Really, tell us more?
In the past month I have attended two webinars with thought-leaders from the social media marketing space in which one of the luminaries referred to Likes on Facebook as “vanity metrics” as if this were uncontestable common knowledge. This was troubling for three reasons. First, it reveals engrained prejudices about social media that are simply false. Second, it suggests a profound ignorance about the mechanics of social media platforms. Third, it indicates that direct-response thinking still dominates much of the discourse around social media marketing.
Likes are simply not “vanity metrics.” The term “vanity metric” was first coined by Eric Ries in his 2011 New York Times best seller, The Lean Startup. In his groundbreaking treatise, Ries proposes that startups focus on “actionable metrics” that reflect core revenue generators and can inform business decisions. He juxtaposes “actionable metrics” to “vanity metrics” which depict the business in a positive light but have little impact on revenue. Facebook Likes do not fit into the vanity category for one simple reason that can be stated in one word: EdgeRank.
+Commentary: ‘Au contraire mon frere’ we are not gonna fight, because I understand what you are saying, but have never seen anyone with such certitude say something so vainglorious in the name of content marketing, social media metrics, or anything else.
If you truly believe that EdgeRank, that one word absolves you of critical thinking, then that word does not mean what you think it does. [More info EdgeRank Description.] Also metrics and analytics don’t mean what you think they mean either. Liking/Sharing do not mean anyone is reading it. Getting it SEEN BY EVERYBODY, is the very definition of vanity, not did they read it, did they see it.
Yeah, this whole post is an #EpicFail, but I get that content pushers, have to tell everyone to use the wrong yardstick or else they don’t get paid. Correlation is not causation, say it over & over again until it sinks in.