Are you focused on Quality or Quantity on Social Media?  

My question for you today is this…what do you think impacts the quality of your presence on social media today?  Is your current focus on getting more fans and followers on your Pages and Profiles?  

Which type of metrics really matter to your business? 

Some people think that having a high Fan and Follower count is more important than spending time attracting your ideal audience or making actual connections with others on social media.  Clicking a button to Like or Follow someone is not, in my opinion, networking or  making a connection.  Giving more focus to your Fan and Follower count than an actual strategy to attract your ideal audience is an example of using a vanity metric. It has no real effect on your business results.  Fan and Follower count can be manipulated by soliciting Likes from random people and some people buy Fans and Followers for the sake of impressing others. 

Some vanity metrics can be helpful depending upon what you will use them for.  Here’s an example:  Since January 2018 when Facebook changed their algorithm, the reach for any organic posts on a Facebook Page is practically non-existent.  To get any kind of measurable organic reach, your posts must get engagement (comments, shares, reactions, likes).  If the post on your Facebook Page gets a lot of  engagement, this may trigger a business decision to make an investment to run the post as a paid Ad.  Of course, this depends upon the content and whether the post aligns with your business goal(s).  This would be relevant if you are trying to make your ideal audience aware of your brand and what you have to offer, if you are trying to drive more traffic to your website or sales page, etc.  But to track vanity metrics just for the sake of numbers is just a waste of your time.

Here’s an example where Vanity Metrics are not valuable. 

I was recently reading through some posts in a networking Facebook Group that I’m in and I came across a post from a self-proclaimed marketing and social media “guru” that was encouraging readers to visit his Facebook Page and to “LIKE” it.  He promised them he would reciprocate with a “LIKE” to any readers’ Facebook Page (those who liked his Page first) and he explained in his post that people should do more of this to “get connected” to others.   

The first thing I did was laugh when I read this post.  But as I saw the comments from the people in the group who don’t know or understand what a waste of time this is, that post began to really bother me for a couple of reasons, 

Here’s why…

  1. The action of clicking a “LIKE” button does not, in my opinion, make a connection.  It creates an opportunity to make a connection…an opportunity to have a brief conversation with the other person to find out more about them.  The conversation can be a virtual chat, phone call, or whatever is convenient. 
  2. Comments under this post included statements like, “yes, I’m in, what a great way to make connections and get my message out, great way to have others try my samples, etc, etc”.  “Yes, I’m going to do this with others.” and many others along those lines.   

My laughter turned to my own verbal comment “Eeww” once I read those comments because the pitch seemed a bit sleasy. (no, I didn’t say “Eeww” in the comment on the Facebook post). Yes, I know similar pitches have been used over the years, but with the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, this is really an exercise in futility.  None of those people who are liking each others’ Pages will see each other’s posts unless they also flag the Following setting and click that they want to see those Pages in their Newsfeed. 

With a little research, I discovered that the self-proclaimed social media “guru” had relatively few Fans on his Facebook (business) Page and he was apparently was trying to beef up his numbers.  So, what’s wrong with that?   

I don’t have a problem with this “guru’s” interest in vanity metrics. I have no problem with his wasting his time.

My problem is more of a concern for the people who are buying into this myth that it’s as simple as clicking a Like and they are on their way to marketing their business using Facebook. There were several people who thought this tactic would somehow help them make others aware of what they do, what they offer, and that others would want to try their products, etc.  And they would also gain a Fan!  Woo Hoo!  

The people he is encouraging to help him out with his Fan Count, which is a Vanity Metric, obviously don’t know or understand what social media marketing can and can’t do for their business.  They’ve bought into this exchanging Likes exercise because he calls himself an expert and they don’t realize they are not likely connecting with their ideal audience. 

I’ve found these are the type of people who have a difficult time accepting that social media marketing needs to be tied to their business goals to be effective.  They opt to use tactics instead of trying strategies. They have chased Bright Shiny Objects in the past, with few to no results, and yet still have the misconception there is some kind of magic formula to solve their marketing and sales problems.  It can be a challenge to overcome that myth. 

Some start up business owners will take the advice of anyone and everyone. They will sign up for every free webinar they can find and start mixing and matching strategies that don’t necessarily align with their business and goals.  They get confused, they get overwhelmed, they can’t maintain consistency and they don’t really know if their ideal audience is even hanging out on the social media sites that they are trying to build a presence on.   

Some start using social media for marketing and focus on metrics that are not tied to business goals and in doing that, they are not in a position to use metrics to make business decisions.  The typical results are they can’t measure positive changes in their business from their social media efforts.  So they give up on what could be a great way to market their business, IF they did it correctly.  And that’s sad when people give up because they were relying on bad information.

What kind of business decision can you make if you ask a bunch of people from random backgrounds and industries to Like your Page?  How many do you think might be your Ideal Client?  Do you think they will ever buy from you?  I’m going to bet they will not.  So why spend any time or effort doing that?

If I asked you why you decided to create your own business, most of you would answer to share your message to help others or to serve others with your skills, knowledge or products.  But a business, any business, must consistently generate a profit or it will not survive.  I’m sure being in a popularity contest was not one of the factors you considered when you created your business. 

Let’s look at it this way.  What is more valuable?

Although there are only 4 quarters, each quarter has more value than each coin in the 50 Penny pool and together they are more valuable.

What am I trying to illustrate in a simple (and perhaps silly) example?  Imagine the quarters is your ideal audience.  Each of the quarter can become your ideal client and ultimately buy from you.  These would be considered as high quality connections.

Now, imagine the pennies are 50 random people.  There only connection to each other is that they are members of a group of people who are, in some way, running a business or are business owners.  Some are multi-level marketers, some are independent contractors who have service business, some create products and other sell products.  There are no other relevant interest in what each other is doing or selling.  That group of 50 pennies or 50 random people are low quality connections because few to none of them would be considered as your ideal audience or your ideal client.  The odds of converting any of these people to buy what you are selling is slim.  So the 50 pennies might look good on paper but the individual and cumulative value is considerably lower than the 4 quarters.

Get it?  It’s ok to have a small number of Fans, Followers, Subscribers as long as they are your Ideal Audience or Ideal Clients who are interested in what you offer. These are people who you have a opportunity to convert into buyers.  In fact, those Fans or Followers are more valuable to your business individually, and as a group!

If you found this blog post helpful, follow me on social media to get more tips and info about social media and other marketing topics. 


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