The 5 Things Marketers Are Saying About Vine’s Loop Count

Initial brand stats surprise

Vine yesterday revealed a "loop count" metric to show marketers and users how often people are watching their six-second videos. Prior to the metric's availability, they had to focus on likes, comments and revines (same as a retweet) to measure the impact of their social clips. Loops have replaced revines on the platform.

The development comes as a relief to brands such as Tide, Milk Bone, Charmin and Red Vines that regularly put resources into the 18-month-old social media platform.

Here's what marketers had to say about Vine's "loop count."

1. It's about time. Prior to the metric, marketers couldn't see how many views they were generating on Vine. Loops help brands justify putting budget toward the social videos.

"With digital/mobile spend being under intense scrutiny, the ability to measure the performance of content is key," explained Michael Kelly, senior media/consumer communications manager at American Licorice Company, which owns Red Vines. "Having an understanding of which content is keeping viewers engaged can a help to inform the creative direction or style of the Vines made in the future."

Slaven Radic, CEO of Tapstream, said the metric "will be a significant [key performance indicator] to watch for certain types of campaigns as in a sense it speaks to the video’s engagement level with the audience, something we couldn’t measure quite as directly before."

2. It shows major brands can gain traction. A quick scan of Vines shows bigger numbers than one might expect. Single efforts by Ford (3.4 million loops), Charmin (2.4 million) and Buick (1.3 million) are bringing in surprising numbers. To be clear, though, not all of those brands' efforts have performed so well virally. But once again, financials come to the forefront: It's going to be a lot easier turning these stats in to the brand CFO when compared to a few hundred comments and several thousand likes. And bigger numbers are going to please sales teams for social media marketing vendors.

"[Before], we would have to sell brands influencer videos, without knowing the impressions," said Eric Dahan, CEO of influencer marketing firm Instabrand.

3. Make the metric real. The loop count is far from perfect. Vines play automatically and can keep looping to drive up the loop number, and there's no guarantee anyone is watching. Twitter, Vine's parent, would be wise to ensure that the loop stats represent something close to reality.

"Vanity metrics can be rigged," said Jill Sherman, vp/group director, social, content strategy, DigitasLBi. "We've see this with fake fans and paid likes. If Vine can overcome this, the loop count will inevitably carry some bragging creds."

4. Please give us unique viewer metrics. Since Vine's looping feature also enables the count to include numerous views by a single person, it doesn't give marketers the clearest sense of the size of the audience they are reaching. And brands welcome more data.

A unique viewer number would enable them "to effectively compare the performance of marketing efforts on Vine relative to other platforms such as Facebook," Kelly from Red Vines said. "You can't compare what you can't measure. Vine's ability to earn a spot in marketer's media plans will depend on their ability to provide measureable data that marketers can use to gauge the performance of their efforts."

5. It could drive up what Vine influencers get paid to work with brands. At least that's what influencer marketing folks such as Instabrand's Dahanwould lead you to believe.

"Influencers are all of sudden rethinking their rates across the board and now feel that they have the leverage to charge what they should," he claimed. "In addition, influencers incentives are now aligned with brands since now they're truly able to charge based on impression, meaning the better the content, the better the payout." 

Here's that Charmin's big Vine loops generator mentioned earlier in the post.

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