Are you celebrating vanity metrics in your organization? The term vanity metrics sounds as fluffy as the impressive numbers behind it. Think 406,852 likes, over a million followers, 500 hits a day. What do those numbers actually say? Is there a story behind those numbers and are those numbers generating the desired results?
In her article “Kiss Vanity Metrics Goodbye” Allyson Kaplin outlines how important it is to go beyond simple numbers especially in the non-profit realm where some type of action is a critical measure of success. Some tips include focusing on the following:
- Target audience
- Commitment and conversion rates
- Engagement that connects to the mission
These core elements are what drove the metrics behind AOL and TOMS Shoes “One Day Without Shoes” campaign. An engagement goal was set and parameters were defined for this instance of what engagement means. Prior to the April 10th date, the goal was to reach one million people. Leading up to the day and throughout the day, careful tracking provided valuable insights into campaign success criteria which included re-tweets from celebrities, high activity times throughout the day and ultimately realizing and exceeding targets.
Reading AOL’s side of the story on their blog post titled Reaching a Million People One Tweet at a Time by Matthew Knell illustrates how they followed guidelines that help measure the impact of the story rather than simply the vanity metrics.
Submitted By: Sangeeta Zilka, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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