Social Video: What do the Metrics Really Say?

Social Video Metrics

Social Video is a hot topic in the web and marketing world, and increasingly Facebook video is gaining on YouTube. One of the issues that I keep seeing is the question of metrics, how they’re reported and what they mean. As I wrote before, the first step is to define what you need to know – finding your target audience, defining a successful post, and finally acting on it. Any number of stories on the web have indicated, however, that even understanding the numbers you get can be complicated.

Broadly speaking the two metrics that matter most for video are views and time watched – the first can sound great but mean little, the second might be so-so but is far more important. A video view means the video was played – as of now, Facebook counts a three second view as “playing” – which means someone clicking the wrong button and not being able to turn it off has viewed your video. Great for the view numbers, but it doesn’t really indicate that you’ve reached a customer or a partner effectively.

The time watched metric is the number that matters. If you produced a 2 minute, 20 minute or 2 hour video – how long did people stay with your content? Did they watch beginning to end? Do you see a dropoff after 10%, 20%, 50%? With those numbers you can make some intelligent decisions going forward. Perhaps your viewers got what they needed partway through and you can make future videos shorter. Maybe you took too long to get to your main point and viewers got bored waiting to hear it. Or maybe you kept the important people that you need, and you lost those who weren’t going to engage further with you.

The key to proper use of social video for a business is to engage with customers – likes, comments shares are all critical to success. Using metrics can help you create better video that leads to more of what you want, but you need to understand the numbers you see and interpret them correctly to move your business in the right direction. Call me and we can crunch the right numbers to help your company.