Whether it’s live or recorded, Facebook loves video – but what effect is that having on all the other stuff people post on Facebook?
What effect is it having on the other stuff you post?
Well, now we have some pretty big clues – and it looks like Facebook’s love affair with video is having a ripple effect on the other types of content people post.
The data geniuses over at BuzzSumo reviewed 25 million Facebook posts from 10,000 different publishers, and the data they uncovered reveals a LOT about Facebook’s priorities – and how video has impacted the algorithm that determines who sees your updates.
What exactly does the data say?
Let’s take a closer look!
Shares are up (only they’re not)
Good news – Facebook shares are up!
Worse news – Facebook shares are also down!
Okay, let’s back up.
Turns out that yes, on average, the number of shares for Facebook posts has gone up over the past year.
For certain types of posts, though, the number of shares has actually gone down.
Take a look at what’s happened to shares for link posts over the past year.
The number of shares on link posts has been declining pretty steadily – and it’s been happening since long before Facebook announced a July 2016 algorithm change that would limit reach for Pages! (Here are the details on that little doozy.)
So, shares on Facebook are up, but shares for link posts are down – what gives?
Video shares are skyrocketing
If activity on your link posts is slowing down, you might have video to thank.
Over the past year, the average number of shares for Facebook videos has more than doubled – a pretty significant leap, and not just because people love watching fruit explode.
Why the huge popularity boost?
First, Facebook started giving live video priority placement in the News Feed during this period. (That’s not an educated guess – they literally said they were doing that.)
If video gets better placement, something else is getting worse placement – and you can’t share something you never even see!
Second, Facebook plays videos automatically – a decision that has been the subject of some controversy, considering that they also count a “view” as someone who’s watched as little as three seconds of a video.
That autoplay feature makes it considerably easier to grab a user’s attention, because it requires zero effort to view a video. (Whereas clicking a link takes enough effort that the majority of the ones shared on Twitter never get clicked at all.)
In fact, video viewing on Facebook is so effortless and casual that 85% of Facebook video is viewed with the sound turned off! (This is the default setting – to watch a video with sound, you have to click to turn it on. Creators like BuzzFeed often share videos that can be fully enjoyed without sound.)
The easier it is to get noticed, the easier it is to get shared – and Facebook is doing everything it can to get video noticed.
The numbers don’t lie
When you think you notice your reach, referrals, or shares going down for your Facebook posts, it isn’t all in your head – and it isn’t even necessarily something you did!
Facebook loves video, and is making a concerted, algorithmic effort to promote it – an effort that might be undermining some of your other marketing strategies.
So – what can you do about it?
If you’ve never experimented with Facebook video, live or otherwise, this is the time to start. We’ve written before about how to get started with webcasting – it’s always been a good idea to incorporate it into your marketing strategy, and Facebook just makes it easier to actually do it!
Video is getting a lot of love from Facebook lately, but that doesn’t mean it should be your only focus.
When you see something like video boom in popularity, it’s tempting to want to make it your sole priority and throw out everything you were doing before.
While Facebook is giving video such a strong push now, though, that might not always be the case! They change their content distribution algorithms all the time, and what works today might not be such a slam-dunk strategy tomorrow.
Make video part of your repertoire, but don’t allow it to eclipse the other types of content you create and share.
Sharing video on Facebook may make it easier to improve the performance of your non-video posts, too. Facebook factors in your overall popularity when determining who should see your updates, which means a video that does really well could actually benefit your other posts in the future.
(Still not sure where to get started with Facebook video? This page in their Help Center should point you in the right direction!)
Have you experimented with video on Facebook? What kinds of results have you seen? Do you prefer going live, or prerecorded? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!