Whether you share links to your products, blog content, or sales pages, tracking link clicks per platform lets you monitor the traffic you generate and from where. To collect more useful data, start adding UTM parameters.

Landing Page Views: Landing page views is relevant to ads on Facebook specifically. This metric lets you know how many times people loaded your website, after clicking your ad. This metric is usually compared to link clicks to understand how many people clicked on your ad but left before your website completely loaded. One thing you can learn from this is if you have a slow landing page. According to Google, when a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over 50% of users will abandon the site.

 

CTR (Click Through Rate): This takes the number of clicks a post gets and divides it by the number of impressions. A low CTR means you have a high number of impressions and a low number of clicks – this should take you back to the drawing board. The aim is to constantly increase your click-through rate.

Mentions: @ mentions are very important, keep an eye out for them with a dedicated community manager. Getting mentioned on social media can lead to good things for any brand. This is actionable towards any brand awareness goals. Engage with people who mention you and build a relationship.

 

Comments, Shares, Retweets: A post that receives a lot of likes but not comments or shares isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, bear in mind that a Share or a Retweet adds up. If engagement is your goal, these metrics are important to track to ensure your audience is actually engaging. 

 

Post Engagement Rate: A high engagement rate means people actually like what you’re posting. This gives you creative content direction. What people like, do more of.

 

Reach: This is how many unique people have seen a post(s) since it went live. This metric is easy to find and is actionable since it’s affected by the timing of your post and the specifics of the piece of content. Viral content is essentially a high reach count and a high engagement rate. 

 

Watch time: The more watch time your video has, the higher it ranks in search results because YouTube’s algorithm assumes it’s more engaging than other videos. This is also transferable to other social media platforms. 

 

So there you have it! What metrics have you not been tracking and aim to start tracking in 2020?

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