Vanity metrics

Francesco Gobbato
25 February 2020


What are they? Simply: likes, comments, share, followers. They are called ‘vanity metrics’ because they feed the digital ego of a page or a social profile. What are they? Simply: likes, comments, share, followers. They are called ‘vanity metrics’ because they feed the digital ego of a page or a social profile. A post with lots of likes makes the brand feel appreciated and recognized. However, those who work with socials know very well that they are not relevant data, at least for the evaluation of a strategy.

They cannot be defined useless, anyway: without followers, you have no audience. Without engagement, Facebook hinders organic reach. However, these data must be considered in their completeness and never apart. If we collect a lot of followers but few of them like our post, we can’t be satisfied with the first data, called the fan base. To be dazzled by the large numbers in itself, without context, transforms the social metrics into ‘vanity metrics’.


Engagement Rate

What matters is the quality of content we use to maintain and grow our community. To do what? To get fans to convert in terms of likes, comments, and shares. Because it’s not so much the number of followers or likes in themselves that counts, but the relationship between followers and likes (along with comments and shares) which is called engagement rate. It represents the rate of audience involvement concerning the content posted.


Brand Awareness

Now let’s analyze the situation from a brand point of view. Why do they take care of their social pages? To build brand awareness. A brand is almost not a brand until it is known, it needs social approval and recognition. It addresses its target, trying to narrow it down as much as possible almost to the point of becoming a niche audience, to make it convert (i.e. act: leave your contacts, buy, view the site, etc.).


Bounce Rate

Another important data for a brand is the bounce ratecalculated through Google Analytics: it represents the percentage of people who visit a web page and leave it without making further clicks.


Generally, a brand's goals can be of three types:

  • Conversion: Social Media help to transform users into customers
  • Brand Awareness: users become aware of the services/products offered by the brand and in general the mood of the brand, which becomes something recognizable
  • Customer Experience: a good Customer Service on socials improves the user experience and improves brand reputation.


In short, social metrics should be weighted and it is wrong to rely on individual data to assess the efficiency of social pages. Rather, it is necessary to establish brand goals and to base the results on whether or not these goals have been achieved. Today organic reach in itself, especially with Facebook, is low (find out why in our article on the new Facebook algorithm): you need to focus on targeted campaigns to get the results the brand needs.

Do you want to improve your brand experience on Social Media? Call us, we’re here to help you.