Vanity Numbers – Do Followers and Traffic Volumes Really Matter?
Many businesses focus their social media strategies on increasing followers counts and their lead strategies on generating website traffic, but do either of them really matter if you’re not getting conversions that ultimately lead to sales?
While having more followers means you’ll maximize your exposure within the algorithms on each platform, you’re still only reaching 1-10% of your total audience unless your posts are getting real engagements, like comments and shares, and therefore seen as relevant.
The same goes for website traffic. It’s great to see your numbers grow and know that your efforts to draw visitors are working, but what really matters is what happens when they get there. Are visitors bouncing off your page at a high rate, or are they staying and visiting multiple pages? Are they completing the conversions you intend them to? And if not, why? These are the questions you really need to focus your strategy on because they are what will create sales leads and become revenue for your company.
Any numbers or data points that do not give you clear insight into what’s driving them, what’s actually working and what’s making you money are considered vanity metrics because while they feel good, they are essentially hollow and lacking in any real substance to inform your business decisions.
Creating an online community is important for buyers to see. They need to feel like they can become a part of what your brand stands for, but focusing on followers and visitors alone will very likely not offer the results you’re expecting. It is way more important to have a small group of engaged followers that interact with your posts, share your content and buy your products.
Web traffic is the same situation. It’s much more important to bring visitors to your site who fit your target customer and are likely to seek more info, make a purchase and join a mailing list. If a visitor leaves without performing any of these key milestones, you’ve wasted an opportunity and will only drive down your overall conversion rates and likely waste your precious marketing dollars.
So if follower counts and website traffic numbers aren’t good indicators of how well your marketing is doing, what metrics actually do matter?
There are a ton of data points that are critical to know, as they inform what is actually working in your marketing strategies and if your efforts are producing the ROI you’re expecting. Some key metrics to track and assess regularly are:
● Where are your leads coming from
● Conversion rates – web traffic conversions, lead conversions and which leads convert better than others are all critical to know
● What content drives more conversions and sales
● Do your conversions increase when you invest resources in improvements or new content
● Which pages on your site draw the highest engagement
● Where in your funnel does a sale/lead drop off
● Bounce rates – at what point are people leaving your site without making a conversion
● Social media follower growth rate and reach on each post
A great place to glean critical information on what’s working within your social media marketing strategy is the Insights area on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll find data such as what posts have the highest engagement and the growth and reach your gaining each post and month. All of this info will let you know what your followers want based on what they are engaging with. Once you know the themes that get you the best return, you can continue offering that type of content to gain further traction.
One of the most misleading things about vanity metrics is that platforms like Google Analytics focus on these pretty heavily in their reporting. It’s important to see through these useless stats and focus on the numbers that really matter to your business. Google Analytics is still one of your best data tools, but it is important to know how to use it and how to weigh the information for yourself, rather than relying on what they have determined as “first page” or “dashboard” worthy. Look to the reports that dig into the metrics you’ve determined as important to your business goals for high quality data that really means something to your business.
It’s hard to fault Google for giving us what we want – metrics that make us feel good and are easy to impact – but as someone responsible for generating sales in your company, you have to dig deeper and focus on what really matters which is turning visitors, followers and views into sales.
If your company needs help focusing on metrics that matter, Digital Monk can help. Not only will we help you define what really makes an impact on your business, we can help you discover what isn’t working, where your funnels could improve and how to increase revenues when what was working inevitably shifts and your back at the drawing board.
Digital marketing companies are your biggest ally to sift through all of the noise and focus on what does matter so you can maximize your resources!