The anti-vanity metrics you should be measuring

Reece Jacobsen Submitted by on the 6th of May 2015

Social measurement is fundamentally flawed. These are the metrics you should be measuring.

We’ve all known for a while that vanity metric measurement is flawed – this argument isn’t new. If we know it’s flawed, why aren’t we fixing it?

The answer lies in the shift from social media to social business. If social is only seen as a marketing opportunity then reach and likes are what you’ll be stuck with. If, however, social is a business imperative then it has the opportunity to positively impact all areas of the business. When we desire wider success from social we create more areas to measure.

Below are five social metrics you should be measuring:


Do you know who your biggest fan is? I’m not talking about paid ambassadors and influencers, I’m talking about true fans. True advocacy increases positive peer-to-peer recommendations for your products and services. You need to be actively identifying and building relationships with the fans who are vocalizing their brand love. Engaging and rewarding advocacy promotes more advocacy which carries the highest levels of authenticity and value.

Customer service

Create and measure the processes for effective customer service through your social channels. Measure response times, resolution rates and repeat customers.

By measuring the cost of customer resolution on social and benchmarking that against your other service channels will help guide your budgeting for social service expansion. When you realise the cost savings for social you’ll start educating your clients on how to effectively get resolution via social.

Face time

Put community members in front of your teams. Including customer feedback and insights into a monthly report is one thing, but you should be actively identifying community members who have the most insight and valuable feedback (good and bad), and getting these people in front of your teams. Beyond proving that you truly value their insights, you’re also providing your product and service teams with highly valuable perspective.

Community Culture

Measure and benchmark community culture against the culture you desire. Actively promote the behaviors you hope to cultivate in the community and measure the communities participation.If you’d like to build a better brand through collaboration between company and customer, measure against a culture of ideation and create the ideal environment for that. If you’d like to develop a culture of citizenship, measure your contribution to the growth of offline communities. Whatever the culture you determine is best for your brand’s social platform, determine what success will look like in each scenario and measure against that.

Real business improvement

By correctly gathering insights from social media, you should be providing all business departments with both the insights and recommendations on how to improve. This is only half the job. To truly measure your social media performance you should be actively tracking and measuring the business change that results from the social insights. If all the lessons you learn from social media are not being implemented to improve the business then you’re failing.

Measuring these five areas requires effort, but the rewards are more than worth it. The sooner you’re able to move away from vanity metrics the sooner you’ll be able to justify deeper investment into social media. If you only ever measure likes then that’s all you’ll ever get out of social media. By evolving what you measure you’ll be able to evolve what social can do for your business.