What are vanity metrics?
Updated: May 12
Vanity metrics are the numbers that look very good on paper, but in reality, means nothing. As a startup, everyone loves to point to the bigger audience. This bigger number of audience is often a sign of attraction due to which press loves to publish them.
When it comes to metrics and tracking campaigns one of the easiest mistakes they can make is they focus on vanity metrics.
A number of downloads, followers, registered users, and page views are the vanity metrics things that are easily manipulated. They do not relate to the number of actual users, cost of getting new customers, users engage, and profits and revenues.
If you are tracking things that really don’t matter then after a few years you will look back and will realize that how much energy and time you have wasted on it.
On the other hand, engagement or actionable metrics helps you to understand the impact of your website and social media presence are having to attract, convert and retain customers.
Startups that focus on real and actionable metrics can always attract more customers, make their products better and leads success. There are ways from vanity metrics through which you can get back into real numbers. Vanity metrics aren’t always useless.
For startups, it is important to properly instrument their data. If they are going to track vanity metrics the only result they will get a false sense of success. Like if a mobile app is having millions and billions of downloads but it will be having only few hundred or thousand active users. The real data they track can lead them to the true health of their business
According to VC Fred Wilson, “30% of the download or registered users are active once a month, 10% are active once a day, and 10% of the daily users will be the maximum number of concurrent users”.
So, Startups should report the real number from the start. Vanity metrics will catch up to them. If more startups from the start will measure and share the right metrics, the rest will follow and will focus on the too.
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