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Social Media Lead Generation: 13 Proven Tactics




It doesn’t really matter what you’re selling. Ultimately, any brand on social media is in the business of social media lead generation.

Whether you’re an ice cream maker or a funeral director (representing the full spectrum of possible jobs), social media offers an opportunity to scope out a whole world of future clients.

You already know how helpful social media can be for brand awareness and engagement: today, we’re digging into just how marketers can use platforms like Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, and LinkedIn to generate sales leads.

Social media can help you find people interested in what your business has to offer — and, importantly, it can help you keep in touch with those potential customers to let them know about news and special offers.

Ready to use social media marketing to generate and nurture quality leads? Welcome to Social Media Leads 101. Class is in session.

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Bonus: Get the free template to easily craft a detailed profile of your ideal customer and/or target audience.

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What are social media leads?

Social media leads are potential future customers.

Any time you collect information from a social media user that will allow you to follow up with them, you’ve just snagged yourself a new lead.

Maybe that’s just their name, maybe you’ve got an email address or some info about their employer. If you have a way to contact and connect with a potential client on social media, congratulations: you’ve scored a social media lead.

Facebook social media lead car purchase test drive poll

Source: Facebook

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What is social media lead generation?

Social media lead generation is any activity undertaken on social media that allows you to collect new leads.

That could mean creating great content to attract new followers. It might mean spending a few bucks on targeted ads. Whatever you’re doing that pulls in that all-important contact info for reaching potential future clients: that’s social media lead generation. (We’ll dig into some more specific ideas for social media lead generation efforts below, stay tuned.)

Social media lead generation is the first stage of social media selling. Lead generation is followed by:

  • Social media lead nurturing This is the act of building relationships with those potential customers.
  • Social media lead conversion This is the stage of social media selling where you finally close the deal and make that sale.

13 social media lead generation tactics to try

Want to use social media to generate sales leads? Here are 13 ways to attract new potential customers with social marketing techniques.

Optimize your profile

Your social media profile should be a one-stop shop for social media users to learn about what you do and hopefully get inspired to follow you or click through to your website.

Here are 10 tips for crafting the perfect social media profile, but the TLDR of it all is: do what you’ve gotta do to make a great first impression.

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Make sure your profile is filled out completely with your relevant business description (make it keyword-heavy to optimize that social SEO!) and that you’ve got a working URL that directs people to a compelling landing page.

Miraj Hammam Spa business description on Facebook

Pro tip: use a UTM code to track click-throughs on your social media profile. More on using UTM for performance tracking here!

Schedule posts for the right time

It’s going to be pretty tough to dazzle potential clients if they never see your content. Scheduling your posts to go live at the right time is critical to generating social media leads (and engagement in general).

Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to ensure your posts are going up at the right time to capture your audience’s attention.

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Create clickable content

The best way to attract sales leads is to offer something of value — on social media, that means posting compelling, clickable content.

Every time you craft a hilarious video, a beautiful infographic, or a thought-provoking essay caption, you’re putting out the bait to lure in potential future clients. Don’t you want to watch this video of ceramicist Rachel Saunders pouring coffee on repeat? And then maybe one day, buy one of these sick mugs?

To really collect sales leads, though, you aren’t just trawling for views. You want to earn new followers, comments, and click-throughs. These are metrics that will give you the info you need to target specific users in phase two of the social selling game: nurturing your leads.

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Here are a bunch of ideas to get you started creating high-engagement posts.

Customer testimonials

Intrigue your potential customers with stories from your past or current customers. Share client testimonials, user-generated content, and real-life case studies in blog posts or other formats to offer social proof that your business is legitimate and your brand is worth engaging with.

For instance: look at this real-life person wearing Franc’s workout wear! It always makes a product a little more appealing when you can see someone (even a stranger) using it happily in the wild, no?

Design user-friendly landing pages

Once you’ve actually convinced someone to click through to your website, it’s make-it-or-break-it time. If you’re lucky, they’ll carry on to actually make a purchase or book your services (awwww yeah) — but, really, at this stage, just collecting some contact info is a win.

Have a landing page that gives visitors an opportunity to submit their contact info to learn more. Maybe it’s literally a form that says, “Submit your contact info to learn more!” but this can also be a newsletter sign-up or a prompt to access gated content.

Clicking through from the Instagram profile to the homepage of Circle Wellness Spa offers a clear call to action, inviting visitors to “Join the waitlist” for its thermal spa experience. Doesn’t get much more user-friendly than that. (And now we sit back… and wait.)

The Circuit private thermal spa

If you’re exploring social media ads (more on that next!), tracking pixels are another way to turn a lead’s landing page visit into an info-gathering experience.

Targeted ads

Social media ads are a great way to generate leads, particularly because social media platforms allow super-specific demographic targeting. You can share your amazing pitch with a hyper-segmented audience — ideally, the people most likely to buy from you.

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Ad campaigns can be built specifically for lead generation and include a call to action that asks for contact info.

With a Facebook lead ad or Instagram lead ad (both built using Meta Business Manager), you can prompt viewers to fill out a contact form… and Facebook will pre-populate that form with users’ information. In just a few taps, you’ve got a rock-solid lead for your biz.

Facebook contact form schedule a test drive Jasper's Market

Source: Facebook

LinkedIn Lead Gen forms also help collect quality leads with pre-filled lead forms in message ads and sponsored content.

LinkedIn Lead Gen forms FixDex Webinar Series customer relationships

Source: LinkedIn

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TikTok’s new lead generation ad objective helps social media managers easily collect info, too. A prompt allows ad-viewers to learn more about your business, answer your questions, schedule an appointment, or share contact information with you.

TikTok for business instant form template

Source: TikTok

Social listening

Social listening is the act of monitoring social media platforms for mentions or discussions of your brand, products, campaigns, or industry. (Hootsuite’s Streams feature makes this super easy and compiles all this intel from all of your social platforms in one place.) By keeping an eye on the conversation out there on the world wide web, you’ve got a chance to spot potential clients.

Say you’re a sneaker company, and you set up your competitor’s brand name as a social-listening search. The next time someone complains on Twitter that the shoelaces of their New Balances are too long, you can swoop in and humbly suggest your product as an alternative. (Or something more subtle: you do you.) That cranky Tweeter is officially your newest social media lead. Mazel tov!

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Offer incentives

Information is a valuable thing — why should anyone want to give it to you for free? A trade, on the other hand, is a whole different story.

Offer up an incentive for someone to share their contact info with you, and you’ll find yourself awash in the email addresses of potential customers. A real “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of deal.

This works especially well for referral campaigns, where you encourage existing customers to share your brand with their friends and family in return for a discount.

There are plenty of different things you can consider offering in exchange for content info:

  • Discount codes or special offers
  • Webinars
  • Newsletters (like WealthSimple’s)
  • Whitepapers or research documents
  • Exclusive thought leadership

Use social media chatbots

Offering great customer service is sort of Business 101. And in this day and age, that means offering great social media customer service, too.

What does this have to do with lead generation strategy? Customer service encompasses the way you treat your future customers, as well as your current ones: you’ve got to be ready to help curious would-be shoppers the second they reach out. Anyone who sends you an exploratory message, after all, is a lead just waiting to be nurtured.

lead generation customer service virtual assistant ModCloth

Of course, no matter how extremely online you and your employees are, there’s no way to offer instantaneous, 24/7 support… without a little help.

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Conversational AI chatbots can fill that gap and help you help others. Ensure no sales lead gets lost by setting up a messenger or DM virtual assistant that can help address FAQs without requiring any human manpower. With the help of ol’ Botty, this future customer gets an efficient, positive customer service experience, and you collect a contact you can use for future social selling.

Personalize your pitch

Personalization is a powerful thing. Seventy-one percent of consumers expect personalization in their interactions — no wonder that the global revenue affiliated with customer service personalization software is about to surpass $9 billion.

Many social media platforms offer personalization functionality for targeted ads. After all, they’ve got the names of all their users right there for the taking: it’s simple for the ad-building robots to plug those right in. (Just look at that sweet personal note from the ModCloth Facebook Messenger Bot in the example above!)

And when Jerome sees an ad in his feed that says, “Hey Jerome! Are you ready to try our new brand of direct-to-consumer margarine?” he’ll probably feel pretty special. (And isn’t that really what social selling is all about?)

follow TechCore for brands shaping B2B strategy

Source: LinkedIn

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Host a livestream event

A social media livestream is an exciting and engaging way to connect with your followers (or lookie-loos) — no big expensive venue required.

Whether you’re hosting a Q&A or a behind-the-scenes tour or putting on your own masterclass, livestreams are a great way to offer educational value or entertainment in an interactive way.

Use the livestream to plug your other products and services, direct viewers to a sign-up form to “learn more,” and encourage newcomers to follow you to learn even more.

Sponsor content creators

To reach a bunch of new leads at once, consider teaming up with a social media content creator.

Whether it’s an organic partnership or a paid one, tapping into another channel’s audience is a great way to spread your message further… and hopefully earn some new, concrete sales leads in the process.

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Dive into analytics

Your social media analytics offer candid insights into how things are going over there in social media land.

What posts are garnering comments? What are people saving? How many new followers are coming in? Who has clicked through on your profile link to your website… and did they sign up for access to your gated 2023 Report on the Caramel Corn Industry?

Hootsuite Analytics post engagement rate across social channels

Learning what’s working (and what’s not!) is key to generating social media leads. Use your social media metrics to get smarter about your content planning so you can pull in more followers — each one a potential sales lead.

How to track leads from social media

When you buy a magazine ad or place a billboard on the side of the highway, there’s no real way to measure how many people saw it… and if they did see it, there’s no way to know whether that inspired them to patronize your business.

With social media selling, that is not the case at all. With the right tools, it’s possible to see exactly how many leads you’ve collected on social media each day (or week or year).

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UTMs are special tracking tags that you can add to the end of a URL. Use these strategically as you share links to keep track of where traffic is coming from.

For instance, make one UTM for Twitter and another for Facebook. These unique codes will help identify which website visitors came from where. Learn more about UTMs here.

Web analytics

Use Google Analytics or your website’s back-end analytics software to check just where traffic is coming from. Are you getting a spike from Youtube, or are all the people visiting your “Book an appointment!” page coming from Instagram?

Track engagement

When you measure interaction with any given post, you’re getting a quantitative look and just how successful your messaging is… which ultimately is the first step in driving your audience down that sweet ol’ sales funnel to conversion.

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Track comments and likes: these show that your content resonates and inspires followers to react. Shares and saves are valuable, too, indicating that your audience finds your content helpful. Of course, click-throughs are another form of engagement too — and a move in the right direction through the sales funnel.

Ask “How did you hear about us”

OK, it’s a little old-fashioned, but hear us out. If you want to know where your leads are coming from, maybe just… ask?

When you’ve compelled someone to fill out a contact form for more info or offered them a free ebook on Home Silversmithing Techniques, you’ve got a chance to add a field that straight-up asks, “Where did you hear about us?” Similarly, you can ask this at the final stage of the sales process too, once you’ve got their cold hard cash in hand.

What are the best social media platforms for lead generation?

The best social media platform for lead generation really depends on your particular business and your particular audience. It’s a boring answer. We get it. But it’s true.

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TikTok can be an amazing social media lead generator if you’re looking to sell to Gen Z. It’s a platform with plenty of opportunity for discoverability and one where users are actively looking to engage with brands and seek shopping recommendations.

But if you’re a B2B brand, on the other hand, LinkedIn is going to be a far better fit. The users here are middle managers and decision-makers. Marketers see up to 2x higher conversion rates for B2B sales and 2X high engagement rates. (See more LinkedIn stats here.)

Of course, if you’re just anxious to reach the most people humanly possible, Facebook is going to be your best bet — it’s currently the most popular social media platform in the world, with an audience of 2.9 billion.

Long story short: if you’re looking to compile sales leads via social media, you’re going to need to figure out first just who your target audience is, and where they’re hanging out online. Here’s our guide to determining your social media target market.

Once you’ve figured out your key outlet (or outlets), you’ll be ready to engage with your target audiences using the proper tropes, etiquette, and best practices — and ultimately pull in that all-mighty contact info.

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Best social media lead generation tools

Hootsuite Planner dashboard of scheduled social posts


One of the best things about an all-in-one social media dashboard like Hootsuite is that you can juggle all of your social media platforms in one place. You can be hunting for leads across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, in one easy-to-navigate tab.

Hootsuite is also great for…

  • Scheduling posts designed to generate leads
  • Generating UTMs for tracking the performance of posts
  • Analytics to help understand what’s working and what’s not
  • Responding and messaging sales leads (and offering seamless customer service) with the Hootsuite Inbox tool

Google Analytics dashboard overview
Source: Google Analytics

Google Analytics

It’s the OG website analytics tool, able to provide data about exactly where leads on your website have come from. Want to know which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to that newsletter signup form or which post is responsible for a burst of activity on your “Learn more” landing page? Google Analytics will show you the sources for all your website visitors.

MailChimp design your email and newsletters

Source: MailChimp


What can you offer someone in exchange for their contact info? A newsletter is a pretty good one (and MailChimp is a fave newsletter-building tool). You get a chance to grab their attention right in their inbox regularly, they get delicious new content to feast on. Seems like a pretty good deal to us.

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Use your social media accounts to direct users to sign up for this exclusive correspondence and watch those emails come rolling in.

Social media lead generation statistics

The most important number to keep in mind as you’re on your social selling journey is that 4.74 billion people worldwide are active on social media. That’s… a lot. It’s also a number that confirms just why social media is such a powerful tool for lead generation.

For more compelling numbers about social selling, check out this comprehensive post with more than 160 social media statistics that matter to marketers in 2023.

FAQs about social media lead generation

What are social media lead-generation companies?

There aren’t really companies exclusively for social media lead generation. You’re on your own, kid!

In the sales world, generally speaking, “lead generation companies” collect consumer data to sell to other businesses. They’ll sort these leads into different categories so they can sell specific, relevant contacts to you.

However… companies and products exist to help you collect or reach social media leads. Social media platforms themselves sell a type of ad specifically designed for lead generation.

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leverage LinkedIn Learning with real-time data to upskill workforce

Companies like Hootsuite can help you generate leads with tools that make outreach, monitoring, and tracking efficient and effective.

What is an example of lead generation?

An example of lead generation on social media would be creating a post on LinkedIn that drives people to a contact-info collection form.

Another example? Buying a lead-generation ad on Facebook that was targeted at a specific demographic, with a call-to-action to share their contact info.

How do you nurture leads on social media?

Nurturing leads on social media is the act of fostering positive relationships with your leads. These are potential customers: people who haven’t necessarily spent any money with you but might one day if you treat ‘em right.

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Nurturing a lead means building a relationship, either one-on-one or with the public content you share with all your followers.

Create engaging content with value. Cultivate community and encourage interaction. Answer questions and respond to all comments (pro tip: use Hootsuite’s Inbox tool to make sure you never miss a message).

Social listening is another important tool for nurturing your social media leads. Set up streams to monitor relevant conversations so you can participate meaningfully and authentically when appropriate.

In other words: be a good friend who’s fun to be around. No one likes a pushy salesperson. Nurturing a lead is all about building a relationship and a positive reputation so that when the time does come for that lead to drop some dough, you’re top of mind.

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Explore more advice for community engagement and offering great social media customer service here.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.

Get Started

In the sales world, generally speaking, “lead generation companies” collect consumer data to sell to other businesses. They’ll sort these leads into different categories so they can sell specific, relevant contacts to you.

free widgets for website

However… companies and products exist to help you collect or reach social media leads. Social media platforms themselves sell a type of ad specifically designed for lead generation.
Companies like Hootsuite can help you generate leads with tools that make outreach, monitoring, and tracking efficient and effective.”
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “What is an example of lead generation?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “An example of lead generation on social media would be creating a post on LinkedIn that drives people to a contact-info collection form.

Another example? Buying a lead-generation ad on Facebook that was targeted at a specific demographic, with a call-to-action to share their contact info.”
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How do you nurture leads on social media?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Nurturing leads on social media is the act of fostering positive relationships with your leads. These are potential customers: people who haven’t necessarily spent any money with you but might one day if you treat ‘em right.

Nurturing a lead means building a relationship, either one-on-one or with the public content you share with all your followers.

Create engaging content with value. Cultivate community and encourage interaction. Answer questions and respond to all comments (pro tip: use Hootsuite’s Inbox tool to make sure you never miss a message).

Social listening is another important tool for nurturing your social media leads. Set up streams to monitor relevant conversations so you can participate meaningfully and authentically when appropriate.

free widgets for website

In other words: be a good friend who’s fun to be around. No one likes a pushy salesperson. Nurturing a lead is all about building a relationship and a positive reputation so that when the time does come for that lead to drop some dough, you’re top of mind.

Explore more advice for community engagement and offering great social media customer service here.”
}] }

Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

Free 30-Day Trial

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The post Social Media Lead Generation: 13 Proven Tactics appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

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How To Save Tons of Time With Instagram Auto Reply





Responding to messages quickly is a huge part of social media customer service—and it’s no different whether you’re dealing with messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Luckily, Instagram has an easy-to-use option that can cut down on your team’s time responding to questions.

With Instagram auto reply, you can easily set auto-responses to common questions and messages. This feature cuts down on the time your social media support team needs to spend monitoring and replying to customers.

In this article, we’ll talk more about the Instagram auto reply feature, how it can be used, and a few message examples for inspiration.

Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.

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What is Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a feature available in your Instagram message settings that allows you to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions.

For example, if you regularly get a question like, “Do you offer free shipping?” your team can set up an auto reply that will answer the question instantly rather than forcing the customer to wait for a real person to respond.

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There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Instagram tools: Set automatic responses for frequently asked questions or craft canned messages that your team can easily send out via Instagram DM.
  • Meta Business Suite: Set up messaging automations for both Instagram and Facebook.
  • Third-party inboxes: Use tools like Hootsuite Inbox to easily monitor and manage your Instagram direct messages and comments.

Learn more about how a social inbox like Hootsuite’s can help streamline your social media communication in this video:

There are several ways to take advantage of Instagram’s auto reply feature. Here are just a few types of automated responses you might consider setting up:

  • Welcome messages
  • Away messages
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Share contact information
  • Share business hours of operation
  • Provide shipment and payment details
  • Offer discounts
  • Explain wholesale pricing information
  • Tell customers how to handle issues with their orders
  • Share links to additional resources

Pros and cons of using Instagram auto reply

So why use Instagram auto reply? Is it the best option for creating automated responses and freeing up your team’s time? As always, it depends on your needs.

Let’s cover some basic pros and cons to help you decide.


  • Make a good impression. Instagram shows your followers how quick your team is to respond. A faster response time is a better look for your business.
  • Answer questions before they’re asked. Create an auto-responder that gives your customers a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from a real person—unless your auto replies can give their answer immediately.
  • Save your team time. Stop writing the same reply over and over again. Automated messages give your team more time for escalated messages and other customer support issues.
  • Never miss a message. You don’t have to worry about time zones when you enlist auto reply. Even when your team isn’t working, customers can get answers as soon as they send a message.
See also  Social Selling Explained: A 2023 Guide to Social Media Sales


  • Only for Instagram and Facebook. Instagram/Meta’s built-in features only work for these two platforms. You’ll have to enlist the help of external tools for other social media platforms—don’t worry, we’ve got more on that below.
  • You have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages. In order to access some of the more advanced tools, you must use Meta Business Suite, so you’ll have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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Book a Demo

15 Instagram auto reply message examples

Not sure what types of auto replies to set for your Instagram messages? Here are 15 examples to help inspire you.

Welcome message

Send one of these options to all new incoming Instagram DMs whenever your team is unavailable for a quick response:

  • Thank you for getting in touch! Our team is available from 10am-3pm CT. We’ll get back to you within those hours!
  • Hey there—thanks for reaching out! Your message is important to us. Someone on our team will get back to you within the next 12 hours.
  • Sorry we missed you! Our team is currently unavailable, but we’ll be back around 8am GMT.

Basic business information

Use one of these when someone messages you on Instagram to ask about hours of operation or contact information:

  • Our hours of operation are 11am-11pm ET Monday through Saturday.
  • To get in touch with a representative directly, please give us a call at [###-###-####].
  • To learn more or request a demo, email us at
  • Our offices are located at 1234 Business Street.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few common questions and answers you might want to incorporate into your Instagram auto replies.

How long does shipping take?

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  • You can expect your items to arrive within 3-5 business days of your order.

How can I cancel my plan?

  • To cancel, go to the “Account” section of your dashboard and find the “Cancel plan” button.
  • We’re sad to see you go! To cancel, please call one of our representatives directly at [###-###-####] or send an email to

Do you offer any discounts?

  • We love that you asked! Use promo code INSTA for 10% off your purchase.
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What services do you offer?

  • We offer accounting services for small businesses.

How much do your services cost?

  • We work on a monthly retainer basis. Packages start at $1,000/month and go up to $15,000+ depending on your needs.

Are you taking new patients?

  • Yes, please head to our website to fill out the form for new patients.
  • Unfortunately, our therapists are fully booked at the moment. Please check back next quarter to see if any spots have opened up.

There are two ways to set up auto replies on Instagram. The first is pretty easy—do so right inside the Instagram app. The second involves digging into the Automations option in Meta Business Suite.

We’ll walk you through each process.

How to set up auto replies via the Instagram app

First, open the Instagram app. Tap the messages icon in the top right corner of the home feed. Then, tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of your messages dashboard and select Tools.

Select Tools in the top right corner of your messages dashboard.

Here, you can set either saved replies (canned responses your team can tap on to send manually) or auto replies for frequently asked questions.

The Tools section of Instagram settings include response suggestions, saved replies, frequently asked questions, and message controls

Tap on Frequently asked questions to access the auto reply feature. Instagram will typically include a few starter questions. You can customize these or use them as is—just add answers.

Add as many questions as you want. You can even show these questions in chat, so customers who want to message you have options to choose from.

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How to set up auto replies in Meta Business Suite

If you have your Facebook Business Page set up and optimized and your Instagram business profile connected, you can use Meta Business Suite to create automations like this.

First, head over to your Facebook Business Page, then click on Meta Business Suite in the left-hand sidebar.

The back end of Facebook/Meta Business Suite

You’ll then be taken to the Meta Business Suite dashboard. From here, click on Inbox in the right-hand sidebar.

The left hand sidebar of Meta Business Suite shows Inbox (among other options)

This inbox section will hold all messages and comments from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you’re looking for a single place to manage these, Business Suite is a great place to do so. The biggest downfall is that those are the only platforms you can monitor here (more on that later).

To set up your auto-reply messages, click the atom icon to access Automations.

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The automations option is highlighted in the top right of the Inbox screen

Here, you can set up a number of automations relating to your direct messages across all of Meta’s platforms. If you haven’t previously set up Frequently asked questions, it will appear as one of the Suggested for you options. Click on it to get started.

The Inbox Automations menu shows suggested options, including Instant Replies and Away Messages

Select your Instagram account from the list of places you want to turn this automation on. Then, start adding questions. You can preview them in the left-hand sidebar.

See also  17 Tips for Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions [Free Tool]

The edit automation screen in Meta Business Suite allows you to write your own text for an Instagram auto reply

Once you’re done, click Save changes and toggle this automation into the On position. And voila! You’ve got your frequently asked questions set up.

Other automations you can create are:

  • Away messages
  • Instant replies
  • Follow ups

How to auto-respond to messages and comments on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn

We mentioned that Meta Business Suite is great for managing your messages and comments on Facebook and Instagram. But if your brand uses other platforms, like X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, you’ll need additional support.

Good news—you’re in luck! With Hootsuite’s Social Inbox, your entire social media and customer support team can monitor, manage, and respond to messages across all social media platforms in one space.

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Hootsuite Inbox

You can store information about various customers so you never start a new interaction as strangers, helping customers feel seen and valued. Assign messages and interactions to certain team members so the most-equipped person can handle each specific issue.

Use Hootsuite Inbox as your social media help desk, resolving messages as soon as they’ve been responded to and keeping notes on customer issues.

Hootsuite Inbox

Create auto-responders for every social media platform you manage with Hootsuite.

Book a free Hootsuite demo and try Inbox today

Why should you use Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a great way to minimize wait time for frequently asked questions. If you know common questions your audience has, and there’s a set answer you can provide, set it as an auto-response.

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This saves your team time and ensures your Instagram followers don’t have to wait for a response.

How do you turn Instagram auto reply off?

There’s no quick on-off toggle for Instagram auto reply. Instead, you’ll have to go into your Instagram messaging tools and remove any frequently asked question responses you’ve input.

What is a saved reply on Instagram?

A saved reply is a similar tool to auto replies. Instead of sending instantaneously, though, saved replies are simply stored in your Instagram messaging settings for your team to manually send out. This works if the question someone asks has different answers depending on the time of year. You can save replies for a quick response, but you don’t want to have the response be automatic.

Keep your customers happy with faster message responses, thanks to Hootsuite. Respond to questions and complaints, create tickets from social conversations, and work with chatbots all from one dashboard. See it in action.

Get started

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Save time on social messaging with automated responses, smarter workflows, and friendly chatbots — all in the Hootsuite Inbox.

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Instagram Emoji Guide: Meanings, Reactions, Ideas





Ever seen an Instagram emoji fail IRL? Maybe your grandma used an eggplant emoji in a… compromising place. Or, your uncle was trying to be funny and added the poop emoji to his bio.


Whatever the case, emoji etiquette exists. Understanding the meaning and placement of emojis is essential to avoiding terrible, embarrassing communication mistakes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram emoji meanings.

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BONUS: Want to learn more ways to wow your fans on social? Check out our article on secret TikTok emojis.

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Instagram emoji translator

Pro tip: if you’re stuck with emoji translation, we’ve got the perfect tool for you. Hootsuite’s emoji translator is free to use and will help you crack the code on any emoji string.

Not only does the translator break down each pictogram’s meaning, but it also details how viewers typically react to the combo. Super helpful if you don’t want to send an unintended message!

Please note: This tool may display inaccurate or offensive material that doesn’t represent Hootsuite’s views. You’re solely responsible for use of any content generated using this tool, including its compliance with applicable laws and third-party rights.

What are Instagram emoji?

Instagram emoji are pictograms, icons, or small images used to express an emotion, idea, or feeling. Some emoji are universal (most people know that the heart symbol means love), while others have their own unique interpretations based on regional culture and language.

Popular emoji symbols include:

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  • Smiley face
  • Sad face
  • Clapping hands
  • Thumbs-up
  • Heart
  • Fire

There are literally thousands of emoji characters available on Instagram—from dragons and lizards, people exercising, and even ice cream cones. You can find Instagram emojis in two places: your native Instagram app and the world of third-party keyboard extensions.

What are Instagram reactions?

Instagram reactions are a way to quickly express your feelings without typing out a response. For example, if someone posts a funny meme, you can tap the laughing face emoji reaction instead of typing out “lol” or “haha.”

Instagram reactions are generally used as a reply to Instagram Stories and Instagram direct messages.

When watching a Story, click on the Send a message box to reply. You’ll then see a pop-up of six popular emoji to choose from.

instagram emoji reactions shown in instagram story reply

You can also choose your own emoji by clicking on the small smiley face icon on your keyboard.

various instagram emojis including laughing face and heart, shown in phone keyboard

To use Instagram emoji reactions for direct messages, hold your finger down on the sent message, and a list of emoji will pop up. Choose from this list, or click the plus button to use your own emoji.

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instagram emoji shown in direct message

Where can you use Instagram emoji

You can use Instagram emoji in comments, captions, direct messages, as replies to Stories, and even in your Instagram bio. Basically, anywhere that allows for text input.

When you’re in a comment thread or writing a caption, a list of your most-used emojis will appear at the top of your reply.

instagram emoji shown at top of comment reply

If you want more, tap the smiley face icon to access Instagram emojis. If you’ve recently used an emoji, it will usually appear at the top of the list so you can easily select it again.

See also  17 Tips for Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions [Free Tool]

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

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instagram emoji shown in comment reply box

Stuck at home thinking, “Why can’t I react to Instagram messages with emojis?” No worries. You may need to update your messaging app. Follow Instagram’s easy how-to here.

How to change your emoji reaction

Wondering how to react with emoji on Instagram? There are six default Instagram emoji reactions:

  • Crying face
  • Wow face
  • Heart eyes
  • Laughing face
  • Clapping hands
  • Fire

If you use custom emoji, they will show up in your reactions, allowing you to choose from a larger selection.

To choose a custom emoji, tap the smiley face icon on your mobile keyboard. Scroll through the list of options and tap to select the emoji you want. Once selected, it will appear in your reaction selection.

BONUS: Check out our full list of Snapchat emoji to snazz up your snaps.

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Instagram reaction meanings

To avoid any potential misinterpretations, it’s important to remember the meanings behind Instagram reactions.

Here’s what each emoji reaction stands for:

  • Crying face (😢) = Sadness, disappointment
  • Wow face (😮) = Surprised or amazed
  • Heart eyes (😍) = Love or admiration
  • Laughing face (😂) = Funny or humorous
  • Clapping hands (👏) = Encouragement or applause
  • Fire (🔥) = Approval or agreement

Remember, the reactions you use should be appropriate for the context. For example, don’t express sadness at a funny meme. Similarly, don’t use a fire emoji to comment on your teacher’s vacation beach photo.

Popular Instagram emoji meanings

Tired of deciphering the meanings of emoji for Instagram? Here’s a quick reference sheet to keep on file.

  • Thumbs up (👍) = Positive sentiment.
  • Thinking face (🤔) = Curiosity, pondering ideas.
  • Laughing with tears (😂) = Something is so funny you’re crying.
  • Red heart (❤️) = Love, affection.
  • Puke face (🤢) = Disgust or disapproval.
  • Skull (💀) = Death, danger, or something is so funny you died.
  • Hot face (🥵) = Passion or admiration.
  • Smirk face (😏) = Flirting, teasing.
  • Poop (💩) = Joking around.
  • Party popper (🎉) = Celebration.
  • Cat (😸) = Cuteness or someone acting like a cat.
  • Drooling face (🤤) = Desperation, wanting something badly.
  • Nail polish (💅) = Girl power.
  • Sunglasses (😎) = Coolness, acknowledgement of a job well done.
  • Eyes (👀) = Watching or paying attention.
  • See-no-evil monkey (🙈) = Embarrassment or hiding something.
  • Money bag (💰) = Wealth, success, or materialistic desires.
  • Smiling devil face (😈) = Naughtiness or reckless behavior.
  • Hugging face (🤗) = Appreciation, affection.
  • Wink (😉) = Flirting or playful teasing.
  • Silly face (🤪) = Fun or being goofy.
  • Nerd face (🤓) = Intelligence, nerdiness.
  • Confused face (😕) = Bewilderment or uncertainty.
  • Money mouth (🤑) = Greed or wealth.
  • Handshake (🤝) = Agreement, making a deal.
  • Fist bump (👊) = Support or agreement.
  • Woman dancing (💃) = Joy or celebration.
  • Man dancing (🕺) = Letting loose, having fun.
  • Tropical island (🏝️) = Relaxation or vacation.
  • Plane (✈️) = An upcoming journey.
  • Rainbow (🌈) = Optimism, happiness, pride.
  • Globe (🌎) = Unity, the world coming together.
  • Praying hands (🙏) = Asking for blessings or help.
  • Rocketship (🚀) = A great success or achievement.
  • Disco ball (🪩) = Partying or having a good time.
  • Peace sign (✌️) = Affirmative, agreement, or a sign of peace.
  • Heart (💖) = Love, care, and affection.
  • Cat with heart eyes (😻) = Happiness due to love.
  • Birthday cake (🎂) = A celebration of life.
  • Star (⭐️) = Stardom, achieving greatness.
  • Four-leaf clover (🍀) = Luck or fortune.
  • Sparkles (✨) = Magic, beauty, and awe.
  • Trophy (🏆) = Accomplishment or success.
  • Shooting star (🌠) = Wishes coming true.
  • Lightning bolt (⚡️) = Power, energy, and excitement.
See also  How to Post a GIF on Instagram from Any Device

Looking for fun emoji to use on Discord? Check out our full list of Discord emoji, complete with customizations and tricks.

Instagram emoji caption ideas

If you want to get creative with your Instagram bio, here are a few cute emojis for Instagram bios:

  • Chasing dreams and sunshine. ☁️🌈
  • On a seafood diet: I see food and I eat it! 🍣🍕🍔🍰
  • Life’s a game 🎮, and I’m the master of figuring out the rules as I go 🤷‍♀️.
  • Bringing a little sparkle wherever I go. ✨
  • Hoping for a year where all my socks find their soulmates. 🧦❤️🔍
  • Sunkissed and heart full of joy. 🌞❤️
  • Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished. 🌲🕰️🌳
  • Collecting memories like seashells. 🐚📸
  • Plotting world domination 🌍, one project 📁 at a time.
  • Life’s a blend of chaos ⚡, caffeine ☕, and a pinch of serendipity ✨.
  • Lost in the pages of a good book and a happy heart. 📚❤️
  • Radiating good energy, one smile at a time. 🌟😊
  • Exploring new places with a skip in my step. 🗺️💃
  • Happiness blooms from within. 🌻🌱
  • Living life unapologetically and loving it. 🌟💖
  • Sunset state of mind. 🌅🧡🌴
  • Embracing adulting like… wait, how do you adult again? 🤷‍♀️👩‍💼
  • I take mirror selfies because my reflection understands me. 🤳👯‍♀️🪞
  • Wearing my invisible crown and ruling the day. 👑💁‍♀️🌟
  • Professional napper and aspiring world traveler. 💤✈️😴
  • Dressed to impress 💃, ready to conquer deadlines 📊 and dance floors 🕺.
  • Spreading positivity like glitter – it gets everywhere! ✨😄💫
  • Slaying the day one caffeine molecule at a time. ☕⚡️👊
  • Living that “I’m not a morning person” stereotype proudly. 🌅☕😴
  • Exploring the world, one food coma at a time. 🌍🍔🍟🍦
  • Absolutely loving the sunshine on my face. ☀️
  • Embracing the little moments that make life big. 🌟
  • Laughing at my own jokes like… 😂
  • Dancing through life’s ups and downs. 💃🕺
  • Finding joy in the simplest things. 🌼
  • Balancing dreams 💭, goals 🎯, and the occasional pizza slice 🍕.
  • Hiking trails and chasing sunsets – that’s my kind of therapy. 🥾🌅🏞️
  • Adventures and smiles, that’s my kind of therapy. 🌄
  • Savoring the sweetness of today. 🍭
  • Life’s a puzzle 🧩, and I’m collecting moments 📸 to complete the picture
  • Living life with a little bit of sugar, spice, and everything fried. 🍔🍟🍦
  • Spreading positivity like confetti. 🎉
  • Collecting memories around the world, one destination at a time. 📸❤️

    Life’s too short for a boring adventure. Let’s get lost! 🌟🌍
  • Living in a world of filters, but my personality is 100% real! 😂📸🙌
  • Lost in a world of good vibes. 🌈
  • Living for the moments that steal my smile. 💖
  • City lights and late nights. 🌆🌙 Chasing waves and dreams. 🌊🌌
  • Living life in full bloom. 🌸🌼
  • In a world full of trends, be a classic. 👗👓
  • Sweatpants enthusiast with a PhD in Netflix. 📺👖🍕
  • Taking each day one cup of coffee at a time. ☕❤️
  • Exploring art, one brushstroke at a time. 🎨🖌️
  • Adventures are calling, and I must go. 🌄🌍
  • Counting memories, not calories, on this vacation. 🏖️🍕📸
  • Finding joy in the rhythm of everyday life. 🎶😊
  • Living life like a work of art in progress. 🎨🌟
  • Weekend warrior on a quest for relaxation. 🌴🌴
  • Capturing moments that make my heart skip a beat. 💓📷
  • Trying to adult, but my snacks keep distracting me. 🍕📚🤔
  • Chasing goals and catching smiles along the way. 🏃‍♀️😄
  • I’m not procrastinating, I’m just giving my ideas time to marinate. 🤔🍳🧠
  • Flipping my hair and conquering the day. 💁‍♀️💪
  • Exploring the great outdoors and my own backyard. 🏞️🏡
  • Celebrating life’s beautiful mess one day at a time. 🎉🤹‍♀️
  • Making my own sunshine because I can’t find the remote. ☀️📺🤷‍♂️
  • Happiness is homemade, and I’m the chef. 🍳👩‍🍳
  • When life gives you lemons, add tequila and have a party! 🍋🍹🎉
  • Living life like a perpetual DIY project – mostly Pinterest fails. 🛠️📌😅
  • The only drama I enjoy is in my lashes. 👁️‍🗨️😂
  • Current status: Coffee in one hand, confidence in the other. ☕🙌
  • Facing challenges with the determination of a honey badger 🦡 – fearless and a little bit sassy 💁‍♀️.
  • My bed and I have the perfect relationship – we’re always in a good sleepover. 🛏️💤😴
  • I’m not arguing, I’m just explaining why I’m right. 💁‍♀️🗣️🤣
  • Taking life one cup of coffee at a time, with a splash of sarcasm. ☕️🙃
  • “Adulting” was a typo, and I’ve been trying to “adult” ever since. 🤦‍♀️👶👩‍🍳
  • When in doubt, add more glitter. And then some more. ✨✨✨
  • Living life like it’s a marathon, but I’m definitely built for sprinting. 🏃‍♀️🍕😅
  • Behind every great person is a pile of laundry they’ve been avoiding. 🧺🤷‍♂️👑
  • I put the “elusive” in exercise. 🏋️‍♀️🤷‍♀️😆
  • My superpower? Turning pizza into energy. 🍕⚡️🦸‍♀️
  • If I were a superhero, my power would be finding the last piece of chocolate. 🍫🦸‍♀️
  • My horoscope said I should do something crazy today. So I wore mismatched socks. ♒🧦😜
  • I’m not clumsy, I’m just participating in the floor’s obstacle course. 🤸‍♀️🤦‍♂️😂
  • Too glam to give a damn, but not too glam to eat leftovers. 💅🍛😉
  • When life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee. ☕🍋🤝
  • My life is basically a series of unfinished DIY projects. 🛠️🙈🤷‍♀️
  • Life update: Still using “adulting” as a verb, still unsure how to do it properly. 🤷‍♀️👩‍💼📆
  • I’m not lazy, I’m in energy-saving mode. 🛌💤💡
  • Currently taking applications for a personal chef, laundry fairy, and motivation guru. Any takers? 🍝🧚‍♂️🧘‍♀️
  • Life’s a rollercoaster, and I’m the one screaming in the front seat. 🎢🙀🤪
  • I run on caffeine, chaos, and a dash of lipstick. ☕💄🌀
  • Wander often, wonder always. 🚶‍♀️🌍🤔
  • Trading WiFi for wide-open spaces and unforgettable moments. 📶🏞️📸
  • Counting down ⏳ to Friday like it’s a rocket launch 🚀 to the weekend.
  • Juggling tasks like a circus performer 🎪 – except with more coffee ☕ and fewer acrobatics 🤹‍♀️.
See also  How to Nail the Art of the Brand Comeback on Social Media

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Vanity Metrics: Definition & Examples for Marketing





Have you ever heard the phrase, “all sizzle, no steak”? It’s the perfect “meaty” metaphor for social media vanity metrics.

It can absolutely be exciting to rack up the likes or see your follower count jump. Of course you want to shout your reshare rate from the rooftops!

But be careful. any social metric can turn into a “vanity” metric if you’re bragging about it without any context.

Social media metrics are incredibly important for a social media manager and shouldn’t be ignored. They can be key performance indicators: numbers that inform and measure your social media strategy and help your team see where you’ve been and where you’re going.

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But here’s the thing. Not all social stats are created equal. For a metric to be meaningful, it has to tie back to your business objectives.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you cut through the vanity-metric hype to find those beefy, meaty metrics that help you prove the true value of your social media marketing.

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What are vanity metrics?

A social media metric is a number that quantifies a particular action or behavior related to your social media account. A vanity metric is a social media metric that looks impressive at a glance but doesn’t necessarily indicate a company’s overall success in reaching its goals.

In the words of the all-mighty Hootsuite glossary:

A vanity metric is an analytics item that can be measured but is not a signifier of real return on investment. Examples include the number of followers, likes, or comments on social media posts. These metrics are best contextualized by more concrete numbers such as click-through rate or visitor-to-lead conversions.

For example, the social media manager at the Acme Alarm Clock Company might be able to show the CEO that there are 200,000 followers on the brand’s Instagram account. But the goal of the company is actually to sell alarm clocks. And sales haven’t improved at all with this growth in followers.

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So, in this case, follower count is actually a vanity metric. Sure, it sounds good on paper, but ultimately, it’s not helping the CEO move those clocks.

The moral of the story: any social media statistic from any social media platform can be a vanity metric, depending on the situation.

The number of likes on a TikTok video isn’t meaningful if your target audience isn’t on TikTok.

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The number of comments on your Instagram Story doesn’t mean much if they’re all from spam accounts.

A brand’s follower count can skyrocket, but if those followers aren’t engaging with your content, what good is that? (Which reminds us: never buy followers. Trust us.)

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fans and followers engagement on Hootsuite dashboard

In other words, a “vanity metric” for one brand will be totally different from a vanity metric for another brand. It all ultimately depends on what business success you’re hoping to get from your social media strategy.

Vanity metrics vs. actionable metrics

Now that you’re crystal clear on what a vanity metric is, you’re probably curious about what an actionable metric might be. Don’t be embarrassed, it’s only natural.

Actionable metrics are social media metrics that are all meaningful — important social media metrics that help you measure, analyze, and strategize. Actionable social media metrics provide concrete insights and can be directly tied to specific actions that drive business growth. Really, an actionable metric is just the opposite of a vanity metric.

While much of life exists on a spectrum, for social media metrics, a number is either pure vanity or truly actionable. But what side of the binary any given social media metric sits on, of course, will depend on the social media account. We’re all beautiful flowers, et cetera, et cetera.

Instagram post reach impressions and engagement rate on Hootsuite Analytics

Vanity metrics examples

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: It’s important to note that any metric can be a vanity metric without proper analysis. And any metric can be meaningful when presented in context with the proper analysis. That being said, the following metrics are most commonly prone to being viewed as vanity metrics for any given field.

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Vanity metrics in social media marketing

In social media marketing, vanity metrics include follower count, likes, and comments. Sure, these numbers can offer a quick ego boost, but the truth is, they often fail to reflect the true engagement and influence of your brand on your business’s bottom line.

This might lead you to ask: so, what are the actionable metrics for social media marketing? Engagement metrics like engagement rate are probably meaningful numbers that can offer you and your team some insight. Shares also say more about whether your content is resonating with your audience than likes (try putting your posts through Rachel Karten’s shareability test).

See also  What are KOLs in Marketing? (And How to Work With Them)

But at the end of the day, it really depends on what your specific goals are with social media and your business.

Bonus: Get a free social media report template to easily and effectively present your social media performance to key stakeholders.

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Vanity metrics in digital marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of channels, including social media, email marketing, and advertising, so this is a pretty tough one to identify vanity metrics for. In some cases, vanity metrics for digital marketing could be likes; in another case, it could be page views.

If you’re tracking the ROI of digital marketing, you need to identify vanity metrics specific to each channel to make sure that you can prioritize actionable metrics that align with your unique business goals.

Vanity metrics in content marketing

Social media can be a great tool for driving traffic to your blog posts, articles, whitepapers, or research docs… and content marketing, in turn, can be an effective conversion or branding tool. This leads many people to assume that pageviews or click-throughs are the metric for measuring success. In reality, these can be vanity metrics.

Is your bounce rate low? Is the time spent on the page high? Those are numbers that can provide context to the pageview stats and let you know if those views are actually valuable. (Metrics like conversion rates, in this case, can be far more informative about the impact of your content on audience behavior.)

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Vanity metrics in email marketing

People are opening your emails! That’s wonderful news!

But are they actually reading those emails? Are they clicking on your links?

Is anyone actually buying any of those alarm clocks you’re still trying desperately to sell? If not, your high open rate might actually not be that impressive after all. (Sorry!)

email performance click rate and open rate data

Open rates and click-through rates are commonly mistaken as the ultimate indicators of email marketing success. But the truth is that conversion rates and revenue per email are more actionable metrics that reveal the true ROI of your email campaigns.

Vanity metrics in advertising

The online advertising industry is built on the back of impressions. After all, if Meta tells you you’ve reached 300,000 people, that certainly sounds like a good use of $100. But impressions and click-through rates in advertising can be deceiving.

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Meta ads dashboard Instagram and Facebook advertising summary

A more concrete way to measure the success of a social media advertising campaign would be to concentrate on metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS). These are stats that will more accurately allow you to assess the profitability of your advertising efforts.

See also  17 Tips for Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions [Free Tool]

Vanity metrics in brand management

While they can be really important and helpful, metrics like social media reach and sentiment scores can also be misleading out of context.

Just because someone has seen your post doesn’t mean they care for your brand or products. Just because you have a positive sentiment score doesn’t mean that your target audience likes you more than your competitor. (Oof.)

To gauge brand perception accurately, consider metrics like brand awareness, customer lifetime loyalty, and Net Promoter Score (NPS). But, again, a meaningful brand management metric really will vary from brand to brand, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand management strategy.

Vanity metrics in search marketing

You’d think measuring the success of search marketing efforts would be simple: did people find you when they searched for you? But metrics like rankings and organic traffic numbers can be surprisingly superficial.

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Instead, focus on metrics like organic conversion rate and keyword ROI to measure the actual impact of your SEO efforts. (Psst, while you’re here, maybe brush up on your social SEO skills?)

Vanity metrics in public relations

In the PR world, metrics like media mentions may seem like an obvious mark of success. But that number is really just a surface-level impression of the success of your efforts.

To really see the impact of public relations work, you might be better off focusing on metrics that demonstrate the impact on your brand’s reputation and credibility — think sentiment analysis and share of voice.

So there you have it: everything you ever wanted to know about vanity metrics for social media. Please, please, no need to thank us. Just go forth and practice analysis with all this info!

Go beyond vanity metrics and track the real value of your social media performance with Hootsuite. Publish your posts and analyze the results in the same easy-to-use dashboard. ROI has never been easier to prove. Try it free today.

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