June 23, 2015

Do Facebook videos improve reach and engagement?

Did you hear? Facebook wants its users to stay on Facebook for longer periods of time.

You shouldn’t be surprised. That’s what all markets want, right? Audience duration is key, and Facebook is recognizing that.

The worst part: Facebook seems to be emphasizing this new goal when it comes to people reach and engagement. Take your fans off Facebook and your will pay the price.

As a publishing company, this was hard to stomach. We use Facebook — and social media in general — to drive traffic to our websites. And because some of our YouTube channels have paid sponsorships, we use Facebook to drive traffic to our video content.

For the first few weeks after the announcement was made, we continued business as usual and we paid the price. Instead of uploading videos directly to Facebook, we posted YouTube links and watched our reach decline.

Something needed to change. We planned to continue to use YouTube and Facebook for video purposes, but realized that we would have to do it a little differently. And we would have to invest a little more time to make it all work.

Step One: First and foremost, upload your new videos to your YouTube channel. Subscribers will be notified of the new video and encouraged to watch it.

If you’re like us, uploading videos to YouTube will also guarantee that your videos appear on your websites.

Step Two: Don’t forget about your other social networks! If you use Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn for business, copy the YouTube video link and share it with your audience.

Step Three: Post the video on Facebook. No, not the link. Post the original video on your Facebook page under the “Video” tab. The famous algorithm will recognize this and send it out to a large chunk of your audience.

Step Four: Track the analytics. This may be the most important part of the whole process. How will you know if your hard work is paying off if you’re ignoring the statistics?

Believe it or not, this was a Facebook change that improved our reach. (Perhaps the only change that has a positive effect for us.)

Here’s proof:

Michigan Pomesters Honors Joe Klein Sr. — published by Fruit Growers News

YouTube Video Views: 35

Facebook Video Views: 1,194

Asparagus: The Most Perishable Vegetable — published by Vegetable Growers News

YouTube Video Views: 47

Facebook Video Views: 115

Partnership puts Salad Bars in Michigan Schools — published by Produce Processing

YouTube Video Views: 7

Facebook Video Views: 151

Crafting the Perfect Highlight Video — published by Coach and Athletic Director

YouTube Video Views: 9

Facebook Video Views: 367

Progression Drill: Working up to 5-on-5 Play — published by Winning Hoops

YouTube Video Views: 238

Facebook Video Views: 1,239

Yes, our YouTube views have decreased significantly, but our Facebook views have grown exponentially.

That’s how marketing works. Things change, technology improves, but we study and learn and execute the plan that will benefit us most.

It’s time to embrace the change!