Your Facebook Live/Video Audience isn’t “All That”

Church, Business Leaders, and Communicators,

During these times we’ve all jumped on the video bandwagon on social media. Many of us have no clue what we are doing, and yet that shouldn’t hold us back either. But that’s not what this writing is all about.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about your audience, more specifically, the audience that Facebook or Youtube tell you you have. When looking at the insights for your videos, each has their way of telling you some numbers. And come on, be honest, the bigger the number the happier we are, right? But, what good is a number if it doesn’t speak the truth to you? Zero. So, real quick I wanted to use Facebook as an example, using my own more “popular” videos I’ve posted recently on my own church page.

The bottom line here is you need to understand the metrics on your FB and YT message performance. If you don’t understand them, then you can’t truly grade how well your message is connecting. The numbers can mislead you easily.

So, these numbers below are from MY two best “performing” videos on our church FB page:

The numbers you are likely to see up front are the estimated reach numbers. However, we should pay more attention to the 3-second views and average watch time to really get the truth about our audience.

Reach – 373 and 643

3 Sec Views – 217 and 358

Ave Time Watched – 17-sec and 13-sec! 😭

The same goes for the “Ads” you paid for. I created one that ran for 7 days (Very targeted less than 2 miles and specific demographics):

Reach – 1,770

Impressions – 3,238 (means it simply showed up in the feed)

3 Sec Views – 451

Ave Time Watched – 2-secs! (of a 15 second video of still images).

In Innovate Church’s case, we have a whole 92-person page audience to begin with, so I don’t expect big numbers on anything. But, if I were to quickly glance and think nothing about the Facebook is giving me, I’d be thinking a lot more highly about our recent videos than reality leads me to…hence continuing to under perform my hopes and goals for posting.

So, while we have a captive audience at home right now, and we all have the internet, it doesn’t mean we are getting our message to them just because Facebook or YouTube give you some numbers that appease your ego. There is more to those numbers up front that you have to dig in to.

On a positive note, keep working on what you are putting out there and keep posting. The audience will build but you need to keep your eye on the real metrics to build upon. Getting started at anything is usually a slow process.

A Year of Changes

If you’ve been to this site before you may be shocked at what you’re seeing now. “Where’d the pictures go? I thought this was a photographer?” My apologies if that is you. Consider this just part of my changes.

Two years ago, I began the New Year with the plan to reconnect with my faith, communication with God, and decided I would lay my photography aside for at least the first ninety days. Ninety days has quite frankly turned into two years now. And while I still fantasize about the business dream from time to time, I simply don’t have the time due to the journey the Lord has set me on.

I would say that the Lord blessed my decision inlaying aside my photography dreams in 2018.  I’d volunteered as a youth pastor for almost twenty years and then finally the paid director position opened up seemingly out of the blue at our church. In July 2018, I was hired on and immediately hit the ground running hard. This was my real dream job!

I jumped in with a Summer’s worth of activities that kept us hopping and breathed new life in the ministry at that church. We began a full renovation of the youth space, new curriculum for the year, and real communication efforts were being made. All in all, great improvements due to the passion I had for the ministry. Things were awesome!

Then another change hit, eventually coming to a head at the beginning of 2019. Various events, trainings, and a word from the Lord set me in a new, never dreamed of, direction. The Lord called me to plant a new kind of church. Our church, at the time, felt it better that I leave them in January to begin my journey, and in this I witnessed that the Lord was at work giving me the needed time off from that responsibility so that I could delve into this new journey.

In my “day job,” things also changed. My superior moved to a new position which then opened his position for me to move into. I did what was best and took the opportunity to move up as well. This too has been a blessing in many ways.

High overview

So all of this is why I’ve taken down the photos I’ve made over the past few years, and why I’ve left the photography business…for now. At the end of November we finally opened up our “basement” church in our home after spending a couple of months renovating it and making it ready for folks to come in. 

I am so looking forward to the changes the Lord is going to bring in 2020 for us. What I hope to do here is provide encouragement and teachings that may help you in your journey. So, stay tuned and be praying for us if you don’t mind.

Peace and Merry Christmas to you and yours!