Business Advice

Which social video metrics are best?

- June 29, 2017 4 MIN READ

Many business owners fear tracking the metrics of their social media performance as there are so many different metrics, it can be confusing to know what to focus on. However, the downside of not measuring the results of your strategy is, by neglecting solid data you can be unaware of your strengths and weaknesses and potential improvements that could boost your engagement and conversions. In this post, I’m going to focus on some of the most important metrics to track specifically relating to videos that you post on social media. Let’s dive in!

View count
Some platforms are limited in the number of metrics or data they track for videos but nearly all social media platforms track views. Essentially, the view count metric tells you how many people watched your video. The trouble is the view count will count anybody who watched the first few seconds of your video; what it won’t tell you is how many people navigated away without watching the full video. However, it is still a useful metric as according to data from both Facebook and Nielsen, 47 per cent of a video campaign’s value comes from the first three seconds.

Average view duration
Both YouTube and Facebook let you track this metric (although Facebook now calls it “video average watch time”). This is a great thing to track. If you currently make 45 second videos and discover that the average view time is only 30 seconds, this is a great indication that your audience is interested in your message (after all they didn’t navigate away within the first 10 seconds) but that their attention span is limited. In this case, it would be worth condensing your future messages into snappier 30 second videos to hit the sweet spot of your audience.


There are several different measures of engagement depending on the platform. Likes and comments are the standard forms of engagement across most platforms. In Snapchat, engagement with video posts can be measured through the number of screenshots. Engagement is an important thing to track as it shows you how much your message is connecting with your audience. With many platforms now offering the ability to sponsor posts for a small fee to increase their reach, engagement is also important. There’s no point sponsoring a post that isn’t connecting with your existing audience; but there’s huge value to be had from putting a few dollars behind an already well-performing post to help it go further.

Click-through rates measure who takes action after watching your video

Click-through rate or conversion rate
The click-through rate and conversion rate are similar in that they both measure people who take action as a result of watching your video. The click-through rate usually measures people who click through and visit your website, whereas the conversion rate tracks the number of people who take a specific action as specified in the call-to-action you include in your video. For example, many videos on YouTube will feature a call-to-action to subscribe to the video producer’s YouTube channel or download a free report.


Negative feedback
This is not a metric that you want to be scoring high on, but it is important to track nonetheless. Negative feedback is a measure of how many people hide your videos from their newsfeed, report your content as inappropriate or unsubscribe from your channel or unlike your page after watching your videos. If you’re getting a high negative feedback score, you need to rethink your social media strategy immediately preferably with the help of outside experts before you damage your brand irreparably.

Sound on versus sound off
With many people watching videos on their phones on the go while commuting to work etc, you cannot assume that all people are watching your videos with the sound on. Almost 85 per cent of Facebook’s videos are watched with sound off due to its autoplay function. Therefore, it’s important to track how many people are watching your videos with the sound on versus the sound off. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if people are watching your videos with the sound off, but it does mean that you need to ensure that you can still get your message across effectively. If most of your viewers watch your videos with the sound off, make sure the visual elements of your video convey your message clearly and use subtitles if necessary. Just remember to make the subtitles brief and ensure that they render well on mobile devices.

David Koch on what tech your small business needs

I recommend tracking all these video metrics in order to get a comprehensive view of your video content’s success. Depending on the goal of your video content, there may be other metrics that you also want to track (e.g. interaction rate – how many users engage with the 360 degree functions of the video by tilting their phone; or number of live viewers – this could be useful if you use Facebook Live Video function and want to track whether the timing of your live videos is working for your audience).

If you’re struggling to get people to view your video (the first step in measuring success) try sharing your video through different social media channels and share a link to it in your email newsletters. You could also build relationships with relevant influencers and encourage them to share your video with their audience (make sure you look to add value to the influencer too, otherwise you may burn those bridges!). Additionally, consider writing more interesting video titles, captions and descriptions, picking a more engaging and eye-catching video thumbnail or paying to promote your video to new audiences.

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