Social Media Metrics That Don’t Matter at All and What to Track Instead

Social media metrics
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The number of followers and likes, post engagement, clicks, impressions, conversions, shares, reach, testimonials, online reviews – The world of social media metrics can be confusing to wade into.

As a social media manager tracking and evaluating these social media marketing metrics are your chance to validate the value of your work and the impact on your decisions.

When you’re asked to talk data, take the opportunity to be a pro and go beyond vanity metrics.
But, what are vanity metrics that don’t matter at all? And what are the metrics that are important to track? What are the metrics that have a positive impact on your business?

In this guide, you will learn what social media metrics don’t matter at all, and what are the metrics that every company should be paying attention to. And how to make your decisions data-driven and smarter based on those metrics.

What are Social Media Metrics?

Let’s start with what are social media metrics. These are the numbers and data reports that will give you the inside look of your overall social media performance and online engagement. Some are easy to understand, like views and likes. But there are many others that you should track efficiently.

Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics

A vanity metric is – Data that looks good at first glance, but provides little insight into the company’s growth, revenue, success, and ROI.

Unfortunately, many social media managers and marketers love ‘vanity metrics.’ They aren’t entirely useless but don’t be fooled by them.

Things like page views, number of followers, or downloads are considered as vanity metrics. These are the numbers that can easily be manipulated and are not necessarily correlated to the numbers that actually matter.
Vanity metrics can give you instant gratification and happiness, but they don’t add value to your brand’s growth.
So, let’s say your marketing team is working on any mobile application. The number of registered users is a vanity metric, while the number of active users is a metric that actually matters.

vanity metrics
Track your active users on the app or website by using Google Analytics

Focus on metrics that make your customers happy, rather than those which make you satisfied.

Facebook, even in its college-only days, used to focus on real numbers like daily active users.

Celebrating vanity metrics but realizing they are not adding any tangible value to the business growth

A recent study shows that more than 36% of chief financial officers believe that marketing teams are relying too much on vanity metrics and aren’t measuring what matters.

Vanity social media metrics are easy on the eyes, but when it comes to the actual value, they only skim the surface. They might make you feel good about your marketing efforts, but these surface-level metrics can only reveal a part of the story.

Some example of standard marketing vanity metrics are:

  • Facebook page likes
  • Twitter followers
  • Instagram followers
  • Number of sign-ups or downloads
  • Pageviews

Your social media page has thousands of likes and followers. You might think you’re doing a great job. But sooner or later you will realize, “Why there are no additional sales? Is something wrong?”

By using your social media analytics thoughtfully, and keeping track of social media metrics that are useful, you can peek into what your customers are expecting from your business.

Track & Report With Social Champ

Track all the right metrics with Social Champ using the monitoring analytics features and create white-label reports for each platform!

social media metrics

Social Media Metrics to Track Instead

Let’s dig into the meaningful metrics that matter for most businesses.

1.     Look Beyond Social Media Followers

Numerous marketers depend too vigorously on their social media followers to quantify their social media success, and that’s fair!

We all need to see an expansion in social media followers.But, at the same time, these numbers are not equal to an engaged audience.

Consider it this way: You may have a large number of Twitter followers, yet if just one of them connects with your social content routinely, is your following really worthy? Then again, you may have a little yet committed following on LinkedIn, and your social posts regularly lead to big sales and conversions. Indeed, your LinkedIn audience is smaller. But, it turns out these clients connect more with your content and ultimately acquire more worth. Just by diving into the analytics, you’ve focused in on an essential data to control your social media efforts.
The next time your manager asks about your social media following, make sure to shift the focus to increasingly significant engagement metrics.

Here’s what you can measure as an alternative to the number of followers on social profiles and pages.

a.     Brand Awareness

Watch out for branded keywords in your next marketing campaign or product launch. Next, watch out for the competitor’s branded keywords to uncover how frequently social media clients associate with contending businesses. Utilize this data as a benchmark to quantify and understand your own performance.

b.     Lead Generation

When tracking lead generation, focus on changes for maximum effect. Observe the social networks that convey the highest number of qualified leads.

c.      Website Traffic

If you probably create site traffic from your social presence, take a look at metrics that show genuine social engagement. For example, look at where your social media leads enter your site, track the pages you visit, and where they drop off. Additionally, investigate the particular posts and channels that collect the most clicks so you can scale your prosperity and serve more content that resounds with your followers.

d.     Customer Experience

If you utilize social media as a customer support channel, the number of followers you aggregate won’t give you any data about how you are getting along. Rather see metrics like the proportion of questions asked for questions replied or responsiveness. At that point, work to improve what number of cases, queries, or complaints you solve.

e.      Event or Webinar Registrants

If you’re planning any seminar, meetup, event, or webinar, and your goal is to generate event participation, separate your reports by social channel. This will show you where clients are the most dynamic and engaged in your online class or occasion. Basically, incorporate campaign tracking data in your social links.

f.       Content Downloads

Not all content is made comparable. For example, a high conversion on white paper, eBook or flagship article signals a significant bit of content. Utilize this metric to strategize on future content contributions and carry those bits of knowledge to lead.

2.     Reach

In the social media world, reach is the proportion of what number of individuals see your content. Think about your reach as the number of individuals your business is being acquainted with. Even though this measurement might be a guess on occasion, it stays one of the most important metrics to follow because it gives you a thought of how substantial your business’ presence is.

How to measure reach?

It’s entirely simple to gauge reach over the majority of your social media platforms. Take Instagram, for instance. By getting to your Instagram Analytics, you’ll have the option to see your account’s reach (if you have a business account).
measure reach
After some time, an active Instagram account will see steady development with its reach. Regardless of Instagram or another platform, checking your reach is important to ensure your marketing campaign is going the correct way.

3. Impressions

Impressions are the number of times your content, similar to a post or an advertisement, is seen by somebody. It doesn’t make a difference if that client didn’t tap on your post, their view still considers an impression.

Pinterest Analytics

Having high impressions and low engagement is an awful thing on any platform. You need individuals to tap on your post. So take time and put your best efforts to create good content that people find valuable and share-worthy.

All real social platforms track your impressions. Inside your Twitter Analytics, you’ll see your impressions on the landing page.
Social Champ Twitter Account
Monitor this number each month. If it lessens (and keeps on decreasing), you can correct your campaign and take a stab at something new to ideally get more eyes on your content.

4. Engagement

Engagement estimates what number of individuals are cooperating with the content you share on the web or on social media. There are different types of engagement that include: likes, shares, comments, retweets or repins.
Engagement is everything. It’s how the world realizes that your business is significant and If your content has more engagement numbers, it will be shown to more potential clients and competitors.
Your engagement rate reveals how intrigued individuals are in your content. If you see that a particular sort of content gets more likes, retweets, or shares, you should post that type of content more often and watch your engagement to see if it increments.

engagement - social media metrics
Tracking this metric will enable you to perceive what’s working and so forth. When you realize that, you can modify your marketing technique likewise.

You can also use Social Champ to track the analytics of all your posts on all social media platforms from one place. Social Champ allows you to curate, publish, schedule and analyze the engagement on your posts all from one platform.
social media metrics

5. Social Mentions and Tags

To know if people are really interested in your brand/company, one of the proven and easy ways is to see how people are discussing your brand on social media.

Keep track of your Twitter mentions, Facebook tag, and Instagram stories too. See how many influencers or bloggers or others mentioned you on their pages or profiles during the month. Keep track of your hashtags also. Use tools like brand24 to notify your company’s mentions or hashtags across the web.
social mentions and tags
You shouldn’t just focus on social mentions from individuals with a considerable following. Tracking mentions from everybody will enable you to decide how relevant you are on the web.

Pro Tip: Try tracking competitors’ social media mentions to perceive how you’re doing in connection with them. There’s nothing inappropriate with some friendly challenge.

6. Audience Demographics

Try not to ignore your followers’ demographics – gender, salary, job titles, industry, age, area, and so forth. Investigate how well these demographics coordinate with your purchaser persona’s demographics.
If they are adjusted, you can see that your social content is substantial to your intended interest group. If they aren’t aligned, reconsider your content to be more captivating for your intended interest group (or assess whether that audience is as yet the correct one).

You can utilize Facebook Audience Insights, Instagram Insights, Pinterest insights or the insights of your preferred social media platform to separate every single significant statistic effortlessly.
Here’s how you can track the interests and behaviors of your Twitter following with others.

Twitter Analytics
And here’s how Pinterest shows simple, easy to read and understand Audience Insights for business account. It has all different sections like age, gender, location, interest, categories and the devices used by the audience.
Age and Gender

7. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the number of individuals who tapped on the link in your ad or post and made further move on your website.

This can incorporate enrolling for your event, subscribing to your email newsletter, downloading content, signing up for the app, or purchasing an item.

If your conversion rate is high, that is great! It implies your content is convincing enough to get individuals to take time out from their day to spend on your website. This is generally because your content was what they were searching for, and the headline wasn’t misleading.

Following your conversion rate is significant because these metrics impact your total ROI (rate of profitability). At the point when your conversion rate is high, Google will perceive that your content has esteem and put more in your ads.

8. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate estimates the number of individuals who clicked on your landing page and after that quickly left without exploring to another page.

If your bounce rate is high, it implies that your audience didn’t locate the content they were searching for.

Why the low bounce rate matter?

When your website’s bounce rate is low, this demonstrates the content on your webpage is profitable to your audience. If a user clicks on your page and find that it wasn’t what they were expecting, they’ll leave rapidly and when your audience leaves, you should be concerned.

This defends the significance of solid headlines.
When somebody clicks on “Get USA visa in 10 days”, they hope to see only that. If they click on the link and end up on a blog page that shows your travel adventure, they’ll be befuddled, frustrated, and wind up leaving.
 High bounce rates are an indication that something isn’t right.

Measure the bounce rate with Google Analytics

When you’re on the Google Analytics homepage, click Acquisition > Overview

Google Analytics
To see the traffic from all the channels click on Acquisition >All Traffic > Channels.
Google Analytics
Beneath your underlying bounce rate, you’ll have the option to see where your traffic is coming from. This is noteworthy supposing that your bounce rate is high and you see that your most elevated traffic source is originating from your social media posts, you might need to patch up your social content to better catch their attention.

9. Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate, or CTR, enables you to follow what number of individuals clicked on your content (typically a boosted ad) and visited your landing page.

If you run Ads on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn, it’s a smart thought to guide your audience to your website where they’ll ideally purchase on an item, download content, sign-up for the event or whatever else your business goal is.

Following your CTR is crucial

If this metric is low, quite possibly something isn’t right, and you should conceptualize how you can attract your audience to communicate with your content. Another motivation behind why following your CTR is so significant is, because it influences how much your ads cost.

Google and most social networks perceive when your ads have a low click-through rate and will charge you more to keep setting ads. If your CTR is low, you’ll be compensated with better ad situation and lower costs per click.

Estimating your click-through rate

To quantify your click-through rate, separate the number of clicks by the number of impressions and afterward duplicate that number by 100. Try not to stress however, you won’t have to compute your CTR like this each time you need to monitor it. Every social platform computes your CTR for you. Here’s how you can use YouTube Analytics for example.

your account and access YouTube Studio.

Social Champ Youtube
Click Analytics on the left-hand sidebar.
Youtube Studio
Click on “reach” at the top of the page.
Set the date range and analyze the results.


There are dozens of social media metrics available that you can track. Few mentioned in this guide are the most essential ones that matter for most of the startups, businesses, and brands.

To recap, social media metrics are important to track as they will tell you if your marketing campaign or strategy is working in the right direction of your business goal. Just remember, focus on metrics that make your customers happy, rather than those which make you satisfied. Don’t celebrate vanity metrics. They are not adding any tangible value to business growth. With new goals and time, you can add more metrics to the list to make it more relevant to your business. Here’s a summary for you:

social media metrics

Roll up your sleeves and start tracking!

Saadiya Munir

Saadiya Munir

I'm part of #ChampFam as a Senior Content Strategist. Computer Science graduate who hates to code. Introverted. Mostly hungry or sleepy. Writing a novel is always on my bucket list, and eventually, when I'm done with all the movies on my watch-list and tasks on my to-do list, I'll get to it. Twitter handle: @munirsaadiya
Social media metrics

Social Media Metrics That Don’t Matter at All and What to Track Instead

Saadiya Munir

Saadiya Munir

I'm part of #ChampFam as a Senior Content Strategist. Computer Science graduate who hates to code. Introverted. Mostly hungry or sleepy. Writing a novel is always on my bucket list, and eventually, when I'm done with all the movies on my watch-list and tasks on my to-do list, I'll get to it. Twitter handle: @munirsaadiya

43 thoughts on “Social Media Metrics That Don’t Matter at All and What to Track Instead”

  1. Some fantastic insights here. I have worked with a LOT of people who get so caught up in the vanity metrics that they don’t look beyond them to see what is really happening with the campaign.

  2. YES!! Very important information in this article. I think so many business owners get overwhelmed by the amount of data, but knowing what numbers to measure and track makes all the difference!

  3. Celebrate Woman Today

    This is one of the most sincere posts I’ve read in the past few weeks. Excellent suggestions about the metrics and what really matters when it comes to growing a business.

  4. You’re so right about vanity metrics yet so many people get it wrong when it comes to evaluating data. Most are not speaking to the right target audience either. You can have micro-niche and still get some awesome results.

  5. Thanks for sharing this post with us. I really needed to understand what it really important to keep track and work on instead of keeping looking into growing my followers.

  6. Thanks for all these social media metrics tips, they will really be helpful to me so I’d know if I am making sense in my social media post goals.

  7. Catherine Santiago Jose

    This is such a very interesting and informative article this can really help a blogger, influencer, entrepreneurs and business owners to track their social media metrics.

  8. Thank you for your detailed explanation. It is only now that i get to understand the importance of bounce rate. so it means then that we need to have a lower bounce rate or at least aim for that?

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc

    This is a very informative post and has lot of advice on how to be on top of our game. I have to pay more attention to my CTR. I will free up some time this weekend to focus on improving this.

  10. Thanks for sharing some amazing tips on Social Media Metrics. I read half of the blog and I really like this article I am saving this article for future. I really need to learn about this

    1. I so love this article. I will save this for my personal reference. I am struggling with content so this might help. Thanks

  11. So interesting and insightful! I totally agree that these vanity-metrics are overrated if not useless – even if they are not manipulated. At the end of the day it should be quantity over quality. I think that quality-minded customers will learn that soon.

  12. When I used to work for a brand that hired a social media agency, all their reports used to contain how many likes the Facebook page had and how many impressions. It’s easy to say that they didn’t last for more than 2 months. When I asked them about proper statistics, CTR rates and formed filled in, their reply was “we can’t guarantee that”…

  13. This is one of the best posts I read today ..I too believe that more than no of followers what matters is content and that content reaching to right people and followers and reader!!

  14. Simon Starchevsky

    Sadia, those are some fantastic insights into the analysis of social media information we all rely on. I will try to put this information to great use right now. Thanks for sharing this, honestly!

  15. I have been more alert about social metrics about my sites. It can be confusing but I am taking it to step by step to figure how each part works. I look into Social Champ because I like using its sibling, MailChimp.

  16. Thank you. Your blog post was a learning experience. Definitely, the connection and their reply to customers, reach per post etc is important rather than vague statistics.

  17. I wish I knew more about all this. A lot of this I don’t understand enough to even know where to start. I need a course.

  18. Thank you for this information! Right now, I don’t care anymore about how many ‘followers’ I have in my social media. Though I know this is important. I mostly focus on my blog engagements and email subscribers.

  19. What a well-written piece. This has come along at just the right time for both my business and my blog. Thank you.

  20. This important is so important for not just brands, social media managers and online marketers but also for online influencers to be able to properly understand their metrics and measure their influence.
    XO, MJ

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