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Unwrapping Social platforms: no more black boxes

Presenting metrics that matter and insights you should take into 2019

Happy holidays from the Pex team. In the spirit of the season, we decided to give you the gift of…data! The perfect stocking stuffer.

In 2018, Pex has been working with leading brands and media companies to help address their social video analytics needs on digital. A common pain point we hear is that analysts, marketers, and other decision makers are frustrated by the walled gardens of information they are forced to operate in. Their patchwork of single platform tools creates scattered data across their analytics stack, failing to generate proper insights to drive business outcomes.

We want marketers to focus on what matters, not wasting valuable time pulling reports from one platform to the next and still not having answers to the questions they value. Pex is building a centralized product suite that leverages our global warehouse of social content across all (40+) platforms directed by your objectives. We’re consolidating redundancies and building a self-serve product suite that captures your brand’s entire social performance with tools to answer measurement, market share, and contextualize platforms in real time.

By now you are in the midst of holiday marketing crunch, relentlessly working to grab consumer eyeballs across your campaigns. To shed some light on this period, Pex analyzed the uploads hitting each platform over the holiday season to understand how activity on each social platform changes throughout this time. Later we’ll dive into some specific holiday songs to see how they are performing and propagating new UGC (user-generated content).

What is the most festive site on the internet?

Pex took a look at all uploads over the 2017 holiday season and flagged those that contained holiday themes.

Imgur stands alone with holiday themes appearing in over 7% of all videos posted between December 1st and January 6th. Below we break it down day by day and compare it to YouTube and Twitter for reference.

Imgur maintains a healthy level of holiday content throughout December and peaks on Christmas Day itself with ⅓ of all video posts featuring holiday themes. After a few days rest, the festivities spike again on New Year’s Day.

Marketers may want to consider adding Imgur into their holiday marketing mix given the site’s unique spirit around the holidays. Imgur caters to the season by facilitating a site-wide secret Santa gift exchange. Users go all out crafting thoughtful gifts for complete strangers, and posts from Imgurians unwrapping their secret Santa gifts are viral hits on the site. Even celebrities have gotten involved and given some amazing gifts. Must have been nice to have Bill Gates as your secret Santa.

Another holiday tradition on the site was started 3 years ago when the user @phsnyc started donating his frequent flyer miles to fellow users who couldn’t afford to fly home for the holidays. Now, Imgur supports his annual effort and users vote on who will receive his free flights.

How do site upload rates change over the holidays?

Beyond holiday-themed posts, the overall usage of social sites changes throughout the season. There are some general trends but also site-specific holiday impacts. Understanding these can help refine your own holiday marketing campaigns.

We took a look at the rate of all video uploads to the Big 4 social sites over the holiday period. Their average uploads are as follows:

In 2017 YouTube remained the most active site for video uploads at roughly 3x more uploads than any of the other three sites, but compared to the year prior, that gap is closing.

Those numbers show scale and growth rates, but also of interest is examining the day to day fluctuations in activity observed over the holidays. There are some general trends, but each site does not react the same to the season. Below are the daily performance charts for each site over the 2017 season:

YouTube is the most consistent throughout the holidays as it doesn’t experience large peaks and valleys. Saturdays and Sundays are the most active days with Sunday, December 3rd showing the strongest deviation above the average at 12% more uploads than normal. Christmas Day itself is the quietest at 9% fewer posts than the season’s average.

Instagram is quite consistent with peak activity each Sunday, and this trend continued the Sunday of Christmas Eve. Users were even more active on Christmas Day which is a phenomenon unique to Instagram. The usage lull the day after on the 26th, however, is common to other sites. Also in line with other sites was peak activity on December 31 (19% above average), while January 2nd was least active (15% below average).

Twitter doesn’t display the recurring weekly fluctuation seen by the other major platforms as its day-to-day usage is fairly consistent. It does show the familiar holiday season min and max with New Year’s Eve at 25% above average and December 26th 16% below.

Facebook activity is the most variable. It experiences localized peaks each Friday, while the global peak is on New Year’s Eve with 39% more video posts than normal for the season. The day after Christmas is 20% more dormant than average.

Holiday Song Insights

Separate from the high-level holiday investigation, we decided to take a look at a collection of the most famous holiday songs and see how they have been performing this 2018 season. One fact that emerged is that while listening started to ramp up in November, the first Sunday of December is the day that the world gets in the spirit with holiday music. The trend exists in all videos analyzed, and below are visuals of daily views from a select few holiday music videos on YouTube to illustrate the point:

We decided to dig deeper into one of the most popular songs this time of year — Mariah Carey’s smash hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. The YouTube version of the song has earned over 492 million views to date, but that stat only tells part of the story. Pex found over 242,000 copies uploaded to social platforms around the net which have generated an additional 1.6 billion views!

Looking across those 242,000 copies, Pex identifies the most popular moments of the song. Initially, the story is intuitive as the most popular moment occurs when the energy picks up and the song gets going at the 54 second mark. Each subsequent moment of the song becoming less and less popular from there. But the story became more nuanced when the analysis is isolated to copies that use the visuals of the music video, not simply the audio. Those findings are visualized below.

The opening minute is quite popular. This is where the stage is set that Mariah doesn’t care about presents, but instead only wants you for Christmas. Then at moment 1 we hit the peak popularity of the video where the driving drums have entered, the energy ramps up, and she declares “I don’t want a lot of Christmas, there is just one thing I need”.

Moment 2 is the next spike in popularity which leads up to the hook of the song saying “I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know,” “make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you!”

We hope these insights brought you digital media-obsessed boys and girls the gifts you dreamt for this holiday season. If you’re hoping for more, then feel free to reach out to jolly old St. Pex. Our workshop has been busy developing new analytic products for 2019 to address digital media questions small and large alike. (puns stop here…we promise)

We’re launching the first release of our analytics suite in Q1 to illuminate the performance of singular videos that garner UGC uploads, providing a collective global social measurement.

We look forward to sharing our new products as they launch. In the meantime feel free to reach out to learn how Pex might be able to facilitate your work with social video.

Seasons greetings,

The Pex team

Want to learn more?

Get in touch at hello@pex.com to see how we can help you measure your content across digital, inform you on what you’re missing, and map it to your objectives.

We look forward to hearing from you in 2019!

All I Want For Christmas Is You GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY