'Vanity' Metrics of Today: Does it matter?

Let's talk about measuring Return on Investment (ROI).

Usually this is done through long marketing reports of products and services being exchanged for time and money from consumers. This is easier to measure because it is tangible.

There has been a lot of hype on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN etc...

However, to many stakeholders and brand managers, they continue to struggle to truly measure ROI from these platforms.

So much that I have come across countless number of people and clients who 'think' that success is based on the number of LIKES, Tweets and Followers that one has.

It is still a new area that presents several hurdles when it comes to measuring your "perceived" success.

As described in socialmediatoday:

"Vanity metrics are things people love to quote and obsess over, even though they're almost entirely useless to your business."

But the real problem with vanity metrics is that you'll ruin your marketing by prioritizing the wrong things.

Is it then quantity over quality?

To many people, it's about numbers. To people like myself, it's just about People.


People matter more than anything. Forget about the medium. Think about who they are, what they do and why they do it? How do their beliefs match up to that of your brand?

Statistics are a determining factor, but it isn't the means to all ends.

As emphasized, social media platforms are but another medium for brands and people to share with and spread their messages.

What is your plan on using it? Why do you do what you do? How has your platform helped? Has it truly? 

Look beyond the number. Look at each person. 

Why? They may not look at you as another number. That is, unless of course if you only care about numbers.

Then, pray tell, what are your personal objectives and goals?

Example: The Nighclub

We've seen it before; long queues outside in the more "popular" nightclubs. This gives others on the outside the 'impression' that the club is popular. "Wow, there's a long queue! This is the place to be!"

It is about popularity. It is about fame.

To these nightclubs, they target a perceived value from people. This is a way for them to draw a crowd in.

Then with other mediums to spread this intended root message (perceived value of the nightclubs popularity), they start tweeting things like "lines are getting crazy long, get in quick", or post pictures up of trays of shots, or a selected area in the nightclub that people have congregated in (giving the impression of a full-house), or even better, posting pictures of models, celebrities and pretty people.

All this in giving an audience member the "impression" that the nightclub is amazing.


If the actual product/service let's people down, it is a formula for failure in the longer run.

I mean honestly, is what you see (perceived value), truly what you get?

So think twice about determining your formula for success.

When you prioritize the wrong tactics, you'll get shit results and squander your resources all because you're trying to look for positive signs or impress someone else.

Quality over Quantity.

Don't fall for the Vanity Metrics.


Daniel-Jacob Santhou

The Creative Strategist


Melbourne, Australia


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