Understanding the metrics of short-form video

Metrics Short Form Video

The rise of the short-form video has got us super interested in understanding how are these videos being measured for success.  For instance, is your reach really that relevant if the nature of the format is to scroll one video after the other? We are here to break down the myths and truth of your short-form metrics.  Each platform looks at the metrics differently so let’s break them down by platform and what we think of them.

Facebook Reel Metrics

  • Impressions– is simply the number of times your reel was on the screen. 
  • Plays– This is the number of times that your reel started to play after an impression is counted. According to Facebook this is defined by the sessions with 1 ms or more of playback and excludes playbacks.
    • What we interpret from this is that Facebook is not counting your plays if someone saw repeatedly watched the same video. However, Facebook also notes that this metric is estimated. This means that Facebook is still testing this metric or is reported by a third-party API.  
  • People Reached– In this metric, Facebook is measuring the number of people who saw your reel at least once whether or not the reel was played.
    • What we can interpret from this metric is that your number of people reached can be really higher than the number of people who actually played your video. 
    • It’s also important to note that the people reached are different than the impression which may include people seeing your reels multiple times.
  • Interactions
    • Comments, likes, and shares- the number of said interactions. Yea, that is a straightforward metric. 

Instagram Reel Metrics

In addition to the metrics above Instagram, reels give us some new metrics.

  • Accounts Reached– The number of unique accounts that have seen your reel whether they played it or not. This will not include multiple views of a reel like the metric “impression” shows. 
    • Follower vs non Followers is simply showing those who are not already following you vs those who are.  We can see with this new metric that our reels are being shown to those who do not necessarily follow us.
  • Saves– This is the number of times your reel is saved but it’s noted by Facebook that this metric is still in development. 

TikTok Metrics

TikTok it’s not an apple-to-apple comparison to Facebook and Instagram reels because the entire platform is based on short-form videos.  For this reason, we have pulled out certain metrics. 

  • Video Views– The number of times viewers watched your videos at a given time.
    • You’ll notice that there isn’t much breakdown between if people watched the video more than once or for how long.  This can lead you to believe that you are getting more out of your TikTok videos than you really are.  This seems to be the hook line and sinker to pulling you into TikTok. 
  • Engagement; Comments, likes, and shares
    • Just like Facebook and Instagram, this is a pretty straightforward answer. 
  • Followers– Number of accounts following you.
    • Tiktok has this metric front and center in their business suite highlighting Tiktok wanting you to grow your followers where Instagram and Facebook seem to push more non-followers. The non-followers metrics are not even available in TikTok. 
  • Viewers
    • This metric does break down the total number of unique viewers but it not always showing unless you get at least 100 viewers on videos.  At that same rate of views is where you will start to see more metrics (gender, age, top locations) 
  • Retention rate– This is the percentage of viewers who watch your video and is only calculated for the first three minutes. 
  • Traffic sources– This is another metric that is hidden unless your video hits an arbitrary number that is not given to you.  It will tell you where your video was seen within the TikTok ecosystem.

As we have described before the metric that is put the most in front of you is the metric that you optically obsess the most about but is it the most important metricShort Form Video Metrics to be looking at?  It can create this sense of euphoria when you see the number wanting you to continue to do this marketing.  It’s always a good idea to expand back about and understand all the metrics and what is being shown to you.

With short-form video, one metric that we see missing is website visits which separate it from the rest of the marketing funnel.  This easily falls into zero-click marketing

When we expand social media marketing out to where it lays on the marketing funnel it is higher up in the funnel and it’s about getting in front of as many people as possible.  For this reason, we feel reach is the most important metric to look at when evaluating whether short-form videos are worth the extra time and investment.  

When evaluating individual short-form videos we feel that breaking it down into whether the video was played on Instagram and Facebook to video views in Tiktok is a better way to improve your video content.