Remove Links to Reach More

March 8, 2016 by Gretchen

Video screen grab

When it comes to delivering important messages on Facebook, video is often the most informative and entertaining solution. Constructing quality videos that keep viewers engaged from start to finish is an art, but to reach that audience in the first place can be rather tricky.

Last week we dove into our social media health, assessing how different post types have been performing over time. While analyzing average reach and engagement for video posts, we discovered that the category had been split into two separate groups, “Video” and “Shared Video”. The “Video” section provided us with statistics for videos we have uploaded to Facebook directly, with no intermediary links or websites. Contrastingly, “Shared Video” supplied us data for the videos we have uploaded as links to other websites such as Youtube and Vimeo.

What did we learn? Upload method does matter.

Like any website, one of Facebook’s main goals is to keep people on its site. So, when a post (like a video linked to Vimeo) steers a viewer away from its page to a different website, Facebook isn’t too thrilled. To combat this loss of traffic, Facebook incentivizes its users to upload videos directly by rewarding them with a greater capacity to reach viewers.

Our own stats support this theory quite nicely as the average reach for directly uploaded videos nearly triples that of our shared videos. That could just be because some of our videos are more intriguing than others though, right? Maybe…but the stats also tell us that the average engagement for direct videos and shared videos is almost exactly the same – i.e. people who are seeing our videos are enjoying shared links just as much as direct uploads. With that, we can conclude the difference in reach has a lot less to do with our video quality and a lot more to do with Facebook favoritism. The social media giant allows more viewers to see our direct uploads, not because those videos are better, but for the sake of keeping people right there on Facebook and away from the endless rabbit hole that is Youtube (it’s pretty difficult to watch just one cat video).

Dane (Rob & Megan’s Son) watching Cats vs Cucumbers

Another perk of uploading videos directly is that Facebook compiles them all into a nice gallery accessed through the “Videos” tab on your company page. If a video has been shared as a link, however, the only way for your viewers to find it is by scrolling through old posts, which is much less appealing than an quick ‘click’ on a nicely labeled tab.

So, do these hidden “tricks” make Facebook the bad guy? We don’t think so. The key lies in detecting patterns in social media analytics, understanding the business reasoning behind Facebook’s methods, and adjusting your posting habits accordingly. After all, your goal is to keep viewers right there on your page too – why not help them and your business out by uploading direct?


Written By Gretchen

Gretchen is a senior marketing major at Whitworth University. With internship experience in marketing, graphic design, and public relations she is passionate about using creativity to build meaningful content and visuals that help businesses thrive.

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