If you think pageviews, unique visitors, registered members, conversion rates, email-newsletter open rates, number of Twitter followers, or Facebook likes are important by themselves, you probably have no idea what you’re doing. Those metrics are the most common false idols of analytics. They’re what Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, calls “vanity metrics.”
Vanity metrics look good but fail the “So what?” test. Before you tell your CEO you have a million Twitter followers, ask yourself, “So what?” A better metric is how many products you sell as a result of tweeting a link to your purchase path.
Here are four of the most important metrics you can follow — notice how little they have to do with popular social-media metrics:
Relevant revenue. Note the word “relevant,” which refers to recurring sales in your core business. Don’t count revenue from one-time or stagnant sources.
Sales volume. This can be a number like units sold or active subscriptions, something that shows whether or not enough people want to buy what you’re selling.
Customer retention. Metrics like “new customers” can hide the fact that although you may attract 1,000 new users a month, you’re losing 900, which means you’re not going to scale.
Relevant growth. Too often, companies compound the stupidity of their choice of metrics by creating a metric tracking the growth of vanity metrics. You should be looking for a traceable pattern in which the actions of your existing customers create new customers. That’s what Ries calls an “engine of growth.”
I’m a little disappointed that out of the top 10 only 5 are directly linked to what I normally blog about – I think it inspires me that I need to create good original content and find better ways to share it with others.
Head of Germany’s Catholic Church, Robert Zollitsch, has given everyone celebrating something new to think about the Christmas story. Zollitsch told a German newspaper that if Jesus were alive today, he’d be Facebook friends with all of his followers.
“Fundamentally all media are suited to bring the word of God to the people,” he told German paper The Local. “Jesus would certainly today be on Facebook and Twitter.”
Zollitsch’s statement comes after the Catholic Pope joined Twitter (@Pontifex) earlier in December, and has seven different language accounts.
What do you think of the priest’s statement? Would you want to connect with Jesus on Facebook if he were alive today.
This is part of the all-age talk I did from our Children’s Christmas Praise yesterday morning:
Announce that you love Christmas so much, that you want to share it with everybody, and that what you have with you is something that will always remind them of Christmas day – delicious truffles!
Ask for a couple of volunteers to see if they can emulate Christmas day, by eating as many truffles as they can in 1 minute. Build up the expectation and emphasise the need for speed in the challenge.
Once they start eating the ‘truffles’, they’ll realise that there’s something not quite right and their facial expressions will change from ones of sheer delight, to ones of outright disgust a they discover the sprouts. (You may want to have a plastic bag handy at this point!)
OK, so it’s a bit revolting, but here’s the point.
Ask who loves chocolate, and also, who loves sprouts. Say that Christmas, for most of us is a time of celebration, indulgence and happiness. We love the ‘niceness’ of the Christmas season. It’s a bit like chocolate!
Go on to say that for many people, Christmas is not an easy time. For some it’s a time of loneliness, homelessness and struggle. For many people, Christmas is like our experience of sprouts – something to struggle through.
You could mention the first Christmas as an example. Mary was blessed with the news that she was to be the mother of God’s son, but probably struggled with knowing that her life could be in danger because of her pregnancy.
Challenge people to consider how they spend Christmas – to be grateful for the Christmas they have, and to be mindful of those who will struggle through Christmas.
Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a long-term contract, the club announced on Friday.
It was rumored that the 18 year old was attracting interest from Manchester United and Arsenal but Sterling decided to put his signature on a new deal at Anfield, putting an end to speculation that he might leave Liverpool football club.
He told Liverpoolfc.com:
“It’s every 18-year-old’s dream. I’m just really grateful to be at such a big club like this. There’s a lot more to be done. I haven’t begun yet, as the manager has said. Hopefully I can kick on after the New Year and try to do my best for the team and the football club.”
Sterling joins Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Suso and Jonjo Shelvey all who have committed their long-term future to Liverpool under new manager Brendan Rodgers. The future looks bright.
Hannah, my fantastic wife, has recently taken up blogging, starting a blog called Raising the Kidds.
The blog follows her adventures of looking after our two boys Daniel (two years and ten months) and Joshua (eleven months), and me! I am biased but I think it is well worth a read so go check it out, add it to your favourites/google reader etc.