Vanity Metrics Social Media

Vanity Metrics Social Media

Unlocking LinkedIn Analytics for Recruiters and Agencies

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Today, LinkedIn has become the go-to social media platform for recruiters and recruitment agencies to build their brand and connect with potential candidates and clients. However, amidst the flurry of LinkedIn metrics, it’s essential to understand which KPIs actually matter, with a focus on the pitfalls of vanity metrics, and how they affect recruiters aiming to enhance their personal brand and recruitment agencies seeking to strengthen their online presence.


Follower Count ≠ Success: The Most Vanity of the Vanity Metrics in Social Media

One common pitfall in the world of LinkedIn is the fixation on follower count as a gauge of success. Recruitment leaders often fixate on a high follower count as the benchmark for success, and keep a close eye on the competition in a bid to stay top of the tree. Yet a high follower count generally says one thing – you’ve spent more money on LinkedIn job ads than your competition. After a candidate applies for a job on LinkedIn, they’re given the opportunity to follow the company – and most do. Having a high follower count is therefore rarely about the quality of the content or your brand.

  • Follower Count: Quantity vs. Quality

Follower count is just a number. What truly matters is the quality of your followers and their engagement with your content. In the realm of LinkedIn, quantity doesn’t always equate to quality.

Even with a high follower count, there is no guarantee that these people will see your content. The LinkedIn algorithms are designed to prioritise peoples’ individual feeds and suppress the organic visibility of the company pages.

Think about it for a second…why would LinkedIn want to show people your company page content when they can entice you to purchase advertising to secure those eyeballs? Commercially, they want to minimise the visibility of your company page as a pay-to-play strategy and/or purchase premium subscriptions for your employees. When it comes to your company page, it’s therefore not about the number of followers but about who those followers are and how genuinely interested they are in what you have to say.

The Top Vanity Metrics on Social Media We Should Rethink

Now that we’ve tackled the follower count misconception let’s delve into the top vanity metrics that often lead recruiters and agencies astray.

  • Impressions: The Illusion of Influence

A high impression count may look impressive at first glance, but it doesn’t tell you if your message is resonating or if it’s driving conversions. Impressions merely indicate how many times your content was displayed on someone’s screen and can be influenced by a number of factors, including the time of day, the type and format of content and the use of hashtags. A more meaningful metric would be tracking the engagement that follows the impressions, such as likes, comments, and shares. (And…psst, the more engagement you get, the more visibility LinkedIn will provide your content).

  • Likes and Comments: Engagement, but Not Necessarily Conversions

Likes and comments are indicators of engagement, which is a positive sign. However, they should not be considered the end goal. What’s crucial is understanding what actions these engagements are leading to. Are they driving leads, sales, or applications? Without conversions, the likes and comments may just be empty social gestures. What’s more, engagement from your staff (or even your mum, dad or primary school teacher), is not going to move the dial for your business.

  • Shares: Amplification, but Not Always ROI

Shares have the potential to amplify your message, reaching a wider audience beyond your immediate network. While this is undoubtedly valuable, it doesn’t necessarily translate into a measurable return on investment (ROI). Agencies should assess whether the shares are directly contributing to business growth, such as generating new clients or candidates.

  • Click-Through Rates (CTR): The Pre-conversion Triumph

A high CTR is a fantastic achievement as it indicates that your content is compelling enough to prompt people to take action. However, what happens after the click is what truly matters. Are you converting those clicks into actual clients or candidates? Tracking the journey from click to conversion is vital to understand the real impact of your LinkedIn efforts.


Vanity Metrics on Social Media

Vanity metrics on social media, including LinkedIn, are numbers that may seem impressive but provide little insight into actual performance. Follower count, impressions, likes, comments, shares, and CTR can all be considered vanity metrics if they are not tied to meaningful outcomes. Instead of focusing on these surface-level figures, recruiters and agencies should concentrate on analytics that genuinely matter.


  • LinkedIn Engagement Rate: The Real Metric of Value

While vanity metrics may momentarily boost your ego, LinkedIn engagement rate is the true indicator of value on the platform. Engagement rate is a holistic metric that takes into account the number of likes, comments, shares, and clicks in relation to your content’s reach. It’s an excellent measure of how well your content resonates with your audience and how effective it is at driving actions.

  • LinkedIn Analytics: The Road to Informed Decision-Making

To navigate the labyrinth of LinkedIn metrics effectively, agencies and recruiters must make the most of LinkedIn analytics. These tools provide a wealth of data to help you understand the impact of your efforts. By tracking key metrics, such as engagement rate, conversion rate, and click-to-conversion performance, you can make informed decisions and refine your LinkedIn strategy for optimal results.


It’s crucial for recruiters and recruitment agencies to recognise that vanity metrics are just a mirage in the desert of LinkedIn analytics. A high follower count or impressive impression numbers may make you feel good, but they don’t necessarily translate into success.

Instead, recognise the wider purpose of LinkedIn as a) an opportunity to make meaningful connections in professional networking and 2) an opportunity to showcase and increase the brand awareness of your company. While a part of the marketing mix, it shouldn’t be the entire focus – and too often it becomes! It is just one part of a wider omni-channel recruitment marketing strategy that should increase brand awareness and reputation, and importantly, drive ROI through measurable, meaningful marketing return.

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