YouTube versus Facebook Video

We all know that video is one of the most powerful marketing tools that exists in today’s Social Media world.

Video allows us to provide a more in-depth, clearer picture of our businesses, and what they can provide–how they can help. Beyond words, video captures people’s attention, and (hopefully) holds it longer.

Facebook versus YouTube video

You have many tools to choose from; YouTube, of course, being the first. YouTube has 1.6 Million active monthly users, dedicated totally to video. Facebook has more active monthly users (just over 2 Billion), but video is not it’s focal point, though it grows in popularity all the time.

Facebook’s algorithm gives highest priority to video–native video–that is, video that has been uploaded into Facebook. Basically, Facebook wants to whup YouTube at its own game, so it rewards you for uploading or creating video on its platform.

But which is the best for your business? To some degree, it depends on where your audience is. If you’ve spent a bunch of time building up your Facebook following, but you have no following on YouTube, Facebook is probably your best bet.

Either way, let’s have a look at the analytics. What you may not have known about the analytics on YouTube versus the analytics on Facebook is that they are very different. YouTube counts 1 view when someone has watched your video for 30 seconds. On Facebook, however, 1 view is counted after just 3 seconds of watching. Now, if you take into account that most people have auto-play turned on on their FB account, you could score a view (according to Facebook) by just scrolling slowly past a video that’s playing. Yeah. It’s deceptive.

Let’s look at an example. I posted this video on Facebook on October 12. I don’t have the exact number for views on this video because of a FB glitch, but I know it got just under 300 views.

When I posted this same video on YouTube on October 14, it got 47 views.

So, if we pretend that view on Facebook is 30 seconds, then we can say that 100 people watched my video on Facebook, as opposed to slightly less than 50 on YouTube. Now, to be fair, my potential audience on Facebook is much larger–2,502, as opposed to the 188 YouTube subscribers.

Should you be creating video for your business? Definitely–yes. Here are some things to think about:

  1. Where is your audience? If they are primarily on FB, then find them there. YouTube’s advantage is a massive potential audience, higher SEO on searches (because they are owned by Google), and easy sharing from the platform. Look at your followers across your social networks and create content in the places that are most populated.
  2. Add value. No matter what kind of video you make–and it doesn’t have to feature you if you don’t want to–make sure it adds value. Teach us how to do something, make our lives easier. Feature your product or service in such a way that helps people to really see what they can do with it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to go live. Live video is super hot right now, and you can do it on both Facebook and on YouTube, right inside the apps. The advantage of live video is that it shows a more “real” face of your business–in the moment, behind the scenes. Interview someone, or, again, teach us how to do something. Host an AMA. Live video is more interactive than regular video, and can be really fun. I know–it’s scary. But just try it.

What kind of video are you making for your business? Comment below and let me know!


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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 2

    1. You totally could, and I have, but it depends on your goals. For example, with my food channel, I want to build that out as my primary platform (second only maybe to my blog). If I upload every video to both platforms, it splits my audience. Ideally, I want to upload the video to YouTube and then encourage my FB audience to go watch it on YouTube.

      If you just want overall views and you don’t care if you’re splitting your audience, or if you’re testing to see which platform is going to work better, uploading to both is no problem.

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