Measuring Social Media Video Success

on June 13, 2018

Understanding what makes a piece of social media content successful is fairly clear after-the-fact but the goal is to learn how to create a post or ad that you are confident will be successful before clicking publish. And that can be pretty darn tough. One thing we do know outcompetes the rest is video.

Videos with real people doing real things stir the emotional pot. They move the viewer and help them identify with your message. Visuals speak to people on a level unlike anything else. Consumers can experience your brand without feeling an advertising clinch. An additional plus is that video converts higher than any other form of content out there. In fact, video is so effective, 70% of social media marketers rely on video ads to be successful. It the difference between having an ax and a chainsaw. Videos can cut through any other type of content fast!

Now that we understand the content item will be video, it’s time to dive into measuring the nitty gritty around each post to constantly improve until you find winning campaigns. Conversions aside, there are other metrics to consider when measuring social success. Factor these babies in as part of the conversion equation and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for success:

  • Watch Rate
  • Sharing Stats
  • Link Clicks
  • Engagement
  • Page Views

Once you have video content to share, the question becomes more about ROI. You want to know you’re investing time, energy, and money in the right areas. While the engagement data is right in front of you, making heads or tails out of it can prove daunting to folks not totally familiar with this form of digital marketing. Measuring your social media video success is about knowing how to collect the data and analyze it properly.

Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for and how to determine which metrics are important:

1. Watch Rate

Sometimes it’s called the “Play Rate” or the “Engagement Rate.” Either way, it refers to the percentage of your video ad viewers sat through. Facebook takes this a step further by including an average watch time as part of their metrics. There’s no need for you to play guessing games on why people are dropping from your video like flies, you can see it for yourself.

How important is watch time? Back in 2012, YouTube overhauled directory features with actions surrounding the metric. The platform now bases suggested videos strictly on watch time and not views. That’s because the longer someone pays attention to a video, the more likely it is engaging aka a success.

Watch rate got you down? Get yourself in check with the following reasons your vids might not be getting seen:

  • Relate the content of the video to your target niche market. For example, if you sell shoes online, don’t expect a video promoting Cadillac SUVs to do too well.
  • Add relevant text to the video since almost all videos play in silent mode.
  • Consider adding a heat map to track what and where viewers rewatch, skip ahead, and play through.

When marketing strategies are not hitting the numbers they should, analyzing the metrics will give you an idea of why. If users are consistently leaving a video at the same spot, consider changing that portion of the video content and reposting. A/B testing is always free on social media. Just remember, when people are bored your business will feel it!

2. Social Media Sharing

Social sharing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a measure of how often people are sharing your video (as in, are you too cool for school?) Think of retweets, for example. Facebook claims as much as 48% of total video watch time on their platform comes directly from shares.

Also, consider that sharing is a chain reaction where you get to see all the end results. People network like bees. If a consumer shares your video, someone on their page might continue the action, thus creating a system of new audience members to market to—where you are the Queen bee. You can increase share-ability by:

  • Putting a video’s sharing buttons where they’re easy to see.
  • Place a CTA near the end asking for your audience to share.
  • Advise people to discuss the video’s theme within the caption.

There is no exact science to distribution but pay attention to the video content that gets shared the most. Video series and ongoing themes tend to gain a more loyal audience and a higher rate of engagement (including sharing). So, consider creating a series of videos that all relate to each other. Then sit back and watch your sudo-sitcom ignite!

3. Video Engagement

Platforms are making a huge push for video content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said most of Facebook’s important stuff would be social media videos in five years. Despite that, Facebook estimates only about 9% of a business’s reach are able to see their videos. Out of 100 of your most loyal followers, nine will see your video. So you can imagine how much less it is for a simple text post.

A viewer’s positive engagement with your video gives your brand a bit of social media street cred. People trust other people. Consumers tend to approach members of their social circle for feedback before making large purchases. Nielsen says 92% of worldwide consumers trust, “…recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising.” Gain an important influencer that promotes your videos and you’re in like Flynn.

4. Conversions

Getting someone to take an action (be it buying, clicking, signing up, etc…) is why you’re using marketing videos. Conversions are the end game. It is the definitive way of how you measure social media success. So, how convincing can you be?

Measure ROI in terms of conversions coming through your video ads. If your goal is getting viewers to download your free ebook, that’s what you should pay for. It’s what you should track. Clicks and impressions are fine. They’re great. But they shouldn’t be the focus of your video ads.

Conversion Ratio

Take your analytics to the next level by doing more than tracking leads. Track ads that work for you. Narrow down where prospects are dropping off. Pinpoint where they’re deciding to convert. Grab a microscope if you need to, but by golly, pay attention!

If you’re not hitting your conversion ratio goals, try:

  • Aligning your most important CTA with your video.
  • Check your verbs: use words like start, stop, build, join, and learn.
  • KISS: Keep it short, smarty-pants – CTAs should be fewer than 10 to 15 words long.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget hashtags and captions. They’ll help make your videos searchable and tuck them in a neat little cubby for digital discovery. Also, consider some split testing to find out which captions are more engaging.

Videos are a major driver of meaningful interactions on social media. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business. If you’re using social media video marketing, you should be measuring it to learn what’s successful, what isn’t, and how to improve. Build off the wins and make better videos that support your business goals over time.

The shotgun approach to social media video marketing doesn’t work. You’ll spend your precious resources pushing videos with no clear direction. Analytics is the difference between successful marketing and one hit wonders. Do the math, people! Do the math!

Above all else, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Use the data. Monitor things like:

  • How many people are watching?
  • How many are sharing?
  • Who’s clicking the CTA?

Successful video marketing starts with understanding your audience, collecting the right data, and creating social media videos that engage your audience and drive revenue. So get up! Get started! Convert like the devil and measuring your social media video success will be a breeze.

Ready to create videos for your social media channels? Try Promo Today!


Content Lead at * * * Storyteller by day. Content consumer by night. Habitually inspired.

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