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How to Safely Ignore Metrics and Get a More Accurate Picture

metricsThe term "vanity metrics" has made its way into the marketing vocabulary recently, and for good reason. What many use to measure "results" can frequently be misleading and because of this, it's worth taking a look at some of the marketing metrics you can (and probably should!) ignore.

Here are a few you can safely ignore:

  • Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections - Whoever has the larger numbers wins, correct? If only. The reality is, more virtual bodies following you translates to better conversions only when you are actively engaging with them, and developing a relationship. Having tons of likes or followers who never make the transition to customers is essentially pointless.
  • Comments - Again, with the goal being to increase conversion,  merely generating a blog post that titillates and creates a large number of comments, but generates no leads, is a waste of a blog post. Make the reason they comment have something related to leading them further down the path toward conversion, like a topical question.
  • 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, look at click-thru rates and conversion rates.

A terrific piece about this is available at HubSpot.

Those you should keep an eye on:

  • Shares - Having people share your posts, emails and other media is a step in the right direction. This means not only is your content making an impact, but it's also being passed around.
  • Social mentions, citations - Especially now that Google is including social signals (mentions) into the search algorithm, these can be most informative. Not only will it help with search, but in addition authority as your content consistently gets shared.
  • Conversions - The endgame. You must make sure that your social media and sharable content is actually resulting in more conversions.

Read more about this at Mashable.