Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director

Posts: 2881
Joined: Apr 13, 2011

Should Marketers Ditch YouTube for Facebook?

Posted by @DanHinmon, Aug 10, 2015

How will Facebook’s advances into the online video space impact YouTube traffic? Facebook now has 4 billion video views a day. Is it time for health care marketers to shift more video advertising dollars into Facebook? What do you think?


My team has noticed a huge difference in engagement when we post natively on Facebook, but I wonder about the quality of the “views.” On Facebook, simply allowing the video to auto-play for three seconds will count as a view — whether or not the sound is turned on (https://medium.com/@hankgreen/theft-lies-and-facebook-video-656b0ffed369). It begs the question — is that kind of view valuable? It could very well be in certain, limited, circumstances, but it’s not going to do much when the full-length piece is a 15-minute workout video.

Facebook has also beefed up its video analytics, allowing page managers to toggle between Organic vs. Paid, Auto-Played vs. Clicked-to-Play and Unique vs. Repeat views (http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/29/as-competition-with-youtube-increases-facebook-overhauls-its-video-analytics/). But you have to know those options are there AND resist the temptation to report those inflated numbers because they look so impressive in terms of that all-important engagement metric… as long as the people you’re reporting to don’t know the details.

Great points, Amanda. Thanks for the cautions to carefully consider metrics when comparing Facebook and YouTube. We posted an article the other day that @reedsmith recommended that casts additional light on this, provocatively called Theft, Lies and Facebook. https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/discussion/theft-lies-and-facebook-video/

Liked by MakalaArce

I’m revisiting this topic while reporting on some numbers from a recent Facebook/Instagram video campaign. I was thinking reporting on 100% video views, rather than just video views, could be a more accurate reflection of how many people actually watched.

But one question I’ve been asked: Since video auto-plays on Facebook, does this mean if a person scrolls past your playing video, it continues playing even after it’s no longer visible on their screen, therefore counting as a longer view? In other words, if I see Mayo Clinic’s video as I’m scrolling through Facebook on my iphone, pass it, and then stop and look at my friend’s post that’s 10 posts down from Mayo on my newsfeed, does Mayo’s video keep playing?

Great question. @makalajohnson – as our resident Mayo expert in stats and metrics, any idea on this one? Or @TonyHart? Or @jasonpratt?

No, we just did a quick test, and the video stopped playing once we scrolled down past it. Then, it starts playing again where it left off if we scroll back up.

Thanks a lot @Makalajohnson. I knew you’d have an answer for this! I really liked @amandachanguris‘ point that Facebook counts a video view after just 3 seconds. We/ve got to beware of inflated numbers.

Liked by MakalaArce


No, we just did a quick test, and the video stopped playing once we scrolled down past it. Then, it starts playing again where it left off if we scroll back up.

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Awesome! Thanks for the fast reply and the test!

Megan, just wondering: how are you using videos as part of your efforts, and how are you actually measuring effectiveness?

Views is merely an impression-based metric, which only measures a small (and sometimes inconsequential) part of their overall role in your campaign. (It’s similar to counting the number of cars driving past a billboard).

Are you looking to measure other things outside of views?

Where I found remarkable difference between YouTube and Facebook is in how they relate to your overall communication efforts: YT far surpasses FB in terms of driving action (click throughs, call to actions, moving people to sign up for events, etc.). FB video is great for growing your followers on FB.

There are other metrics that you can use to track video effectiveness, and the performance of each varies based on a number of things (including if they are on FB or YT). I would be interested to understanding more.

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