It’s difficult to imagine an easier question than: What social network should I put my video on?
The answer is simple: YouTube.
YouTube is one of, if not the most powerful, video social networks around. Started in 2005 by three former PayPal employees the site was sold to Google just over a year later for 1.65 billion dollars. This marked the first of the major Internet acquisitions. Whilst there was a great deal of shock at the high price tag; a billion dollar sale is now a lot more normal. This just proves how far we’ve come in such a small amount of time.
But Facebook, the world’s largest social network, also has its own video capabilities. Except almost no one is using them. What people tend to do is upload their videos to YouTube and then simply link them to their Facebook pages or Twitter profiles. It just seems so much easier. Your videos are being kept in one place and in turn they can easily be linked across the social sphere. For Twitter and Google+ (Google+ especially as G+ favours YouTube for obvious reasons) that’s all well and good. Except that, as we’ve mentioned before, your organic reach is suffering substantially due to the changes that Facebook is making to the newsfeed.
So how do we get better organic reach without having to dip into our pockets and pay the piper?
We do it Facebook’s way.
That’s right. Facebook has had us all wake up with the proverbial horse’s head in our bed and now we have to play by their rules. This means using all of their native applications and programs whilst smiling about it. Their insights into pages are actually top notch (allowing you to decide what time of day you should post, to what demographic and you can easily target based on location) and their posting system is more than up to the task. With the changes that Facebook is rolling out to pages later this month we’ll see how engagement improves over the long-term and whether or not Facebook will do away with the ability to produce applications.
Oh…and upload with Facebook video.
Recently SocialBakers did a fantastic study on engagement in native video vs YouTube. They find that Facebook videos get 40% more engagement than their YouTube links of the same video. What this means is that Facebook is organically pushing up the reach of their native videos vs YouTube clips.
This does not surprise me at all. If you want to play in Facebook’s sandbox then you’ve got to follow their rules.
But where does this leave poor old YouTube?
Well it depends. Facebook videos aren’t nearly as popular as YouTube and outside of Facebook no one is going to watch the clips that are posted. There’s also the danger of segmenting your audience and dividing your stats. That’s worrying for anyone who wants to keep their audience in one, single homogenous group.
So we propose a middle ground. Upload to both.
Upload to YouTube for sharing to your networks such as Twitter or Google+ and LinkedIn but upload again to Facebook video to take advantage of the organic reach.
Yes. This does mean that you’ll be uploading your videos twice AND separating your audience. But it’s a painful necessity of the social media world we live in today.