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What are vanity metrics?
Vanity metrics are statistics or numbers related to digital marketing, like followers or likes, that appear to be insightful, but are practically ambiguous and can’t form a strategy around.
Vanity metrics are associated with content marketing, social media, digital marketing to measure performance or success of a social media campaign/promotion.
These kinds of figures look quite promising but can be misleading in reality.
How to use vanity metrics effectively?
The major use of vanity metrics is to measure how well your content has performed, how the target audience reacted and what kind of organic traffic it created. But we know that this data can never be relied upon because its ambiguity will always exist.
The best way to utilize these numbers in marketing efforts would be for measuring the impact on brand awareness which also takes time as opposed to ROI objectives like sales revenue or advertising spending where they shall not even come up with other less ambiguous measures available such as CTRs (click-through rates).
Q: What is the difference between vanity metrics and real metrics?
A: Vanity metrics are those statistics that really don’t represent much of the facts and so they aren’t considered to be actionable. Meanwhile, real metrics are said to be actionable because they are linked to specific actions and their numbers convey factual information that can be analysed to improve that particular area and also measure the success of your process.
Q: Why are vanity metrics not considered dependable?
A: Take for example the number of followers on a social media page you created to run a promotional campaign.
You have 100 followers but when you plan an event and want to estimate how many people might join in then the number of followers doesn’t matter at all. It is also likely to happen that only a few might join or maybe none. So, this was a vanity metric as it doesn’t provide any valuable information on which you can form your strategy.