Likes won't keep the lights on

David Turnbull
October 6, 2023

“Jane” is the Managing Partner of a boutique law firm. She publishes two LinkedIn posts:

  • Post A received 10,000 impressions, 40 likes and 22 comments. 
  • Post B received 250 impressions, 4 likes and 0 comments.

Which post was better: A or B?

The truth is we don’t know. We don’t have enough information.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. 

For LinkedIn, the social media platform, Post A was the clear winner. When people engage with content – view, like, comment and so on – they stay on the platform and in front of advertisers longer, so in LinkedIn’s eyes, high engagement = winner. 

But “Jane” doesn’t work for LinkedIn – she runs a boutique law firm. And while publishing a post on LinkedIn that receives thousands of views and likes may give her a warm feeling of accomplishment, it won't necessarily drive sales or improve her firm’s bottom line.

Vanity Metrics

Metrics like impressions, page views, follower count and likes are examples of vanity metrics – they look nice, and it feels good to see them improving, but they don’t actually provide us with helpful insight. 

Last week's post received 20 likes? That’s great, but likes won’t cover next month’s payroll – your business needs clients, revenue, and profit.

And that’s how vanity metrics can lead you astray. 

You think you're doing well because your follower count is increasing and your posts are getting likes, but you may be wasting time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

Focus on Metrics That Matter

You can avoid falling into the vanity metrics trap by focusing on the metrics that actually matter to your business. This means setting goals, metrics, and KPIs that align with your business objectives.

For example, instead of tracking the number of visitors to your website, focus on who is visiting. Are they potential clients? What pages are they visiting, and for how long? Are they converting into prospects by contacting you to learn more about your services? 

Similarly, don’t simply track the size of your newsletter list. Connect it to your CRM and use a lead-enrichment tool like Clearbit to determine who is signing up. Do they fit within your ideal client profile (ICP)? Are they opening your emails?

It takes time to create good content, and as a boutique firm, time is probably in very short supply. So remember: a room of qualified, motivated prospects is far more valuable than a theatre full of people randomly pulled in from the street. If you’re going to invest your time and energy into building an audience, make sure it’s the right audience. 

Skip the vanity metrics, and focus on things that actually matter.

David Turnbull
David is the Founder of Metamorphous, and a strategic growth advisor to boutique professional services firms.

Recent articles