Let's Embrace Our Vanity
We are all vain in one way or another, and this vanity extends to how we measure our popularity online, in other words, vanity metrics are used to measure our success rate when it comes to our online lives.
Having experimented with Pinterest with the sole aim of increasing my understanding of the platform. The biggest thing I had to wrap my head around is that it doesn't work in the same way as other social media platforms. In fact, when you start trying to understand how it works, you start to realise it is not a social media platform at all.
Pinterest is not a place to go to share things with just your friends, organise an evening out or call someone from an in-app feature. It is and always has been a place to get ideas for one or more projects you are working on by creating an ideas board.
Therefore it is far more than a social media platform. It is a visual search engine and like any search engine, it can be used to drive traffic.
It is for this reason the dust was blown off my Pinterest accounts, and I started to focus improving my knowledge about it.
The very first thing I did was to select a Pinterest metrics to improve. Knowing I wanted to see quick results, I looked for a low hanging fruit that was ripe for the picking and choose to focus on monthly views.
As far as metrics go, this is most definitely a vanity metric.
What Is A Pinterest Vanity Metric?
A vanity metric is a measurement that makes you feel good even though it doesn’t directly translate into an increase in traffic, email subscribers or sales. The most common forms of this type of metric are:
- Number of followers you have on social media;
- How many likes a post has;
- How many blog posts you have on your site.
None of these means much unless they lead to something bigger. For instance, how many of your social media followers are converted to paying customers?
Of the people who liked your post, how many of them shared it with their followers, which lead to your post becoming viral, which in turn lead to an increase in subscribers or sales?
For each blog post you have on your site, how much relevant traffic does it generate for your blog and how much income do you derive from each blog post.
Don’t get me wrong we all want to have lots of social media followers and likes; it’s just that it has to lead to an end goal.
What Is Your End Goal?
This is a question I do not like being asked for the simple reason I do not have a definitive answer.
Take my focus on Pinterest.
It has taken me over a year to come to grips with the platform because it works differently to Twitter and Instagram.
I also did not understand what benefit a business could get from being on Pinterest, until I came across and read a post that summarised the benefit of using Pinterest.
Longevity of social media posts
After reading the post, actually, after seeing the image above, I started to pay more attention to the platform. I started by only pinning my pins, then found out that wasn’t the best strategy to use.
After reading lots of blog posts about Pinterest, I found a common thread on how Pinterest should be approached, and that is to repin other peoples pins a lot more than you pin yours. Some posts mentioned pinning no less than 30 pins a day of which 75% to 80% should be other peoples pins.
Doing some quick math, that would mean I would need to pin a minimum of 210 pins each week of which about 53 would be mine. That is a lot of pins and another roadblock in using Pinterest.
Then again the thought of how long the exposure my posts could potentially get, months or even years after initially pinning it to Pinterest, became a driving force in finally coming to grips with the platform.
Like any new task or challenge, the easiest way is to break it down into manageable steps, and that is how my Pinterest experiment started.
Pinterest Vanity Metric Experiment
Knowing I was chasing a Pinterest vanity metric, I started by creating some boards. Believe it or not, this was a stumbling block for me. After all, what is a board, why do I need a board and why can’t I just pin to my account.
I created a few boards and manually pinned images I liked to it. Doing this is very manual, and I was not getting anywhere close to the 210 pins per day target I was aiming for.
In looking for tools I could use to help with the pinning process, I found Tailwind and Boardbooster. I considered subscribing to them but didn’t want to have any monthly or annual subscriptions added to my business expenses, especially as the task can be done manually. So I passed on those apps.
Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to automate the processes and was waiting for an app I could purchase a lifetime deal on from AppSumo. This is where I go to get a lot of my app to help run my business and even though I on occasion buy things I do not need, they have proven themselves time and time again as a trustworthy business who offer other businesses useful tools.
Looking at my Pinterest analytics and seeing there was a pin that was outperforming all other pins, I kept on looking for a way to automatically repin so I can increase my Pinterest vanity metric of monthly views, without having to spend any money.
Eventually, I found a way to repin lots of pins a day, which in turn has increased my monthly views. As a by-product of my monthly view metric increasing, my number of saves has also increased as has my number of followers.
This has been a pleasant surprise and has encouraged me to carry on with my Pinterest experiment.
Pinterest Vanity Metric Experiment Result
This particular Pinterest experiment is going to last for a six month period. So far it has been run for just over a month for 2 Pinterest Accounts and here is the increase in views seen in that time on one of my accounts.
As I did not envisage there would be a knock on effect of having an increase in followers, I did not keep a record of how many followers I had at the start of the experiment. Suffice to say though that I have more than doubled my followers in that time, having started from a low base.
If you would like to know the method I am using to increase this Pinterest vanity metric, I have created a short class you can watch that shows the method I used.