Social Media Logo Collage

What is a video view? Depends on who you are asking

When you are measuring the reach of an internet video, one of the most important question is an obvious one: How many views can that video rack up?

Okay, fair enough.  But, here’s a more important question: What counts as a video view?  It seems straight forward enough, but each platform has a different interpretation of what counts as a view, and this is something you must keep in mind when measuring the success of a video.

So, what are the definitions of a video view?

  • YouTube: How, exactly, YouTube counts a view is unknown.  However, a view has to be “requested,” and YouTube has security that stops a view from counting if it’s viewed for “mere seconds.” Autoplayed videos don’t count.
  • Facebook: Facebook has one of the loosest definitions of a video view.  A view counts as when a video is watched for at least three seconds, even if the video autoplays in the Facebook newsfeed. Autoplay will start on the desktop when 100% of the video is visible in the screen, but only 50% on a mobile device.
  • Instagram: Like Facebook, a view is counted when someone watches a video for three seconds.  Views are not accessible to the general public, however.
  • Snapchat: Very differently measured here – Snapchat video views are counted the instant a video loads.  However, a user has to tap on a video to get it to load.
  • Vine: Views (called Loops) are counted when an entire Vine is watched – usually six seconds.

So, there you have it! Hope this is helpful!

Facebook logo

Facebook further forays into political advertising: Target political influeners

Facebook is making another foray into the world of political advertising, and this one is particularly interesting, as it will now allow you to target people who frequently focus on politics.

According to this article from Wired, the “political influencer” category will consist of people who:

  • Click on political ads.
  • Like numerous political pages.
  • Share content from political groups.

In other words, political fanatics.

From an election perspective, I can see this being useful…in a primary, but not a general.  Why?  Well, people who fall into this political influencer category will almost certainly have a set partisan and ideological orientation that makes their general election picks foregone confusion.  That being said, the same does not necessarily apply to primary campaigns, when ideological boundaries are (sometimes) less obvious.  As such, targeting political influencers – and trying to get them on your side – can be very useful.  I do wonder how much this will cost, however.  Typically, Facebook charges more per click for more specific targeting options, so I hope that this new targeting option is cost effective.

Looking at this broader than simply elections, I can see this method of targeting being useful for issue oriented campaigns that are attempting to gain attention and traction. If you are trying to reach political influencers, and target them based on their location, ideology and interests, you can potentially yield a very useful audience of influencers who are particularly interested in a certain field.  To that end, broader, issue-oriented campaigns may have a field day with this new targeting method.

Social Media Logo Collage

The best way to influence your Congressman may just be social media

One of the more common questions I am asked when I speak to groups is this: What’s the best way to reach out to you personally?  What’s the best way to influence you and other elected officials?  I tell people the truth: Don’t send a form Email (that’s nice, but we just kinda count those as a measure of intensity), call (I try to take all of those myself), send a personal Email, or use social media.  With the social media part, I’m always careful to caution that social media is a great way to connect with me, since I have it with me at all times, but for some electeds, that’s monitored only by a staff.

Turns out, a new survey shows that social media really is a great way to connect with elected officials.  According to a canvas of Congressional staffers, conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation, 30 or less social media posts can cause a Congressional office to “take heed” of public response.

I’d also make the argument that this is even more impactful on a local level, when elected officials tend to manage their own social media.  This study proves what I have been saying for years – that good use of social media is a great way to cut through the filters, through lobbyist groups, and connect with elected officials.  Because of its ubiquity, transparency and virtual requirement of genuineness, social media ensures that feedback is real and personal.  In all but the most advanced cases, it’s difficult to astroturf a social media campaign, and that means that elected officials tend to pay more attention to feedback received that way.

What does this mean for democracy?  Well, it’s good news.  Social media has made life harder for the media to some extent, because everyone is now a reporter.  You can apply that principle to democracy as well: Everyone can now, more than ever, be a lobbyist, with access to elected officials and their staff which was previously unavailable.  Thanks to social media, you can connect with your elected officials better than every before, and as noted by the study in question, can actually influence them too.

Facebook logo

It’s time to incorporate more video into your Facebook strategy

We’ve known, for some time, that Facebook’s news algorithm slants towards video.  Facebook is actively trying to take on YouTube, and more changes are coming to the newsfeed that will make Facebook an even bigger player in this area.

First, Facebook is apparently getting ready to launch an entirely separate feed for videos.  Second, the network will allow for multi-tasking; similar to YouTube, it is looking at adding a picture-in-picture video watching capability. Both of these changes reflect Facebook’s realization that the social networking world is becoming more video oriented.

The important question, then, is this: What does this mean to page managers and government officials?  Well, you’re going to have to become more video oriented, and quickly, as this is clearly the direction that Facebook is moving.  The videos don’t have to be of an insanely good professional quality, but they do have to exist.  Obviously, you can shoot a video from your iPhone or iPad, but uploading raw footage may not be professional enough.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Facebook start to update their App in order to add video editing capabilities next; that makes the most logical sense, and other apps, like YouTube, already have that built-in capability.

The good news, here, is that videos which are shot can then be uploaded to other networks as well.  After all, there is nothing that stops you from taking a video you made for Facebook and putting it in your Twitter feed, and since those videos now auto-play, you can get additional views.

Any other thoughts to add about this, or any other Facebook feature?  I’d love to hear stories about your Facebook video experience – please let us know in the comments!

Twitter Government Guide

Twitter releases handbook for governments & politicians

A few years too late, Twitter has released a 137 page handbook for governmental and political users.  In giving it the once over, it’s a very extensive document which reviews a variety of areas on Twitter, including:

  • Persuasion
  • Rapid response
  • Mobilization
  • Tracking
  • Ad products

Twitter’s landing page for the document highlights the guide’s review of three specific areas: Content strategies, Advanced Twitter tools and Twitter basics.

Many users are making fun of the document, though I’ll be honest: By and large, this is a pretty good document, and I don’t get why people think its funny.  It is a little long, however, and if you think the average governmental user has time to review a 137 page document, you are nuts.  Twitter should release a shorter version that gives an overall outline of the document.  I’ll also add that this document would have been a heck of a lot more useful if it had been released when Twitter was first starting out…and who knows?  Maybe it would have stopped a few people…or more than a few people…from appearing on this blog!

That being said, the information contained in the document is very useful.  The items discussed in it can provide a ton of insight, for new and experienced users, about the best ways that they can use Twitter.  If you have a chance, check it out and at least give the document an overview…you won’t be disappointed!

Twitter campaign donations

Twitter & Square partner to allow for political donations via Twitter

You can now donate to a political candidate via Twitter.

As noted by Bloomberg, Twitter and Square have partnered to allow you to allow candidate to solicit and collect donations via Twitter.  The partnership allows users to click on a tweet, fill out the necessary information and make a donation with a debit or credit card.

The system, which the New York Times bills as “seamless,” works like this:

To make it work, campaigns will create a Square Cash account, which gives the campaign a unique web handle, known as a “cashtag.” Then, when anyone shares the cashtag on Twitter, a donate button will appear that, when selected, will open a window for a user to input their information and donate using a debit card. And after they’ve done it once, the app saves their information, allowing for one-click donating the next time.

Previously, candidates, of course, could tweet out links for how people could donate.  However, that would take users to a separate URL, and as anyone who has every made a mobile purchase on their phone knows, those systems could be clunky and awkward. This system, since it’s integrated with Twitter, is much more advanced.  It is quicker, easier for donors to operate, and easier to tweet about.  It’s also smart for Square, since it gives candidates yet another reason to use their system as opposed to another, like PayPal or Google Wallet.  Additionally, this will make it easy for supporters to tweet and share donation information about their selected candidates.

Chalk this one up to the latest integration between the campaign, fundraising and social media world.  This could also be important to more than just Presidential candidates – since it is available to political candidates of all levels, it can be important to hooking in your already existing social networks into your fundraising apparatus.  Frankly, I’ll be using it when I run for reelection – and I may open a Square account instead of a PayPal one.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

Social Media growth

New Pew report looks at social media demographics among Americans

A new Pew report is out; the report takes a look at social media use in America.  It’s findings, as always, help to illuminate the state of social media.

I would highly recommend that you check out the entire report, but from my perspective at least, here are the major findings and insights:

  • Messaging Apps are growingwith 36% of all smartphone users using such an app, and 17% using an app which automatically deletes a message.  Users of these apps tend to be younger than 29, college educated and live in an urban area.
  • Facebook growth has slowed, but that’s largely a result of it having less room to grow.  Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow at high rates; Twitter’s growth has completely plateaued, and LinkedIn has actually shrunk….?
  • In terms of demographics of specific platforms:
    • Facebook is more popular among women than men.  Users are also young and have high levels of income.
    • Pinterest has the highest gender disparity of all networks (44% of women vs. 16% of men).  It’s users are young, less wealthy than Facebook and more suburban/rural than urban.
    • Instagram is the most popular network for racial minorities.  It’s users are overwhelmingly young.
    • LinkedIn has a strikingly even gender ratio, older users, and the most educated and wealthiest user base.
    • Twitter users are relatively even across important demographic variables, except for geographic location, which skew urban.
  • In terms of frequency of use, Facebook does the best, followed by Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

What does this say about the current state of social media?  A few things:

  • Messaging apps are here to stay and should be used accordingly.
  • Serious demographic disparities exist between all platforms, and your social media use should be tailored accordingly.
  • Facebook is still the undisputed king.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.