Make Your Videos at Home on Facebook
Web analytics firm ComScore released its web video stats, and it turns out Facebook has risen in the video ranks. Coming in at #3 behind Google and Yahoo, Facebook boasts 46 billion unique viewers—and that doesn’t even include embedded videos from other services (YouTube being the most prominent). So, if you’ve yet to add some movie magic to your Facebook brand, there has never been a better time….
Where to Put Facebook Videos
For those to whom Facebook videos are still a foreign concept, let’s revisit the available (and most rewarding) places to put them.
- News Feeds- Whether building a personal brand or beefing up your business page, updating your friends/fans with video is a visually interesting way to stay on everyone’s radar. An obvious must for video bloggers looking to showcase their running body of work on their profile or page—either link your Facebook account to your YouTube/Vimeo account, or embed manually. And remember– if you got videos on your website that you’d like to see visitors spreading to their friends, add a Like and/or Share button!
- Video Messaging- For those looking to update their friends/fans more directly (you can imagine this would come in handy with emergency notices and personalized messages). All you need for video messaging is a webcam and a microphone– though, importantly, you can only send a message to 20 friends at a time.
- Video Tabs- Facebook has made it incredibly easy for individuals and businesses to upload all their videos (via mobile, webcam, or computer file) to one place within the social media platform. With the Facebook Video app, you can maintain a separate gallery of your personal work, a collection of behind the scenes footage, or customer/employee testimonials. Click Facebook’s Video Guide for supported file formats.
- FBML Pages- FBML (Facebook Markup Language—think html for Facebook) pages allow marketers to customize welcome pages or landing pages with static graphics, images, and yes video. Videos placed here are perfect for upcoming films or books (insert trailer here), video contest announcements (insert winning video here), filmed mission statements (insert company head speech here), or outsourced ads (insert tv commercials here). For a comprehensive how-to, visit HyperArts’ FBML Pages blog post.
- Facebook Ads- Yet another recent Facebook video ad study (courtesy of analytics firm TubeMogul) has found that Facebook video ads garner more minutes-per-view than even Google or Yahoo. Facebook users, unsurprisingly, are more engaged, not to mention ready and able to share. With a lot of ad-types to choose from, you don’t really have an excuse not to tap into this effective (and relatively cheap) form of web advertising. If you’re a game creator, opt for virtual currency ads; and for regular sponsors, you’ve got a choice between in-banner, interstitial, and side panel ads.
The plus side of Facebook videos is that they’re inherently social—like most everything else on the social media site, friends and fans can comment on and “Like” a Facebook video (which means it will appear on their news feeds), and they can more actively suggest it to others. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook has improvements to make:
- If you’re working specifically within the Video app, there’s no Facebook analytics tool to count uploaded Video views beyond the number of “likes” you accumulate. This is undoubtedly the reason why the YouTube app tab, and to some extent its Vimeo counterpart, have remained so popular—users can easily integrate their YouTube channels with this app and every hit is tabulated (though friends within each clip can’t be tagged).
- There’s very little in the way of organization in the Video tab—unlike Photos, which can be sorted into albums, Facebook Videos can’t be sorted into playlists, channels, or categories.
Looking for more info on how to use/upload Facebook Videos? Check out the Facebook video app—or alternatively, YouTube’s Box app or Vimeo’s video app. And, if you’re looking for even more creative ways to branch out with video on Facebook, the entertainment app store features several pages of independently created, small-scale tools for you to experiment with (make your profile pic a movie with VanityVid, or create an app of your own that notifies friends and fans via email when you’ve posted a new video).