Facebook has grown to be much more than just a social media platform – it has become an excellent marketing platform by finding new and innovative ways to reach business users. For years, the measure of success on Facebook has been engagement – clicks, comments, reviews and likes. Facebook’s dwell time metric could change all of that and finally provide the breakthrough marketers have wanted for years.
What is Dwell Time?
Marketers have talked about dwell time for years, but so far it has been immeasurable – losing potentially key information about how Facebook users interact with content. Simply, it measures the amount of time a user hovers over something. This may not seem like much, but some users deliberate on whether or not to click a link or a page. It’s a great way of separating those sitting on the fence (who may be interested in your content) from those who simply scroll on by (no interest in your content). It’s not just about links either; there are some key dwell time elements for video.
How Does It Work?
Facebook’s new dwell time metric has three concepts at its core to calculate engagement:
- Estimated Ad Recall Lift (number of people): This determines the extra number of people the site estimates will remember seeing your ad or video when asked anything up to 48 hours later
- Estimated Ad Recall Lift Rate: This metric is calculated by estimating a number of people who will remember seeing your ad or video, divided by the number of people that it actually reached
- Cost Per Estimated Ad Recall Lift (People): This is the calculated average cost per extra user that Facebook estimates will recall seeing your video or advertisement when asked anything up to 48 hours later
Facebook estimates around 60% greater engagement for those who adopt the dwell time metric compared to those who stick with the standard engagement measures.
Benefits of the Dwell Time Concept to Video
This is a general marketing tool useful for organizations with a Facebook presence. However, there are two clear benefits of applying dwell time metric to video content.
It Accounts for the Hoverers
While video is already the medium type with the largest engagement, there are no guarantees. Facebook users are interested in reading what the video is about before deciding to watch or not watch. It has rarely been possible to measure users who hover over your video for a short period before moving on or watching meaning that you could not measure the effectiveness of the despite accompanying text. Dwell time will account for this type of interaction.
It Accounts for the Pausers
Internet users have a love-hate relationship with autoplay videos. Most say they dislike the feature but it has increased customer engagement overall; autoplay is here to stay as a web marketing tool. It’s not always clear what users dislike about it; perhaps some users prefer to read the text first and then watch the video. Dwell time takes into account those who pause videos and then resume play after a while or simply move away without watching.