How to Measure Social Networks in Real Time

Facebook LIVE and other live streaming platforms are getting increasingly important. But how do we measure their performance?

How to Measure Social Networks in Real Time

This year has been big for some new trends. We had a rise on virtual reality; we have experienced augmented reality, but nothing had more impact than the take-on of our Facebook Timeline by live coverage videos. Live streaming is here, and it is huge. Livestream videos on social networks are one of the most valuable new additions to the media coverage and it is getting increasingly popular among marketers as well. The central question remains, however: how do we measure their impact?

Customers want transparency

How to Measure Social Networks in Real Time

The harsh beauty of reality

There is no doubt that live stream video is one of the hottest trends in the communication and marketing business. It is no coincidence how Facebook and YouTube monetized the platform capabilities of once stand-alone products like Periscope and other live streaming services. The key question is not of the importance but of why it is so much important.

One answer to that is a transparent reality. Customers don’t want well-manicured pre-scripted marketing content anymore; they want full access to the brand and live stream videos can get them there. Livestream video is a transparent window for a brand. Livestream lets users step inside to another reality, in our case, a brand’s. Of course, it is risky to let others in and live stream as its name states: live. And live is precarious to have, full of potential flaws and mistakes. But it is a risk worth taking.

Have a goal and don’t be afraid to miss it

Creating live video is so much different than having a regular video for marketing purposes. While a typical video has a script or a story, ultimately it wouldn’t be different than any other pre-scripted content. A live video, however, cannot be fully scripted.

With having a goal in mind, you can clearly minimise the number of mistakes. Start with a strategic intent: what is the purpose of your live feed? Think about the purpose and try to stick to it, map out the possible journey of your live event. Much like preparing for an offline networking event, where you plan out your goal of the event, the people you want to meet and share your thoughts with.

Like any other event and like any other human interactions, nothing will be perfect. Don’t stress out; mistakes happen, and that is why live streams are fantastic because they are non-scripted and allowed to have errors. This is exactly why customers prefer these compared to pre-scripted content.

If you do it, do it like a pro

Practical tips

Promote the live event online, before actually going live. Promotions can and should be pre-scripted and strategically planned. Announce the exact time and date when you’re about to go live and the actual transparent purpose of your event.

Go live for at least 5 minutes but not more than 30 minutes. If a live event is interesting, users tend to watch it more than a traditional video. Also, users might jump on and off from a live stream, allow them space to re-join. Also, it is useful to create a recap of what has happened from time-to-time.

Create a title and add relevant features. People want to know what they are watching, where the live stream takes place, what the main topic is and who the speakers of the event are.

Keep in mind that live stream a video is much more cost effective than an average video. You don’t need a professional video editor or a possible animator and designer to produce one. All you need is a good internet connection and a good camera that can shoot in HD and nothing more.

Another good option is to repurpose your live stream video. Once you finish recording and streaming, save the video and embed to your other digital channels as an added value content. It is personal; it was live once, and customers still connect to your business through that video.

Measure it properly

Thankfully Facebook and YouTube offer a massive amount of insights on your viewers if you do a Livestream video. There are three different areas you want to know and investigate, and there are different metrics that can give you the answer on each platform, but they are the same.

First, you want to know how many viewers you had. The total number of unique views of the video is interesting, but you also want to know how many users saw the video once it was live and once it was finished. It gives you an actual reach of users. Facebook also have a People Reached metrics which gives you the exact figure on how many users saw your live video as a notification on their News Feed.

Second, you want to know when and how much they have watched. Peak live views, average % of total views can help you get there. You will know how many users watched the full live stream – they are your most loyal customers – and how many users watched during X minutes.

Third, you need to know what the reactions are. Every video can be commented, shared and engaged live and also after it finishes. The number of shares, comments, reactions will give you the exact amount of engagements you had for your video.

Share your story live

Don’t be afraid to share your company’s story live and benefit from the transparency that customers want. Live stream videos will be a massive thing for 2017 digital marketing, and the platforms will continue to improve.

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