On Megatron, and Vanity Metrics

January 20th, 2013 by byoung

It’s really tempting to treat any measurable thing as a metric.

For instance, I’ve seen several (way more than several, actually…) social media campaigns focused on “generating likes”. This is not to denigrate likes, but they are not a metric unto themselves. How do those likes become the actions that matter? It is only measuring them in conjunction with other metrics that they begin to tell a story.

As my “likes alone don’t matter” example I’d like to offer this shining example:

My sister won't really name her baby Megatron, but it's a nice thought.

Read it and weep. 1.6 Million Likes. Nary a conversion to be found.

Likes can help, though. They open a communication channel! What you do with that communication channel is what will ultimately determine the effectiveness of each like. Like email, it’s a limited resource, and communication to that channel needs to be properly nurtured to not end up losing that effectiveness. Don’t use the hammer: hitting users with a link to your site several times a say will only create animosity.

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