Social Strategy

Social Media Metrics: The Downfall of Vanity Metrics

vanity metrics vs actionable social media metrics: the REAL metrics influencers need to know to grow their channels & get brand deals.

How to Measure Your Channels’ Social Media Success With Hard Data

Influencer pop quiz: Do you know what any of these marketing acronyms mean? VTR. ROI. CTR. CR. ROAS. If you’re saying, ”Huh??”, that’s okay! Most influencers don’t have a marketing or business degree. As a creator, though, you’re basically running your own business. This means you need to move beyond vanity metrics to hard data social media metrics. We’re here to help.

grow your channels, earn up to 3x the $$, get brand sponsorships: apply to MagicLinks now

What Are Vanity Metrics?


In the early days of YouTube & Instagram, channel success was measured by metrics like:

  • Subscriber count
  • Video views
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Impressions

These are called “vanity metrics” because they don’t accurately measure the impact an influencer has on a brand.

They’re all talk, no action. Now, we admit, vanity metrics ARE important, and you DO need to know yours. They’re not, however, the be-all, end-all of predicting how much money a creator makes or can charge for a sponsorship. Yes, brands do want channels with more subscribers & views. the MagicLinks homepage says, “Sales are the new likes”. A creator with 30,000 subscribers can out-sell a creator with 500,000 subscribers. We’ve seen it before!

MagicLinks creator Ashley Parke might have only 34,000 subscribers, but she regularly hits the top of our sales lists. So, we casted her in a Nasty Gal campaign: She outsold almost every other creator in the campaign, even though she had the smallest fan base.

Why does this happen? Because influencers like Ashley take the time to build relationships and trust with their fans. That trust means a fan is much more likely to buy products the 30k creator recommends. You do need around 10,000 subscribers to start earning enough to attract brands’ attention – here’s why.

Here are the channel-by-channel social metrics we recommend knowing like the back of your hand.

CTR (click-through rate): the # of clicks on a link in a social media post, divided by the # of impressions (views) a post receives. for example: a video with 10,000 views and 500 clicks has a 5% CTR.

CR (conversion rate): the total # of sales from a link, divided by the # of clicks on the link. for example: a link with 67 sales & 800 clicks has an 8.37% conversion rate. most influencers average around a 2.5% CR.

ER (engagement rate): how much fans are interacting with content (likes, comments, shares) as opposed to just watching. the average YouTube ER is 4%, average Insta ER is 1.5%, & average TikTok ER is 17.5% (that's why brands love TikTok!).

ROI (return on investment): on average, influencer marketing yields a profit of $18 for every $1 a brand spends. according to a 2015 study by Nielsen, the ROI on traditional ads (banners, commercials, etc) is just $2.87 for every $1 spent.

VTR (view-through rate): the percentage of fans watching a video the whole way through. the average VTR is around 50 - 60% of the total video length: anything over 80% means your video is REALLY good.

Sales By Brand: want to work with a brand? regularly create organic (unsponsored) content about them. use the sales data from your MagicLinks to prove your channels are worth a brands' investment.

Social Shares: Google's algorithm (not to mention most social media platform algorithms) assigns a large weight to heavily shared content, bumping it higher in searches and indicating to brands that your channels are valuable in the long term.

What Do I Do With My Social Media Metrics?

Once you know your channel-by-channel metrics, add them to your creator press kit. Being able to demonstrate true fan engagement and sales from a brand or its’ direct competitors will make you an appealing asset to brands for long-term partnerships.

The analytics section of each social media network will give you these metrics:

  • View-Through Rate
  • Engagement Rate
  • Social Shares

Check the performance reports in your MagicLinks creator dashboard for these metrics:

  • Sales By Brand
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate

Now, go get ’em, tiger!

grow your channels, earn up to 3x the $$, get brand sponsorships: apply to MagicLinks now

Cover images courtesy of MagicLinks influencers Talijah Monet and India Batson.

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