The rise of short-form, vertical video has truly skyrocketed in recent years. Driving this consumer love is newbie in the social platform game, TikTok. The app was the most downloaded in 2021 — the third year in a row that it has held the number one spot. And whether you love or loathe the app, TikTok is becoming increasingly hard to ignore for social media marketers, with its audience numbers across demographics growing more significant by the day.
This sudden surge in audience interest for short “snackable” video content led to other platforms with no choice other than to keep up with the trend, with YouTube and Instagram releasing their own versions, Shorts and Reels retrospectively.
Realising the potential to grow and reach a larger audience via these platforms, brands big and small are working rapidly on their short-video strategy. But how can they measure success on these relatively ‘new’ platforms? Fortunately, both TikTok and Reels have released integral ‘Insights’ sections to help social media managers measure and track their performance. Like all areas of marketing, analytics can really help brands and influencers take some of the guesswork out of their content creation strategy, allowing them to create videos that generate more views and boost visibility. In this latest Slate blog, we’ll talk you through some of the most important metrics to track for both your TikTok and Reel content.
Understanding your performance on TikTok
Where can I find TikTok insights? To explore analytics on TikTok, simply head to your profile, click on the three dots in the right-hand corner, tap ‘Creator Tools’ and then ‘Analytics’. This will give you your overview metrics. For individual insights per TikTok, head to the video you would like data on, tap the three buttons on the right, then tap ‘Analytics’.
For TikTok, the data and analytics around your content are separated into three separate tabs: Overview, Content, and Followers. Each section provides valuable data for social media marketers that can help them understand things such as what type of content is getting the most engagement, what video length works best, what content isn’t working so well, and so on. Let’s look at each tab in more depth.
The ‘Overview’ section of the Analytics tab does exactly what it says on the tin. Here you’ll find more general insights from a choice of the last seven days, 28 days, 60 days, or your own customisable date range up to 60 days. The metrics you will find in the Overview tab include:
- Video views: number of times your video is watched within the selected period
- Profile views: how many times your profile was visited within the selected period
- Likes: the number of likes your videos received over the selected time period
- Comments: the number of comments your videos received over the time period selected
- Shares: the number of shares your videos received over the time period chosen
- Followers: The total number of users who follow your account
- Content: The number of videos shared from your profile over the selected time period
- LIVE: the number of live videos you have hosted over the selected time period
The Content tab uncovers valuable data around your video content including ‘top trending’ videos for the past week, those videos with the fastest growth. It’s important to note here that all content metrics are available for the last 7 days only.
In the ‘Content metrics’ tab, you can also access deeper insights with extended data and analytics per individual video post (you can also access this data by heading to your published video). Here you will find information such as total views, total likes, comments and shares, as well as:
- Average watch time: the amount of time spent watching your video once
- Watched full video: the percentage of viewers who watched the entire video
- Traffic source type: where viewers found your video i.e. your profile, the For You page etc
- Audience territories: where your video traffic is coming from by country
The last section is the Followers tab. It is here where you will discover useful insights about your followers. This includes:
- Follower count: total number of followers plus how many followers you’ve gained or lost week over week
- Gender: the distribution of followers by gender
- Top Territories: where your followers are located per country. (Hint: This is useful information for understanding if you are reaching the target audience for your brand.)
- Follower activity: shows what time your followers are most active on the platform – (hint: extremely helpful for understanding the best time to post content
Understanding your performance on Instagram Reels
Where can I find Reel insights? To access analytics on Reels, first open the Instagram mobile app, tap the ‘Insights’ button just below the bio of your business or creator account. Here you will get an overview. If you would like to see the analytics for specific Reels, you’ll need to head to the Reels section of your profile, click on the video you want, tap the three dots on the right-hand side, and then tap ‘View insights’.
For Instagram Reels, data to help social media professionals better understand and evaluate their performance is broken down into two categories: ‘Insights’ and ‘Interactions’.
Here users can find metrics for individual posts including:
- Duration: the length of the Reel
- Reach: this tells you how many unique IG users saw your Reel at least once
- Plays: the number of times your Reel has been played
Next up is Reel Interactions, which is home to your engagement metrics. This includes:
- Likes: the number of people who ‘Liked’ your Reel
- Comments: the number of comments your Reel received
- Shares: how many times someone shared your Reel with another user (hint: this helps highlight share-worthy content topics)
- Saved: the number of people who “saved” your post
Why it’s important to track analytics for TikTok and Reels
Platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok can be an absolute goldmine of a marketing opportunity for brands and businesses across all industries. As these channels become an integral component of brands’ content strategies, social media marketers must understand the value of analysing data in order to get the most out of short-form video.
Tracking performance via the metrics outlined above can provide you with rich data such as:
- Whether your audience tends to prefer shorter or longer clips
- Which topics gain the most interest from your audience
- What content style is driving the most success
- What time of day is best for posting in terms of engagement
- If the hashtags you are using are driving traffic to your profile
… plus so much more.
By identifying what content is performing best in terms of reach and engagement, you can focus on creating more of the same which will no doubt lead to increased growth for your brand.
But while analytics are extremely useful in helping social media professionals understand the performance of their video content, it’s important not to get too lost in them. As TikTok itself suggests:
“It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”
Basically, don’t get too disheartened if some of your videos perform differently than others. Fluctuations in activity are completely normal and sometimes, no matter how brilliant a piece of content may be, the algorithms just simply don’t work in our favour. Nevertheless, taking time out each month to review your performance is an important task in the journey of creating content that truly resonates with your audience. And finally, remember — experimentation is a key part of the creation process for TikTok and Reels. Don’t be afraid to take risks with your content and be a trend-setter rather than a trend-follower. Don’t let the data stifle your creativity in the journey of business growth!
Social media has become saturated with brands competing for your target audience’s attention. If you want to get your social media posts noticed, you must find ways to stand out from the sea of posts from better-established brands.
Learn more about how Slate can help transform your social media content and schedule a demo today.