Don’t panic! The new data laws and hidden social media vanity metrics are a good thing

Change tends to freak people out, and marketers are no exception. The outcry from the implementation of the GDPR is getting even louder as other new privacy standards like the new California Digital Privacy Law, and the European Copyright laws come into effect.

On top of that social media platforms are now suggesting and making changes to vanity metrics. Instagram has started hiding “likes,” while Facebook may do the same.

Jack Dorsey CEO of Twitter, has also spoken about the harm in vanity metrics.

“If I had to start the service again, I wouldn’t emphasize the ‘like’ count as much. I don’t think I would even create ‘like’ in the first place, because it doesn’t actually push what we believe now to be the most important thing, which is healthy contribution back to the network.” – Jack Dorsey

BUT don’t panic, all of these changes are good things and will help all of us, including the marketing industry, in the long run.

Why or how, you may ask?


First, no one trusts marketers;

People don’t trust marketers or big tech companies, and for good reason. The marketing industry and big tech have been grossly harvesting, using, and abusing users information and rights for years.

People want some control and privacy.

Second, people are blocking everything now;

People are avoiding, blocking, and ignoring, ads, websites, and even the internet.

Third, people are suffering;

People, especially younger people, are desperately trying to “keep up with the Robinsons Kardashians” in hyperdrive. Facial and body “beautifying” distorting apps outdo all other downloaded apps!

People’s self-esteem and mental health are suffering. Seriously.

Do you as the marketing industry and social media world want to keep throwing away your efforts and money at ad blockers and deaf ears?

Do you want to try and offer your services to people who are miserable and mentally unwell? Knowing that you are, at least, in part, are responsible for their suffering.

That doesn’t sound like a lucrative customer or a productive, mutually beneficial, relationship to me.

Remember, a happy customer is a good customer. And a happy customer is much more likely to purchase and want more products or services than a miserable, pressured, one. Every. Single. Time.


Let me know in the comments or on social media what your thoughts are on this topic.

8 thoughts on “Don’t panic! The new data laws and hidden social media vanity metrics are a good thing”

  1. Love the points you made Amanda and the ones by Mitch. I think he’s on to something- it doesn’t matter how many followers or likes we have but are we having real conversations with real people and not bots on the social networks? I hear all this talk about chatbots but I tried them for a brief time and was NOT impressed. Is all marketers that like them?
    It will be real interesting to see how these social media metrics play in the coming months Amanda 🙂 Have a great rest of your weekend!

    • Thanks Lisa, I agree with you I wouldn’t touch a bot with a ten foot pole! lol
      But, I imagine as long as people can get away with using them, they will. Our society is still so focused on fast and furious results, whether those results actually mean anything or not. Hopefully, as more marketing folk, like us, get the word out about real person to person engagement being the only way to go, things will get better.
      Thanks for dropping by and have a great weekend yourself. 🙂

  2. Maybe it’s because I’m older but this self esteem thing feels overblown. Younger people seem to feel like low numbers is a personal indictment against them personally and that’s just ridiculous. From my perspective, I don’t care that someone else has 200K or more followers while I only have 5K because I know I’ve retained people who are willing to communicate with me instead of people following me because they’re hoping I’ll follow them. The same goes for likes on Instagram.

    I think most of the people who attain high numbers and high likes deserve to have their numbers shown. Maybe if these sites set a plateau that has to be reached before they show likes that would give everyone else something to aim for. Taking them away completely is like giving everyone a trophy just because they competed without acknowledging that someone actually won.

    At least that’s how I see it. 🙂

    • That’s an interesting perspective Mitch and a good addition to the discussion.
      I just know that every client I’ve done social media management for has always initially focused on the wrong metrics: the likes instead of CTR etc.Or they make the wrong assumption that a lot of likes will equal more sales.
      Plus, I think it’s important to help make the internet in general and social media specifically more “friendly,” particularly for the younger generation who live their lives on it. I’ve seen for myself how harmful the negative and superficial aspects can be for them.
      Plus, let’s be honest, most of the huge likes you see are artificially gained, one way or another. But I agree with you in regards to wanting less in number of followers but more engaged ones. Thanks for dropping by Mitch.

  3. Hi Amanda,

    When the GDPR first came to the fore,people panicked, but it all turns out good. So whatever laws they establish should be for the good of both marketers and consumers. And as you stated, people don’t trust marketers and for good reasons. For example, the recent Facebook crisis was due to data breach. Is that all? Not really since there are similar cases.
    Thank you for sharing.

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