For those in the digital marketing world, numbers matter. These numbers help determine success of campaigns. Metrics are a marketer’s best friend. However, so many key numbers that get reported, don’t even matter.

Vanity metrics are dead.

For those unfamiliar with marketing, what is a vanity metric? These are numbers that look amazing on paper, or to someone that doesn’t know much about marketing, or even these days, an influencer. If I told you that I have 50,000 likes on Facebook, or 150K followers on Instagram, it sounds AMAZING. But who cares? What if I then proceeded to tell you that I’m only getting 100 likes per Instagram post? Doesn’t sound as awesome, right? This is the key, though. Only getting 100 likes on your Instagram post means that your engagement rate is low. Very low.

Take Nutella for example. Nutella has a blossoming Social Media presence. Their Facebook page? 31,000,000 fans. Thirty-One Million. However, their posts from a few days ago? 100 likes, and 10 comments. This is an extremely low engagement rate.

It’s time to move away from the vanity metrics. Start looking at the more in depth reasons behind the numbers. Boost your profitability.

Here’s some avenues to explore:

If your vanity metric is a pageview, begin diving deeper, look into the medium that these pageviews come from to see what advertising sources can bring more people to your page or website. Look at shares. Shares boost views, but shares also mean that someone likes what you’re posting. Post more like that, and see more return on investment (ROI).

If your vanity metric is your likes, or followers, as discussed, look at your engagement rate. Pages I personally manage have 14,000 likes; and an outreach of 200,000 viewers per month, however I only have an engagement of 10,500… 5.2%. This is something that I am tasked with improving. Setting a goal for a 15% engagement rate will create a challenge to create more interesting content.

Begin looking at how you acquire your customers. By creating trackable links for posts (like Bit.ly), you can see where sources are coming from as a marketer. There will be a full post on this coming soon, with tips on this, so stay tuned.

If you’re looking to get maximum ROI out of your investments on social media, start looking at more than just the numbers that make you happy. They look great on a report, but your success will measure differently further down the road.