So many different metrics are available for us to use as we try to measure the effectiveness of our efforts on social media that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which stats are worth our attention and which are not.
Earlier this week, my brother ran a post on this blog about three overrated social media statistics. Today, I want to share with you what I believe are three underrated social media statistics. Depending on your social media strategy, you may or may not pay attention to these three stats, but I think they are worth at least some attention:
1. Video Watch Time
This is one of the most important metrics you can watch if you’re creating video content. Whether you’re creating video on Facebook, YouTube, or another platform, the amount of time people watch your videos is an important number to watch.
Video watch time gives you the most accurate view of how interesting your video was to your audience.
On Facebook, for instance, you may be tempted to see the “reach” or “views” of a particular video. Both of those numbers are important to observe and can be helpful for future strategy. But when you’re brainstorming new video content and want to see which videos have performed best, you are better off avoiding “reach” or “impressions” metrics and looking at the total time videos have been watched.
We know that YouTube values watch time over any other metric. Why do they value it so much? Because the more of a video you watch on YouTube, the more real estate they have to sell and deliver you ads as you watch. This is why a lot of professional YouTubers have started making videos of more than 10 minutes. YouTube provides an additional mid-roll ad for videos longer than 10 minutes, which makes more money for YouTube and the creator.
2. Engagement Rate
I think engagement rate is probably the most important metric to gauge social media success no matter what platform you’re using. I have said this many times in meetings through LifeWay Social, in emails I send, and otherwise.
“Reach” and “impressions” are great, but if you “reach” five thousand people with a Facebook post, but only five of those people engage with it in some way (like, comment, or share) your huge “reach” wasn’t that impactful.
What is engagement rate? It’s pretty simple. Look at a piece of content, add up the total likes, comment, shares, clicks, and whatever other kinds of “engagement” you can find, and divide that number by the total “reach” or “impressions” of the post. That will give you what percentage of those reached actually engaged the content.
We can’t be wooed by large impressions numbers and ignore the engagement rate of those people.
3. Click-through Rate
I have to admit: I do not pay enough attention to this metric.
Because most of the social media content I create is not designed to drive sales or other such actions, I am most interested in how people interact with my content on the social media platform I’m analyzing. I am not usually as focused on how many people clicked off of the site to visit the link that I’ve shared. I do pay attention to it, just not as much as I should.
Whatever social media platform you’re using, you can find the click-through rate on your content pretty easy in the analytics or “insights” tabs.
This is a form of engagement that deserves our attention, especially if you’re creating a lot of content with the goal of getting people to click and visit some content off the social media platform.
Depending on how you’re wired, you are likely on one of two ends of a spectrum: either 1) you look at stats constantly or 2) you try to avoid looking at stats.
Wherever you find yourself on the social media stats spectrum, I encourage you to not ignore these three key metrics. They can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
Chris Martin is the Co-Creator and Chief Content Officer at LifeWay Social as well as a Content Strategist at LifeWay. He and his wife Susie live outside Nashville, TN.