“Vanity metrics” is a term you may or may not have heard of. It refers to the standards by which we assess our traffic and online viability. What we are coming to realize is that several of these used to measure “results” can quite often be misleading and ought to be politely ignored.
Those you can safely ignore:
- Likes, Followers and Connections – The one with the most followers wins, right? If only it were that easy. In reality, more followers translate to a better bottom line only if you are actively engaging with them, and building a relationship which leads to conversions. Merely having a massive number of likes or followers who don’t make the transition to customers is fairly pointless.
- Comments – Since we are trying to increase conversion, our goal with content needs to be more than just creating posts (video, tweet, share) that generate a great number of comments, but no leads. Give them a reason to comment that leads them down the path toward conversion, for instance a leading question on the topic.
- Impressions – Mainly used in your advertising, the number of ad impressions is relatively useless, as it does not indicate any measurable action. Simply having your ad display in front of a couple of million computer screens is no real measure of how it performs. Rather, examine click-thru rates and conversion rates.
More on this subject can be found at HubSpot.
Those you should keep an eye on:
- Shares of your content – Even though this is not a concrete statistic, getting your content shared in whatever form is a step in the right direction. This indicates that your content making an impression (the right kind!) and is being shared around.
- Social mentions and citations – Seeing that Google is now including social signals and citations into the search algorithm, this is an element that is very helpful. This aids your site in search, along with authority.
- Conversions – The holy grail, so to speak. If all of your social media and content isn’t ultimately leading to conversions, you need to take a good look at it.
Read more about this at Mashable.