The Myth About Facebook Likes, Comments And Other “Vanity” Metrics
“Likes and comments don’t matter. They’re just “vanity” metrics!”
That’s the basic sentiment around the internet. A quick Facebook search on “vanity metrics” revealed a number of posts mocking those who pursue likes, comments, and shares.
The argument among marketers is that only the bottom line matters. After all, likes, shares, and views don’t pay the bills.
Assuming you’re not a social media influencer who gets paid to advertise on a channel, can likes, comments, and views actually pay the bills?
At Marigold Marketing Group, we’ve found the answer to be a definitive, “yes.”
… as long as you know how to monetize your page’s engagement.
Specifically, these likes, views, and comments can translate into a lower cost per lead and customer acquisition.
In this post, you’ll discover which metrics actually matter and how we’ve been able to monetize using those metrics with an overwhelming majority of our clients’ Facebook ad accounts.
The Metrics That Matter
Before we move forward, let’s define the metrics we’re focused on.
First, we’re assuming that all numbers (or a very large percentage of your numbers) represent real people who are current, former, or potential customers of your company.
So, if you’ve “purchased” a number of Facebook likes for your page, those numbers won’t increase your ROI.
Not sure how your page fares? Let’s do a quick health check.
Jump into the “Audience Insight” section inside Power Editor.
Once inside, choose to view the audience connected to your page.
Set the demographics to reflect your ideal buyers. Is your page mostly composed of those people?
For example, if you only serve the United States, you should see that most of the people connected to your page live in the U.S.
Unless you are specifically focused on India, be skeptical of too many likes coming from that area of the world. Sometimes, well-meaning (or not) page admins will purchase likes online.
The likes are then “created” using bots, and they mostly originate from places like India.
This would be an example of a page that possibly “bought” likes (and therefore can’t monetize these fans).
In contrast, here’s an example of a page that’s in good health. This company serves people in a very specific geographical area. Their audience reflects this.
Assuming the numbers on your page are representative of “real” people (not bots) who are potential buyers, here are some metrics that we’ve found can be turned into leads and customers.
Let’s look at why these particular audiences matter.
When analyzing a group of people who could potentially purchase from you, they can be broken down into three basic categories:
A cold audience is full of people who have never heard of you. They don’t know who you are, what your brand stands for, or why they should care.
This audience isn’t necessarily a bad fit for your product or service, they simply haven’t heard of you… yet.
That can change. And when it does, they’ll join the warm audience.
The warm audience is full of prospects who know who you are. Maybe they follow your brand’s blogs, listen to your podcast, have read or listed to an interview your CEO did recently, or even saw your shop while driving to work in the morning.
For whatever reason, they have “warmed up” to you.
A warm audience is far more likely to purchase from you than a cold audience. That’s because typically it takes a prospect a couple “touches” to get to know, like, and trust a brand.
Assuming you’re a good fit for the audience, the more you interact with them, the “warmer” they’ll feel toward you.
The warmer they feel, the more likely they are to join the “hot” audience group.
A hot audience is full of people who have purchased from you and who will likely purchase from you again in the future.
This is your customer list. For most brands, this is the list that is easiest and most cost effective to market to (side note: Digital Marketer gives a really good overview of audience temperature, as well as what you should be pitching to each).
Building Warm Audiences
Now that you know that warm audiences are more likely to buy than cold audiences, you might be wondering, “how do I build a warm audience without blowing my ads budget?”
Some warm audiences cost more than others.
For example, it likely costs you more to broadcast a television ad then to post a blog post.
The same is true when it comes to Facebook advertising.
Typically, conversion campaigns will cost more per lead than content views.
This means that asking people to sign up for your newsletter, or to buy a product or service (even if it is low cost), will typically cost more than asking someone to read a blog post, like your page, or watch a video.
However, in all of the above situations, you’re building a warm audience.
We’ll talk more about how to build a warm audience in a future post.
Monetizing Warm Audiences
Now that you’re sold on the importance of building a warm audience, it’s time to turn those so-called “vanity metrics” into cold hard cash.
Again and again, data shows us that when it comes time to ask for lead information or for the sale, warm audiences cost much less per conversion than cold audiences do.
Let’s take a look.
Here is a screen shot from a recent campaign. You can see that we’ve broken the audiences into two groups, warm and cold.
The cost per conversion for the cold audience is $7.22, whereas the cost per conversion for the warm audience is just $2.65.
Here’s another example. In this example, the goal was to get registrations for a webinar.
The cold audience resulted in $3.47 per webinar registration, whereas the warm audience resulted in just $2.76 per registration.
These warm audiences are made up primarily of people who have liked a client’s page, interacted with posts, or viewed content in the past.
For example, here’s what the results looked like specifically for the sub-set of audience members who interacted with the client’s Facebook page in the past:
You’ll see that for two of the three photos, the cost per conversion was well below the cost of conversion for the cold audience.
Note that these audiences were being sent to the same landing page. Having an optimized landing page is critical, but even the best landing page will work better on warm audiences when compared to cold.
How To Target A Warm Audience
Facebook makes advertising to warm audiences very easy.
If you’ve been active on a Facebook business page, you can start advertising to your ready-made audience right away.
The Facebook Power Editor allows you to choose an audience to market to. This is always done at the “Ad Set” level.
Inside the Ad Set section, you’ll see a place to choose your audience.
(Creating custom audiences is too much to cover here, but be on the lookout for a post about that in the future.)
Now, you’re ready to run your ads!
Give it a try. Are you able to cash in your likes, comments, and views using your own campaigns?
We’ve had so much success using these metrics to lower conversion cost that growing engagement is part of our system for every single client we work with.
Let us know if you find the same success in your own campaigns!
In the meantime, why not find out what the “7 biggest mistakes you’re making with your Facebook Ads are”, and how to fix them: