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Vanity Metrics

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  • What are vanity metrics?
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What are vanity metrics?

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Definition of vanity metrics

Vanity metrics are performance statistics that appear impressive at a glance but don’t actually correlate to real-world traction for the business.

Examples of vanity metrics include stats like total app downloads, registered (but not necessarily active) users, website pageviews, social shares, and so on. All of these are impressive accomplishments, but they’re nowhere near as valuable as true signs of traction, like a healthy net profit.

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Instead of allowing yourself to be swept away with vanity measures, you should focus on actionable metrics, such as the number of sales, churn rate or retention length.

General FAQ

Are vanity metrics bad?
Vanity metrics are considered bad by some because they don’t provide you with actionable data. The number of likes your posts earn on Facebook, for example, is a vanity metric: it feels like an accomplishment but offers little insight on how to increase revenue or deliver a better product. But are vanity metrics actually bad? It depends. Vanity metrics are only bad if they distract you from more valuable metrics that highlight service gaps and drive ongoing improvements. Vanity metrics can actually help you recognize which types of content and topics are popular with your target audience — encouraging you to produce more of the same. Just remember that some users may click like on a post, or even share it, without even reading the content properly. So don’t get carried away!
What are vanity metrics in social media?
Two of the most common vanity metrics in social media are likes/favorites and followers. You may feel good as you see the number of people liking a post increase over hours or days, but this is no real reflection of your brand’s value, products, or quality of service. Similarly, a post may feature a catchy title or an eye-popping visual, but people may like it without bothering to click through to the blog, article, or video it promotes. That means the audience isn’t engaging with the content as it should be.

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