One day, you check your social media metrics and notice that not only are you gaining a ton of followers, but they’re liking your posts left and right! Wow, you’re really popular!!
Great, right? Sure, but how much are your followers engaging with you? That’s the true question you should be asking when it comes to your social media marketing efforts. Everything else is just vanity metrics, especially when it comes to B2B marketing.
Definition of Vanity Metrics
According to HubSpot, data such as page views, your number of followers, etc. are vanity metrics. That is, they “offer no context for future marketing decisions… ” or the potential to become an actual customer.
Instead, you want to look at “actionable metrics,” which are tied to “specific and repeatable actions to observed results” (and results is the pivotal word here).
Followers and Likes Do Have Branding Power
While you do want to look at and improve critical metrics (more on what they are in a moment), the “fun” metrics such as followers and likes, etc. certainly do make you feel good (“You like me. You really like me!”). They do help you with branding within your digital marketing efforts, since you do want to be known after all.
Being known and “popular” doesn’t do much for your bottom line unless your fans purchase from you, does it?
(Another positive for social media marketing: those likes and followers are letting you know that the content you’re broadcasting on your social channels resonates with your prospects.)
Drumroll: Actionable and Critical Social Media Marketing Metrics Are…..
Why are you using social media? For business to business marketing branding, of course, but also to – are you ready? – convert those who see your social posts. You probably won’t be able to convert them into customers directly via social media but the important social media metrics to follow are:
Let’s go over all three:
How many people have the potential to see your social posts? Impressions don’t mean they actually see your post (that’s “reach”), just that they have the potential to. Not all of your followers will see all your posts, but impressions measure how often that platform displays your content.
This metric measures how many people comment, like and share your social media marketing posts with their own followers. The more your followers engage with your posts, the more their followers have the chance to see them (impressions rise).
Conversion is probably the most important social media metric of all.
Suppose someone clicks on a social post that offers a free ebook in exchange for their email address; that’s a conversion in a social media context. Actually obtaining their email address is the most important conversion, however, rather than just clicking on the post to go to the offer’s landing page. Still, clicking the “see more information” button on that post is a good metric. It ups the chances that they will actually fill out the form the next time they see a post on the free offer.
Another important conversion metric is how often people move from a social post to your website. Heading to the landing page to get that free ebook is one instance, but so is clicking on a link to read a full blog post, or making a phone call as a result of seeing a social post.
In a nutshell: real metrics, as compared to vanity metrics, are the true indicators of how far your social media marketing efforts have reached and whether your audience (your prospects) enjoys your social content.
Look at it this way: vanity metrics are akin to getting leads, while critical metrics is akin to landing qualified leads. It’s a case of choosing between enjoying high vanity metrics but low engagement, impressions and conversions, or having fewer followers and likes but higher engagement and conversions, and we know that any digital marketing pro today would prefer the latter.
For more information on B2B social media marketing, chat with our director of client services Jeff Hays, or contact us here at Ingenex Digital Marketing.