Finding Results from Vanity Metrics

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • What Are Vanity Metrics?
  • Why Can Vanity Metrics Be a Trap?
  • How to Focus Social Media Marketing Strategies
  • Conclusion
Viewers engaging with social media


How many likes do you wish your business had on social media? 100? 100,000? When we find ourselves caught up in answering this question, we tend to lose sight of the more important ones: How can we use this attention to effectively draw in business? And how do you keep your business from losing sight of its purpose for being online?

My name is Jordan Agolli: founder of Force Media with ten years of marketing experience. Today, I am going to discuss vanity metrics and why it is vital to understand the reports your marketing team presents to you.


What Are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity metrics are the engagement tools across social media platforms, such as likes, comments, shares, and views of a social media post. We call them vanity metrics because when you receive one, it makes you feel good about yourself. Like any confidence boost, however, the pursuit of vanity metrics may make you lose sight of what matters.


Why Can Vanity Metrics Be a Trap?

During the awareness and engagement phases of the marketing funnel, vanity metrics can be important for determining your target audience, but, ultimately, the purpose of online marketing is to sell your products and services, not reach 100,000 views.

Let’s use an example. Say you open a new restaurant, and the sign in the front of the building is equivalent to a post that you make on Facebook.

  • People drive by your restaurant and they say: “Wow, that restaurant looks good!” That would be a "like."
  • Then, they say: “I want to eat there!” That would be a "comment."
  • Then, they tell their friend about the restaurant and say: “We should eat there together!” That’s a "share."

...but until they sit down and eat at the restaurant, they are not a paying customer.

So you could have 10,000 people say “it looks so good” and "I can’t wait to eat there,” but if no one shows up, then it doesn’t matter how good it looks. In the same way, it doesn’t matter how many likes, comments, shares, and views you receive if no one takes the desired conversion action.


How to Focus Social Media Marketing Strategies

The best way to focus your social media marketing strategies in a way that does not get lost in the vanity metrics trap is to:

  1. Determine Your Goal
  2. Achieve Goals Through Front-End and Back-End Marketing

1. Determine Your Goal

To avoid getting lost in the trap of vanity metrics, aka “feel-good marketing,” you and your marketing team need to decide why you are on social media and what your goal is. That way, you aren’t getting lost in the vanity metrics, and you can actually use this data to make informed marketing decisions.

Your goal depends on what industry your business is a part of, but for clients at Force Media, that goal may be to get high-quality leads. When deciding on an appropriate goal for your industry, consider the three-step marketing funnel: Before viewers "convert" into paying customers, they must first be aware of your brand and engage with your brand.

A version of the marketing funnel: attention, interest, desire, and action
The marketing funnel that converts viewers into customers.

2. Achieve Goals Through Front-End and Back-End Marketing

But what is the most effective approach to fulfill this funnel? This question brings us to the most important part of this post: front-end social media and back-end-paid advertising.

  • ‍Front-end social media is what you see right when you land on someone’s profile: pictures, videos, reels, etc. An example of this advertising strategy is when we advertised our e-commerce digital marketing service on our Instagram page. We decided to post the ad this way because we knew this service would interest the followers we already had.
  • ‍Back-end-paid social media is when you see a video ad running on YouTube or on a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter post that says “Sponsored.” In other words, it is an advertisement from an account you are not subscribed to / following.

Many companies just post on front-facing social media and focus on the vanity metrics. They get excited because people are engaging with the post, but they fail to have their followers take an action. Getting people to engage with your posts can be a good thing as long as you understand that’s not what is going to drive sales immediately.

Instead, enter back-end-paid social media. With these tools, you can run ads to a group of people that you know are interested in your product, then, after they engage with your post, you can keep serving them new ads until they convert into a new customer. 


Force Media vanity metrics growth
Metrics we have acquired clients on social media paving the way for new leads.


Key takeaways:

  • Vanity metrics are the engagement tools across social media platforms, such as likes, comments, shares, and views of a social media post.
  • While great for first determining your target audience, vanity metrics can "trap" marketers in a loop of seeking the wrong results online.
  • To stay focused online, remember your goal for being online and construct a sound marketing strategy that prioritizes sales.

Social media is a phenomenal tool to connect with other people and grow your business. However, like any other industry, it’s easy to get lost in the madness.

If you feel like you’re running on the hamster wheel of social media but getting nowhere, we would love to help you. Our team has years of experience using social media as a sales tool for our clients. Through a variety of social media campaigns, we have produced an average of 3-to-1 return on investment across all industries for our clients.

To work with our team, fill out our application link, and we will get in touch with you within 24 hours. Still on the fence? Check out our social media pages and see what you think:


There you have it! Now you know about vanity metrics, when they are helpful, and when to direct your marketing elsewhere. Don’t let your company fall victim to counting comments; reach out to Force Media to see real conversions with real profit. We will see you then!


September 26, 2023
from our office in
Norcross, GA

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marketing, social media