Tag Archives: Facebook engagement

Facebook Video vs. YouTube – Why Brands Should Now Upload Directly to Facebook Timeline

3 Mar

Facebook vs Youtube Graphic     Facebook has recently changed the way it integrates video into your feeds and timelines and it has vast implications for engagement and views.

      Under its former protocol, one could link a video from YouTube, Vimeo, or another channel such as Videolicious into a post.  Facebook would then integrate a small video frame for the viewer to click or touch.

      Fast forward to the present.  Videos now uploaded directly to Facebook appear as native content that auto-plays in the user’s timeline.  Users or followers no longer have to click or touch to view the video.  The changes are critically important  for brands, including news outlets that thrive on engagement, activation, and sharable content.

     With this change in the digital landscape, I conducted a simple experiment.  As a news anchor and reporter I routinely create short videos on my iPhone using Videolicious to post on Facebook alerting our followers to the stories we will have in the evening newscast.  I call it “Tim’s Phoning It In.”  Recently, during the course of two nights I posted one video as a Videolicious link, the next night’s report was uploaded directly to YouTube as a native video.

      Here is the Video from January 30th posted as a link.

      This is the post the next night as a native Facebook video.


       The methodology was fairly simple.  The videos were posted each night at 7:45 p.m. with the results measured at 10:15 p.m. the same night.  The results showed significant increases in both reach and views with the native YouTube video receiving an 855% increase in views from the night before. (Figure 1) 

Figure 1

Figure 1

      In full disclosure, there are limitations to this experiment.  Among them is the potentially different Facebook user-ship rate between the two nights.  Additionally, the second video may have been perceived as simply more compelling content than the one posted the previous day.  Also, the potential of snow in the forecast during the night of the native Facebook video posting could have been a supplemental motivating factor.  But I strongly suspect the auto-play feature of the second posting played a significant role in the increased exposure. 

Figure 2 - Socialbakers.com

Figure 2 – Socialbakers.com

       This hypothesis is tested as major brands are already making the shift from YouTube to Facebook.   Data tracked by Socialbakers shows how increasingly brands are now posting more video content to Facebook than they are to YouTube.  (Figure 2)

     Additional research from Socialbakers shows how Facebook videos dominated during the most social event of the year—Super Bowl XLIV.  Super Bowl sponsors found overall engagement with followers on Facebook overtook YouTube for the first time. (Figure 3) 

Figure 3 - Socialbakers.com

Figure 3 – Socialbakers.com

      That’s not to say YouTube is no longer important.   YouTube is still the channel brands need to have a presence on because of its search functions.  Additionally, longer format videos are ideally suited for YouTube whereas Facebook holds the advantage with shorter messaging that’s meant to be perishable—in other words, needs to be seen now.   In this case Facebook is ideal for news videos and brands running time sensitive marketing promotions.  The landscape is changing so rapidly that AdAge now includes Facebook videos in its weekly advertising engagement report.

       The changes are big and offer brands, and yes, news organizations new opportunities in reaching their followers.

Coca-Cola & Facebook. How Coke Writes the Book on Sharing—Again.

5 Sep

Facebook post by Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola didn’t become the world’s most recognized brand by keeping the cap on the bottle.

The not-so-secret success to Coke has always been its laser beam focus creating happiness that tastes better when it’s shared.

It should therefore come as no surprise that Coca-Cola has popped the cap on another major branding success—50 Million Facebook “Likes.”   In the process, Coca-Cola offers a blueprint in how to engage brand evangelists in social media space.

Facebook post by Coca-Cola

In every respect, Facebook is the perfect match for Coca-Cola.   Coke is a brand whose core identity is about sharing and it has masterfully positioned the brand on a social platform built for sharing.  But the key to Coke’s success on Facebook is how it engages its followers—always with a question or an invitation for people to share their own ideas.

To celebrate its 50 millionth “Like” Coca-Cola has created a special Facebook app inviting followers to share their thoughts on how to improve the world.   Coke promises to select one idea early next year and contribute to the cause.

The lesson for other brands on Facebook is that the platform is not a place for corporate news or industrial relations.  It’s a space where organizations can showcase their core values and let followers engage in what it means to them.

Now… where’s my bottle cap opener? 

GM and Ford — A Case of Two Facebook Strategies

7 Jun

General Motors recent announcement to stop buying advertising on Facebook may have been the backfire heard in agencies around the world.  GM didn’t just turn off the engine, it slammed the breaks with such force that it had the advertising industry and social media world bouncing off the air bags.  That tends to happen when any brand cancels a $10M buy.  GM argued the Facebook ads and were simply ineffective.

To be sure, social media is a constantly shifting platform that challenges brands in finding a cost effective way of using multiple social channels to target customers.  But as a customer engagement platform, is GM really using Facebook effectively to drive conversations with its customers?

Figure 1 – Ford’s Facebook Cover Photo

Figure 2 – GM’s Facebook Cover Photo

Let’s start with a simple look at the Facebook cover photos of both GM and Ford. (Figures 1 & 2)  One of these pages immediately tells the user its company is about people, the other is about objects.  At its core, social media is about having relationships with other people.

Extensive research on social media engagement indicates a strong correlation between seeking gratification and fulfilling psychological needs.  Louis Leung found a significant draw to social media by people who needed recognition and empowerment.  Brand new research from the University of Boston shows that Facebook use is motivated by the need to belong and a secondary need for self-presentation.  Additionally, John Eighmey and Lola McCord established how the need for entertainment is vitally important to maintaining an online relationship.  But among the most important insights for brands comes from Mihaela Vorvorneanu at Purdue University whose research found a desire for consumer interaction with corporations on Facebook only if it gives them a badge of personal identity, or a tangible reward such as a discount on products or services.

Figure 3 – Ford’s Car Giveaway

On the later point, Ford seems to deeply understand these motivations.  During the final week of its American Idol sponsorship on Fox, Ford ran a Facebook post inviting viewers to enter the Ford Video Music Challenge and have a chance at winning a new car.  (Figure 3)  Another engagement strategy by Ford is asking its followers to contribute their own ideas on topics such as designing their own Ford Fusion or what they’d do with the gas money they’d save if they owned an electric car.

Figure 4 – GM’s May Sales

GM’s Facebook page tends to look more like a corporate newsroom site.  One recent posting trumpeted May’s sales growth. (Figure 4)  Another linked to a CNN.com interview GM CEO Dan Akerson.   While it all defends and defines the corporation, it’s not exactly the kind of content that invites a personal dialog with the brand.  In fairness, there are some moments of truly cool engagement, such as the picture it recently posted of the new top-secret Chevy SS prototype. (Figure 5)  The posting builds intrigue and anticipation at the same time serving as a sneak-peek reward for any GM Facebook follower.

Figure 5 – Chevy SS Facebook Post

The one thing GM has going for it is its social media maven, Mary Henige.  She is a walking, talking, one-woman evangelist for General Motors.  Henige has more energy than a fully charged Chevy Volt and is not afraid to use Twitter and various other channels to engage customers in the GM brand. (Follow Henige on Twitter @maryhenige)  One good example is the Facebook page for Chevrolet.  It uses more of the follower-involving content utilized by Ford to draw people into a relationship with the brand.

It could be reasonably argued that GM’s core customers have stronger emotional bonds to their individual car brands than to the corporation behind them.   In that regard it could make sense to let the GM Facebook page be more of a corporate PR blog.  But that’s not what social media is about, and GM may be missing an opportunity to make true relationship drivers of all of its social media channels.

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