Don’t be fooled by Social Media Metrics!

Seemingly as part and parcel of Social Media, people have become obsessed with what has come to be known as vanity metrics. How many followers do you have? How many likes do you get for that post?

Just how meaningful are some of the metrics? The answer will vary depending on the circumstances, but as I learned recently, potentially they may mean very little.

I took note of a particular Facebook group recently, which was formed during lock-down last year and skyrocketed to many hundreds of thousands of members. A group of this size is very impressive and you would think would present a great opportunity.

I decided to take a closer look at the groups activity and found an extremely low engagement rate. Posts often only receive a handful of likes, despite having around a half million members. When you look through their history for posts, that has become the norm. In the early days, people were all over the site, but now most seem to have disappeared, even though they still show a half million of members.

Interestingly, I am a member of another group with similar impressive numbers and have noticed the same thing! Activity has dropped off and interaction between the members has dropped to a trickle.

My point? A lot of people will join groups or follow people, but that does not mean that they remain active with those individuals or groups. Their initial interest may wane, leaving them as nothing more than a number!

What can we take from all of this? Engagement is far more important than number of followers. You may only have say 2,000 followers, but if they are fans and actively participate on your platform, they can be more valuable than someone else’s 50,000 followers.

It is so easy to get obsessed about the number of followers you have, but focus on what is really important, the engagement levels. Consider the amount of interactions you see whether they be “likes” or comments as a measure of how well you are doing. People can use various means to boost their follower numbers, but if they are not genuine, then they will be of little use other than initially impressing friends!

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