Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Social Media Vanity Metrics

What are Vanity Metrics?


Vanity metric is the term used to refer to the social media measures that appear significant but really aren’t.


So for example getting more people to like or follow us on social media sounds like a good idea.  But large numbers don’t always represent real value.  If someone that follows 50,000 other people chooses to follow us they are unlikely to ever see our posts amongst all the others sent to them.  But a journalist that only follows a handful of people and writes about us on a regular basis has more value.


An objective way to measure metrics is to use a “good, better, best” approach.


Likes, Followers, etc. are good  …… (or maybe just OK)

Engagement, Shares, Referral, Traffic, CTR, etc. are better

Opt-in, Download, Action, Conversion etc. are best.

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2 Replies to “Social Media Vanity Metrics”

  • Absolutely Stefan.

    I’d almost say that Like, Followers, etc are Bad not even just OK because they give people a false sense of security that things are working when the only true test is to measure conversion actions. As you say Opt-in, download, etc are the key indicators.

    Engagement, shares and the like give you an indication that your messages are being seen and read, which is in itself a positive indicator but the true return on investment indicators are action taken that generates business.

    Great post.

  • Thanks Mike

    It’s interesting but this is one of my shortest posts in a long while and yet it seems to have made the most impact.

    I posted a link on most of the social media sites and the response has been one of the best I’ve ever seen in a long time. AS this about metics this must mean something!

    Seriously though, Too many people have people following them that are also following thousands of other people. The social gurus tell us that there is an etiquette that says we should follow those that follow us .. but this is just a way of perpetuating a circular argument for social media.

    What really matters is how many people buy our products or services .. not how many sad people click a button in the hope someone will click back.

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