This is part of a 21 day challenge where I write a small piece about how to do content marketing to get over my writer’s block.
The term ‘Vanity Metrics’ was coined by the author of The Lean Startup, Eric Ries.
What are Vanity Metrics?
Vanity metrics are metrics that make you look good – that’s it. They do not indicate the growth of your business in any relevant way. Oh and also, they can be easily manipulated.
Here are some examples of vanity metrics:
- Registered users
- App Downloads
- Total website visitors
- Page likes
Think of it like this: A Facebook page has over 500,000 likes. Pretty impressive, right? Now what if I tell that every post in this page gets around a 100 likes? The engagement rate here is 0.02% – does that serve anybody’s vanity?
What are Actionable Metrics?
Actionable metrics are, you guessed it, the opposite of vanity metrics. They give you a good idea of how well your business is doing.
Here are some examples:
- Profits (duh)
- Active users
- Social media engagement (How many people comment, how many send meaningful messages, and so on)
- Average session duration on your pages
So Should I Ignore Vanity Metrics?
By all means, look at them. Hell, show them off! Vanity metrics are great motivators too!
But if you focus only on vanity metrics, you will get a false idea about your success. So keep yourself grounded, and focus on the things that matter. It will help you make better marketing decisions.