March 31st, 2015 / by Andrew Shusterman

Upload Your Videos to Facebook!

If you aren’t uploading videos directly to Facebook you are blowing it! Facebook is fighting to become a major player in the online video market, so it’s no surprise that you get much higher reach when you upload a video to Facebook’s video player vs. posting a YouTube link. Here is an informative Business Insider article by Lara O’Reilly that delves further into this topic.

This blog post is here to give you some useful tips and reinforce why uploading videos vs. inserting external third party video links (like YouTube and Vimeo) on Facebook will help your posts reach more people and significantly increase engagement.

FACEBOOK TIP #1:
Avoid “sharing” videos. Whenever possible, upload the video. If you see a video on Facebook that you want to share, click on the timestamp link located above the copy of the post / below the name of the Facebook page.
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Then, copy the url of the video and paste it into a program like downfacebook.com to download the video file so you can then upload to your Facebook page.

If you share a video, your reach and engagement are guaranteed to be lower. You might be thinking, “Why would Facebook limit your organic reach if you’re sharing videos within Facebook?” The answer is simple: You aren’t being punished for sharing videos, but you will be rewarded if you upload a video to their player. Remember, Facebook is competing with YouTube and they want to increase the number of videos uploaded to their player.

Below is an example of a Nike post that shared a video, which happened to be from the Nike Basketball page. The reach and engagement were high, but when you consider that Nike has nearly 21 million followers, the results aren’t very impressive. If they had uploaded this video, perhaps it would have seen a reach of 2, 3, 4 or even 10 times more than the amount the shared post received.
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FACEBOOK TIP #2:
If you have to promote an external url link try uploading a video when appropriate. For example, when I want to promote a product for one of the brand pages I manage, I try to find a video to upload vs. image. The video will counteract the lower reach Facebook is going to give your post due to that external link. Below is an example of a sales-related post that utilized a video to counteract the negative effect of the external link.
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FACEBOOK TIP #3:
DO NOT POST YOUTUBE LINKS ALONE! If you have to post a link to YouTube, at least take a screen shot of the video or upload an image related to the video and then mask the link, using a web-shortening website like bitly.com. Your post will perform better than without, trust me.

EXAMPLE OF AN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL FACEBOOK VIDEO POST…
I help manage pro skateboarder Curren Caples’ Facebook page and below is an example of the most successful video post his page (or for that matter any of the pages I manage) has ever seen. It reached nearly 2.9 million people, was viewed by almost 957,000 and shared 3,030 times! Remember, uploading a video will undoubtedly increase your reach and engagement, but if the content is crap, don’t expect any miracles. This video of Curren playing on a trampoline with his surfboard had several factors that gave it record high reach and engagement:

1. The copy is minimal. One to two sentences will do much better than a paragraph.
2. There isn’t any external link, thus allowing the uploaded video to assist in the highest possible organic reach.
3. Timing. Get to know your audience and where they are geographically. If most of your followers live in Europe, you won’t want to post content at 5:30pm PST because even though that might be a high traffic time for North Americans, it’s early morning in Europe, which will result in much lower engagement.
4. Strong content. Again, this is crucial! Don’t just post a video to post a video. If the video isn’t relevant to the post or just plain sucks, people aren’t going to engage with the post, which will ultimately affect the reach. And of course, you’re risking the possibility of garnering negative comments!
5. Luck. I could have posted the same exact thing the day before or even the same day at a different time and received lower reach and engagement. Sometimes you just hit that perfect moment when most of your audience is online, less competitors are clogging the feed, etc. In the end, you can replicate success by studying the Facebook analytics for your page and get to know the location and behaviors of your audience. 
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