I’ve consistently published short-form videos to TikTok, Facebook Reels, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and LinkedIn for most of the past six months and change. What was the impact on my presence (impressionsImpressions are the number of times your ads were displayed to your target audience. Impressions aren't counted if it is detected they came from bots. More, engagement, and followers) in each case?
Lots of context is necessary. First, I’ll explain the nature of my strategy. Then, we’ll go platform by platform, where we’ll evaluate performance before and after this commitment to short-form video.
This commitment to short-form video began with TikTok on September 30, 2022. I created 70 videos during October.
Eventually, this approach would spread to other platforms. After briefly experimenting with downloading the TikTok video and publishing it to Facebook and Instagram Reels, I’d eventually create my videos outside of any app and publish that same file to every platform.
I would not create unique content for each platform. It was the exact same file published to each location.
There was a time when I’d never consider doing such a thing. But I knew that I didn’t have the time or resources to create unique content everywhere. The options were repurposing the same content or focusing only on one or two apps.
I decided to spread my content around. This would allow me to learn some things:
1. Does it matter that this is the same content published on multiple platforms?
2. Would certain platforms always outperform others?
3. Would some platforms emerge as being more valuable than expected?
For this to work, volume was a necessity. I’ve published most days since I started this, but I’ve committed to publishing at least one video every day in 2023 (which I’ve accomplished so far).
Let’s go platform-by-platform.
Follow Me: tiktok.com/@jonloomer
Start Date: September 30, 2022
This is where it all started. I added 11 videos to TikTok prior to September 30, but they were rare and sporadic. On September 30, I marked the sand.
On one hand, my impact on TikTok is pretty easy to measure since 99% of my content created, impressions, engagement, and followers came from September 30 and on. Unfortunately, TikTok’s metrics are pretty awful as they only go back 60 days.
I do have nearly 12,000 followers right now, less than seven months after I started. And I also connected Agorapulse to my TikTok account beginning on December 13.
So, here’s a look at my account’s growth in followers from December 13 through April 23.
As you can see, I’ve added 6,638 followers during this time. That leaves another 5,132 for the three prior months. That’s a bit misleading since I also stopped running ads in early December, and about 3,000 of my followers came that route.
But you can see spikes in followers that came organically in February and March when a video took off. Also, I get more followers now on a typical day than I did previously.
Here’s a look at engagement for that same period (from Agorapulse).
Engagement was pretty slow until a video took off the week of February 11. While it’s clear I had a couple of spikes representing high-performing videos, the “floor” day for engagement rose significantly from that point.
Overall, I’m really happy with where I’m at on TikTok. I went from no presence at all to getting about 5,000 impressions per day now.
Follow Me: instagram.com/jonloomer
Start Date: September 30, 2022
I’ve had an Instagram account for years, but I’ve barely used it. From a business point of view, I mostly only had it for the Instagram ad placementA placement is a location where your ad is shown. Examples include Facebook's mobile Feed, Messenger, Instagram feed, Audience Network, right-hand column, and more. More. Otherwise, most of my posts to Instagram prior to September 30 were of my kids or dog (and even those were extremely rare).
At first, I merely published my TikTok videos with the TikTok watermark to Facebook and Instagram Reels. I didn’t stop doing that until November 3.
I’ve added nearly 3,000 Instagram followers since I started posting videos to Reels. That’s pretty impressive since I have 6,525 in all, so nearly half came in just the past seven months.
As you can see, that growth is up 1,400% compared to the prior period.
My Instagram Profile Visits are up 289%…
Here’s a fun look at the increase in post reactions, comments, and shares…
It was a ghost town until October!
Here’s a video I recorded about my growth on Instagram…
Follow Me: facebook.com/jonloomerdigital
Start Date: September 30, 2022
I’ve had my Facebook page since November of 2011. It’s where my social media presence as a business was born. My page has been through lots of ups and downs since then.
My page’s best year was probably 2017. But, I’d also say I hit the bottom in 2021. That was the first (and hopefully last) time my number of followers actually dropped from one year to the next.
To give you a visual representation of how Reels saved my page, here’s engagement from April 24 of 2022 through April 23 of 2023.
Even while including those horrendous months of April through September of 2022, engagement is still up 537%.
Let’s focus just on the time since I started sharing short-form videos to Facebook Reels. Engagement is up 1,187%.
While engagement is down a bit since the early spike when I started, I can still make some reasonable projections based on what has happened so far this year.
I’m projecting the following:
- Organic Impressions: 3,745,000 (+182%)
- Total Engagement: 768,273 (+219%)
- Follower Growth: +1,812
Yes, Reels saved my page.
Here’s a video I recorded about my growth on Facebook…
Follow Me: youtube.com/jonloomer
Start Date: November 3, 2022
I have a complicated history with YouTube. I started my channel in 2012 and recently surpassed 15,000 subscribers. My best years on YouTube were probably from 2013 to 2014, but I’ve used it very inconsistently since then.
Let’s focus on recent history. Here’s a look at video views on my channel beginning January 1, 2022…
Pretty obvious when this started, right?
During the time since I’ve been posting videos to Shorts, I’ve added 992 subscribers with nearly 56,000 views.
Let’s use the period of January 1, 2021 through November 2, 2022 for comparison. This is the nearly 22 months immediately prior to starting with Shorts. This is about three times longer than the time I’ve been posting Shorts (more, actually), and I had only 43,000 views (fewer) and 1,600 subscribers (600 more) during that time.
While I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the performance of my videos on YouTube compared to the platforms mentioned so far, I can’t complain. Shorts have given my channel some life. And things do seem to be improving.
Here’s a video I recorded about my growth on YouTube…
Follow Me: linkedin.com/in/jonloomer
Start Date: November 6, 2022
Now, I understand that LinkedIn isn’t technically a short-form video platform. And they actually prefer square videos, so posting my stuff there may have been out of place.
Initially, I placed my videos on a square canvas to compensate. But eventually, I just resorted to publishing the exact same video to LinkedIn, too.
Keep in mind that I have been relatively active on LinkedIn already for the past year or so. Once I started sharing my videos there, I actually pulled back on sharing the stuff I normally would.
Would that be a negative? Let’s see…
Impressions have been consistently higher since I started posting my videos in November. Unfortunately, I can’t isolate the time period to focus on November 6 to April 24 to see how it compared to the prior period.
Engagement shows a similar improvement.
Even if you eliminate my big spike of new followers in January, the new followers added are pretty clearly higher now than they were before.
I decided to export my data to get a closer look. Instead of looking at it by day, let’s go by month.
Here are impressions…
And new followers…
While my presence on LinkedIn was already pretty solid, sharing my videos every day (that were shared to many different platforms) instead of my typical behavior didn’t hurt my growth. It may have actually helped it.
Here’s a video I recorded about my growth on LinkedIn…
I’ve actually shared my videos to three other platforms as well. I’m not going to dig into those results because I haven’t been doing it very long.
I’m not seeing much with any of these three, to be honest. I may not continue much longer with them unless I start seeing more impact.
First, I don’t think I need to spend much time convincing you that publishing these videos to the five platforms has been an enormous positive for my social media presence. I know that the next question is whether it led to business or revenue but 1. That misses the point, and 2. Yes, I’ve had examples of where it’s led to revenue. I just have to rely on people telling me that, so it’s not easy to measure.
Next, which platform has been most impactful? That’s actually tough to say, and that’s a good thing. I will say that the top three performing platforms tend to be TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. But the fun part is that it’s not always in that order.
Sometimes, a video does best on TikTok. Sometimes it surges on Facebook. Instagram has given me some big numbers. You just never know. And that’s actually the beauty of this. I’m getting results, and it’s not because of one platform.
What’s most exciting to me is that this is still so early. How will this look once I’ve published a video every day to each of these platforms for all of 2023?
I can’t wait to find out!
Start Your Own Short-Form Video Journey
To say I’m bullish on short-form video is an understatement. But I also understand first-hand how difficult it is to get started. If you haven’t, you need to. It’s hard. It’s scary. And it’s frustrating. But it’s oh, so worth it.
I created a training called The Short-Form Video Blueprint to help beginners get going. It includes so much of what I’ve learned during this journey.
I hope you’ll join me there!
I’m curious what you think of the impact of short-form video, either on my own social media presence or yours.
Let me know in the comments below!