You Don’t Need a Million Followers on Instagram, Facebook, or Tiktok For Online Success.

Adrian Pedrin Valencia
3 min readMar 26, 2024


Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

Vanity metrics on social media — those tempting follower counts and stacks of likes — can be a dangerous trap. Sure, they look impressive, but can they actually drive sales? From my 7 years of experience in digital marketing, I’ve learned how to strategically navigate vanity metrics, avoiding their pitfalls and extracting real value. Let’s dive in…

Understanding Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are essentially any measurements that might impress viewers but don’t directly translate into business success. Examples include follower counts and post likes. While my agency focuses on paid advertising, vanity metrics do have some potential uses when approached correctly.

The Myth of “More is Better”

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your social media success hinges on a massive follower count. Remember the Instagram influencer with millions of followers who couldn’t even sell a few t-shirts? It’s a classic example of vanity metrics gone wrong.

If you’re going to run a campaign specifically to boost your follower numbers (and remember, Facebook is phasing out Page Likes), resist the temptation to go for the cheapest options. Yes, you might get a quick spike in your follower count, but those followers are unlikely to be genuinely interested in your brand. In the long run, it’s far more valuable to invest in attracting a smaller, highly targeted audience through quality content and well-defined ad campaigns. These are the people more likely to convert into paying customers.

Strategic Use of Followers for Targeted Advertising

The best way to get value from your follower base is by using them to create Lookalike Audiences on Meta. These audiences are made up of people who share similarities with your existing followers. When you pair Lookalike Audiences with the power of the Meta Pixel, you have a potent tool for reaching the right people with your ads.

Beyond Likes: Engagement that Matters

Post likes can offer some social proof, but in the Meta ecosystem, they’re seen as a weak signal of interest. A better indicator is when someone saves your post — it means they want to revisit your content later. In fact, it’s much more powerful to create Lookalike Audiences based on people who have saved your content rather than those who simply liked it. Of course, for true engagement tracking, you’ll want to look beyond vanity metrics entirely and focus on the metrics that matter most to your specific business goals.

Getting Started Without Vanity Metrics

If you want to focus on results-driven metrics from the beginning, there are many effective strategies. This topic is extensive and warrants its own article or series. Feel free to follow me for more marketing insights, or reach out via DM if you’d like personalized consulting. I specialize in helping small businesses get started with digital marketing on a budget.

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Adrian Pedrin Valencia

Marketing expert with a passion for branding and paid social media advertising. Film director at heart, master of lighting, and avid gamer.