Stop Measuring These Vanity Metrics in Your Marketing Campaign

Stop Measuring These Vanity Metrics in Your Marketing Campaign

Vanity metrics include data such as social media followers, page views, subscribers, and other flashy analytics that are satisfying on paper, but don't move the needle for your business goals. Here are five vanity metrics you should stop obsessing over and the actionable metrics you should track instead. Facebook Fans Did you know engagement rates for branded Facebook Pages have declined by more than 20% since last year? An Actionable Metric: Engagement Rate Instead, use Facebook Insights, Facebook’s free analytics tool, to check which posts generate the highest level of engagement. Many users, for example, follow you because they want you to follow them in return -- and if you don't, you often lose that follow days later. Blog Post Page Views This indicates you’ve established yourself as a thought leader and have created great content -- both good first steps in an inbound marketing plan. Actionable Metrics: Bounce Rate, Social Shares Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit one page on your website and leave without clicking further into the site. A declining bounce rate is a great metric to report because it suggests your blog is growing in its interest to your visitors. An Actionable Metric: Click-Through Rate Focus on one CTA in your email that draws users to your site, and measure your click-throughs on those links. Actionable Metrics: Active Users, Path to Conversion Instead, track how many users return to use your product each day.

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There is without a doubt no shortage of data for each action you take in your marketing campaigns, nor is there a lack of tools to help you measure them. The problem is, some metrics aren’t as important as they look.

They stick out right in front of your face as soon as you log into your analytics tool, puking an “up-and-to-the-right” graph in your face.

What Are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity metrics include data such as social media followers, page views, subscribers, and other flashy analytics that are satisfying on paper, but don’t move the needle for your business goals. They deliver positive reporting, but no context for future marketing decisions — something actionable metrics can do.

Beware of vanity metrics. Instead of getting caught up in the low-hanging fruit, ask yourself: “What does this graph mean? Should I continue doing something, increase the time or money I spend on a certain channel, or even stop doing something altogether?”

The obvious metrics won’t tell you this — you’ve got to dig deeper. Here are five vanity metrics you should stop obsessing over and the actionable metrics you should track instead.

1. Facebook Fans

Did you know engagement rates for branded Facebook Pages have declined by more than 20% since last year? The more companies post content on Facebook, the more newsfeeds need to share their space and the less users see and consume.

So, regardless of how many people have clicked “Like” once they’re on your brand’s Page, the vast majority of them never return to the Page itself and never see the content in their newsfeeds.

An Actionable Metric: Engagement Rate

Instead, use Facebook Insights, Facebook’s free analytics tool, to check which posts generate the highest level of engagement. The higher the level of engagement, the higher your EdgeRank score (EdgeRank is kind of like SEO for Facebook newsfeeds).

Impressions are helpful as well, as they tell you which content is actually being seen by your fans. This can give you insight into which content is being shared with other people and actually appearing on users’ newsfeeds. Think about the content and conversations that have the highest engagement and impressions, and come up with a plan for how you can replicate it.

On Twitter, it really shouldn’t be about the number of followers you have. People typically follow random accounts for reasons unrelated to their actual interest in them. Many users, for example, follow you because they want you to follow them in return — and if you don’t, you often lose that follow days later.

Here are a couple of things to consider about your Twitter followers:

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