With Facebook adding its own video feature, you can increase user engagement due to views and comments. Well, the views alone can certify a level of social media credibility and presence already.
However, there’s a difference between viewing a video by clicking it and scrolling through it while on autoplay. It’s fascinating when you see a good number of likes on your stats. But then you’ll wonder why your user engagement is still low despite the thousands/millions of likes you’ve got.
We posted some videos on our Facebook page. During that time, we discovered that we’re getting more views on facebook videos for FREE, but the interaction level with viewers was mediocre. This prompted us to experiment with the matter.
What are Facebook video views?
Facebook has not publicly released what exactly counts as a view on the platform.
Recently they implemented a metric that shows “10-second” views. This means it will show how many people viewed the first 10 seconds of the video. The 10-second views number is always lower than the number displayed on Facebook.
Anyway, 10-second views still are not particularly important if you have a long video. For instance, if you have a 20-minute video, then the amount of people that watched 10 seconds of the video is not important. Did they only watch 10 seconds? Did they watch the whole 20 minutes?
The data Facebook gives does not say much.
Back to the point, the logical conclusion from the two metrics that Facebook gives is that they use two different metrics. The publicly displayed one is much more generous with what counts as a view.
Do you see the problem with that?
The only thing we can come up with about view counts is that it works similarly (sort of) like YouTube. As to what counts as a “view,” it is still unclear as of now. Facebook has recently shown different sets of view counts: One is for “10 Second Views”, and the other is for total video views. It seems these data could imply how many people are viewing your video, then compare it with those who are just passing by.
So which number is more significant, then?
The Hypothesis of the Study
In conducting this study, we need a hypothesis to serve as a foundation. After further observation, we’re able to come up with the explanation that Facebook’s real number of viewers is less than half of what it reports to be.
While we’ve got assumptions on our minds already, it’s still necessary to study the issue objectively. This garnered us with a definite, unbiased, and clear conclusion.
To keep things as genuine as possible, we did the study by analyzing data from other users’ existing posts. We deliberately opted not to publish posts in verifying our hypothesis. We want
Facebook has other important metrics that they track and display. Notably, these are: percent of viewers with sound and get more views on facebook videos for FREE.
Percent of viewers with sound just indicates how many of your viewers have the audio turned on. The sound is essential for most videos on Facebook, so this is one of the most important metrics.
Unique views are also critical as this shows how many people have watched videos on Facebook again.
Both of these metrics should be excluded from the total view count on a video. However, Facebook includes them on the view count.
Basically, this means that the same person could watch your video 100 times and you would get 100 views. That is not a particularly useful statistic.
More concerning is that someone could watch your video without sound and Facebook would count that as a view. Just think, how important is sound for your videos?
Unfortunately, watching videos without sound is extremely common on Facebook. This is because the video will automatically play without sound as you scroll past it on the news feed.
Yes, that does count as a video view according to Facebook. In fact, that video view has the same weight as someone that watched your entire video with the sound turned on.
Metrics To Look Get More Views on Facebook Videos
For this test, we have observed the most recent 20 videos of three pages. Take note that the selection is a combination of Live and uploaded videos. The pages are:
- The Company (A social media management company)
- NewbLife (A page that does tech product reviews, as well as discussions about food, life, video games, movies, and more)
- LiveMadLads (A live stream page with few courses on how to do live videos and install video studios)
There were three sets of data for each of the 20 videos, which include:
- Video Views
- Unique Views
- Percentage of users with Sound On
We have averaged them together for each page, then did an overall summary. After that, we examined the value to the number of users who turned on the sound.
Gathering Data on Facebook Video Viewership
Here is each page’s average for the 3 data points we’ve based our study on:
- Video Views: 323.84
- Unique Viewers: 303.53
- Percentage with Sound On: 16.34%
- Video Views: 249.31
- Unique Viewers: 227.32
- Percentage with Sound On: 25.15%
- Video Views: 1130.98
- Unique Viewers: 1032.67
- Percentage with Sound On: 39.84%
Meanwhile, The data has shown mostly LiveMadLads since all of its videos were posted live:
Uploaded Videos to Facebook:
- Video Views: 205.23
- Unique Viewers: 187.23
- Percentage with Sound On: 17.31% (NewbLife- 22.2%, Ours- 14.55%)
Facebook Live Videos:
- Video Views: 669.48
- Unique Viewers: 621.39
- Percentage with Sound On: 31.29% (NewbLife- 35.31%, Ours- 20.76%)
Lastly, here are the mean values of the combined video types from all three pages:
- Video Views: 567.10s
- Unique Viewers: 522.41
- Percentage with Sound On: 27.13%
Evaluation of The Results
After running down the figures, we have found out impressive results. These outcomes have enabled us in forming our conclusion, which you’ll see later.
- Although not part of the original study, it’s quite stimulating to know that almost double the number of viewers turned the sound on (31.29% on vs. 19.32% off). With this info, we could surmise that only 32.28% of those watching the Live video is genuinely “watching.” There’s no real sense in watching a video when the sound is off, after all.
- We assume that people turn the sound on to listen and talk person doing the live stream. On the other hand, viewers seem to leave the Facebook music videos for an uploaded video.
- Another assumption is that Facebook reports video views irrespective of the number of times a person watched it or how he watches it (sound on or off). Based on the stats above, there are 567.14 video views and 522.30 unique viewers..
- On average, only 27.11% of users that “watched” the videos left the sound on. This is equivalent to 147.21 people.
Do people actually watch your Facebook videos?
You have probably seen videos on Facebook if you have logged onto the service in the past few years. You also have probably noticed that videos on Facebook seem to get millions of views. In fact, they appear to get more views on facebook videos.
However, are people actually viewing the videos? Or does Facebook count a video that automatically plays as you scroll past the news feed as a view?
This article will answer those questions and more.
Why is this a problem?
This would not be a problem if views with the sound turned off made up an insignificant portion of your views. However, this is not the case.
A study published on Agora Pulse discovered that 28% of their total views were with the sound turned on. This means that of their 500 views, only 140 actually had the sound on.
In other words, only 140 views had any meaning. This does not account for viewers that turn the sound on and quickly exit the video. Furthermore, the study indicated that over 90% of their video views were from viewers that automatically played the video.
This means most of the views came from auto plays and that some of those viewers decided to turn the sound on for some amount of time.
How to fix this problem?
Facebook has had this issue since they first released video and has done nothing to prevent this problem. The likely reason is that Facebook likes to have overinflated video views because it makes the platform look much more popular than YouTube, which means that more people will upload videos to Facebook.
How to know your actual viewer count?
First, you have to define the term actual viewer count.
This section will just assume that it is people that watched most of your video with the sound turned on. Unfortunately, Facebook does not even provide this data.
They do provide the percent of viewers that used sound though, which should give you a good indication of the number of relevant viewers.
Basically, you should assume that the percent of viewers with sound was actually watched videos on Facebook. All the other methods listed do not provide much insight into how your video performs.
How to post videos on Facebook? or Should I stop?
You can keep posting videos to Facebook. However, you should know that the view count that you see is grossly inflated and is not accurate.
Unfortunately, the inflation to create Facebook video views is one of the reasons that many companies have made a push to publish content on Facebook.
This is the wrong approach. You can publish videos to Facebook, but your primary focus should still be putting videos on YouTube. YouTube still has a much bigger platform than Facebook and allows much more freedom with how to post videos on Facebook.
That said, you should still post videos from YouTube to your Facebook account. Just remember that the view count will be grossly inflated.
All in all, the evidence clearly shows that Facebook inflates their video views compared to YouTube. This means that most of the views you receive on YouTube cannot be trusted to provide reliable information for marketing purposes.
Fortunately, determining a more realistic amount of viewers for your videos is not too difficult. Unfortunately, the realistic views are frequently significantly less than what Facebook initially reports, which makes the platform a much more unappealing choice for Facebook video sharing to promote your business.
Get More from Your Social Media with In-feed Videos
If you’re looking for a more effective way to build relevancy and trust in your brand, look to social videos.
To stay present in their audience’s lives, businesses have had to increase their investment in social media, spending more time and money to share their products, but trying to get noticed is an ongoing challenge. The secret is to share the information so that your customers will likely notice it indirectly.
There are few things, if any, more popular on social media than videos. To stay relevant with their audience, brands have had to enter the video business significantly. Not only do they have to make shorter and relevant ads to a tighter focus on their audience, but they also have to get people to watch them.
The challenge is that social feeds are overcrowded. Brands are competing with hundreds of other post sources. How do you get your message past the noise?
That’s where in-feed autoplay videos come in. These videos begin to play automatically as the user scrolls through their social feed, which gives businesses a precious few moments to capture their attention. Still, more than that, these ads feel less intrusive and more trustworthy than typical ad videos.
What are in-feed, autoplay videos? They are a form of native advertising, meaning they are delivered as part of the user experience on a particular site. They match the format of the rest of the site’s content and usually are labeled as sponsored or promoted content. In other words, they’ve promoted posts containing videos, appearing in the user’s feed just like any other post would.
Why It Works
In a curated feed, like you’ll find with Facebook and Twitter, for example, the users select the content they see through adding friends and pages, but, in the case of Facebook, posts are also curated through their actions. Interacting with a company’s posts allows the users to see more posts by them, while pages that don’t get interaction are marked as less relevant, so the user sees fewer posts.
What this does is create a self-curated feed. The user assumes that most of what they see on their Facebook feed is something they’re interested in. This promotes relevancy and trust when they see funny videos Facebook; if done correctly, it should be relevant to them.
The Three-Second Rule
Your audience isn’t going to stop scrolling for every video as it comes across their feed, even if it begins to play funny videos on Facebook. You have a single second to capture their interest and three seconds to convince them to keep watching before they continue past without a second thought.
From a storytelling standpoint, you don’t have time to ease into it. Bright colors and a clear, interesting image to create Facebook videos draw attention immediately. The story must start when their eyes land on the video, so you don’t have time for a dramatic fade-in. On average, they also need to watch at least three seconds to recall any of the messages from the video, so even if they don’t watch the entire thing, you still have a chance to benefit from their view.
Branding and Ad Recall
If you’ve ever watched a Super Bowl ad, gushed over the concept, but forgot which brand created the ad by the next day, you’re not alone. Having a great concept for an advertisement might get you views, but you also need to ensure that people are walking away with the right message: that your brand can meet their needs or wants. More so, you want them to remember your brand later on when they’re ready to make a purchase.
To improve brand recall, you need a clear and well-thought-out branding strategy. People should be able to link your company with your ads within the first few seconds, and then you must remind them throughout the video. Because these videos are short, and because you want to encourage a strong association between them and your businesses, it’s okay to be a little heavier with branding than you would in a regular advertisement, video, or other promotional content. While you still want to focus on telling a story through the ad, you have more leeway to make the branding more obvious.
These videos are about more than just getting consumers to see your brand and products on their feed. When people see these ads in their stream, it builds recognition. When they view the videos, it builds familiarity, trust, and a positive association with your brand. Because these ads aren’t intrusive due to their native inclusion, and because they’re in the popular video format, you will see a much higher return on your investment than you likely would with other ad formats. In-feed video ads are incredibly effective right now.
Making it Work for You
One of the most important factors in the effectiveness of in-feed, autoplay videos is the relevance of the video, not just to your audience but to the rest of your content. You have to make sure that you’re targeting the right people, not just with the video itself but also with how you set up the ad. Know your audience, and get it in front of them. Finally, keep experimenting. Run the videos a few different times, fine-tuning as you go.
Here are a few strategies to optimize your social campaign:
- Build your own brand according to your social marketing and audience needs.
- Use a PR agency to write a press release and post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other channels to reach the right audience before any launch.
- Be aware of the social media trends and try to push your brand in those channels consistently.
- Stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes on social networks so that you can take advantage of them strategically and become an influencer at the same time.
- Get noticed by using creative content but make sure that it includes some elements of your brand to look like it’s something you created.
- Be eager to share your content; don’t just keep yourself in the background and wait for crashes like people on Facebook.
- Focus on getting your videos seen by who you want and not necessarily by others, as this will be far more impactful on the social media platform.
- Keep videos engaging and interesting, as this will be a great way to get more YouTube views, subscribers and fans.
Tips for Increasing Your Organic Reach on Facebook
Facebook has a reputation for being a difficult platform for organic growth. In fact, most internet marketers recommend that you avoid Facebook unless you are willing to go with paid advertising.
While this may true, using organic marketing will still work somewhat well on Facebook. You just have to know the right strategy which will generally focus on creating groups and building a community.
Anyway, this article will cover some of the top tips that will help you increase your organic reach on Facebook.
Build a Community
Facebook likes communities and groups. In fact, it is in their mission statement that Facebook wants to connect the world. The fastest way to do this is by connecting different communities to each other. This is why Facebook has recently favored group content at the top of news feeds instead of individual or page content.
Your news feed is perhaps full of posts from groups that you have joined.
However, you can still use Facebook’s preference for groups on your business page. The most obvious way to do this is by avoiding posts that promote your product.
Simply put, no one really wants to see a promotional post from you. They especially do not want to see a link to your website. Facebook also does not want to link their platform.
Instead of posting promotional content to Increasing Your Organic Reach on Facebook, you should post the type of content that inspires people to respond in the comments. Even better if the people in the comments have a meaningful conversation.
Facebook’s algorithm can detect that people are having a conversation and will place the post at the top of the news feed. Similar to the way a Facebook group would work.
Anyway, focus on posts that build a community and not on posts that simply promote content.
Do Not Purchase Likes
Purchasing likes on Facebook is super simple. Many websites offer something like 5,000 likes for $5. You can then make a post and purchase likes on that post.
Do not do this.
There are a few reasons you should avoid this. In other words, they will ban you if they catch you purchasing likes, comments, or any other engagement.
Unfortunately, it is somewhat tricky to catch accounts that purchase likes. Instead, Facebook just devalues any posts that have a large amount of purchased engagement to Increasing Your Organic Reach on Facebook.
Yes, Facebook can easily detect that.
Facebook not counting the purchased engagement means that all your money will go to waste.
Those two reasons alone should be enough to convince you not to purchase likes, comments, or shares.
Publish Content That Will Last
Content that will last, also known as evergreen content, is the best type of content that you can publish on Facebook.
This is because people will read it and they may even share it with other people.
In fact, if the content is so good, then you can expect users to continue sharing it across the platform. If the content is not really time sensitive, then this sharing could stay for an extended period of time.
This is actually a route that many magazines and other video content pages use. Some examples include UNILAD and Tasty. They post exciting videos and content that gets shared for years after it was posted.
Remember, each time that someone shares it is another free advertising boost that the page that posted it receives.
That is the power of evergreen content.
Create a Group For Dedicated Followers
This is why you should create an invite-only group for your most dedicated followers. You should know who your dedicated followers are, too. Just look for the same names that keep appearing the comments section. Those are your devoted followers. These are different from any other type, especially when you buy Facebook followers.
You can invite them to the group. Once inside the group make sure to release exclusive content to the group.
Finally, make sure to mention all the exciting exclusive content that you only share to your group of hardcore fans.
Once you say that, then you can expect a lot more people to start commenting on your videos. They will do this with the hope of joining the exclusive group.
This strategy works so well because it takes advantage of the natural tendency of people to want to be a member of something exclusive. Quite frankly, that exclusivity does not matter if it is a car club or a group on Facebook.
People will want to be a member of it if they think they will get some form of exclusive reward. Play up to that tendency in humans and you will have plenty of reach on Facebook.
How to upload videos in Facebook
Our final tip is to publish videos on Facebook’s platform. Facebook actually has a video platform, but people do not know how to upload videos in Facebook.
This means that Facebook will promote any posts that use Facebook video. They do this with the hope that enough people will eventually use Facebook video the same way that they use YouTube.
Apparently, this has not occurred yet. However, you can still take advantage of the algorithm bonus you get for publishing on the platform.
Plus, no one wants to click a link to get to a YouTube video. They would much rather watch the entire video on Facebook without opening a new tab. Remember, people are lazy.
Overall, getting a high amount of Increasing Your Organic Reach on Facebook is difficult. The tips listed above will help improve your organic reach on the platform.
However, you will still suffer from low organic reach even with the tips. On Facebook, paid promotion is probably the best course of action if combined with an excellent organic strategy.
Conclusion about Facebook Video Views
Facebook’s real number of viewers is less than half of what it reports to be.
After gathering and evaluating the data, we conclude that this hypothesis is correct. Further, 27.13% of users who have turned the sound on is the actual number of viewers.
In other words, those 1000+ views on your Facebook videos aren’t what they seem to be. If only a small percentage, say 14% turned the sound on, then the 84% probably weren’t genuinely viewing it. Most of them might have been merely passers-by in the first place.
It’s quite disappointing, but that’s what to expect from Facebook videos.
You can perform your own study and take it up a notch by getting a more accurate idea of the number of viewers. To do this, track those who have turned the sound on and verify from Facebook’s graph how many actually completed the video. By doing this, not only you assess your real number of viewers but also find out what point do they stop watching.
There are so many ways you can evaluate your authentic number of viewers. We based it on whether they turned the sound on or off while watching. However, you can base your study on other metrics. Who knows, you might conclude differently from us. That’s the beauty on analytics, anyway.