A Marketer’s Guide to Social Video Engagement Metrics

“Have you seen this video?” Whether it’s used as an icebreaker with new friends or as a way to bond with besties, it’s a question we’ve all heard, or asked. People share video with friends twice as much as any other content. And with many social media platforms doubling down on video and TikTok-style shorts, it’s no question that video engagement is key.

If you haven’t brought video into your social media strategy, consider this your “twist my arm” moment.

But video creation requires work. You want your time and effort to go toward content that is effective for your channels and your brand. And to know what videos work, you need the right metrics.

Let’s explore video engagement metrics that help you understand organic performance across your biggest channels.

Before we start, know your goals

If you feel overwhelmed by the dozens of video metrics out there, there’s good news—you can be choosy.

The best way to pick the right metrics is to ask yourself: what are my channel-specific goals?

As Sprout Social’s Senior Social Media Manager Rachael Samuels puts it, “On every network, the metric that relates to the goal or purpose of the video is what you should measure. If you want people to comment or take action, views aren’t the most important but view duration might be. If your goal is awareness, if it’s an ad, if you want your video in front of thousands of people—views are more important.”

Video engagement metrics you need to improve content performance

While everyone knows metrics like views and impressions can inform performance, they might not tell the full story.

Here are some key video engagement metrics to help you dive deeper into your performance data and know where to focus your production efforts.

  • Facebook video metrics to watch
  • A video view on Facebook counts when a user watches a video for at least three seconds.
  • Average video time watched
  • This can help you understand your audience’s preferred video length.
  • Sound on vs. Sound off video views
  • The vast majority of video on the internet are watched without sound. Knowing whether your videos are watched with or without sound can help you prioritise captions, music, voiceover and more. Dig into how sound on vs. sound off video plays compare using Sprout Social’s Premium Analytics tools.
  • Full video views vs. partial
  • A partial view is the number of times users watch a video for at least three seconds, but no more than 30 seconds and not to the end.
  • A full video view is the number of times users view your post’s video for at least 30 seconds, or almost to the end for shorter videos.
  • Seeing these two metrics next to each other can help you visualise if your video retention improves over time.
  • Click-through rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of times users clicked in your post as a percentage of impressions during its lifetime—especially important if your goal is to boost conversions or leads.
  • Cut out the manual calculation that goes into CTR. Sprout Social’s Premium Analytics feature calculates this metric in a downloadable report in seconds.
  • Unique video views
  • This is the number of unique users who viewed your video. If one person watches a video 10 times, it counts as one unique view.
  • Using Sprout’s Premium Analytics, compare this number against your total views to get a sense of how often your video is being replayed—an important metric considering Facebook favours content that keeps people coming back.
  • Click to play vs. Autoplay metrics
  • This can tell you how many people click to play your videos and which videos inspired interest. While videos on Facebook generally autoplay, this feature can be turned off.
  • Peak live viewers
  • If livestreaming is a part of your video strategy, using Facebook’s Live video metrics can help you refine your approach to live audience.
  • Shares and comments

Facebook post engagements include reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry), shares, clicks and comments. Total engagements can give you a sense of how effective your video was overall.

People sharing your content is one of the best ways to organically reach new eyes in an algorithm-satisfying way.

95 percent video views

Facebook prioritises content that sustains viewer attention. This metric highlights when viewers have watched at least 95 percent of your video, including those who skip ahead. Find this when you download your Post Performance Report with Sprout’s Premium Analytics.

Stand-out YouTube video metrics

YouTube has more than 2 billion active users and their newest video type—YouTube Shorts—generates more than 15 billion daily views. But beyond its popularity as a social platform, YouTube also has SEO and search applications. The platform is often touted as the most popular search engine behind Google.

Here are a few YouTube metrics to measure whether your videos are standing out.

  • Average view duration
  • YouTube prioritises how much time is spent watching a video. It’s important to know which videos inspire people to keep watching, and how to recreate their success.
  • Card clicks
  • YouTube cards are the main type of pop-up you see during a video. There are four different kinds:
  • Channel: allows you to link to another YouTube channel
  • Link: YouTube Partners can link to an external website
  • Playlist: can link to a public YouTube playlist
  • Card teaser impressions
  • This is the number of times that card teasers were displayed to viewers.
  • Subscribers gained/lost from video

Looking at how many people subscribed to or unsubscribed from your channel from one video can tell you a lot about its impact.

Likes/Dislikes

While this may just seem like a vanity metric, YouTube’s algorithm weighs Likes and Dislikes when determining which videos to serve.

Key Instagram video metrics

On Instagram, a view is counted when someone has watched a video for three seconds or more.

Saves

When someone saves a video on Instagram, it means they liked it so much that they want to easily rewatch it. Instagram also uses saves as an indicator of what to show in the Explore feed.

Story metrics

Looking at Instagram Story analytics can help you understand their impact and which ones to recreate or turn into Highlights. Keep an eye on:

Story taps back: Could indicate people are rewatching your Story, or the previous frame contained too much information

Story taps forward: Could indicate people don’t want to stay on your Story

Story exits: Who dropped off of or swiped out of your story

Story replies: Who took the time to respond to your Stories, if you offer replies

Profile metrics

Looking at the following profile metrics can indicate if a recent video post led to a spike in profile actions:

Website clicks

Email link clicks

Get Directions Clicks

Phone Call Clicks

Using Sprout Social’s Premium Analytics feature, you can quickly pull these numbers to understand your audience behaviour.

Essential LinkedIn video metrics

Like Facebook, LinkedIn counts a view after three seconds, and your video view count doesn’t display publicly on your post until your video has reached 500 views.

Click-through rate

LinkedIn prefers native content that keeps users on the platform. Make sure your external links, like the job posting link below, are worth it by looking at which videos drive the most clicks to post links.

Pro tip: LinkedIn’s paid ad analytics open up opportunities for a deeper understanding of video performance. In Sprout’s Premium Analytics, you can look at view conversions to understand how your video directly impacted engagement.

Comments

Posts with a lot of longer comments, like the post below, get the platform’s attention—even more so than reactions (Like, Celebrate, Support, Love, Insightful, Curious) (Like, Celebrate, Support, Love, Insightful, Curious.) They’re richer in content and can potentially increase time spent on a post, or dwell time, which LinkedIn’s algorithm favours.

Followers gained or lost

Looking at this number after you’ve posted a video vs other types of content can reveal whether video is a powerful tool for you, or hurts you.

Helpful Twitter video metrics

A video view on Twitter is counted when someone has watched your video for at least two seconds with at least 50 percent of the video visible in their window.

Engagements

Twitter’s algorithm favours engagement as one of several key signals. The more engagements, the more attention. On Twitter, engagements include:

Retweets \sFavorites \sReplies

Mentions

URL clicks

Hashtag clicks

Media views

Tweets that are Liked or commented on by one person may show up in their followers’ feeds, connecting you to new potential fans.

Follow or Unfollow from posts

Use this metric in Sprout’s Premium Analytics to understand which of your videos drive people away, and what videos attract new audience members.

Post media clicks

Post media clicks can tell you how many times viewers clicked your video—to pause it, for example—while watching.

What’s next: Turn video engagement information into action items

Data has a million stories to tell about your brand and channels. Here are a few ways you can level up your social media analytics from data points to actionable insights.

  • Report impact to stakeholders
  • Data provides a window into your strategy. It can also back you up when you need more resources for video creation by illustrating video’s impact on your brand to senior leaders.
  • Similarly, if your higher ups are pushing you to publish video formats that you know are not performing well, data can help prove your point. Use Sprout’s presentation-ready reports to present clear findings to your leadership team, and use Premium Analytics to answer some of their biggest questions about how social affects your business.
  • Know where to allocate your ad spend
  • It doesn’t make sense to boost or make an ad out of a video that doesn’t resonate. Knowing which videos are your most engaging can help you determine where to distribute your budget.
  • Guide your content strategy
  • Video content is a lot of work. Especially if you have to coordinate remote video production.
  • You want to make sure the work and energy you invest goes into the type of content that works best.
  • Looking at your video engagement data can highlight successful content to recreate and content that’s underperforming.
  • Here are a few factors that metrics can help you determine:
  • Identifying your top performers can help you decide which videos to repurpose and post on other platforms.
  • Link content to goal
  • One of every social media manager’s dreams is to go viral. Ultimately, your social efforts must benefit your company’s bottom line.
  • Video engagement data can help you link content interactions to audience intent.

Comparing a successful video’s performance to website clicks, event registrations, profile views, email signups, etc. can help link content to action. This can show senior leaders the real business impact of your efforts.

Measuring Video Engagement Metrics

Video engagement and social media analytics are not separate.

You can get a better idea of how video can help your social strategy and your business by combining these metrics with others like awareness (impressions).

You are not alone in your struggle to make sense of social data. Learn how to find the social media metrics that matter to you. Request a demo of Sprout’s Analytics tools today to improve your data analysis skills.

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