From small business owners to teenagers, we all put some stock into vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are the numbers reflecting your Followers and Likes on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Vanity metrics make us feel good. Vanity metrics make us feel loved. But vanity metrics can be an illusion. The number of page followers may create the appearance of popularity, but like high school superlatives, vanity metrics mean little in terms of actual business success.
Vanity metrics are not indicators of business success
Is the most popular person in your high school a world-renowned, successful CEO today? They might be, but odds are the answer is no. Like a popularity contest in high school, vanity metrics are not an indicator of success.
Facebook page Likes do not correlate to the number of customers the business has. While a page with 30k Likes may be very successful, large numbers on Facebook are not reflective of success for small businesses.
Related: Facebook Marketing in 2015
When it comes to marketing, quality matters more than quantity. The kinds of people who follow your page is more important than how many people follow it. What matters more than how many people Like your page is getting more Likes on Facebook posts and attracting customers based on your content.
Vanity metrics are often fake
Many small businesses buy Likes and followers to bolster their brand. Under the notion that more people want to use a product or service that is popular, companies will buy Likes. But purchasing Likes doesn’t guarantee anything.
Few, if any, of those “likers” will actually become paying customers of the company. If you purchase Likes or Followers who do not become customers, you are throwing money away. A better use of your marketing budget would be to get a marketing coach or invest $100 in a Facebook Advertising or AdWords Campaign.
It is much better to have 300 people Like your page who may realistically become customers than to have 3,000 people who will never become customers make you look good with a thumbs up. It’s important to use Facebook for business in ways that work; not just ways that look good.
Vanity metrics are a waste of time and energy
Small business owners are strapped for time. If you don’t have a lot of time, you should make sure the effort you put into marketing is efficient and will get you results. Vanity metrics that serve only to make your business look good on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, are a waste of time and energy.
Don’t rely on vanity metrics that exist solely to look good. Aim to get more customers and grow your business.
You may have seen posts on Twitter counting the number of new followers someone has each week. In addition to being boastful, these tweets take time away from valuable marketing efforts. Instead of focusing on how many followers you gain or lose each week, focus on how many leads you’re generating or how many new customers you have.
Vanity metrics lead to mistakes
Small local businesses thrive because of their value to their customers and the community. Focusing on vanity metrics that are outside of what makes your small business succeed is a mistake many small business owners fall prey to. Think about what is more important to your business – looking good online or growing through increased sales.
Instead of worrying about how many people Like your Facebook page, put that effort to use on an effective marketing activity – update your website, post a photo to Instagram, or write a blog post to improve your Local SEO.
Stop wasting time on useless metrics and do something that works for your small business!