So I know this person. They’re pretty well known and has a pretty heavy influence on a certain large subset of people. This person is a great visual storyteller and knows a massive amount of information about their subject matter.
But in the context of data storytelling (AKA analyzing your metrics properly), they have no flipping clue what they’re talking about.
And you know what? I feel bad for them because they just don’t know. They’re an artist-of-sorts and were never taught the value of marketing or mining your data. And you don’t know what you don’t know, ya know?
This person’s got TONS of followers. They get thousands of likes and shares on everything they post. And unfortunately this person, like most others, is caught up in the “My Likes Are My Self Worth” game. What’s even more unfortunate is, this person passes that ‘mis-belief’ on to others who want to learn from and be like them. AKA future storytellers (or influencers-in-training).
Likes or shares (what we call vanity metrics–because they mean next to nothing) is not a whole picture of your worth or your value as a content creator.
There are times when you should have tunnel vision for your business, but data is not one of them. In order to tell your whole story, you need ALL THE CONTEXT.
As I discussed in this article about “Are Your Customers Screaming At Your With A Cryptic Code”, I talk about how data is the way to really get to know who your customer is and their needs on a collective level. It is also one way to assess if each piece of content you make is providing the value you had hoped for. Which is the baseline requirement for all your content–to provide value. (Please don’t confuse this with YOU are valuable. A piece of content providing value and a human life full of value are two drastically different things.)
For this baseline judgment to work well, you have to have as much aggregated data as possible. For example, I keep track of my Instagram posts on my alter ego account @lifewithlaker. I have a comprehensive spreadsheet that keeps track of ratios, percentages, call to actions etc. #allthecontext. Edit: I did this for one year, which was plenty of time to see how my customers and Instagram worked at that time. I’m totally over Instagram for growing your business. Shocker, I know.)
Likes are a nice way to quickly gauge the success of a certain post, but by all means PLEASE STOP JUDGING YOUR WORTH ON YOUR LIKE COUNTS. This is not a good way at all to determine whether you should leave business-ing to someone else. Your mental health depends on this. And when you’re practicing happiness, the world is a better place.
Sometimes I have shitty ‘like’ days. And then I feel shitty. And then I got to my BFF, Microsoft Excel and I plug my numbers in. And I see the entire picture. I see that on that particular day, I wrote a compelling-ass caption. I notice I asked my followers to leave my post and do something. On this day it was to click the link in my bio to get a free guide. I also know from personal experience, people can’t really do more than one thing at a time. If people are SO COMPELLED to leave my post to take action on something, they will forget to like my picture. And if I continue in the short-sightedness of like count, I will subsequently feel like a social media failure.
But you know what my friends?! I fucking won that day. I got 100 people to click away from my post (1 action), click a link in my bio (second action), wait for a page to load and leave me their email for which I now have to sell them stuff later on (third action) and then downloaded my guide (4th action). I’ll be damned if I trade compelling people to take action over a fucking double tap… EVER
This guys, is why getting the whole view of your data is important. And it’s also addicting. You can know and do SO MUCH when you know the story your data is trying to tell you. And then you can spread that shit around instead of the ‘likes are your self esteem’ ebola virus that people not in the know do.
Be mindful at marketing. Spread the good marketing vibes. And keep doing what YOU deem as successful, which may be comments, downloads, shares etc. The point is, you chose your success metric, and you can feel powerful with that.
Watch this video below to see more about how I feel about this subject.