I don’t know who needs to hear this, but…
When it comes to your social media presence, it’s not just about the likes.
(Say it again louder for the people in the back!)
Counting likes and tracking followers are examples of what we call “vanity metrics” — metrics that make you look good to others but don’t tell you anything about your audience and how they behave on social media.
So, what should you be tracking instead of vanity metrics?
I suggest looking at metrics that are “actionable,” meaning information that translates into more informed decision-making and helps your business reach its long-term goals through smart, data-driven strategies.
The best way to do this? Take a deep dive into your social media insights.
Measuring Meaningful Insights
Insights vary from platform to platform, but Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., all make them easy enough to track.
When used frequently and correctly, these insights can help you better understand your audience and the types of posts they’re engaging and interacting with most.
Here’s an example:
Say you’re perusing Instagram, and you come across a post that interests you.
After reading the caption and checking out the image or graphic, you could do several things, including:
- Visit their company page to learn more about them and what they offer.
- Click on the link in their bio (Instagram) or About section (Facebook) to check out their company website.
- Share the post with your followers because it includes information related to your industry or business.
- Save the post so you can come back to it in the future.
All of the above options happen because you’ve come across a piece of content that speaks to you, and that content has driven you to do more. And, for the business you’re interacting with, those actions are FAR more significant than just a double-tap. This is because your actions show that you’re a person who’s genuinely interested in what the company is offering or sharing.
When analyzing insights, this is what it’s all about: Engagement. In other words, instead of just measuring followers and likes, which can fluctuate regardless of what type of content you’re posting, take a closer look at metrics that reflect the bigger picture.
How many of your followers are engaging with your post? Are these existing followers or brand new reaches? And after they engage, are any of them converting into new customers?
Answering these questions will make you much more effective at pointing you toward the next steps that should be taken — and what type of content you should focus on moving forward.
How to Easily Track Insights
Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or another social platform, you can easily find your top-performing posts and see how many accounts were reached with those posts.
You can also check out how many people saved your post, which is an important indication of how valuable that content (or that type of content) is to your target audience. If someone likes your post enough to save it and revisit it down the road, that’s a big indicator of quality content.
Saved posts also impact your ranking in social media algorithms since these platforms want to promote the most valued content. They track what posts are getting bookmarks and reward those accounts by putting more eyeballs on your page moving forward.
Let’s take a look at my insights for a few examples:
At the top of these insights, you can see how many people liked the post (108), how many comments were received (38), how many times it was shared (2), and how many times it was saved (2). We can also see that the post reached 513 accounts and resulted in 24 people visiting my profile — significant numbers for a growing Instagram account!
This example is important because it shows that not only did this post reach 697 people, but 52% of the accounts that saw this post aren’t existing Brand Social Marketing followers. This proves that my post strategy is working and, because I’m posting consistent content that’s shareable and saveable, Instagram is rewarding me with more exposure.
You can quickly and easily see how many actions were taken from each post by checking your interactions. For example, after viewing the post, 43 people visited my social media profile, and 24 people clicked on my website. This, my friends, is the goal: To create engaging content with a call to action that gets people to visit your website and look into what you do. Once you have people on your site, you’re much more likely to gain business from that visitor.
So, take some time regularly (I recommend at least once per month) to dive a little deeper into your insights, so you can see what posts are working best for you and drive your strategy in the right direction.