Claire Trevien
Claire Trevien 18 April 2016

Why We Need To Stop Focusing On Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are the empty calories of the marketing world, and Twitter is more guilty than most other social networks in encouraging them.

You know the kind I mean:

  • Number of followers on Twitter (when closer examination shows many of these are robots. NB: I for one welcome our robot overlords).
  • Number of shares of a piece of content on Twitter (when closer examination shows that only a small percentage actually click through to your website).

They’re called vanity metrics because they don’t actually translate into results.

Followers are great, but if most of them aren’t sentient, then do you really need them?

Shares are great for increasing brand awareness, but if no one is actually reading the content, then what is the point?

So what metrics should you be caring about?

This is going to vary depending on your business, but some metrics you should pay attention to include:

  • Bounce rates. How many of your visitors are staying on your website after they’ve landed on it? if your content is making them want to hang around and read more, that’s a great sign!
  • Click rates. Open rates in newsletters just show that you have crafted a successful headline. The trickier thing to achieve is getting prospects to click on your links, i.e delve deeper into your content.
  •  Downloads/Queries. Do you make a whitepaper available for download? Do you have a request a demo/information form? If people have gone to the trouble of filling those in, and sharing their precious data, then that’s something you should be proud of.

These have less immediate gratification than vanity metrics, but get them right and you have something worth singing about.

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