Patterns, numbers, equations, those are the things that I believe very brilliant business people study. The old adage “You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure” is definitely true. How do we manage things? We measure them. How do we measure them? By counting them. When looking back over my successes and failures I can definitely tie my successes back to multiple attempts. I can see the number of tries, number of attempted solutions, and number of times that I got up and tried again. I saw this quote this morning and it reminded me of numbers once again:
“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity… If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.” ~ U.S. Navy SEALs
Success often depends on how many times we are willing to try something. Thomas Edison supposedly answered this way when he was asked about the thousands (3 thousand according to some people) of attempts he had made at finding the right fillament for the incandescent light bulb:
“I didn’t fail 3,000 times. I found 3,000 ways how not to create a lightbulb” ~ Thomas Edison
That may sound like a comedic answer to mask the sting of failure, but I believe that that attitude was the secret to Thomas Edison’s successes. If you can see today’s failures as just positive learning opportunities that bring you closer to the success you are seeking then you’ll find each single attempt to be worthwhile. It’s just one of the numbers you have to cross off on the journey of success.
Part One: Youtube Optional Interactions
This weekend while I was watching some of my favorite artists on Youtube I started “liking” some of the videos using the Like button under the video player. I noticed something interesting after checking it out on a few dozen videos. The ratio of likes to views was basically the same no matter how many views they had gotten.
For example, take a look at a video that has relatively low views How To Get More Followers On Twitter. As I write this, the video has 18 likes and 6,712 views. I drop that equation into finder and here is what I see:
18 divided by 6,712 = .002681764005 or in simpler terms, .27%. That means for the almost seven thousand viewers, only .27 percent took action on “Liking” it. Liking of course is the optional action that they can take if they want to take some soft action on their enjoyment of the video.
Now take a look at Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire. As I write this, the video has 11,886 likes and 4,117,092 views. Once again I calculate the likes versus views and here is what I see:
11,886 divided by 4,117,092 = .002886989166 or in simpler terms, .29%. The numbers are within 2 hundredths of a percent even though we are talking about 4,110,380 more views. I started running this equation on all the videos I was watching and found that overall most videos fell in the .002 range. Here and there you will find one under .002 or over .004 but the pattern is to have .002 percentage of likes to views.
Alright, now that you know this, what does that have to do with anything? This could mean absolutely nothing to you, or lead you to realizing that the numbers involved in day to day social media, sales, management, and the technical work that you do all have a pattern if you do them consistently.
For me, looking at this data about how many “likes” are received versus views made me want to investigate more how many people share a video after they watch it. I’m certain the ratio is much higher. I hope to find this information soon. I did realize that optional interactions like this that users can choose to do or not do are pretty low compared to views. Comparably when I look at a recent posting on my Facebook page as the administrator I can see that I’ve had 135+ impressions on most things I’ve shared there, but rarely any likes. If the math holds true for this social media site as well then I would have to get over 500 impressions to get a single like.
Why Does This Matter?
The fact that I can show you the ratio of views to likes may or may not affect your life today directly as it relates to Youtube or Facebook. It should make you consider anything you work with that involves numbers though. If you can take a step back and look at the numbers that are involved in your day to day business and life you can see patterns in anything that you do on a consistent basis. You can look at you the patterns of numbers and sequences around you and learn to expect what you’ve determined from your study of the numbers.
Today, think about the adage “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Schedule some time to sit back and take a broad overview of your business. Learn to see the patterns in what is going on around you. You’ll be surprised to see what you find.